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Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

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Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

I have been fighting this problem for the last month and I thought I would share my solution on some forum in an attempt to give back to the internet community.   Gradually over the last several months my Vizio TV would go blank (black screen) for about 1 second, but only when watching DirecTv.   At first I thought is was just a satellite drop out from interference, but it has been getting worse and worse as time goes on so my wife was starting to give me grief about it!  I tried all the normal stuff, rebooting everything, restoring factory defaults, replacing HDMI cables, etc.  Sometimes I claimed victory only to discover the problem recurred a day later.  Intermittent problems can be difficult to track down!


Anyway, the problem ended up being the input on the Vizio TV that the DirecTv was plugged into.  My Vizio has input 1 marked as "ARC", while inputs 2, 3, and 4 have no such marking.  The ARC stands for Audio Return Channel and provides a way to return audio to a connected receiver via the common HDMI cable.  Evidently DirecTv or Vizio updated something in the last few months that caused an incompatibility with this ARC feature.  Since firmware updates are pushed constantly to our internet connected devices, who knows when, what, or who to blame!  Or it could simply be that my Vizio TV is loosing it's inputs, scary thought.


But the solution to this very annoying problem for me was to move the DirecTv connection from Input 1 of my TV to input 4.  So I am happy for now.   I hope that this helps some of you too!


Dave in Mapleton, IL

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Message 1 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Two years later this is apparently still an issue. Thank you for posting this! Been trouble shooting this all afternoon, your solution worked immediately on my Samsung TV!

Message 2 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Apparently changing to a different input in my Vizio tv solved my directv blinking problem, I will continue monitoring. Thanks  for your advice.

Message 3 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

So far my Sony Bravia is behaving! Thank you!

Message 4 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Thank you so much!!! This had been driving me so crazy, that I almost thought about going back to Comcast *shudder* 😛
Message 5 of 8
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Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Thank you SO much for your solution!!  My TV has been doing this for a while now, and I've tried all the usual tricks to solve a problem with DiirecTV....same as you, none of them worked.  Came across your post today; looked at the back of my TV and couldn't believe it when I saw that my HDMI cable was plugged into an input marked 'HDMI2 - ARC'...I was like 'son of a gun!!'.  Switched it to the HDMI input...no ARC...and it has been fine since!  I am so happy and appreciate your info so much...thank you again!! ♥

~Tzoris

Message 6 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Thanks so much for posting your solution to the flashing black screen problem. I had not previously experienced the problem until today when I had my Directv equipment updated in preparation for a new Vizio 4K TV I have ordered. The change was from a Genie 3400 to the new 5400 along with the Mini Genie for 4K streaming. Suddenly I starting seeing the black screen flashes described here in your post.

I thought the fix would be really simple by simply switching to one of the non ARC HDMI inputs on my Vizio. Because I run my various components through my Onkyo 828 A/V, I suddenly was not getting a picture on my tv when I changed ports. Then I noticed the alternate non ARC main HDMI output on my Onkyo and changed to that port. Perfect! No more black screen flashes!

Thank you!!!

Message 7 of 8
Contributor

Re: Solution - picture blinks intermittently black

Thank you so much. I have an LG 4K. I changed my cable box hdmi to the side of the tv and my DVD player is now going through the Arc. So far so good!!!You are a sanity saver.
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