YouTube TV Black Screen Of Death: One Fix That Worked For Me

YouTube TV is one of the most value-oriented streaming services for music, live events, and news, but it’s not all perfect.

An issue that has been the bane of many YouTube TV users is its notorious ‘Black screen’.

I also had the misfortune of coming across this problem yesterday while attempting to play a feel-good music video on my TV.

Confused, I reloaded the YouTube app hoping it was some temporary glitch, but the video box remained black.

I also tried playing another video from my watch history, but the problem persisted.

However, I did notice a peculiar thing.

When I paused the affected video, the video frame would flash for a split second, adding more to my confusion.

Determined to solve this problem, I dedicated the next few hours to learning more about the cause of this malfunction and how to fix it. 

To fix the YouTube TV black screen of death, power cycle your streaming device. To do so, switch off the device and unplug it from the power outlet. Plug it back in after 60 seconds and switch it on. 

Check Your Internet Connection

YouTube TV recommends a minimum Internet speed of 3 Mbps for streaming 480p videos, whereas 720p videos require at least 7 Mbps, and 4K requires 25 Mbps.

Trying to watch a video at these resolutions without meeting the required speed can cause YouTube TV to display a black screen.

The easiest way to diagnose this problem is to use an Internet speed test.

If your Internet speed is less than prescribed, consider lowering the resolution of the video.

If your current Internet plan does not give you enough speed to stream at the resolution of your choice, you should consider an upgrade. 

Restart Your Wi-Fi Router

If your Internet plan is in line with the resolution of the video you want to stream, but you still get a black screen on YouTube TV, you should check your Wi-Fi router.

Sometimes, your Internet speed may drop dramatically below what it should be due to the router facing bugs and glitches, causing several video issues.

You can easily fix this by unplugging your Wi-Fi router and plugging it back in after waiting a few minutes.

If you face this issue frequently, you should consider buying an Ethernet adapter for your streaming device.

You may also need to contact your Internet Service Provider to get a better idea about your Internet problems. 

Power Cycle Your Streaming Device

An easy fix for YouTube TV’s black screen is power cycling your streaming device.

To do so, you have to unplug the device from the power source, wait for a few minutes, and plug it back in.

Power cycling helps eliminate performance-hindering bugs from your device and drains any residual power.

Once you have plugged it back in, play the video you were trying to watch earlier, and it should work as it normally would.

Power cycling can also help you fix the Playback error on YouTube TV.

Clear the YouTube TV App Cache

The YouTube TV app commits several things (like your search and watch history) to its cache memory while you are browsing through it or watching videos.

Even though this is helpful, problems with this cache memory can cause the app to show a black screen.

To resolve it, you must clear the cache of the app.

It can be done by following these steps: 

  1. Launch the YouTube TV app.
  2. Go to the Settings menu.
  3. Locate the Reset option.
  4. You will be asked to select the Reset option twice, after which the app will be reset. 

Logout of Your YouTube TV Account and Log Back In

In some cases, I found that logging out of the YouTube TV account and logging back in with the same (or different) account fixes the app’s black screen glitch.

To do this, follow the given steps: 

  1. Open the YouTube TV app on your smart device.
  2. Click on your Profile picture to open the Accounts page.
  3. Scroll down and select your account.
  4. Tap on Sign Out.
  5. Close the app.
  6. Relaunch the app after waiting for a minute and Log back in. 

Reinstall the YouTube TV App

A sure shot of getting rid of any YouTube TV glitch is to reinstall the app.

This will eliminate any corrupt data files and install the latest version of the app.

For an Android TV, this can be done by opening the ‘Play Store’, searching for the ‘YouTube TV’ app, and uninstalling it.

Once the app is removed, the option to install it will be on the same page. You have to click ‘Install’. 

If you have an Apple TV, select the ‘YouTube TV’ app and hold the ‘Center’ of the clickpad or touch surface until the app starts to jiggle.

Press the ‘Play/Pause’ button for options and select ‘Delete’.

To reinstall the app, open the ‘App Store’ from the ‘Home Screen’. Search for the ‘YouTube TV’ app and download it.

If you own a Roku device, press the ‘Home’ button and select the ‘Streaming Channels’ tab to open the ‘Channel Store’.

Once done, look for ‘YouTube TV’, press ‘OK’ on the remote, and select the ‘Remove’ option.

To reinstall the app, go to the ‘Search’ bar and search for ‘YouTube TV’. Click on it and tap on ‘Add Channel’. 

For a FireTV, go to the ‘Settings’ tab on the Home screen and select it.

Now, select the ‘Applications’ tab and click on ‘Manage Installed Applications’.

Select the ‘YouTube TV’ app and click on ‘Uninstall’ when prompted.

To reinstall the app, simply search for ‘YouTube TV’, either through the ‘Search’ bar or by asking ‘Alexa’.

A page for ‘YouTube TV’ should open, where you will be given the option to download it.

If your TV came preloaded with the YouTube TV app, there is a high chance you may not be able to remove it.

In such a case, you should be able to uninstall the previous updates and install the latest version.

This can be done by opening the ‘Play Store’, navigating to the left menu, and choosing the ‘Uninstall Updates’ option.

Doing so will trigger a self-diagnosis and eliminate any glitches that may have been causing malfunctions in the previous versions. 

Update Your Streaming Device’s Software

Sometimes, YouTube TV’s black screen can be due to a glitch or anomaly in your streaming device’s software.

This can be resolved by updating the device software to the latest version.

Some devices update their software automatically by default, but it’s still worth checking if none of the other solutions work for you. 

To do so: 

  1. Go to your streaming device’s Settings menu.
  2. Locate the option to Check for updates.
  3. If there is an update, Install it and check if YouTube TV works fine. 

Reset Your Device

In case none of the fixes covered above resolve the YouTube TV black screen glitch, you should consider resetting your streaming device.

You can usually find the option to reset the device in the ‘Settings’ menu under ‘Device Preferences’.

Android TVPress the Home button on the remote control.
Select the Settings menu.
Move to the Device Preferences tab.
Scroll down to the bottom and select Reset.
Click OK.
Apple TVOpen the Settings menu.
Find the System tab and click on it.
Scroll down to the Reset tab and select it. 
RokuPress Home on your Roku remote.
Scroll down and select Settings.
Select System.
Scroll down to Advanced System Settings.
Select Factory Reset.
Fire TVPress and hold Back + Right side of the navigation circle for 10 seconds.
Choose Continue to go ahead with the factory reset.

NOTE: Resetting your streaming device would mean losing all of your preferences, settings, and installed apps.

Doing so will erase all data, reset all network drivers, perform self-diagnosis, and eliminate all glitches and malfunctions. 

Enjoy Live Streams Without Any Interruptions

YouTube TV is a great app for streaming live events and TV shows, with its DVR functionality and overall value being second to none.

Hulu is a close second but Hulu’s DVR functionality is not without any snags.

That being said, it can be quite annoying when you are denied entertainment due to a constant black screen caused usually by a wayward software glitch.

This same issue has happened to me with my Samsung TV as well.

Thankfully, I solved this problem by power cycling my streaming device.

Clearing the cache of the YouTube TV app is also an effective solution.

In case your problem persists, you should contact YouTube TV Support

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I see a black screen on my YouTube TV?

YouTube TV may give you a black screen due to a slow Internet connection, buggy streaming device, or outdated YouTube TV app. 

How do I differentiate between the video not loading and the black screen glitch on YouTube TV?

The YouTube TV’s black screen glitch is characterized by the audio playing as it normally would but without the visual accompaniment.

If your video is not loading, you will see a constant loading icon, or the audio will not play. 

How much does a YouTube TV subscription cost?

The basic YouTube TV plan costs $64.99 monthly for 100+ channels covering live sports, news, and entertainment in English and Spanish.

A 4K video quality upscale plan can also be availed at a premium addition of $19.99, driving the total cost to $84.98 per month. 

About the author

Maria Chan, or MC, as we call her, is the genius girl-boss who gave up on her cushy silicon-valley job to grind it out with us. Her undying pursuit of wanting Zeebox to the best makes it very clear that she has no interest in running a generic tech-site.