What Causes Horizontal Lines on TV Screen?

Televisions play an important role in today’s digital entertainment, whether you want to watch a movie, documentary, news, etc, you can do it all on your TV. Therefore, having your TV’s screen messed up with horizontal lines can be frustrating. If your TV’s screen is messing up and you are curious to find out what the cause might be, then you are at the right place.

The horizontal lines on your TV screen may be due to software or hardware issues. The lines may be caused by outdated TV software, faulty or loose cable connections, damaged T-con, signal interference, and wet screens. To fix these, you’ll have to update your software and then replace the damaged components of your TV.

You can fix some of the causes of these horizontal lines on your TV screen by yourself while for the others, you’ll have to consult a technician. In this article, I will not only discuss the causes of the horizontal lines on your TV screen but also give you some tips to get the problem fixed in no time. So, if you are ready for this, keep scrolling down because there’s a whole lot more for you. 

What Causes Horizontal Lines On TV Screen

Causes Horizontal Lines on TV Screens

So, horizontal lines on a TV screen can be a headache for many. The reasons why you get the horizontal lines can be categorized into two: software and hardware reasons. 

Usually, for software-related issues, the problem may be caused by outdated software on your TV or a minor software glitch. You can easily fix the horizontal lines by yourself by just updating the software. 

For hardware-related issues, the problem may be caused by a damaged component in the TV or external devices that are connected to the TV. Such issues are quite technical, so you’ll need the assistance of a professional technician in order to fix the problem. 

Generally, horizontal lines get displayed on your TV screen for the following reasons: 

  • Damaged LCD or T-con board
  • Outdated TV software
  • Wet TV screen
  • A weak signal from the cable box
  • Faulty or loose cable connections
  • Electromagnetic interference 

Damage T- Con Board or LCD

The Timing Control Board or T-Con board is one the most important boards in the TV. What it basically does is control the voltage supply to the picture tub and also process the video signals to the LCD. 

With this, slight damage to the T-con will definitely affect how the pictures are displayed on your TV, sometimes showing horizontal or vertical lines and other times no pictures at all. 

Since the T-con board is connected to the LCD, it can get damaged if rust from the LCD frame extends to it. 

The LCD can also be the culprit if you are experiencing multiple horizontal lines on your TV screen. Largely responsible for video display, the LCD, if damaged can great those annoying horizontal lines. 

The LCD can be damaged if you accidentally the screen of your TV very hard. Rust and heat can damage the LCD as well. 

Outdated TV Software 

All smart TVs of today use software for their operations. This software is what allows your TV to show videos and play audio.

Like most electronic devices, the software on the TV loses its potency with time and therefore requires frequent updates and upgrades.

If the software on your TV is out of date, it will be likely for it to develop minor glitches and also be unable to support newer features. 

The glitches can slow down the operation of your TV system and cause the TV screen to display unwanted horizontal lines. 

Faulty or Loose Cable Connections 

The HDMI is basically the easiest way of video and audio transmission for most TVs. If the HDMI port on your TV or the HDMI cable that you use for the connection is faulty, then you are likely to have problems with your video display. 

The problems can show up in the form of horizontal lines on your screen. 

Similarly, if the connection between the HDMI cables and the HDMI ports isn’t that tight, the cables may pull out of the ports, causing the screen to display irritating horizontal lines. 

Weak Signal From Cable Box

Besides the HDMI cable is the cause of the horizontal lines on your screen, the other cause which you may not even easily notice is the cable box or satellite receiver in your home. 

External devices like these that you connect to your TV can cause the TV to display horizontal lines. 

For example, if the signal from your cable box is very weak, chances are that you’ll not get the best video on your TV screen. Most often, the images will be distorted and displayed as horizontal lines on the screen.

Electromagnetic Interference

This basically has to do with the collision of electrical signals.

When electronic gadgets like WiFi routers, TVs, microwaves, smartphones, etc are being used, they kind of emit electromagnetic radiations which are not visible to the human eye. 

When devices like the above-mentioned get too close to each other, the signals that are emitted from them collide with each other and therefore create distortions in the output signal, be it video or audio. 

The situation is just like the distorted sounds that a receiver hears when a caller makes a phone close to a TV or radio set. That basically affects the audio since it’s a phone call.

In cases where a TV is closer to a WiFi router or smartphone, the video output may be affected due to electromagnetic interference and the TV will end up displaying horizontal lines. 

Wet TV Screen

Another cause of horizontal lines on TV screens is the state of the TV screen itself. If the TV screen is wet or has come into contact with some water, then it is likely that the TV may display horizontal lines. 

The reason is simple. As the water gets to your screen regularly, some of the water accumulates behind the LCD screen. Although you may not easily notice them from the outside, they are there and with time, what they do is that they blur the images that are being produced on the TV. 

The situation is prevalent in areas where humidity is high and where water vapor easily condenses on the TV screen. The accumulated water, with time, can cause the TV to display horizontal lines. 

How to Fix Horizontal Lines on TV Screen 

Now that you know the reasons why horizontal lines are on your TV screen, let’s quickly dive into how you can fix the problem if you ever find yourself in such a situation. 

If your TV is displaying horizontal lines and you want to fix it, here are some quick fixes for you: 

  • Restart the TV
  • Check cable connections
  • Check external devices 
  • Hit the back of the TV
  • Update software
  • Check for damaged hardware
  • Get rid of electromagnetic interference
  • Contact Customer Support

Restart TV

If your TV is displaying horizontal lines, restarting it should be the first thing that you should do. 

The horizontal lines may be caused by a temporary software glitch on TV. If you restart the TV, you can rid of that glitch, restore the TV  and get your TV to operate at its maximum level. 

To restart the TV, simply turn off the TV and unplug the power cable from the electrical socket. Press and hold the power button for about 30 seconds and then leave the TV off for about a minute. 

Plug the power cable back into the electrical socket and then turn on your TV. If a software glitch indeed was the problem, your TV will be fixed by now and there will be no more horizontal lines on the screen.

Check Cable Connections 

If the vertical lines are being displayed on the TV screen, the next thing you can do is check your HDMI connection. 

First, check if the HDMI is faulty or not by trying another HDMI on your TV. If the horizontal lines disappear after you try a new HDMI cable, then the problem was with the first cable. 

Otherwise, switch HDMI ports and see if the problem will persist. This is because the HDMI port that you are using may be faulty. If the horizontal lines disappear following the switch to the new port, then the first port was actually the culprit. 

You should also ensure that the connection of the HDMI cable in the port is tight so that the cable does not pull out of the port.

Check External Devices

Sometimes, the problem isn’t really with the TV but with the external devices that you’ve connected to the TV. 

The external devices may include the cable box or antenna. If the problem has got to do with a poor signal, you can change the antenna and see if the TV signal will be stronger. 

Also, disconnect all the devices and reconnect them one after the other. After each reconnection, check to see if you’ll see the horizontal lines. 

Once you see the lines, it means that particular device may be what is causing the horizontal lines, therefore, you’ll have to do away with it.

Hit the Back Of the TV

This trick may appear skeptical but it works a lot of the time. 

Sometimes, just a simple hard hit at the back of the can solve the vertical lines. 

So, if you find your TV display horizontal, you can give it some hit at the back, wait for a few seconds and Eve should be fine after that. 

However, you should not hit too hard that you end up destroying the TV rather than fixing it. 

Get Rid of Electromagnetic Interference 

Most modern electronic devices like TVs are built with auto mechanisms to counter electromagnetic interference.

However, if you suspect the cause of the horizontal lines on your TV screen to be electromagnetic interference, you can resolve that by using a filter or signal amplifier. 

Better still, simply move the devices that you suspect to be interfering with the TV signals away from the TV. It can be a router, smartphone, or radio set. 

Update TV Software

As I said earlier, software needs to be updated from time to time. The updated software will have all the necessary features that will be required to resolve issues such as the horizontal lines on the TV. 

Moreover, software glitches and bugs will be taken care of by the update, so you’ll be able to enjoy watching your TV uninterrupted.

Check For Damaged Hardware Component

This approach may be comfortable for most people. But if you have some technical expertise, you might want to check the status of the T-con board and the LCD. 

You’ll have to open up the TV when you try to fix the horizontal lines this way. This can void your warranty if your TV is still under warranty, so you should only do this if you know what you are about. 

Alternatively, you may have to seek the services of a professional technician in checking the hardware. 

If you find out that any of the components are damaged, you should replace them with new ones as soon as possible. 

Contact Customer Support

As your last resort, contact the customer service of your TV company for assistance. They can really make things easier by directing you to specific things to do in order to solve the problem. 


Having horizontal lines on your TV from time to time can be embarrassing and annoying as well. The lines can actually disrupt you from enjoying your movie smoothly and this is something that you will not like. 

The causes for the horizontal lines on the screen can be software-related or hardware-related. They can also be related to external devices that you’ve connected to the TV or be coming from the TV itself. 

Whatever and wherever the cause is, this article should help you fix the problem in no time. Usually, a simple refresh or software update should do the trick. But if the situation persists, you should contact customer support for assistance.


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