How-To

Samsung TV Horizontal Lines on Screen (Try This FIRST!)

So you’ve noticed horizontal lines on your Samsung TV, and you’re wondering if there’s a way to fix it. Horizontal lines are a common problem with LCD TVs. Most people will resort to throwing away their TV when it gets horizontal lines, but you can often fix the issue on your own. 

The lines you’re seeing may be very obvious, or more subtle, like a light shade of grey. Most of the time, the horizontal lines are caused by a hardware issue. Luckily, I’ve found a few proven ways to fix horizontal lines on a Samsung TV.

Don’t throw out your TV until you try each of these fixes! We’ll begin with the easiest possible fixes, and then move on to more technical solutions.

Samsung TV Horizontal Lines on Screen

Here’s how to fix horizontal lines on your Samsung TV screen: Unplug your TV from the wall outlet for 60 seconds, reseat all HDMI cables, remove the back panel and spray compressed air to clean out dust, reseat the T-CON board ribbons, or place a strip of tape to block specific contact points on the T-CON ribbon cable. 

I’ll expand on the above solutions in more detail below. Bear in mind, that before you remove the back panel on your TV and attempt a DIY hardware fix, I recommend checking your TV’s warranty. 

If your TV has a valid warranty, the easiest solution would be to contact Samsung for a replacement. In most cases removing the back panel on your TV will void your warranty, so it’s best left as a last resort. 

Power Cycle the TV

While this fix sounds obvious, unplugging your Samsung TV from the wall socket is the most common way to get rid of the horizontal lines you’re seeing.

Unplug your Samsung TV from the electrical outlet, wait 60 seconds, and then reconnect it.

unplug Samsung TV from the wall

The key here is to actually wait the FULL 60 seconds. Have a little bit of patience and make sure it’s been at least a minute before plugging it back in.

While the TV is unplugged, find and hold the power button on your Samsung TV for 30 seconds. Make sure you are holding the power button on your TV, and not your remote.

This will help to drain any residual power left in the TV and allows the TV to soft reset itself. This is different than simply switching the remote on and off!

Power cycling a TV is an easy way to refresh the TV’s operating system to clear out any software bugs that could be causing the horizontal lines. 

Reseat HDMI Connections

Occasionally dust can block HDMI pins from fully connecting with your TV which can create horizontal lines and other visual artifacts.

Disconnect all external connections from your TV and then reconnect them. It will only take a couple of minutes and it’s an easy way to troubleshoot what is causing the issue.

Bad HDMI connections come in a few forms:

  1. Loose HDMI connection
  2. Faulty HDMI port
  3. Bad HDMI cable

If disconnecting and reconnecting didn’t fix the horizontal lines, you should:

  1. Try using a different HDMI port on your TV
  2. Try using a different HDMI cable

Return Under Warranty

If you see horizontal lines on a relatively new TV that is still under warranty, I recommend returning it.

In most cases, the company will provide you with a replacement TV if you have an active warranty. While horizontal lines are more common on old LCD TVs, they can occur on new TVs too.

Unfortunately Samsung TV warranties typically only last 1 year.

Still worth a shot.

Remove Back Panel & Clean with Compressed Air

NOTE: The following fixes involve removing the back panel of the Samsung TV. If you’re not comfortable with DIY hardware fixes, I recommend contacting Samsung for advice (see below for contact info). Also, I do not recommend removing the back panel on a new TV because it will void the warranty.

One of the main causes of horizontal lines on a Samsung TV is the pins on the T-CON ribbon cables do not have full contact with the connectors. Little bits of dust and debris could have entered the cracks and blocked the pins. 

When you remove the back panel, clean all of the exposed electronics. You can use compressed air for the hard-to-reach spots.

Old TVs usually have quite a bit of dust and grime inside, which can cause a wide range of issues. You can use a brush with fine bristles to wipe away the dust.

Make sure to remove all the dust from the capacitors too! 

Reseat T-CON Board Ribbons

When you remove the back panel of your TV you’ll see the T-CON board with one or two ribbon cables. Gently remove the ribbon cables, wipe them down, and then reconnect them

reseat t-con board ribbons to remove horizontal lines on TV

The ribbon cables are responsible for sending signals to the TV panel.

Dust can often enter the ribbon cable ports and block the pins. Reseating the T-CON ribbon cables will remove any possible obstructions.

More importantly, it will help narrow down the issue!

Block Specific Ribbon Strip Contact Points with a Piece of Tape

You can often remove the horizontal lines on a Samsung TV by blocking certain contact points on the ribbon cable that connects to your T-CON board. I’ll walk you through the steps below. 

First, remove the back panel of your TV. Take note of which side the horizontal lines are on, are they on one or both sides?

If the lines only appear on one side, you can potentially fix the issue using a small strip of tape. Unfortunately, when lines run across your entire display, that is most likely a serious hardware issue that you won’t be able to fix. 

In the case where there are lines on only one side, I have a DIY solution. To test which side of your TV has the issue, keep your TV plugged in, and remove one ribbon cable at a time. Each cable will provide a signal to one side of your screen. 

Once you isolated the ribbon cable that carries the signal to the side of the TV that has horizontal lines, we’re going to use tape to block specific pins on that cable. 

Finding out the exact pins to block on the board is challenging and you might need to look up the panel specifications of your Samsung TV model. You could also use trial and error, using tape to block certain parts of the contact points, until you find the right location. 

Bear in mind the trial and error method can take a long time and you will need to reconnect and disconnect the ribbon cable many times.

Once you find the pins that are sending signals to the area of the panel that has an issue, you can narrow down the strip of tape until it eliminates the exact horizontal line location. 

The pins on the ribbon cables each send signals to a certain location on the TV panel. The idea is to block the signals that are being sent to the area that is creating the horizontal lines.

Most of the time, the TV will recalibrate and one side will fill in the blanks. The image might dimmer on the problematic side but the horizontal lines should be gone or at least much less obvious. 

Contact Samsung support

If you still can’t get the horizontal lines removed from your Samsung TV, you can try contacting the Samsung support team.

They offer a variety of service methods, from in-home service to mail-in options.

The cost for this service will vary depending on the final diagnosis and whether or not the work is covered under warranty.

But the good thing is you’ll get a certified Samsung technician to take a look.

Conclusion

If you’re seeing horizontal lines on your Samsung TV, try the following fixes:

  • Power-cycle the TV (Unplug from the outlet for 60 seconds)
  • Disconnect and reconnect all HDMI connections
  • Return (if under warranty)
  • Remove back panel and clean electronics with compressed air
  • Reseat T-CON ribbon cables
  • Use a strip of tape to block a specific section of contact points on the T-con ribbon cable

Hopefully with these fixes, you can get rid of those distracting horizontal lines without having to buy a new TV. 

Did one of these fixes work for you? If so, let us know in the comments below!