Haystack News Not Working on Vizio Smart TV: 10 Quick Fixes

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Haystack’s streaming service has too many breaking news stories for you to get stuck dealing with a broken app. In this article, we’ll detail the easiest fixes for when Haystack News is not working on Vizio smart TVs.

1. Make Sure Your Vizio TV Is Compatible With Haystack News

The Haystack News app only works with Vizio smart TV models from 2016 or later, all of which run Vizio’s SmartCast OS. You can get the year of your Vizio TV from the model number, which is found in your TV’s system menu or on a sticker on the back of your TV. The model number will be something like V60-K2. That last letter tells you the model year (D is 2016, E is 2017, F is 2018, and so on).

For Vizio TVs from prior to 2016, your only real options are to replace the TV or add a streaming stick. Obviously, a streaming stick is a cheaper and easier option.

You can play Haystack News on any TV (smart or otherwise) by adding a Fire TV Stick or a Roku streaming stick. Both are easy to use and have all of the major streaming apps. Unless you already have a preference, I’d go with Fire TV largely for the Firestick Alexa voice controls.

03/15/2024 12:43 am GMT

2. Power Cycle Your Vizio TV

Often, app problems are caused by random TV software glitches. As with most software problems, the best solution is to turn it off and back on again.

However, pressing the power button won’t actually reboot your Vizio SmartCast TV. Instead of turning off, your TV enters standby mode when you press the off button. This allows the TV to turn on faster, but it can allow software bugs to pile up over time.

There is a way to force your Vizio TV to reboot fully. Here’s how:

  1. Unplug your TV from the wall.
  2. Wait two minutes.
  3. Plug your TV back in and turn it on

Now try the Haystack News app again. You may want to keep these instructions handy; a good restart solves a lot of TV bugs.

3. Check Your Internet Speed

Slow internet can often cause buffering issues with Haystack News and other video and streaming apps. In extreme cases, your internet may be too slow or unreliable to even connect to the Haystack News servers.

You can do an internet speed test on your computer or phone. Make sure the device you are using is on the same network as your TV. For your phone, that also means turning off mobile data and connecting only to Wi-Fi.

You’re going to need speeds of at least 3–4 Mbps for standard streaming and 5–8 Mbps for HD. If your speeds are slower than that, you’ll need to:

  • Check for sources of interference (e.g., too many walls between your router and your TV).
  • Restart your router (see the next section).
  • Contact your internet provider to see whether there are network problems or whether you need an upgrade.

4. Restart Your Router

Often, the problem is with your local Wi-Fi network rather than your TV or the Haystack News app.

Rather than try to debug every potential network problem, it’s easier to just restart your entire network to see if that sorts everything out. You’ll generally want to do this once a month or so anyway to keep your network functioning at its best.

Before proceeding, make sure that nobody in your home is actively using the internet. This process will shut down all network and internet connections for roughly five minutes during the reboot.

Okay, let’s get started.

  1. Unplug the power cable from your router and modem.
  2. Wait 30 seconds.
  3. Plug the power cables back in.
  4. Wait a few minutes for the modem and router to boot up.

Once your TV connects to the network again, try to run the Haystack News app. If your network speeds were slow when you tested them, this is also a good time to run another test. Restarting your router will often boost your speeds for a short while, but it won’t fix every underlying problem.

5. Update Your Vizio TV Firmware

Just like app updates, firmware updates will often fix your TV app problems for you.

Vizio SmartCast TVs have an auto-update feature, but you can also manually force a firmware update. This shouldn’t be necessary, but it is nice to have in case the automatic update is turned off or fails without telling you.

  1. Press the V button or the home button on your remote.
  2. Select System from the menu.
  3. Press Check for Updates.
  4. Wait for your TV to check for updates.
  5. Confirm the update installation if one is available.

Once the firmware is updated, try the Haystack News app again.

6. Clear Your Haystack News App Cache

While newer Vizio TVs may not let you upgrade or delete apps, they do have an option for clearing an app’s cache.

This is the equivalent of clearing the cookies in your internet browser, and often it will solve random glitches in the app.

  1. Press the V button or the home button on your remote.
  2. Select System from the menu.
  3. Go to Apps.
  4. Click System Apps.
  5. Select the Haystack News app.
  6. Click Clear Cache.
  7. Press OK.

Now try the Haystack News app again.

7. Turn Off Your VPN

Those of you that don’t use a virtual private network (VPN) can ignore this step. If you don’t know what a VPN is, you’re probably not using one.

Most video apps and streaming services try to block VPN traffic. If you’re running a VPN that Haystack News has managed to block, you likely won’t have access to your streaming content. The easiest way to test this is to turn off the VPN and try the connection again.

8. Try Haystack News on Another Device

We’ve covered nearly everything we can try on your TV itself. Before resorting to our most drastic option, let’s see how widespread the problem is. Try opening Haystack News on your computer or any other device on your network.

If Haystack News works on your other devices but not your TV, it’s time to contact Vizio support.

But if Haystack News isn’t working on any of your devices, the problem may be with your Haystack News account or with Haystack’s servers.

9. Check Haystack News Server Status

You can use Twitter to check whether other users in your area are having problems with Haystack News. Most of the time, Haystack News outages are local and quickly fixed.

If you can’t find anything on Twitter, it’s probably time to contact Haystack News support for more info. They’ll have more up-to-date information than I can provide in this article.

10. Factory Reset Your TV

Since we’ve tried all of the easy fixes, it’s time to try one last option: a factory reset. This will erase all of your TV settings, including those for your Haystack News app. By erasing all of the settings and app data, though, it might fix your streaming app problems.

  1. Press the V button or the home button on your remote.
  2. Select System from the menu.
  3. Go to Reset & Admin.
  4. Click Reset TV to Factory Defaults.
  5. Enter the parental code password. This will be 0000 if you never set it elsewhere.
  6. Press Reset.
  7. Wait a few minutes for the TV to fully reset and come back on.

Now, try running the Haystack News app one more time. This should have fixed nearly any software or firmware issue that could have been preventing Haystack News from running on your Vizio TV.

What’s Next?

There are a lot of advantages to a non-Android smart TV like those made by Vizio. They are easy to use and have few technical issues (although sometimes Vizio TVs won’t turn on.)

But when you have problems with apps, there’s often not much you can do. There are several ways to restart apps on Samsung TVs, but Vizio TVs don’t have as fine-grained control. When Haystack News or NBC won’t work on Vizio TVs, they basically expect that you’ll just call their support line.

03/15/2024 08:16 pm GMT

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