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PC Connected To TV Flickering (Causes And How To Fix)

Using your TV as a monitor could make sense if you use your PC for streaming, gaming, and other leisure activities. However, many PC users discover that when they connect their PCs to a TV, they frequently experience intermittent or ongoing flicker. As a result, you may wonder what is causing this and how to fix it.

When connected to a PC, the most common cause of TV flicker results from the display cable used. The TV will often display flickering if the display cable is poorly connected or damaged. Other causes include a faulty or loose video card, screen resolution, refresh rate, and a True Color TV setting.

Even if you have a high-end television, you may encounter some of these issues when connecting a PC or a laptop to it to use as a display. Fortunately, troubleshooting processes, solutions, and alternative options exist for each potential issue that may cause your TV to flicker. With that in mind, when connected to your PC, let’s look at the possible causes of TV flicker and how to fix it.

How To Fix A Flickering TV Screen When It Is Connected To A PC

The Display is the most noticeable yet frequently least valued component of any computer system. Your spreadsheets are shown, your movies play, and your gaming adventures are all displayed there. 

TV prices are lower than those of PC monitors since there is an ongoing supply of them. However, because fewer monitors are available, TVs are frequently used as an additional display for various reasons.

As a result, several TVs have various specifications, resolutions, and refresh rates. As a result, flicker and other visual display issues might occur when you connect a PC to a TV.

Flickering on TVs can occur for several internal and external reasons. However, the user may typically resolve the problems with simple troubleshooting.

In light of that, the following are some of the most typical reasons and fixes for the issue if you connect a TV display to your PC and experience occasional or frequent flickering.

Loose Or Damaged Cables

Whether you link your TV to a computer through a VGA, HDMI, DVI, or Displayport connection is irrelevant: Issues will arise if the cable is not attached firmly. Most users use an HDMI cable to connect their PCs to their TVs; however, some TVs include additional display ports.

As a result, examine the cable at the TV and computer ports and ensure both are fitted correctly. If you have an additional HDMI cable, try using it to rule out the possibility of the issue with that particular cable.

Additionally, the majority of TVs feature additional HDMI ports. Therefore, if you’re utilizing an HDMI cable, try switching between the ports (i.e., HDMI1, 2, and 3) to ensure the issue isn’t with a faulty or damaged port. Remember to switch the TV to the correct HDMI channel being used.

Finally, cables might deteriorate over time, or perhaps a pet gave them a sly gnaw. If you suspect it to be the cable, try connecting the TV using the same HDMI cable to a different device, such as a gaming console or DVD player, and see if there are any display issues. Then, of course, you must shop for a new cable if the issue lies with the cable.

Incorrect Resolution Settings Or Refresh Rate

There are several resolutions and refresh rates for TVs. A TV’s resolution is determined by the number of horizontal and vertical pixels, and its refresh rate, measured in Hertz (Hz), is the number of times the screen updates itself each second.

Most ordinary TVs and the most popular native resolution for a high-definition TV screen are 1920 x 1080, and TVs either feature a 60Hz or 120Hz (or more) refresh rate. However, if you are experiencing flickering, chances are that your PC’s display settings need to be adjusted to match your TV’s specs.

As a result, starting with the refresh rate, the following is how to adjust it on your PC:

  1. On your computer (using either the flickering TV monitor or another monitor), access Settings by pressing the Windows key + I.
  2. After the setting panel pops up, select Display.
  3. Next, scroll down and click Advanced display settings (Windows 10) or Advanced display settings (Windows 11).
  4. If you use multiple displays, ensure you have selected the TV’s Display. Also, keep note of the current refresh rate setting on the screen. 
  5. Next, select lower refresh rates from the Refresh rate option until the screen stops flashing/flickering. If the flickering continues, return to your TV display’s recommended refresh rate.

Computers often don’t automatically apply the native resolution settings and refresh rates of TVs once connected.

Adjusting the visual settings and cycling through the refresh rates often fixes the problem. If you are not sure what the refresh rate of your TV is, you can google the product name followed by the “refresh rate.”

Occasionally, your PC may have applied an incompatible resolution to your TV display, which may also cause the TV to flicker. Similar to navigating to the refresh rate settings, you would do the following:

  1. On your computer (using either the flickering TV monitor or another monitor), access Settings by pressing the Windows key + I.
  2. After the setting panel pops up, select Display.
  3. If you use multiple displays, ensure you have selected the TV’s Display before changing the resolution.
  4. Next to Display resolution, change the settings to the Recommended setting. If this does not work, try shifting the resolution to 1920×1080, and cycle down the resolution settings to see if that addresses the problem.

Faulty Or Loose Video Card

A video card not correctly positioned on the motherboard can create various issues, including screen flickering. If you are using a desktop computer, shut down the computer and open the case. Then, locate the video card and ensure that it is properly attached.

If the card is correctly positioned on the motherboard, but the problem remains, a malfunctioning card is most likely to blame. It is simple to test, especially if the faulty computer has an inbuilt GPU that you can connect to.

Turn off the computer, remove the video card, and attach the TV cable to the onboard card or a second video card installed in place of the previous one. If the problem remains, it’s not the card; it’s something else.

Disable Energy Saving Mode And Enable True Color Setting

Most LCD and LED TVs to have an energy-saving setting or “Green mode.” This function optimizes the TV’s settings to consume the least power.

However, occasionally, especially in locations where your electricity may change, this can lead to problems. So look for an “Energy Saving” or “Power Saving” option under the “Settings” page on your TV.

An option labeled “Green mode,” “Power Efficiency Mode,” or “Power Saving Mode” should be available from here. Switch off your TV and disable this function. Turn it back on after a minute, and the flickering ought to have ceased.

Finally, according to various forums, True Color settings, also known as HDMI Ultra Deep Color on various models, have also been known to fix screen flickering.

Again, depending on the TV model, this feature is often found in your TV’s General settings or Picture settings. Once you find the setting, turn on or enable True Color and see if that has removed the flicker.

Faulty Electricals May Also Cause TV Flickering

Flickering on your TV may be caused by defective electrical appliances in your home. For example, if you turn on an appliance in your house, your TV flickers briefly before returning to normal once the device has gone through its complete power cycle. In that situation, electrical interference is what’s causing the flickering.

Have a skilled technician examine the primary home ground at the service panel to remedy this issue. Make sure the connection is tight. If feasible, use a separate power source for your TV or appliance to avoid interruptions that might cause flickering.

Outdated Firmware Or Hardware

Finally, outdated hardware or firmware may cause the TV to flicker, and software updates may be necessary for both the computer and the TV. Unfortunately, outdated software and firmware are often a common cause of many issues. Start by updating your TV. 

Various Smart TV models have a specific way of accessing system software updates. However, most are accessed by the TV remote by pressing the Settings button, navigating and selecting either Help, Support, or About, and selecting Software update.

Your PC may require updates as well. Updates on a computer cover a large field, but it is always good to have the software, especially for your display drivers. First, click the Windows icon, then Control Panel, choose System and Security, then Windows Update to ensure your software is up-to-date. To manually search for new updates, click Check for updates.

Conclusion

A calm and methodical exercise is needed to fix a flickering TV that is connected to a computer. Computers are helpful, but their worth and usability are diminished if you can’t utilize the whole visual package, especially when connected to a TV. Fortunately, there are ways to troubleshoot and find the cause, along with ways to fix it.

The most common cause belongs to the display cables used. If you have a TV that supports various display cables, try using different display cables to see if that resolves the flicker. If that does not work, you can work down the troubleshooting methods mentioned above to find the cause and ways to address it.

References

https://www.driversupport.com/knowledge-article/fixing-flickering-pc-monitor-issues/

https://linustechtips.com/topic/738880-having-issues-running-4k60hz-pc-to-tv/

https://removeandreplace.com/2019/04/14/how-to-fix-a-blinking-or-flickering-tv-turn-tv-off-to-reset/

https://consumer.huawei.com/en/support/content/en-us10988242/

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/suddenly-have-no-sound-via-hdmi-screen-flickering/6e949c5a-6534-4624-9ba4-d423bd840447