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TV Looks Grainy (Causes, How To Fix)

There are few experiences worse than settling down with your high-res TV to watch your favorite series or enjoy a movie, only to find that the image quality is grainy, fuzzy, or pixelated.

Whether you are using a brand new TV or if this problem has suddenly occurred in your existing TV, this is a highly frustrating issue. What can cause a TV to look grainy, and how do you fix it?

Your TV may look grainy due to a low-quality source, the quality of the TV may be too high for the content displayed, there may be bandwidth issues from a slow internet connection or limited cable line, the TV setting may be incorrect, or you may need to upgrade your streaming package. 

There are several causes for a grainy TV image, but there are also several solutions. Regardless of the situation, there is always a cause and a way to resolve it, but some can be challenging to understand. Let’s identify the reasons why your TV image may be grainy and what you can do to fix it. 

Why Your TV May Look Grainy And How To Fix It

A grainy image on a modern TV looks terrible. This frustrating issue can be caused by several problems, but there are some common issues that cause a grainy TV image that can be rectified fairly easily. 

Let’s identify common causes of a grainy TV image and learn how to fix the issue. 

Low-Quality Image Source

The most common reason for a fuzzy, grainy, or pixelated TV image is a low-quality input source. This is more common than most people may realize, and most of the time is a simple problem to fix. 

The reality is that modern UHD and 4K TVs are so advanced, and the image quality of these devices is so good that many image sources simply cannot output the quality that these TVs require to output a clear, sharp image. 

This means that if the source of the image that you are displaying on the TV is of low quality or the resolution or aspect ratio of the footage is not compatible with the type of TV you are using, the image will appear very grainy or pixelated. 

For example, typical cable TV connections only have a resolution of 720p, or sometimes 1080i which has half the pixels of regular HD content. Standard Netflix subscriptions do not display HD content and only provide content at 720p until the user pays for a higher subscription plan that enables HD or UHD content. 

Low-quality internet connection can also be to blame for grainy footage, especially on UHD or 4K TVs. If the internet connection can only handle low image quality, then the TV will stretch it out over its pixels, which will create a very grainy image. 

The quality of the image source is vital for a crisp, clear image on a modern TV. 

The only way to rectify this common issue is to increase the quality of the image source by increasing the bandwidth of the source. Be sure that the source you are watching the content from can display high-quality HD content that matches the resolution of your TV. Change settings if possible, or upgrade your subscription plan to include UHD content. 

Low-Quality Cables

Just as the image source quality of whatever is being displayed on the TV is critical, so are the cables that carry the footage to the TV. 

If you use any form of cable to display something on your TV, be it an HDMI cable, a display cable, or even a USB cable, the quality and speeds that the cable is capable of are crucial. If the cables are of low quality and are unable to perform at high speeds, then the image that they will produce will be low quality and not as good as the TV is capable of displaying. This is a more common problem than most people realize. 

To resolve this issue, simply upgrade the cables that you are using. Be sure to use high-speed, well-made cables that are capable of providing a clean source for HD content, and the grainy look should be resolved easily. 

Incorrect TV Settings

Another common problem for poor or grainy images on a TV is simply incorrect settings. Modern TVs are full of complicated settings to optimize the viewing experience, and understanding how to configure the TV correctly for the source and content that you are displaying is critical for crisp image quality. 

Every modern TV has its own settings that the user must learn how to use to get the most from the device. 

Experiment with the settings that your TV has to improve the image quality, and be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for finding the best settings for your setup. 

Try to optimize the sharpness and clarity of the image, as well as reduce the noise of the image if possible. This will substantially increase the quality of the image on your TV. 

Incorrect Source Settings

Just as the settings in the TV itself can be set incorrectly, so can the settings of the source content be set incorrectly. Sometimes the way to fix a grainy image on a TV is to simply change the output settings at the source. 

This problem is especially true for streamed content and for content that comes from a source with variable image output quality. 

Changing the settings on the image source, such as increasing the quality of the content or changing the aspect ratio setting on the source, can help to clear up the image on a high-definition TV. If the source is not configured well, the TV will not be able to output the best-quality images. 

External Factors

External factors can also be a cause of poor image quality in TVs, but only for those that are used to display content from an external source such as satellite TV, satellite internet, or from an internet connection on the mobile network. 

Factors such as storms, high winds, hail, snow, rain, lightning, and even electrical interference can all affect the image quality of a TV that is used to display content from external sources. 

There is very little that can be done about these external factors, and the unfortunate reality is that there is often no other solution than waiting it out. Let the storm pass, and the image quality will improve as the connection to the source improves and experiences less interference. 

Try a soft reset

A soft reset, is where you turn off the TV and unplug it from the wall outlet. You then usually have to wait for 60 seconds then you can put the plug back in and turn the TV on again. Performing a soft reset clears a device’s internal memory of running programs, which often clears up any technical glitches.

Try a hard reset

A hard reset involves completely resetting the TV to its factory defaults. Most TV models have specific instructions. However, if you have a Samsung TV here are the steps to follow:

To perform a factory reset:

  1. Head to Settings > General.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. Enter your PIN > then select Reset.

Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000


At the end of it, granny TV image quality is usually the result of incorrect settings or a poor-quality image source. Rectifying these issues will usually ensure that the images displayed on your TV are as clear as possible. 

Take the time to understand the setup that you are using to get the best from it. Be sure that you properly understand how to configure both the source of the content and the TV itself to get the best from the equipment that you are using.