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What Does It Mean When Your LG TV Says Invalid Format?

Last Updated Mar 29, 2022
the word error spelled out on paper

Have you have plugged in an external device to your LG TV and saw the message “Invalid Format” appear on your screen? Well, you have found just the right article because we are going to provide all the information you might need to deal with this dilemma. First, what does the invalid format message mean? And most importantly, how can you fix it? 

When your LG TV says “invalid format” after you’ve attached another device (i.e. a gaming consul, cable box, or DVD player) it means that the television does not support the resolution of the output device. However, this is often an easy fix by simply changing the resolution settings on your LG TV or on the external gadget. LG TV Invalid Format Help Page

Although the solution seems simple, there are a few important factors to be aware of in order to fix this problem yourself. You will need to check the available resolutions within your LG TV or set-top box and change them as necessary. By the end of this post, you will know your television just a little better and be able to change your resolution settings like a pro!

How Do I Fix Invalid Format on my LG TV?

The invalid format message is technical jargon for “the wrong resolution.” The resolution that your television is set to will not support the proposed resolution of the additional device. It’s like your two appliances are speaking different languages, and you need to change one of the appliances’ resolutions in order for them to be able to communicate. 

The first thing to do is assess which resolutions are supported by your television. There is a fairly simple way to access this information, as it is located on your LG TV main menu. Here’s how to get there:

  • Press the HOME button on your LG remote.
  • Select SET UP.
  • Click DISPLAY.
  • Scroll to and select RESOLUTION. Check LG TV Resolution

From here, you will be able to see your available resolution options and change them as needed. Now, you could try each option to see if one correlates with the external device. This option can be slightly time-consuming depending on your LG TV model and the number of resolution choices it provides.

Additional Methods

Another course of action recommended by the LG help page is to change your resolution on the set-top box or cable box instead. All you need to do is follow these simple steps:

  • Select an HD channel on your set-top box.
  • On your remote, press CABLE then POWER to turn the box off.
  • Select SETTINGS on your remote.
  • Ensure the OUTPUT is set to either 720 or 1080. 
  • Press CABLE then POWER to turn the box back on. Use Set-Top Box

A third option is to change the resolution on your external device. There are many possible appliances you could be using, and the directions will be different on each one. Although generally, you will be able to access the device’s available resolutions through the settings menu within the display section. Change the Resolution of the External Device

Through these three avenues, you should be able to finally get rid of that pesky “invalid format” message! If you have tried all of these options and none do the trick, your LG TV may simply be incompatible with the external device you are trying to attach. 

Will Updating my LG TV Software Allow more Resolution Options?

Updating your LG TV may or may not allow for more resolution options, however, it is possible! If an update is available, there is a chance your television will have access to different resolution settings as the update is meant to fix problems and add or amplify features. It’s certainly worth a try as LG recommends you continue to update your television anyway. LG TV Update Advice


Seeing that frustrating “invalid format” pop up on your LG TV is not ideal, but it might just be fixable. 
As we have learned, this message is simply letting you know that the device you have attached is operating with a different resolution setting than your television. The good news is, the resolution settings can be changed on your television, your cable box, and even on the external device you are trying to use. So most likely, you will be able to correlate the settings to enable you to use the device easily with your LG TV. 

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