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TV Answer Man

My TV's Picture Is Too Dark! What Can I Do?

By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (February 19, 2013) -- 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 you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to swann@tvpredictions.com

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:

Verify that the video connection cables are properly connected to the television and the video source;

Change the Picture Mode and/or adjust the Brightness, Picture, or Backlight settings in the television's menu to the desired level;

Some televisions have a Power Saving Mode; the picture will become brighter if the Powers Saving Mode is turned off;

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 picture brightness;

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 television.

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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