You have your eyes glued to a game you’re playing or a movie you’re watching on your TV, and then suddenly, there are two screens. It’s that old, annoying screen tearing driving you crazy, making you wonder how to get it to stop and make your TV whole again. To help you keep it all together, take a gander at the advice of TV troubleshooting veterans and audiovisual professionals.
Screen tearing on your TV occurs when there is a mismatch between its refresh rate and the framerate of your input device. Visible lines of disturbance of the images on the TV and total or partial duplication of the display frames are characteristic of screen tearing.
Screen tearing is annoying and can also hinder your progress in games or productivity while working. So, it is worthwhile knowing why screen tearing occurs and how to resolve the issue. You can tackle the problem from either end, trying to improve or limit the frames per second of your system or the refresh rate of the TV. Consider the whole picture by weighing up hardware and software changes.
Why Is My TV Screen Tearing?
Evident horizontal splits in the image are tell-tale signs of screen tearing due to synchronization loss between the TV and the processing device. A mismatch occurs when a strained GPU cannot keep up with a monitor’s refresh rate or vice versa.
Typically, TVs don’t suffer from screen tearing due to their dedicated content stipulations. Still, there are several situations where screen tearing does occur on TVs, and these causes may not be as apparent as for a computer monitor. If you’re trying to discover why your TV screen is tearing, you might want to consider its hardware specifications and the content you’re viewing.
TV Screen Tearing, Hardware, And Relative Frames Per Second
Most TV screen tearing issues occur when you use a TV as a computer monitor. The GPU of the computer runs at different frames per second than the broadcast signals TVs decode as a rule. This tearing on your TV is particularly prominent while playing games or watching movies from your computer. TVs have lower refresh rates and can’t keep up with the imaging demand from the GPU.
On the opposite end of the screen tearing spectrum, TVs also tear when the computer’s GPU or CPU (or other source devices) is comparatively weak relative to the TV’s refresh rate. Obsolete graphics cards or out-of-date drivers can cause severe stuttering in games or streamed shows and movies.
When the refresh rate is higher than the frames per second, some images may be refreshed and redrawn several times, and timing issues may cause tears in the scene.
TV Screen Tearing Causes Unrelated To Hardware
While unsynchronized communication between the screen and processing components in the display chain causes TV screen tearing issues, this can be mitigated or exacerbated by software configurations or system settings.
The user’s settings while playing games or streaming content change how the programs or applications interact. If the processor issues a command that causes timing issues, the added burden on the processing units or the screens leads to complications when creating frames on the TV.
User preferences (such as preferred resolution, graphic detail, and binding framerate goals) stipulate the system’s behavior, even at the expense of performance. Misconfigurations often lead to framerate loss but may sometimes even lead to total collapses in communication and frozen screens.
Misconfigurations increase when using a TV as a computer monitor. Most TVs don’t have game modes enabled by default and don’t come with graphics synchronization software as standard.
Power plan settings can also affect how the parts in a system communicate with one another. In power-saving conditions, all components’ performance levels are deliberately restricted, which may affect different parts to varying degrees. The disparity in performance between the GPU and the TV may lead to screen tearing.
How To Fix A Tearing TV Screen
If you know the specific cause of TV screen tearing in your system, you can implement the necessary changes to improve performance and cut out display glitching. Considering that synchronization problems are due to either hardware or software misconfigurations, the solutions you implement will also be on these levels.
Hardware-Based Solutions To TV Screen Tearing
Since ability mismatch between the TV and computer causes screen tearing, solutions will focus on increasing the level of the system’s lacking participants, if possible, or decreasing the performance of the outperforming ones.
If the GPU is obsolete, upgrade to a more potent version if you can find one compatible with your motherboard. A more powerful GPU can boost the frames per second and reduce stuttering without sacrificing graphic details in games. Else, see if you can change the settings on your TV to improve communication with your streaming services.
Software-Based Solutions To TV Screen Tearing
Hardware-based solutions tend to be expensive since they rely on replacing significant components of your computer. Thus, when you know that the low refresh rate of your TV is the problem, it is helpful to know that you can enable “VSync” or limit the frames per second output of your GPU. Whether you have an NVIDIA or AMD GPU, you can access these functions from your PC’s desktop.
However, if you have determined that your GPU has trouble outputting the required frames to match your TV’s resolution and refresh rate, you should consider updating your display drivers. Usually, NVIDIA or AMD will support your software and assist you with downloading and installing the appropriate drivers with automatic updates by dedicated programs on your PC.
You can also configure the refresh rate and resolution of your computer’s display settings to match those of your TV by following the steps below:
- From your computer’s Windows desktop, right-click anywhere.
- Choose the “Display settings” option.
- Click on “Advanced display.”
- At the top of the Advanced display tab, choose which display’s settings you want to view and change.
- Select the resolution and refresh rate you want your GPU to run at from the supplied list of supported modes when you open the “Display adapter properties for Display X” window.
- Repeat this procedure until you find a setting that eliminates screen tearing.
Suppose you only encounter screen tearing issues when playing specific games or watching movies on your TV. In that case, you can usually change the display settings of that application. Setting lower graphics requirements will reduce your GPU and TV burden, reduce (or eliminate) screen tearing, and smooth out your playing experience.
Another feature you can consider while you are gaming is enabling triple buffering. Essentially, triple buffering is a process where frames are prepared for the screen before they are needed, which smooths out conflicts before they occur. One is always on the screen, one is ready to replace the first frame, and while the second frame transitions onto the TV, preparation continues on the third.
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:
- Head to Settings > General.
- Select Reset.
- Enter your PIN > then select Reset.
Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000
Screen tearing issues occur when your TV has a lower refresh rate than the system’s framerate, or your system is the one lagging, and the TV is producing new images with time to spare. The disparity in the relationship between the TV and your computer leads to split graphics and stuttering scenes.
To improve the communication between the TV and your computer system, update any components in the system causing lag, or limit the functioning of parts making graphic rendering difficult.