How to Fix Audio Out of Sync Issue on TV with YouTube

Published by Nyau Wai Hoe - Updated on

When the sound on your TV doesn’t match up with what you’re seeing while watching videos, like on YouTube, it’s pretty annoying, right? This problem, where the audio doesn’t line up with the video, is common and can mess with any TV setup. Although there’s no magic fix that works for everyone, a lot of people on forums like Reddit have shared ways to get the sound and picture back in sync on YouTube TV. Let’s walk through some methods that have helped others.

Also see: How to Fix Netflix Audio and Video Out of Sync Issue

How to Fix Audio Out of Sync Issue on TV with YouTube

Fixing the audio out of sync issue by adjusting HDMI audio settings

One easy fix for the audio-sync issue when watching YouTube on your TV is to tweak the HDMI audio format. Sometimes, if your TV and the device it’s connected to aren’t speaking the same audio language, you’ll get that annoying lag. Here’s how you can change the audio settings on a Samsung TV, but you’ll likely find similar options on any smart TV:

  1. Use your Samsung TV remote to head over to the main menu by pressing the “Home” button.
  2. On the home screen, look for the “Settings” icon and click it. This might look like a gear icon on some TVs.
  3. Scroll to find the “Sound” option in the “Settings” menu. This is where you can mess with different audio settings for your TV.
  4. Look for a section called “Expert Settings” or something similar within the “Sound” menu, where you can find more advanced sound features.
  5. Find the “HDMI Audio Format” option. You’ll usually have to choose between “Bitstream” and “PCM.” Switching from “Bitstream” to “PCM” has fixed the lag for lots of folks.YouTube Audio Out of Sync on TV

The reason switching to “PCM” often works is because it sends an uncompressed audio signal to your TV, which usually means better sync between sound and picture. Bitstream, on the other hand, sends a compressed audio signal that might take longer to process, causing that out-of-sync feeling.

Keep in mind, this might not work for everyone since TVs vary. But generally, you’ll want to poke around your TV’s sound settings and switch the HDMI audio output to “PCM.”

Pro tip: How to Set YouTube to Always Play Highest Video Quality

Bitstream vs. PCM

Understanding the difference between Bitstream and PCM is important for fixing sound issues on your TV. They’re about how the audio signal travels from your devices, like a streaming stick or a Blu-ray player, to your TV or receiver.

Bitstream vs PCM Audio

What is Bitstream?

  • Bitstream sends the original compressed audio from the source device. If your TV or receiver is set to Bitstream, it decodes the audio signal itself. This is usually best if the audio is going to an external system like an AV receiver that’s better at decoding sound than your TV.

What is PCM?

  • PCM (Pulse-Code Modulation) sends an uncompressed audio signal. Choosing PCM means the device sending the video (like your streaming stick) decodes the audio before it gets to your TV or receiver. This setting is often better when using the TV’s speakers or if your sound system prefers a decoded signal.

Why choose one over the other?

  1. Not all devices manage Bitstream well, especially older ones. PCM is more universally friendly and can help keep audio in sync with video.
  2. If you’ve got a fancy sound system that can decode advanced audio codecs, Bitstream might sound better since it’s the original signal. But if your system struggles with decoding, PCM could be smoother.
  3. For the problem we’re tackling—keeping video and audio in sync—switching to PCM can be a quick fix because it’s processed faster, without needing extra decoding.

It’s worth trying both settings to see what works best for your setup. Some setups work great with Bitstream without any lag, while others do better with PCM.

Related resource: Stream VLC on Discord: Fix No Sound, Lag & Black Screen

Additional troubleshooting steps for audio out of sync issue on TV

If changing HDMI audio settings to PCM doesn’t fix the sync issue, there are more things to try that can help figure out or fix the problem.

Checking for software updates

  1. Old software can cause sync problems, so check if there are any updates for your TV in the “Settings” menu under “Support” or “About,” and update if you can.
  2. Make sure any streaming devices, like a Roku Stick, are also up to date. You can usually find this in the device’s “Settings” menu.

Update TV Software to fix YouTube Audio Out of Sync

Audio settings adjustment

  • Look through your TV’s audio settings for anything labeled “Audio Sync,” “Audio Delay,” or similar and tweak as needed.
  • If you’re using a streaming device, check its audio settings too. Make sure the audio output matches what your TV can handle, like switching to “Stereo” or making sure it’s not set to a surround sound format that doesn’t play nice with your TV or sound system.

Audio Delay Lip Sync Setting on TV

AV receiver adjustments

  • Some AV receivers have a “Direct” or “Pure Direct” mode that skips some processing. This can cut lag and improve sync.
  • Look for an “AV Sync” or “Lip Sync” setting on your receiver to manually line up audio with video by delaying the audio a bit.

Home theater PC (HTPC) settings

  • If you’re using a Home Theater PC (HTPC), dig into your media player’s settings. VLC or Kodi, for example, let you adjust the timing manually.
  • Make sure your HTPC’s sound card or onboard audio is set up right for your system, with the correct drivers and formats chosen.

Home theater PC (HTPC)

Checking connections and hardware

  1. A simple thing like a bad HDMI cable can be the culprit. Make sure the cable’s plugged in tight or try a new one to see if that fixes it.
  2. If you’re using an external sound system, try hooking the audio directly to the TV to see if that sorts the issue. This can help figure out if the problem’s with the external audio setup.

TV HDMI and Audio Cable

Smart TV applications

  • Inside the YouTube TV app or other streaming apps, there might be audio playback settings. Look for any advanced audio options.
  • On some TVs, you can clear the cache for individual apps, which might fix sync issues caused by corrupted data.

Reset YouTube App on TV

Resetting your equipment

  1. Turning your TV and devices off and on again might sound too easy, but it often fixes temporary glitches, including audio sync issues.
  2. If nothing else works, consider doing a factory reset on your TV or streaming device. Just remember, this wipes all your settings, so save it as a last resort.

Factory reset TV

By trying these steps, you can hopefully get rid of the audio lag when watching YouTube on your TV. Start with the easy fixes and move on to the more involved ones if needed.

Some final thoughts

Audio sync issues can really mess with enjoying YouTube on your TV. Starting with a simple change like HDMI audio from Bitstream to PCM, and then trying more troubleshooting steps, might just solve your problem.

Every setup is different, so what fixes the issue for one might not work for another. It takes patience and trying out different solutions to find what works for you. If you’re still stuck, it might be time to ask for professional help or contact customer support for your devices.

Nyau Wai Hoe
Nyau Wai Hoe is the Founder and Chief Editor of With a degree in software engineering and over 12 years of experience in the tech support industry, Nyau has established himself as an expert in the field, with a primary focus on the Microsoft Windows operating system. As a tech enthusiast, he loves exploring new technologies and leveraging them to solve real-life problems.

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