Why Can’t You See the Volume On Screen with Smart TV Apps

People get used to their amenities. So much so, that they don’t really appreciate them until they are gone. Leave your cell phone at home while you run to the grocery store and see how many times you reach for it unconsciously. One home theater amenity is the on-screen display. Change the volume and you can see some sort of readout on the screen to let you know where you are. If you’ve bought a smart TV and are using the internal apps, you may find that your volume and other on-screen display readouts are gone. Why? How? Can you get them back? Let’s discuss!

Smart TV Apps and Volume On Screen Display

The first thing people notice when they get a Smart TV and use the internal apps is that their volume on-screen information is gone. This is true if they are outputting their audio to a device that controls the volume (like an AV receiver). When they change the volume, the display on the front of the AV receiver shows the change. But the familiar readout on the TV is gone. Why?

Well, if you think about the signal chain, it makes sense. The video is coming from inside the TV. It isn’t passing through the AV receiver at all. The AV receiver is just receiving the audio sent to it. The AV receiver can’t overlay a volume readout over the video because the video doesn’t pass through the AV receiver. It doesn’t matter if you are using HDMI CEC or ARC or eARC. There is no way to get the volume on-screen readout to show on the TV if you are using the internal apps.

The Solution

You’re not going to like this but if you want to see the volume readout on your TV, you can’t use the internal apps. All your video, as well as your audio, needs to be routed through your AV receiver in order to get the on-screen display information. Yes, you have a Smart TV, and yes sometimes your TV apps are better than other options. But if you want to see your volume on-screen information, you can’t use the Smart TV apps. Pick up a streaming device (we have our suggestions as to which are best) and use that instead.

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