Fixed: Chromecast with Google TV No Signal

The chromecast with Google TV is a low-ish priced, decent dongle if your TV has a great display but the UI is slow or outdated. I have three of them, and two of them are mostly okay, except that one of them regularly goes into a state where there is no signal on power up. The symptoms are quite similar to those described on this thread:

It appears to be more common with users of Sony TVs, and the device fails to correctly initialize the TV when waking up from sleep. That’s the clue. It has all the hallmarks of a software defect, but Google’s support will waste your time and make you perform pointless device resets, and then offer you a warranty replacement if your device is still in warranty — otherwise, you’re on your own.

This annoyed me enough that I briefly considered ditching my Pixel phone, buying an iPhone and replacing all the media devices in the house with Apple TV 4Ks… but I still find iOS a frustrating enough experience on an iphone that I decided to try another tactic to fix the issue.

How to fix it

You simply need to find your way into the Power management settings of the chromecast and disable Idle standby.

  1. Navigate to device Settings
  2. Select the “System” option.
  3. Navigate to “Power and Energy”
  4. Set “When Inactive” to “Never”.

The device never goes to sleep, and as far as my testing goes, doesn’t get back into the state where the HDMI handshake with the TV fails, thus, switching inputs to the Chromecast initializes the display correctly and you don’t need to power cycle.

As far as power consumption, it’s got a 7.5 watt power supply, and so in the worst case, it would use 65.8KW of energy a year if it were running at full power consumption throughout. The worst case is not the typical case. You do the math and decide if you’re okay with this. I am fine with this, and I save energy in other ways around the house.