No sound on TV when using HDMI? Here’s what to do

HDMI cables have completely transformed the way that we connect to our televisions and monitors. They’re a vast improvement on DVI, which was the cables that we tended to use beforehand.

One of the main reasons that HDMI has been preferred over other cables like DVI is that it’s capable of carrying both an audio and video signal. DVI only carries audio, which means you’d need to use another cable to carry the audio signal.

For the most part, HDMI cables do this very well. However, you may get time where you notice that your cable doesn’t transmit audio. So if you’re using HDMI but getting no sound on your TV, then this is what you should do.

Using HDMI: No sound on TV

Unlike what you may be able to try if you’re using a HDMI cable with a monitor and Windows, there’s actually not that many possibilities that could be causing this issue if you’re connecting to your television.

If you’re connecting your laptop to your television, then you should go ahead and update your audio drivers. Either that, or revert to previous drivers if the problems just started to occur. This is the cause of the problem more often than not for connecting to a monitor.

When connecting to a TV, things are a little different. Make sure that you double check that your HDMI cable is actually working with other devices. This means plugging it into a different device and connecting it to your TV. Damage is an unlikely case if it’s just the audio that isn’t transmitting.

Also ensure that the sound on your television is working via other methods as well. The last thing you want is to spend hours blaming it on your HDMI cable when the reality is the problem is actually with your TV or elsewhere.

If your television is made by Samsung, then there are a few more things you can do. Check out this article on what to do if your Samsung TV has no sound. This can help you analyse whether it may or may not be your HDMI input or HDMI output causing the problem.

So, what can you do if the problem isn’t between your laptop and TV, but your set top box or DVD player? Well if this is the case, here’s a couple of potential fixes to the problem.

Fix 1: Check your TV settings

For the most part, if the cable isn’t damaged, then you can typically find the resolution by looking in your settings. This will be different for certain models of TV, but the same rules can be applied to any of them. I’m going to use a Samsung TV for this example.

The first thing you’ll want to try changing here is your audio output. This is essentially just the method that’s used to decode the audio data that you’re transmitting.

Depending on the devices you’re using here, you’ll likely see two major options. The most common and typically way for you to transmit audio is by using PCM. This simply stands for Pulse code modulation, and it is the standard way that we effectively convert analog to digital.

For the most part, a PCM audio output will be the best option to switch over to. It is the highest quality of signal, and it’s not compressed at all. Raw files usually carry a better quality, but the reality is that there’s not a noticeable difference between PCM and the other options.

Out of the other options you’ll probably see here, Bitstream is the next most common. Switching from Bitstream back to PCM audio output is probably the fix for a HDMI cable not carrying audio in a fair amount of cases.

With Bitstream, the audio that’s being transmitted is fully decoded. Whilst a common school of thought is that Bitstream being decoded is worse in terms of sound quality, they will sound the same when they’re being played.

It really depends on the device or box you’re using with your television. Try a few different settings to see if one of them manages to transmit a solid audio connection.

Fix 2 – Other audio settings

Whilst the audio output mode that you use will likely be the main reason why you can’t get sound through your HDMI, it’s not the only one. There are a few more of the settings that you’re going to want to run through to ensure that they’re not causing the problem either.

With some TVs, you’ll be able to change the audio settings within the actually interface. In the most part, it’ll probably be set to something like Automatic. Whilst this should work, it can be worth changing it to something else (if there’s an option for HDMI, then obviously use that).

Another thing to check here is if you’re using Dolby Atmos or Dolby Audio. Some models of TV, especially LGs, will have Dolby Atmos options within the interface. Try toggling this on and off to see if this has an effect on your audio too.

You may even be able to configure the settings of your HDMI connection. Usually, this will have options like Standard or Enhanced. It could be that your HDMI cable is fairly old, and not capable of transmitting an enhanced connection – not all HDMI cables are 4k.

So, switching down to standard could also be a solution. You can also try changing these settings too. It may also enable you to get the sound working through your HDMI cable.

Fix 3 – Try a Factory Reset

If all else fails, the most reliable solution for the majority of problems that we can face with our televisions is simply performing a factory reset. If you haven’t turned your television off for a while, a complete refresh might be exactly what it needs.

factory-reset-hdmi

Of course, this will be different depending on the television that you’re using. You should be able to do this within the settings on your television. On some televisions, you’ll need to hold down the menu button for it to bring up the Factory Reset navigation.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as long as the problem isn’t caused by the hardware you’re using e.g. your TVs ports or the HDMI cable itself – then you can usually fix things by playing around with your televisions audio settings.

With Dolby audio and other alternatives, your TV may have different options to choose from. It really depends on the device you’re connecting to it as well – it’ll could be dependent on what you’re connecting up to your television as well.

About Jon

Hey, I'm Jon. I'm an engineer by trade, so it makes sense that I'm obsessed with anything technology related! On the weekends, you can find me playing around with my computers or fixing something around the house. Feel free to leave a comment if you want to get in touch.

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