Last Updated on January 16, 2024 by Markeyus Franks
A TV is usually stuck on one channel because of an external device issue, a simple user error, or the TV itself malfunctioning. Today, we will delve into common reasons why your TV is stuck on one channel.
If you run into a TV stuck on one channel, don’t be alarmed. Its a common problem that if troubleshooted can be fixed fairly quickly. Most TVs are workhorses and seldom cause any issues. In most cases, it’s probably not the TV; it’s usually the remote control or other devices causing the problem.
Bad Remote Control
One of the first and most obvious reasons why Your TV is stuck on one channel is because of your remote controller. Either your remote controller has run out of batteries, or you have a faulty remote. This should be your first troubleshooting step. If you suspect your remote has run out of batteries, replace them and try again. In most cases, this will be why your TV is stuck on one channel.
The next reason will probably be a malfunctioning remote control. If your TV is stuck on one channel, there is a good chance that it’s a malfunctioning remote. The first step to take is to replace the remote’s batteries. This will most likely fix 90% of your problems. Generally, a remote control’s battery can last for about six months, and frequently, people forget to change them out.
If your remote still doesn’t work after replacing the battery, go to your TV and try changing it manually. If you are successful, then you have a remote control problem. You can either try to factory reset your remote or replace it altogether. Please check with the remote manufacturers on how to properly reset it.
Another way to see if your remote control is working or not is to use your phone’s camera to identify the remote IR( Infrared light) light. Remote controls emit infrared lights to communicate with their corresponding TV. Simply turn your smartphone’s camera on, point your remote at the phone’s camera, and press a button. Your phone’s camera should pick up the IR light. This may indicate that your remote control is working properly and you have a TV problem instead.
Reset Your TV
A step that people often forget is to reset their TV. Either toggle the power button or unplug and plug it back into the wall. After the procedure is done, retry your remote control. If the remote still doesn’t work, make sure to try the manual buttons as well.
You may also need to factory reset your TV to its default settings. All TVs have this option. Simply go to the TV’s settings page and navigate to Factory Reset. With some TVs, the factory reset button may be harder to find. After you perform a factory reset, if the channel still has not changed, then try to change it manually, followed by using your remote control.
User Error/ Wrong Input
Make sure you don’t have your TV on a different input. When your TV is on the wrong input, instead of hitting the channel up/down button, hit the input or source button to change the channel. This is a common problem that plagues TV watchers. If your TV is stuck on one channel, this is one of the first things you must check.
External Device Issue
Sometimes, you may want to check your external devices. Whether you have a DVD player, Set-top box, or a Gaming system, they can all malfunction, causing your channel to freeze. In this case, it’s the device that’s Freezing. Try toggling your device on and off and recheck.
Sometimes, your channel freeze problem is your TV itself. Don’t feel bad; TVs break down every day. After trying everything else, it’s time to examine your TV. Before looking for a TV repair service, first, as mentioned above, try to factory reset the TV to its default settings. This may be all you need to do to get things running correctly again. If that doesn’t work, then you can call a TV repair guy or get another TV altogether. TVs nowadays are fairly cheap, and deciding to purchase another one could save you time and money.
Remove obstacles and interference between the remote and the TV. Sometimes, your remote control may have issues accessing your TV because there’s an obstacle or some term of interference in the way. Remotes nowadays go off of infrared, so you don’t have to point at the TV directly, but some are more sensitive than others and require more of a View of the TV. So, if something is blocking the remote’s line of sight, you could run into a remote control problem.
Your Universal remote lost programming
If you own a universal remote control and it’s not responding to your TV after everything you have done, the remote may have lost its programming. If you suspect this has occurred, check with the remote manufacturer to find out how to program your TV codes.
Here is a list of common codes for different TVs. Please note, these codes may not work with your TV. The best route is to check the instruction manual or contact the remote’s manufacturer.
Sony: 1037, 1128, 1137, 1178
LG: 1343, 1346, 1396
Samsung: 1019, 1171, 1172, 1173
Sharp: 1138, 1176, 1177, 1214
Toshiba: 1127, 1179, 1203, 1204
Philips: 1126, 1129, 1236, 1237
Vizio: 1429, 1433, 1439
Your Parental Controls may be blocking you.
The last reason why your TV might be stuck on one channel is because you have your parental controls activated. Many smart TVs come with parental controls built inside their firmware. Now, every TV parental control setting may be a little different, but some TVs can set which channel can be watched at a particular time. Now, since this is the case, you can very easily have your TV locked to one channel and will be unable to navigate to different channels like normal. If your TV is stuck on one channel, we recommend adding this to your troubleshooting steps.
How do you reset a remote control?
Every factory reset procedure on a remote will be slightly different. We recommend checking with the remote’s manufacturer for proper reset configurations. If you use a universal remote, you can follow the general reset procedure below. Here is the most common factory reset procedure for universal remotes.
Take your batteries out of the remote control for about 3-5 minutes. Next, press every button on your remote control and ensure no light emits from the remote. Last, place the batteries back into the remote and retry. Please note, this specific procedure will not work on every Universal remote control. If your controller reset configuration is unknown, then first try this, but if that still doesn’t work, then try to find your remote control configuration online.