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In the last year or so, the PlayStation 3 has been experiencing a sort of cult-following resurgence, probably due to the lackluster nature of recent releases on more powerful platforms. With that being said, some of the old PlayStation 3 issues are cropping up again, though most are easily fixable.

If your PS3 is not connecting to your TV, it’s most likely because of a poor HDMI connection, a bad HDMI cable, the PS3’s resolution doesn’t match the display, or the system just needs a reset.

AdobeStock_173855306 ps3 controller on top of wooden table next to couch in living room waiting for TV to be turned on

Also, there’s an important distinction between ‘will not connect’ and ‘connected but displaying a blank screen.’ Some of the solutions in this troubleshooting guide will cover both instances.

4 Fixes To PS3 Not Connecting To TV

1. Faulty HDMI Cable

Fortunately, the PS3 supports 1080i and 1080p, meaning a Category 1, 2, or 3 HDMI cable will do just fine. However, when it comes to HDMI cables, there is a such thing as getting what you pay for.

You want to avoid cheap HDMI cables at all costs. Stick with name-brands from reputable manufacturers. The reason is simple—you want the HDMI cable to last and cheap HDMI cables are notoriously faulty.

The good news is, when we use the word ‘cheap,’ that’s not to say that premium HDMI cables are expensive. It’s more of a descriptor for generic HDMI cables. Premium HDMI cables are very affordable and you can get a high-end HDMI cable for a PS3 for $8-$20.

You also need to check over your HDMI cable and ensure there are no crimps in the cable, worn-out insulation, or anything indicating the cable may be damaged. Your PS3 can be perfectly fine and still be unable to connect with a garbage HDMI cable.

2. Check the HDMI Ports on the TV and PS3

It’s not just the HDMI cable you should be concerned with but also the ports. When it comes to electricity, there are open circuits and closed circuits.

If you plug your HDMI cable into the back of a PS3 HDMI port that’s full of dust or debris, the circuit is liable to remain open, meaning data/electricity cannot cross.

Unless your PS3 fell backward into the mud, this is nothing a compressed air can won’t fix.

Just blow sideways into the port (never shoot compressed air directly into a port for any electronic device) until it clears out the dust and try to plug the HDMI cable back in.

Be sure to check the port on the TV as well. In fact, preventative maintenance is a rare thing once that TV gets wall-mounted. It’s easy to forget that it can get quite dusty back there, despite the fact that TVs hang vertically.

You can clean these ports the same way you clean a port on the PS3, with a compressed air can.

3. Reset the PS3

If the PS3 is clearly on and you’re not getting anything on the TV screen, start by trying a soft reset.

  1. Press the PS button on the PS3 and hold
  2. Continue holding until you hear a beep and the PS3 turns off
  3. Wait a minute or two
  4. Press the power button to turn the system back on

It may or may not be worth it to reset your TV as well. It probably won’t be a viable solution but it never hurts to try. Besides, while you’re waiting on the PS3 after it turns off, you may as well do something constructive.

The next type of reset will also reset the video output back to default, which may very well be the source of your problem to begin with.

  1. Make sure the system is off
  2. Unplug both the PS3 and the TV
  3. Make sure your PS3 remains connected to the TV via an HDMI cable
  4. Plug both the PS3 and TV back in (in no particular order)
  5. Make sure your TV supports 1080p or 1080i resolution
  6. Press and hold the PS3 power button until it beeps
  7. Hopefully, you will get something on the TV screen this time
  8. If you do, navigate the PS3 Settings menu in the dashboard
  9. Go to ‘Display Settings’
  10. Select the resolution that matches your TV

Last, but not least, you can reset the PS3 into ‘Safe Mode,’ which may get your PS3 up on the TV.

  1. With your PS3 off, press and hold the PS3 button on the front of the console
  2. Hold it until you hear a third beep
  3. Now, press and hold the power button again, until you get two beeps
  4. Connect your controller via the USB cable (assuming something comes up on the TV and gives you the option to do so)
  5. Select ‘Restore Default Settings’

You want the default settings because it should set the PS3 back to the way it originally was with the TV.

4. Resolution Doesn’t Match

If the PS3’s resolution doesn’t match the TVs, all you will get is a black screen when you turn the system on. A PS3 doesn’t do 4k, only 1080i or 1080p and lower. If you are using a 4k TV, this can easily become a problem.

If you want to play your PS3 on this TV, you will need to change the display settings on the TV, rather than the PS3.

If you can’t drop the resolution on your TV or monitor to 1080p or 1080i, you’re wasting your time on this TV because the PS3 simply won’t play.

Only the component AV cable and an HDMI cable on the PS3 will support up to 1080p or 1080i.

If you’re using a D-Terminal Cable, an S-Video Cable, an AV cable, or an AV MULTI Cable, no HD resolutions are supported at all, only 576p and 576i or 480p and 480i.

Final Thoughts on PS3 Not Connecting to a TV

For the most part, this issue crops up when there are compatibility problems. It’s important to remember that PS3s are getting pretty old and 4k is pretty much the standard these days, with 8k on the horizon.

Fortunately, most TVs support lower resolutions as well and you shouldn’t have much problem matching them up. Also, make sure you have premium, well-kept HDMI cables or component AV cables as well, at least if you want to play anything in HD.