Watching TV with out-of-sync audio and video gives you a headache instantly. Fix sound delay on TV. This sync problem could be a few milliseconds of audio or video delay, but it ruins your TV-watching experience.
If the mouths of characters on your TV screen move before you hear the audio or the other way around, follow below to know why it’s caused and how to fix sound delay on TV.
Why Does My TV Audio and Video Get Out of Sync?
The out-of-sync audio and video problem can be seen on any TV, soundbar, and streaming device, but it’s most common with TVs connected to a soundbar or an external speaker.
- The Audio Needs to Travel More to Reach You
- Picture Delay Due to Video Processing
- Sound Delay Due to Audio Processing
1. The Audio Needs to Travel More to Reach You
To understand why AV sync issues are caused with TVs connected to soundbars, we should understand how audio and video reach you.
The audio and video are produced at a source. The source can be your TV (live TV, Netflix, Prime Video, etc.), a Blu-ray player, a streaming device, or something else.
For your TV audio and video to be in sync, the audio and video produced from the source should arrive at the output at the same time.
The video from the source only needs to reach the TV screen. But the audio from the same source may have to travel more to reach your soundbar or external speakers.
For example, you’re using a streaming device connected to your HDMI port, your soundbar is connected to another TV’s HDMI port with a cable, and you’re watching live sports.
The video has to go from the streaming device to the TV. But the audio needs to travel from the streaming device to the TV and then from the TV to the soundbar. This may cause audio delay.
2. Picture Delay Due to Video Processing
Another reason for AV sync issues is video processing. High-quality videos such as 4K and UHD take more time to be processed, and they may reach you with delay. With this issue, you’ll hear the audio before the video.
3. Sound Delay Due to Audio Processing
Different audio formats and qualities can also cause audio delay problems. For example, when watching something using a Blu-ray player or a streaming service (Disney+, Prime Video, etc.), the audio is in DTS, Dolby Digital, or any other high bitrate format.
Your TV has to process it to produce it as an output to its speakers and send them to the soundbar. Because of this, the sound will reach you with a few milliseconds of delay.
These AV delays are common with external audio output devices because when your TV takes more time to process any audio or video, it may hold off both outputs before both are ready to go simultaneously.
But when you use an external audio output device like a soundbar, the TV may process the video and won’t know how much time the soundbar is taking to process audio.
This results in headache-inducing audio or video delays.
How To Fix Video or Audio Delay on TV?
There are many methods to fix sound delay on TV. Similarly, many experts have a lot of advice for solving the video delay.
We have grouped the best methods so you can fix your AV sync issues, whether the audio is coming before the video or vice versa.
- Check If the Issue is with a Specific Channel, App, or Device
- Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Stable
- Power Cycle Your TV and Soundbar
- Adjust Audio Delay from Your TV and Soundbar
- Select Your HDMI Source Again
- Change the Audio Format on Your TV
- Update the firmware of Your TV and Soundbar
- Enable or Disable Game Mode on Your TV
- Plug In Your Source Device Directly to the Soundbar or External Speakers
- Factory Reset Your TV and Soundbar
1. Check If the Issue is with a Specific Channel, App, or Device
Sometimes, the audio or video delay issue is not from your end; its real cause is the source itself.
Use another source to know if your source AV is out of sync. For instance, if you were playing a video from a USB connection to your TV, switch to a TV channel and check the AV again.
Or, if a TV channel’s AV is out of sync, check other channels or stream from an app if you have a smart TV.
2. Make Sure Your Internet Connection is Stable
Streaming content on your smart TV or streaming device needs a stable and fast internet connection.
You may experience buffering and AV delay issues if the network speed is slow. Use these steps to improve your internet speed:
- Restart your router/modem.
- Disconnect unnecessary devices from your Wi-Fi network.
- Move your router closer to the TV.
- Use an ethernet cable for connecting your TV to the router.
3. Power Cycle Your TV and Soundbar
If any temporary glitches are causing the video or sound delay, you should power cycle your TV and soundbar.
As we can’t know that the audio out of sync issue is due to a temporary glitch, simply try these below steps and check the audio again:
- Turn on your TV and soundbar. Keep them on for 1-2 minutes.
- Plug out the power cord of the TV and soundbar and wait for 5 minutes. Turn off your soundbar and remove its cable from the TV (if it’s wired with the TV).
- Moreover, if you have a streaming device, plug it out from the HDMI port and plug out its charging cable.
- Wait for 5 minutes.
- Plug in the power cord of the TV to the power outlet. Turn on your soundbar and connect its cable to the TV.
- For streaming devices, plug the device back into the HDMI port and connect it with its charging cable.
- Do the same for any other device connected to your TVs, such as a Blu-ray player and gaming console.
- Play anything on the TV and check if the AV sync issue is fixed.
4. Adjust Audio Delay from Your TV and Soundbar
Almost all TVs and soundbars allow you to adjust the audio delay. But the caveat is that most of them allow this process in one direction. This means you can delay the audio.
This is useful if your video is playing on the screen before the audio. You can easily delay the audio a few notches and enjoy your watching TV with synced AV.
But if the audio is playing from the soundbar before the video on the TV, delaying the audio further won’t solve it.
So, the audio delay or lip sync feature won’t fix audio delay unless you have a TV or soundbar that allows you to change the audio delay settings in both positive and negative directions.
Then you can easily reduce the audio delay by keeping the audio delay negative.
The sound settings are different in every TV brand, but the audio delay option is in all of them somewhere in the sound settings. We’ll show the audio delay settings on a Samsung TV.
4.1 Adjust Audio Delay on Samsung Smart TV
- Go to Settings from the home screen.
- Choose ‘Sound’ from the left pane and select ‘Expert Settings.’
- Select ‘Digital Output Audio Delay’ and increase or reduce it.
4.2 Adjust Audio Delay on LG TV with WebOS
The LG WebOS smart TVs and NetCast TVs also have the audio delay feature that allows you to sync the AV of your TV easily:
- Go to the home screen of your LG TV.
- Navigate to Settings > Sound > AV Sync Adjust.
- Turn on the AV Sync Adjust feature and use the External Speaker bar to adjust the audio delay.
4.3 Adjust AV Sync on Streaming Device
Streaming devices like Fire TV Stick have many benefits. One feature we appreciate in these streaming devices is that the audio delay feature works in both directions.
You can delay the audio in both positive and negative ways. Below steps are for Amazon Fire TV Stick:
- Navigate to settings from the home screen and choose ‘Display & Audio’.
- Pick ‘Audio’ on the next screen.
- Select ‘AV Sync Tuning.’
- You’ll be taken to the AV sync screen. Adjust the audio by hearing the voice of a ball bouncing from a moving plate.
5. Select Your HDMI Source Again
If you have connected your soundbar, Blu-ray player, or any other device to the TV, you use the input or source button on your remote to choose the source and select it for your TV to connect with the source.
As a YouTuber explained, we have the simplest fix to fix audio and video sync issues. Follow below:
- Turn on your TV. It’ll start and play from the source that was already selected.
- Press the Input or Source button on your remote to the source menu, selecting HDMI 1, HDMI 2, TV, and other sources.
- Once you’re in the source menu, select the source again.
- Now, check the audio and video.
6. Change the Audio Format on Your TV
The audio sync problems are mostly soundbars connected with the HDMI ARC or Optical source.
This method sends the audio to the soundbar. Your soundbar decodes or processes it and then sends it to you. This can delay the audio. So, the video will reach you before the audio.
You change your TV settings and let your TV perform the processing, so the audio goes to the soundbar and instantly plays audio, reducing the audio delay.
TVs can process audio in many formats such as Dolby Digital, passthrough, bitstream, and PCM. Go to your TV audio settings and set the audio format to PCM.
This solution has some downsides. Some TVs can’t decode some audio formats, so this method won’t work when the audio source has those formats that your TV can’t decode. Moreover, this method produces stereo sound.
Try other methods if you don’t want to compromise on your surround sound audio output.
7. Update the firmware of Your TV and Soundbar
Updates for TVs and soundbars include bug fixes and improvements to features. If the AV sync issue is due to audio or video processing delay, you should update your TV and soundbar so the AV processing feature may improve.
7.1 Update Your TV
We’ll show you how to update the software of your Samsung smart TV. The steps for updating your LG, Sony, Hisense, TCL, Panasonic, Philips, or any other TV brand will be similar.
- Go to Settings from the home screen.
- Select ‘Support.’
- From the support settings, choose ‘Software Update.’
- Select ‘Update Now’.
- Your TV will check for updates and perform updates if available. This will take a few minutes.
7.2 Perform Update of Your Soundbar
Soundbars are updated using a USB flash drive. All soundbar brands such as Samsung, JBL, TCL, Sony, LG, Bose, and others use this method.
We are listing general steps for updating your soundbar.
- Go to the website of your soundbar manufacturer, and enter your soundbar model number to reach the support page for your soundbar.
- In the downloads section, look for the latest firmware and download it.
- It will be in a zip file. Unpack the zip file.
- Copy the content you got from the zip file to a formatted FAT32 USB. Don’t create any folder on the USB; paste the file into the root directory of the USB drive.
- Power off your soundbar and insert the USB drive into its USB port.
- Turn on the soundbar; if your remote has a source button, press it and select USB.
- The soundbar will begin updating. Its display may also show ‘UPDATE’ while it updates.
- When the update is completed, your soundbar will turn off or restart.
For exact steps specific to your soundbar brand and model, search on Google ‘how to update [brand and model] soundbar’.
7.3 Update Your Streaming Device
If you’re using a streaming device like Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, or Chromecast, updating them is also easy. We’ll show steps for updating Roku:
- Press the Home button on your remote.
- Go to Settings > System > System Update.
- Select ‘Check Now.’
- It’ll check for new software updates and install it.
8. Enable or Disable Game Mode on Your TV
Many smart TVs come with a gaming feature known as Game Mode. This mode instructs the TV to bypass video processing while gaming so the game doesn’t lag and the actions from game controllers reach the screen instantly.
So, it turns off fancy video features that take the video to reach you a few milliseconds late.
- Check your TV settings and find out if your TV has Game Mode.
- Now, try both enabling and disabling the game mode.
In most cases, disabled Game Mode is helpful when you have an audio delay because the TV will also begin processing the video, so both will take time to reach you. This may fix the sound delay issues.
On the other hand, turning on the Game Mode may be all you need to fix if you have a video delay. The enabled Game Mode will tell the TV to avoid processing the video and send it to the output screen early.
But this may result in a little inferior video quality than what you may be used to.
9. Plug In Your Source Device Directly to the Soundbar or External Speakers
At the beginning of the guide, we mentioned the major reason for the AV sync issue – the audio and video have different amounts of distance to cover. The audio has to travel more and may reach with a few milliseconds of delay.
Moreover, some soundbars process audio that results in delay, but the TV plays the corresponding video without detecting that the soundbar is delaying the audio.
You can connect the source device directly to the soundbar to fix these problems. Now, the soundbar will process both the audio and video and send the video to the TV when it has made the audio ready for output.
However, this fix has some problems of its own. The soundbar will send video to the TV after unpacking the audio on its own.
The soundbar will play the corresponding audio when the video reaches your TV. If your TV does video processing like motion smoothing or other video enhancements, then you’ll experience a video delay.
You can fix video delay by using the audio delay feature on your TV and soundbar. This time, it will be easier because you only need to delay the audio available on all TVs and soundbars.
Another problem is that this solution only applies if you only want to connect one HDMI device, such as a Blu-ray player, to the soundbar because most soundbars have only one HDMI In port.
You may have to use an HDMI switcher if you need multiple devices simultaneously, but it will introduce more wires.
Furthermore, this method is useless if you use other sources like your local channels and smart TV apps like Netflix.
To use these sources, you have to use the typical method of watching TV: letting your TV be connected to the source and allowing it to send audio to your soundbar.
10. Factory Reset Your TV and Soundbar
A factory reset removes all of your personalization, saved apps, and data. You need to set up everything again because all the settings will be restored to their defaults.
If the AV sync problem of your TV and soundbar persists after following the above solutions, factory reset both devices.
Below is the method for resetting a Samsung smart TV:
- Go to Settings from the home screen.
- Choose ‘General.’
- Go down to the last item and select ‘Start Setup’.
- You can now reset your TV and set it up as new.
Soundbars have different resetting methods that depend on your brand’s soundbar.
So, search Google ‘reset [brand and model] soundbar’, open a few websites and follow the instructions to reset your soundbar and fix the sound delay on your TV and soundbar. You can also read the user manual of your soundbar.
Out-of-sync TV audio or video is common if you have a connected soundbar or external speakers to your TV.
Use the audio delay feature on your TV to adjust the sync or follow other solutions in this guide to fix the AV sync issues.