Your Television has been working fine with the best picture it has to offer, but suddenly your TV screen looks wavy. It distorts the image and is quite frustrating. This can sometimes happen with even the best TVs. So why does your TV screen look wavy?

There are a few reasons the screen could be wavy. It could be an external source, like a device or cable, or it could be something internal, like your processing board or light bulb. Some of these causes can be easily fixed, while others a professional needs to fix it.

Once you figure out the possible causes, you can test your TV out to see exactly what it is. Fixing some of these will only take a matter of minutes. Here is everything you need to know.

TV Screen Looks Wavy?

It is disappointing when your TV screen starts to look wavy. It may happen consistently, or it could be at intermittent times. Here are some of the causes for this issue:

  • Power supply.
  • Processing board issues.
  • Faulty HDMI cord.
  • Other add-on hardware.
  • Other external devices.
  • The picture is too big for the screen.
  • Bad t-con board.
  • Physical damage to the screen.
  • The light bulb is going out.

For many of these, you can figure out if it is a problem within the home.

Power Supply

Your power supply to your TV can be the cause. It could be the cord problems, or your TV is not plugged into the right output. But when your TV is not getting enough power, it doesn’t have enough juice to correctly put the picture on the screen. Thus, the waves appear.

Processing Board Issues

Panels like the processing board help process information within your TV and display it on the screen. When it isn’t processing everything correctly or working as it should, it can cause these waves to appear.

It could be just a simple glitch within the panel or something a little more serious. Sometimes it is hard to tell when this is the cause of the problem.

Faulty HDMI Cord

A faulty HDMI cord can cause this wavy picture on your screen. The cable could have a tear or just something wrong with it. This disrupts the message from the connected device and your TV, causing these distortions.

Other Add-On Hardware

Other add-on hardware like antennas or other cords can cause the same disruption to your TV’s picture. Anytime there is a tear or faulty cord, you can expect this distortion because the image is not completely delivered to your Television.

Other External Devices

There are two possibilities for why your external devices are causing these lines. The first one is that the external device is close to your TV and causes your screen to get these wavy lines. Often the cause is because your phone is too close, causing this distortion.

The other possibility is that the wavy lines come from the device you are trying to watch your show or movie. The device is malfunctioning and may not even be your television.

Picture Is Too Big For The Screen

There is a whole science to how if the picture is too big for your screen, it can cause wavy lines, but simply put, it is because of different resolutions. So if something has a lower resolution, it can cause these lines on a higher resolution TV.

Bad T-Con Board

The T-Con board, known as the control board, is found in LCD TVs. It controls the video processing. When it goes bad, you won’t get a picture on your screen because the video signal cannot be converted into an image.

You can replace this, but it is best if a professional does this. You don’t want to take everything apart and then not know how to put everything back.

Physical Damage To The Screen

Sometimes it can be physical damage to the screen, not something internal or an add-on device or cord. This can occur when your TV is above a fireplace and is too close to the heat. The screen can start to warp and cause the picture to look wavy.

The physical damage could even be from someone or something breaking the screen. You may not see it, but even the smallest cracks in your screen can cause the image to look like a wave. You’d be surprised.

Light Bulb Going Out

For older models of TVs, there are light bulbs inside the TV that can be replaced. Once you start seeing the wavy lines or other types of lines, it is because the bulb is about to go out or has gone out. All you need to do is replace the bulb.

But if it is a very old model, the light bulbs may be out of stock or no longer manufactured. You will need to buy a new TV and throw out this one.

Can I Fix The Waviness?

Depending on the cause, yes, you can fix the waviness that appears on your screen. Some of these issues are simple to fix, you just need to figure out the cause so you can take the proper steps to solve the problem.

TV Screen Looks Wavy Screen Damage

How To Fix The Waviness

You can fix the image at home without putting money into your TV in many ways. Some of those methods are the following:

  • Check cables.
  • Remove external devices.
  • Power cycle TV.
  • Update your TV.
  • Tap the TV.
  • Replug or replace the power cord.
  • Factory reset.

You can do all of these in the comfort of your home. You don’t have to take your TV anywhere, and you don’t have to be a professional to complete any of these.

Check Cables

Always check your cables first. You can easily run your hands along the cables to see if there are any wear and tear or see if the cables are loose.

If nothing seems wrong, you can also unplug cables one by one to see if your screen changes once you take it out. If it does, then you can say that the cable is the cause and then replace it. The process of elimination is the easiest when it comes to a faulty cable.

Remove External Devices

There are two ways you can figure out if it is an external device. One is, to remove devices from the area that could be the cause for the waves that are not attached to the TV. If the screen returns to normal, you know that setting that device near your TV is the cause.

The other is figuring out if it is an external device attached to your TV. Simply change the channel from that device’s picture. If the wavy image corrects itself, you will know it is that external device causing the issue and not the screen itself.

Power Cycle TV

An easy way to sort of “soft reset” your TV without losing any saved information on your TV is to power cycle it. Just follow these steps to complete this process:

  • Turn off the TV with your remote.
  • Unplug the power cable.
  • Leave the TV off for several minutes, usually about 5 minutes.
  • Plug the power cable back in.
  • Start your TV.

Sometimes a power cycle is needed for the TV to fix itself. If it continues to show wavy lines, continue trying out other methods to fix your television.

Update Your TV

Glitches like the wavy picture on your television happen. This is why companies will push out updates. Your TV may not have automatically updated, so you will need to start this update manually.

You can simply go to your TV settings. Depending on your brand, you may need to look around for “Update TV.” Start the update, then you can turn your TV off and back on. If the wavy picture has disappeared, then you know that the TV needs an update.

Tap The TV

You may have seen old shows where the person hit the TV to get it to work, surprisingly, this still applies today. Now, hitting it forcefully will not do, especially with these slim Smart TVs, but giving it a tap where the waviness is occurring can solve the problem.

Try not to do it too hard. You don’t want to break anything. Give your TV a slight love tap where the picture is distorted and see if anything changes. You can even tap the back of the TV where it is occurring. It may be just enough to jar it back into its senses.

Replug Or Replace The Power Cord

If there is a lack of power supply, the waves can appear on the screen. You can try replugging the power cord to see if it was loose. If that doesn’t work, examine the cord for wear and tear. If you see something, then you may need to replace it.

If you see wear and tear and cannot replace the power cord because it is attached to the TV, you will have to take it to a professional to get it replaced or contact the manufacturer to see what steps you need to take next.

Factory Reset

If you have tried everything and nothing has worked, you may need a complete factory reset. This option can be found in the settings of your TV, and then you can follow the steps to confirm this procedure.

A factory reset will return the television to its default settings. This means all your apps and saved information on the TV will be deleted. Be prepared to download everything again and log back in.

It can be a little frustrating, but if this fixes the lines, then it is worth it! It is better to fix the problem with a factory reset than having to buy a brand new TV or pay for the TV to be repaired.

What If Nothing Works?

If nothing on this list has worked, then you may need to have it professionally looked at. But first, you should contact the manufacturer or seller. Sometimes there are warranties or even recalls you may not be aware of.

If your TV is under warranty or if there has been a recall, your product may be replaced or repaired at no extra cost to you. Or it may be cheaper than going to a professional. They can even help you determine what the cause of the problem is.

If none of these things apply to your TV, you can either take it to a professional for them to replace the parts that seem to be broken, or you can buy a new TV. Nowadays, many people will choose to get a new TV as it is not much more to take this route than paying for repairs.

How To Protect Your TV

You can protect your TV in many ways so that stuff like this doesn’t happen. Here are some tips to follow to protect your TV:

  • Remove from heat sources.
  • Organize cords and cables.
  • Try not to jam cables or cords into the TV.
  • Ensure the TV is secure and away from areas with high traffic.
  • Secure all cables and cords.
  • Set the TV to update automatically.
  • Try not to connect everything to the TV.
  • Don’t leave your TV on all the time.

There is always the chance that something faulty could occur even if you follow all these tips, but it will reduce the likelihood of your TV getting wavy lines. These tips also help protect your TV from other damages, ensuring it lasts longer.


A wavy screen can be a jarring issue, especially if you have done everything correctly. Sometimes these things happen. It is important to know the possible causes and how to fix them so it doesn’t worsen and you can protect your TV from further damage.