Does Netflix keep flickering or blinking on your TV, and it’s driving you crazy?
That’s got to be super annoying! Nothing’s as anticlimactic as having this happen during your favorite action scene.
Streaming platforms are all about convenience and their potential to help us relax after a long day. I know feeling stressed out and frustrated is not what you want from this experience, but don’t worry.
Below, I’ve prepared a list of 6 simple fixes to the most common causes behind this situation so that you can solve the problem once and for all.
When Netflix keeps flickering or blinking on your TV, you’ll want to try checking your HDMI cable/port, or updating the platform/your devices. If that fails, you can also try clearing the cache or uninstalling the platform altogether.
Read on to make streaming enjoyable again!
The first thing I’d like you to try is checking your HDMI cable to ensure you’re using the correct version and under the right conditions.
This might be hard to believe, but there are different cables for different resolutions and refresh rates. As you may know, the current standard for most TVs is 4K, which has a pixel count four times greater than the good old Full HD resolution.
Netflix offers a lot of content in 4K, and if you have a TV that can take advantage of it, more power to you. However, while this all sounds very nice, higher display resolutions means more data has to be sent through your cables to show a crisp image on the screen.
Now, if you’re running the app natively on your Smart TV, feel free to move on to the next section, as you’re not using an HDMI cable to watch content on the platform. But if you’re using an external device, like a gaming console or a PC, then this is worth looking into.
Solution: It’s possible that you’re accidentally using an HDMI cable that is not rated for your desired streaming resolution/refresh rate. This could explain why Netflix keeps flickering or blinking on your TV, as your external device is sending more information than your HDMI cable can handle.
As a minimum, you’ll want to use an HDMI 1.4 cable version to stream content in UHD, as it’s the first instance that supports 4K resolutions at 30 Hz. And if you want an even better experience, upgrading to a more recent version that supports +60 Hz will make everything look and feel smoother.
Now, sadly, most HDMI cables do not come labeled with their version, so there’s no way to tell which one you own unless you kept the packaging or know the model to look it up online. However, if you know your cable is somewhat old and want to be on the safe side, I’d recommend purchasing a new one just in case.
Having made sure that you own the right cable version and that it’s in good condition, let’s move on to the other piece of the puzzle – the port.
As you can imagine, this is just as important as the cable, as it’s what handles the information being sent to the display. Usually, with ports you don’t have to worry about their version, as manufacturers pick the right ones to ensure future-proofing. However, this doesn’t mean that they can’t sustain damage over time.
If you’re using an external device to stream your favorite content and feeding that through a potentially damaged HDMI port, it’s not surprising that Netflix keeps flickering or blinking.
Over time, the port can wear out due to careless connection and disconnection of external cables, or an excessive buildup of dust. Although the latter is not damage per se, it can prevent adequate contact with the circuits inside your TV.
Solution: The best way to tell whether any of your HDMI ports are damaged is by trying to plug your devices into a different one every time.
When Netflix keeps flickering or blinking, try unplugging your usual HDMI cable and connecting it to another port. If the problem stops, then your favorite HDMI port is damaged, and you should keep using another one from now on.
But if the issue persists, and you’re certain your cable is ok, please keep reading.
Next, let’s make sure you’re using the latest version of Netflix on your devices.
I know this might sound unimportant and unnecessary, but it’s one of the easiest ways to prevent technical difficulties down the line.
How so? Great question.
Typically, app updates come packed with new and improved features, as well as patches for bugs, and optimized settings. Moreover, while it’s not a general rule, it is a common practice in the Tech Industry to stop supporting older versions of a platform when newer ones are released to the public.
Accidentally streaming your favorite content on outdated software could explain why Netflix keeps flickering or blinking, as it might be having trouble communicating with the fully updated Smart TV, gaming console, or streaming system you’re using.
Now, don’t worry. Most devices are set up to constantly look for updates and install them when found thanks to a feature called automatic updating. The problem is that sometimes, a bug, a weak network, or a corrupted file can get in the way.
Solution: If you suspect that your device has gotten a little lazy and is keeping you working with older software, here’s how to download and install the latest version of Netflix manually:
On a Hisense TV:
Now that you know the importance of keeping your apps updated, let’s discuss how essential it is to keep your streaming devices in the same condition.
Apps and devices are usually designed hand in hand to ensure that they work well together. This means that every time a new version is developed, their settings are optimized with each other. Using an older operating system version on your devices with fully updated apps or vice versa could explain why Netflix keeps flickering or blinking.
Now, as you’ve learned thus far, this is only an issue if the automatic updating feature on your devices is failing. Otherwise, you don’t have to worry about this.
Solution: If you think you might be struggling due to outdated software, here’s how you can update some of the most popular streaming systems out there:
To update a Hisense TV:
To update a Samsung TV:
To update a Roku system:
We’re almost finished, but there’s still some ground left to cover. Now, I’d like us to take a look at both the cache on your devices and the cache on Netflix.
If you’re already familiar with the concept, feel free to move on to the solution, but if you’re a newcomer to the Tech world, please read on.
I won’t bore you with all the technical details, so boiling it down to the basics, the cache is where you can find essential information your apps and devices constantly use. In it, it’s not uncommon to encounter login credentials, user preferences, thumbnails, previews, and much more.
By keeping this data handy, Netflix and your devices can load a lot faster when launched, which in turn saves you precious minutes every day.
And while this all sounds great, sometimes problems can arise. Although it’s not very common, occasionally a file can get corrupted within the cache. This could easily explain why Netflix keeps flickering or blinking while you’re trying to enjoy your favorite show.
Solution: If you suspect your cache to be corrupted, you’ll be better off clearing it. This will make Netflix take a little longer to launch the next time you want to watch something, but it’s a one-time thing, and you’ll be fixing your issue, so that’s a win in my book!
To clear your cache on Roku:
To clear a Hisense TV cache:
To clear Netflix’s cache on a Hisense TV:
If nothing has worked so far, you’ll likely have to take a more permanent approach. Sometimes, corrupted files or bugs responsible for causing this situation are too deep-rooted, and the only way to get rid of them is to wipe all traces of the streaming platform from your devices’ memory.
Granted, it’s much more likely that any of the other causes above are the reason Netflix keeps flickering or blinking, but we’re trying to cover all bases here, right?
Solution: Here’s how you can uninstall Netflix from some of the most popular streaming devices out there:
Once you have done this, reinstall the app by following the same steps as the first time you got it.
For Hisense TVs:
That about covers it!
When Netflix keeps flickering or blinking, a nice and relaxing streaming session can quickly become a frustrating experience.
I hope this piece has helped you see that, more often than not, something as simple as keeping the platform and your devices updated, or checking the condition of your HDMI cables, can go a long way.
Thank you so much for sticking with me all the way to the end. If this article was interesting and helpful, you’ll be happy to learn that we upload new content every week. While we pen our latest work, I encourage you to check out our other wonderful resources below to become a Tech Detective yourself!
Best of luck to you.