Why Can’t I Change The Channel On My Sony TV?

Powered off TV in living roomPowered off TV in living room

When you buy through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Relaxing and watching your Sony TV loses a bit of its comfort and convenience if the channels just will not change. So if you’re having trouble, you have found just the right article to help you fix the problem yourself and continue enjoying your favorite shows or movies on the channel of your choice!

You most likely can’t change the channel on your Sony TV because of simple issues with the remote, like dead batteries. However, there are more serious causes, and you may need to reset your TV completely.

Whether your problem is with your remote, or you do need to use one of these recommended options, we are going to go through every step needed with each available solution to resolve the problem so you can get back to changing the channels on your Sony TV!

The Most Common Issues

Before we find out how to fix the trouble you’re experiencing changing the channels on your Sony remote, you should know that there are a few likely issues your device is experiencing.

  • Your Sony remote is not working.
  • The channels on your television need to be re-tuned.
  • Your cable box and television need to be reset.

If you do not know which problem your Sony television is facing, you can follow through each step to ensure you cover all your bases. However, if you know what the problem is, go ahead and skip ahead to the specific “how-to” section you need to quickly address the issue.

How Do I Fix My Sony Remote?

If you followed the instructions above and attempted to change the channel of your television on the buttons provided on the television itself and on the set-top box if you are watching cable, and it worked, then you are having a problem with your remote.

Obviously, the most common issue users encounter with their remote is that the batteries are dead, so make sure you change them and make sure they are in properly, before going ahead to step two.

Lucky for you, the second option is even easier! You just need to know if you are watching broadcast TV through your antenna cable, or cable through your set-top box. 

For broadcast,  press the TV FUNCTION button on your remote before trying to change the channels.

For cable, press the CABLE button and then try again!

What Do I Do If I Can’t Change the Channel for Broadcast TV?

If the problem is not your remote, and you are watching broadcast television, there are two extremely easy steps to follow to fix this little snag.

  • Ensure the Channel Fix option is disabled.
    • Use your functioning Sony remote and select the HOME/MENU button.
    • Click OFF.
  •  Run the Auto Program function.
    • Find and select the HOME/MENU button on your Sony remote.
    • Select SETTINGS, then click CHANNEL.
    • Press ENTER or OK to begin the scan.
    • Do not exit until the scan is complete.

While over-the-air broadcasts, or free TV, isn’t nearly as popular as it used to be, it is still accessible to almost every television and home in the country. But it’s not as much fun if you can’t change the channels!

Hopefully, that did the trick and you are surfing your options now! But if you are having problems changing the channels on your cable set-top box, keep reading, we have the solution for that too.

What Do I Do If I Can’t Change the Channels on my Cable Box?

Most of us who enjoy television these days use a cable box, otherwise known in the industry as a set-top box. If you are unsuccessfully attempting to change the channel on your Sony TV while using a cable box, here are a few easy instructions that should do the trick.

  • Turn both the TV and the cable box off for a few minutes.
  • Ensure the cables are securely and properly connected to the IN and OUT options on the TV and box respectively.
  • Turn both devices back on.
  • Press the TV/VIDEO button on your remote to change the TV to VIDEO IN.
  • Press the CABLE button to make sure the remote is communicating with the box.

A quick reminder that if you have two different remotes for your TV and your cable box, make sure you’re using the right one to control the device you’re trying to work with. It sounds simple, but it’s a really common mistake.

If for any reason these solutions did not solve your issue, you may want to contact Sony help support or your cable provider as the problem may actually be within the devices.


Besides using the wrong, or a dead remote, often users end up on the wrong source connection to the system they’re trying to control.  So always make sure your Sony TV input is set to cable when it needs to be, and antenna when you want to watch over-the-air television.

If you can’t change the channel on your Sony TV, you are not alone. But now you know every possible recommended quick fix and how to do it yourself if it ever happens again.

Now, we hope your Sony television is changing channels no matter what type of programming you are watching, or which remote you’re using!

Keep Reading