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Glitch causes Samsung Smart TVs to spontaneously reboot

The Smart TVs develop a mind of their own, turning off and on.

Jamie Squire / Getty Images

A software glitch is causing Samsung Smart TVs to spontaneously reboot, repeatedly turning off and on without human intervention.

Some TVs developed the glitch at the worst possible time for college basketball fans — on the eve of the NCAA men’s and women’s championship games. A Samsung spokesperson said the problem was caused by a firmware update issued Sunday that should be repaired by the end of the week.

It’s unclear how many of Samsung’s Smart TVs were afflicted by the bug. The South Korean manufacturer is a leading maker of connected TVs — shipping 27.4 million units globally last year, according to researcher IHS.

The problem apparently isn’t a new one for the Samsung LED TVs. Consumers have been reporting similar issues since last November, with several complaining about the TV starting and re-starting spontaneously. One consumer complaint dates from July 2013.

“The TV will freeze and restart then get stuck in the loop over and over again,” wrote a consumer on CNET’s Samsung forum. “I read countless forums trying to troubleshoot this dilemma.”

Samsung said the spontaneous rebooting is the TV resetting itself to correct a problem. But it won’t work in this instance. Consumers looking for a temporary fix can turn off the HDMI-CEC Anynet feature or restore the television to its factory settings (but be warned, this will require going through the setup
process all over again).

Additional reporting by Ina Fried.

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