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Vizio TV Horizontal Lines On Screen (Troubleshooting Guide)

Horizontal lines on your Vizio TV may be caused by any of the following:

  • Row driver malfunctions (multiple different reasons possible).
  • Resolution mismatches (causing line artifacts on-screen).
  • Software conflicts.
  • Broken HDMI cable.
  • Screen damage (commonly impact, though even light pressure may cause this).

Horizontal lines on your Vizio TV are a worrying sight, but being able to understand the source of the problem can help take the edge off the situation. We’ll try to help you bridge that knowledge gap to the best of our ability below.

What Do The Horizontal Lines On My Vizio TV Mean?

Problems With Row Drivers

Each row of pixels on your TV is controlled by designated row drivers. A faulty row driver that fails to activate as intended will clash drastically with the rest of your screen, causing horizontal lines to emerge on your Vizio TV.

These horizontal lines can have pixels carrying the wrong signal. This causes a potential cascading effect which “leaks” to adjacent pixels in other row drivers, disrupting their performance. This can lead to multiple horizontal lines on your Vizio TV (or existing lines thickening on-screen).

Row driver conflicts can also be caused by Mainboard or T-Con board errors, as these two are responsible for the signal instructions your row driver attempts to implement. That said, T-Con boards are a little more likely to cause vertical lines on your Vizio TV .

Your TV’s drivers (row and column) may have been damaged in any these ways:

  • Power surges
  • Overheating (blocked ventilation/high temperatures)
  • Humidity/Exposure to liquids
  • Wear and tear

If you’ve been taking good care of your Vizio TV, you probably won’t encounter these issues until you’re well into your unit’s expected service life.

Unfortunately, you can’t do much once your TV’s drivers are already ruined – at least, not without technical support and a few component changes! For this reason, you should opt to minimize damage with good maintenance before your Vizio unit reaches that point.

Resolution Mismatches

Artifacts are digital glitches that can appear on your screen, distorting your display. While these can manifest in a few different ways, we’ll be focusing on the line artifacts.

Vizio TVs are designed to function at a certain video resolution. If the content doesn’t match that, your TV has to make accommodations to scale it for optimal playback. This process won’t always go smoothly and may lead to line artifacts appearing on your screen.

You can mitigate this by fiddling with your TV’s aspect ratio settings – set it to “Full Pixel” or other visual presets that display the full image on your TV screen. If you aren’t sure which those are for your Vizio TV model, consult your user manual for further instructions.

It’s worth noting that if your Vizio TV’s horizontal line was caused by an artifact, its location should change every time you cycle between presets. There’s also a chance that the type of artifact on your Vizio TV will change from this, though it’s a bit less likely.

If nothing changes at all while cycling between resolutions, move on to the other troubleshooting options.

Software Conflicts

Display problems aren’t caused by software issues very often, but the possibility is still worth checking off your list. Firmware conflicts or a faulty T-Con board could be undermining the intended signal, potentially causing your Vizio TV’s horizontal lines.

You could try mitigating this with a cold boot of your Vizio TV, terminating all of its ongoing processes and purging bloated data.

If that doesn’t work, updating your Vizio TV is the next logical step – though with Vizio TV automatically downloading updates at default settings, this may not even be necessary. Lastly, you could opt to factory reset your Vizio TV.

Bear in mind that we are only mentioning this possibility to be thorough. Lines on your Vizio TV, horizontal or otherwise, are usually a consequence of hardware damage.

Loose, Damaged, or Worn HDMI Cables

loose hdmi cord

An impaired HDMI cable may be why your Vizio TV has horizontal lines, as the former is responsible for transferring source device content to your TV’s display.

While this can cause display problems – horizontal lines included – it isn’t guaranteed to do so, and you’ll likely notice more pressing TV issues (i.e. no audio, pink screens) before that.

You can test for this by changing your Vizio TV’s current HDMI cable with a reliable spare. If this was the cause of your Vizio TV’s horizontal lines, you don’t have to worry much beyond the (modest) price of a replacement HDMI cable!

Screen Damage

Lastly, physical damage on your display could be why your Vizio TV has horizontal lines.

This isn’t limited to impacts – something as simple as pressing a finger on your screen could drastically distort the pixels for that region of your screen. Changes from this are usually constrained to a given area, meaning the chance of this distortion cascading is low.

Vizio TV cracked screen

In fact, there’s a bigger chance of light pressure causing your Vizio TV’s horizontal lines than actual impacts would. While an impact would easily cause horizontal lines, it’s likely to cause vertical ones to develop as well – best seen in the image above!

If you’re only seeing horizontal lines, there’s a good chance someone leaned or pressed on your display a tad too firmly.

If this is the cause of your Vizio TV’s horizontal lines there’s no quick or cheap workaround at your disposal. You’ll need to replace your LCD panel, which can get pricey. In fact, it can get so expensive that buying a new TV altogether might be better for some users!