Are you receiving sound on your Fios TV but the picture is not visible? Every time you change channels, the screen goes black, but you can still hear the audio on your TV?
It’s certainly not what we would want to happen while watching something, but it is among the most frequently reported issues by Fios TV users.
The first time I heard about it was when one of my friends reported it to me, and both of us had no idea what was causing this. In an attempt to figure out what was causing this and how to solve it, I decided to dig into it.
In case you are wondering if there is something wrong with your TV and this is the reason for your issue, it doesn’t seem to be the case, although many Fios users reported that Fios customer support did tell them about it.
Despite what was said by Fios customer support, all other apps, and connected devices, such as gaming consoles, streaming devices, etc, worked fine with the TV, but Fios TV was the only one that had issues.
If you see a black screen on your Fios TV along with sound on a regular basis, it is due to a handshake issue because your Fios TV no longer sends EDID information to the box input, and this is the reason you see a black screen and can hear sound.
Moreover, Fios support assures that it will be fixed in the next stable firmware update, but the issue has been ongoing for several years and has yet to receive a stable update.
This guide will help you solve the problem by explaining to you different ways to troubleshoot this issue easily without pain or hassle.
Table of Contents
Why Is There A Black Screen With Sound On My Fios TV?
Generally, this problem occurs when you switch between channels since the screen goes black when you change channels in most cases.
However, Fios TV users can still access menus, channels, and on-screen suggestions.
Rather than seeing the picture, the sound is only audible through the speakers. Here is what happens when this problem occurs:
- No picture for any TV program.
- Black screen.
- Audio works.
- Guide works.
- Info works.
How does it happen and when does it occur?
In most cases, this happens when a user watches TV with Fios on their smart TV and then changes to a different app on the smart TV, such as Hulu or plays a console game, then goes back to Fios and it won’t work.
This issue can be fixed by navigating into app settings and rebooting the STB box. However, it must be done every time this happens.
Here is the main reason for this problem:
Fios users, forums, as well as higher official support, agree that this is a known handshake issue with the box, and the firmware update is in the works.
A proper handshake occurs between two devices whenever a video is played over HDMI, sharing information like display properties, resolution, and EDID data.
It is only when this EDID info data is not properly transferred due to a corrupt or invalid handshake that the screen becomes black and only sounds can be heard.
Aside from this, it can also be caused by a faulty HDMI cable, a malfunctioning port, a temporary glitch on the TV or STB, or an incompatible screen resolution on the input or output device (TV and Fios box).
Now that we are aware of the issue, let’s figure out what needs to be done to resolve it.
How To Fix Fios TV Black Screen With Sound Issue?
During our first troubleshooting session, we changed channels, got pictures for about 2-3 seconds, and then the screen went black, but I still could hear the audio.
Once that was done, we simply switched back to the last channel and got the picture back on screen.
Various Fios TV users have reported that this is not a true fix, although it can work as a temporary fix for now.
The handshake issue occurs due to incompatibilities between the Fios box and TV, so a stable update for Fios STB is required to fix it by allowing the proper HDCP handshake and EDID information to be sent.
However, until Fios updates the firmware on all of the devices, you can try various methods to resolve the problem.
To fix your Fios TV’s picture and sound, you can follow the following steps:
- Replugging the HDMI cord.
- Switching channels back and forth.
- Connecting an HDMI switch between the Fios box and television.
- Rebooting STB.
- Setting output and input resolution to 1080i on TV and Fios box.
These are all methods that have been proven to work and will resolve the issue and fix your Fios TV’s picture and sound.
In detail, here’s what you need to know.
Inspect & Replug HDMI Cable
You should check the HDMI cable that is connected to the Fios Box and the TV. The problem could be a bad connection or a bad cable that needs to be replaced.
Further, as we know that the problem has to do with EDID information not being properly transmitted as it is part of a known handshake issue.
It is for this reason that unplugging and reconnecting the HDMI cable forces the TV and box to renegotiate the HDCP handshake.
Reboot Fios STB and TV
If you have replugged your cables multiple times but still have issues, reboot your Fios STB and TV to clear any half-settings or glitches.
It’s for this reason that you need to unplug the power for a couple of minutes, then plug it back in and let it reload.
After that, you should check all your coax connections, ensuring that they are tight.
Rebooting Fios TV did solve this issue for many Fios TV users and the picture along with sound returned to normal.
Essentially, this is due to the fact that, whenever the STB is rebooted, it resets and downloads FIOS settings and information.
The process takes several minutes, but it solves the problem.
Change Input/Output Resolution To 1080i
If you still cannot see a picture on your Fios TV after following the above steps, you can try aligning your TV and Fios box resolution to 1080i, which has fixed the issue for many users.
Because when the EDID info data is not properly transferred between the TV and Fios Box, the manual resolution of the TV and set-top box helps it to process these details and solve the problem.
In other words, if you have managed to get the picture back by following the instructions above, you will have to go into the video menu in the Fios box and set the output resolution to 1080i.
Here’s how to change the resolution on your Fios TV:
- Select Service from the menu.
- Turn off the power at the box
- You will see an info page after pressing “OK” twice on the remote.
- After that, press the left arrow near the circle, scroll to the user menu, go to HDMI, and set the resolution to 1080p
- Finally, power off the box by pressing “OK”.
Make sure that you double-check the resolution that is being output by your box and that it matches the resolution of your television.
Use HDMI Switch Between TV and Fios Box
One of the working solutions is to use an HDMI switch between the TV and Fios Box to resolve the HDCP handshake issue and the black screen with the sound issue.
Therefore, you could try putting an HDMI switch between the Fios box and TV. The HDMI switch would then be able to communicate with the TV on its own.
A really cheap one can be found on Amazon or at any nearby store.
Replace Fios STB
Lastly, if the issue persists despite all of the above solutions, you will need to replace the Fios STB by contacting Fios support.
It is quite often that you get only sound and no picture on your Fios TV, which is due to an issue with the HDCP handshake which happens a lot and you can easily get this fixed if you follow the methods which I have mentioned above in the article.
In conclusion, here are some quick fixes you can try when your Fios TV has sound but no picture:
- Reboot Fios STB.
- Replug HDMI cables.
- Use an HDMI switch between your TV and your Fios box.
- Change Fios and TV resolution to 1080i manually.
- Replace Fios STB Box.
Was this post helpful?
Kazhiko Kuro is the Founder of StreamingStash.com. Over a span of 8+ years, He has tested, researched, and written hundreds of articles and guides on how to fix common issues with TVs, streaming media players, streaming services, and related devices. See our Editorial Guidelines and Content Integrity.