tv says no signal but cable box is on

Wondering why the TV says no signal but cable box is on? Well, there are, in fact, not many possibilities behind this issue, and in this guide we’ll unwrap them as well as show you the best working solutions.

When the TV says “no signal” even when the TV box is connected and turned on, start with a power circulation on the entire setup by unplugging from the power.

In case that’s not enough to help, ensure that the correct TV source is selected by reaching the menu.

With that being said, let’s proceed with unwrapping more!

Why Does My TV Say No Signal But the Cable Box is ON?

The answer is simple – the video cable or the selected TV source!

These are the two general occasions in which the TV will say “no signal” while the connected cable box is on. To understand more let’s review these two possibilities in more depth…

why tv says no signal but the cable box is on

Cable Box to TV (Video) Transfer:

There are different ways to connect a cable box to a TV so let’s check all of them:

HDMI – the most popular way for video/audio transfer from cable box to TV

Component – green, blue, and red (video) + white and red (audio) cables

Coaxial – an older way of connecting cable box to TV for SD quality (only)

S-video – a special video cable connecting to the S-video port on the TV box

Composite (RCA) – a yellow (video) cable + red and white audio cables

Note: It’s important to determine which type of video/audio transfer your setup utilizes!

TV Sources and How They Work?

The TV Source is basically the option allowing the user to tell the television which connected input to display on the screen.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that the correct TV source is selected, which has to be the input port where the cable box is connected.

  • Universally, to reach the TV Sources, go to Settings > Inputs or “Sources
Tip: Some smart TVs come with an inbuilt “Input” or “Sources” button on the remote control for quick access to the menu. 

Simply, test all of the available inputs from the TV sources menu.

How to Fix When TV Says No Signal but Cable Box is ON?

fix tv saying no signal but cable box is on
Note: Double-check whether the TV box is connected to the power and working!

1. Power Cycle the TV Equipment

The first and easiest approach that you should undertake is the power circulation or also known as a “soft reset”.

This method does not delete anything from your television or TV box, rather only resets the power and refreshes all services.

Here’s how to power cycle your TV and cable box equipment:

  1. Turn off both the television and cable box.
  2. Unplug both units from the power outlet.
  3. Also, unplug all connected to TV devices.
  4. Keep everything unplugged for 3 minutes.
  5. Tip: Test the power outlet via phone charger.
  6. Reconnect the TV and cable box cables.
power cycle the tv equipment

In case that didn’t work, proceed with the next step!

2. Inspect the Video Transfer Cable!

The next and perhaps the most important step is to check whether the cable box is actually connected to the TV.

The TV box can be connected to the TV via HDMI, Component, Coaxial, Composite, or S-video cable so identify and closely inspect the connectors.

We recommend unplugging the video transfer cable and inspecting the port and whether there is any stuck debris or dirt accumulation.

In addition, inspect the video cable connector for any visual faults, and don’t forget to plug the connector tightly into the TV port and cable box output.

Try Another Port!

inspect the video transfer cable

In case you didn’t know your TV surely has more than one input port, especially if you’re using an HDMI cable.

Simply take a look at the back panel of the TV and connect the cable box to a different input port but don’t forget to switch the TV source that we’re going to discuss next…

3. Cycle Trought the TV Sources!

One of the possibilities for why the TV says “no signal” even when the TV box is connected and turned on is due to an incorrect TV source.

For example, if your TV box is in HDMI-1 on your TV, but you’ve told the television to wait for a signal on HDMI 2, only “no signal” will appear.

  • The solution is to open the TV source menu and switch on the correct input!
cycle through the tv sources

Here’s how to discover the TV Source menu on the most-popular TV brands:

TV ModelHow to Find the TV – Source Menu?
SamsungPress “Home” on the remote, go to the Menu and select Connected Devices.
LG TVPress the Home button on the remote and go to the Inputs icon.
Philips Press the “Source” remote button (if available) or go to Settings > Sources
HisensePress the “Source” button on the remote control to the left of the power button
Sony Press the Home button, go to Settings > Display > Video Input Settings
TCL TV Use the remote ▲/▼ buttons to navigate to the Inputs Icon and select it.
VizioLocate and press the INPUT button at the top left corner of the remote control
HorizonPress the “TV/VIDEO” or “Input” button on the remote control several times
SharpTap on the “Source” on the remote control and go left-right to switch sources

Keep in mind that some of the shown steps in the table might not exactly align with your TV menu labels and settings.

If you don’t see your TV in the table above, or the steps won’t work consult the user manual for the exact options and steps.

4. Replace the Video Transfer Cable!

When the TV keeps showing “no signal”, perhaps the reason is due to a faulty video transfer cable connection.

replace the video transfer cable

The best course of action would be to take a proven-to-work video cable and test your setup by connecting the TV box to the TV.

In addition, why not test with a different video transfer cable from the available ones that we’ve described earlier in the guide?

It’s just important not to forget to also change the TV source when changing the input in which the TV box is connected to.

Note: A replacement cable can be purchased online or from a local tech shop!

5. Factory Reset TV & Cable Box!

In case you’re only able to see “no signal” even when the cable box is turned on and working, it’s highly likely that the culprit is software-related.

The best course of action would be to perform a factory reset in consecutive order – first reset the cable box (manually) and then the TV.

factory reset tv and cable box

How to Factory Reset TV Box (Manually):

  1. Ensure that your cable box is plugged into power.
  2. Locate the reset hole on the back of the TV box.
  3. Use a sharp object to reach in and reach the button.
  4. Press and hold the reset button for at least 10 seconds.
  5. Wait for at least 3 minutes until the TV box restarts.
Info: When the reset is ready, test whether the TV will still show “no signal” and if yes, proceed by performing a factory reset on the TV as well. 

My Cox Cable Box is ON but the TV Says No Signal?

my cox cable box is on but the tv says no signal

The reason why your Cox cable box is connected to the TV but the TV says “no signal” could be due to a software-related fault.

The best method that can be applied is resetting the Cox cable box from the mobile app available for Android and iOS.

How to Reset Cox Cable Box in Easy Steps:

  1. Download and install the Cox mobile app on your phone.
  2. Ensure that the TV box is connected via an Ethernet cable.
  3. Sign-into the app, and find the “My Services” page to enter.
  4. From there locate and select the “Reset Equipment” option.

Need More Help?

In case your TV only shows “no signal”, ensure that you’ve tested with another (proven-to-work) video cable and proceed by contacting the merchant.

In case you’re concerned that your TV is producing this fault, test the input by connecting a device and switching to the correct source.

Quick Recap:

Hence, we’ve learned that the TV says no signal but cable box is on when the video cable is faulty or loose.

In addition, we need to ensure that the correct TV source is selected, and if nothing helps, the ultimate solution is to factory reset both the TV box and the TV. Follow us for more!

Read Next: Why is Spectrum Cable Box Stuck on L-3? Fix Guide

Nicole B