TV Answer Man
My TV's Picture Is Too Dark! What Can I Do?
Washington, D.C. (February 19,
Editor's Note: TV's
Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to
best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If
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Q. The picture on my
Sony LCD seems a little dark, particularly during movies. Is
there anything I can do about it? -- Bill, Amarillo, Texas.
I touched on this in our TV Answer Man feature,
Why Did My TV Look Better In The Store?
I wrote that retailers
sometimes purposely tune the sets (all sets, not just Sony sets)
on the show floor to look brighter to attract the attention of
shoppers. However, as I noted in that article, brighter is not
always better; you can lose picture details and color if you
turn up the brightness too much.
After I wrote that, I received two e-mails expressing skepticism
that stores would do this, which is why I'm glad you asked this
question, Bill. Doing some research to answer your question, I
came across this quote from Sony's support page:
"When a TV
is in a store they are set up for Shop Front display settings
which are very bright and vivid."
A-Ha! See, I told ya.
Anyway, Sony goes on to offer several tips if your set's picture
appears too dark and here they are:
1. Verify that the video connection cables are properly
connected to the television and the video source;
2. Change the Picture Mode and/or adjust the Brightness,
Picture, or Backlight settings in the television's menu to the
3. Some televisions have a Power Saving Mode; the picture
will become brighter if the Powers Saving Mode is turned off;
4. Some televisions have a Light Sensor; the picture will
become brighter or lower depending on room lighting conditions.
Turning off the Automatic Brightness Control may increase
5. View programming from a different source, such as a
DVD player or Blu-ray player, to see if the issue is being
caused by the device providing the signal to the television;
6. Unplug the AC power cord for 30 seconds to reset the
And, finally, Sony notes that for projection TVs, a dim
or dark picture may be an indication that the lamp needs to be
replaced. Refer to the owner's manual for more information about
replacing the lamp.
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