So, you’re streaming some movies from Netflix or you’re trying to play games through your Xbox on your VIZIO TV. And then it happens, you get a prompt of “buffering,” “rebuffering” or the contraption freezes altogether.
If you find your TV freezing on a continued basis, there are many reasons why this is happening. Primarily, though, the content on your TV freezes because it’s trying to catch up to the speed of the download. This means it’s an internet connection speed problem.
Ironically, though, many people report freezing issues after the warranty is out of date and, of course, VIZIO won’t do anything to help. The lack of support is very frustrating, to say the least. So, here’s a brief troubleshooter to help you.
First, understand this is most likely not the TV, it will be something awry with VIZIO. So you’ll have to check several areas of the device, including your internet connection and input cords. Regardless, don’t write off issues with your TV altogether.
Ensure your internet connection is stable and at a high-speed. The most idea speed ranges between 1.5mbps/3mpbps and 10mbps. More often than not, this will prevent freezing problems. Slower internet connections or Wi-Fi that slows down cannot keep up with the playback. This means it needs a new buffer to continue. Any changes in the speed of your internet will cause VIZIO to rebuffer.
Wait to see if it stops freezing on its own once it catches up with download in real time. If not, do an internet speed test. You can find several websites online that do this for free. If you’re unsure about your internet speed or need to upgrade, contact your ISP.
If there are multiple devices sharing the internet connection at the same time you’re watching movies or playing video games, this could be the issue. It can slow down your internet connection and cause the device to buffer because these are hijacking the bandwidth. Turn off any other connected devices and see if that alleviates the freezing.
In order to finish watching your movie, the movie-hosting provider has to stop and download the next section of content. Therefore, it needs to create a new buffer. Simply wait to see if the issue fixes itself and re-catches.
Unplug the TV and then press down the power button for about three to five seconds. Plug the cord back into the outlet and power the TV back on. If you have to finish reconnecting, some models will have a “Soft Power Cycle” setting. Hit the menu button on the remote and select “System,” then “Reset ; Admin,” and finally, “Soft Power Cycle.”
As always, inspect the cords going into and out of the TV to ensure everything is secure and in good working order. It is possible that it’s unplugged, the cord has sustained damage (for example, a cat chewing on it) or you have a bent connector. In the event of a damaged cord, you’ll have to replace it.
Other Devices; the VIZIO Menu
Verify whether the freezing problem also happens on other devices or not. If it’s a display issue, the problem will also occur elsewhere. This will be apparent through VIZIO’s remote, when you try to press the menu. It will not work or it won’t display.
If you notice the problem only occurs on one device and not seen with the menu check, it could be a problem with your TV.
TV Picture Settings
With the VIZIO remote, push the menu button and then select “Picture.” At the top of the option, you’ll see “Picture Mode.” Try toggling between the various choices and see if that fixes the freezing.
But, if you have no picture at all, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is the TV powering on? (Check the TV’s power light to determine if it’s an issue with the power.)
- Did you reset the TV’s power? (As indicated in “Power Reset” above.)
- Is the screen on mute? (If you use something like Pandora with VIZIO, there’s a Mute Screen so you can listen to audio without the screen. Press this for about five seconds.)
- Does the menu appear when you press the button? (If your TV is working but no menu appears when you press the button on the remote, you may be out of luck. If your warranty is still good, VIZIO will give you some help.)
If the menu appears when you press the button, you can try resetting the factory defaults with the remote. Press the menu button and then select “System.” Next, choose “Reset ; Admin” and then go to “Reset to Factory Settings.” Some models feature “Help” rather than “System.”