As an owner of a Chromecast, I was frustrated when my device started displaying a too dark image. After doing some research and testing, I’m here to share the causes and solutions I discovered for this issue. From firmware updates to HDMI cable checks, I’ll explain the steps I took to get my Chromecast back to its normal brightness, as well as other solutions I discovered along the way.
This could be caused by a number of reasons, such as your TV not supporting HDR, connecting your Chromecast to the wrong port, or incorrect display settings on your TV.
|TV Doesn’t Support HDR||Chromecast supports HDR, but if your TV doesn’t, the image may appear darker and washed out.||Change the Chromecast settings to display in standard dynamic range (SDR) instead of HDR.|
|Chromecast Connected to Wrong Port||Your TV might have specific HDMI ports that support HDR, while others don’t.||Check your TV’s manual for the correct HDMI port to connect your Chromecast to and change the Chromecast settings to display in HDR.|
|Different HDR Technology||Your TV might support Dolby Vision HDR instead of the standard HDR10, causing incompatibility issues.||Choose the correct HDR format supported by your TV from the Chromecast’s ‘Dynamic range and color format’ menu.|
|Wrong TV Display Settings||The issue might be with your TV’s display settings, such as low brightness or incorrect image mode.||Adjust the overall brightness in your TV’s display settings or modify the image mode preset. Choose a ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ preset if customization is not available.|
|Extra Tips||1. Reboot the Chromecast.|
2. Clear the Chromecast’s cache.
3. Power the Chromecast through the mains, not the TV’s USB port.
4. Perform a factory reset on the Chromecast as a last resort.
Cause #1: TV Doesn’t Support HDR
Chromecasts typically support streaming HDR content. HDR, or high dynamic range, displays content with a much wider color spectrum, brighter highlights, and deeper blacks.
If you have a TV that supports HDR, it’ll work fine. However, if you don’t, the image will probably appear a lot darker and washed out.
To fix this, all you need to do is go to the device’s settings, then ‘Display and sound.’ There, you’ll find a display category with the option ‘Dynamic range and color format.’
Select ‘Dynamic range format preference’ and then ‘SDR.’ This will enable all content to be streamed in a standard dynamic range (SDR) rather than HDR.
Cause #2: Chromecast Connected to the Wrong Port
Say your TV does support HDR, but for some reason, the image seen on the screen is still dim and washed out. Another possible cause of this issue is that the HDMI port your Chromecast is connected to doesn’t support HDR.
Some TVs have certain ports that support the bandwidth needed for HDR, others don’t. This will almost certainly result in a dull image.
Check your TV’s manual. It might tell you if there’s a specific port you need to connect to or if there’s a configuration option you can enable in your TV’s settings.
From there, go to your Chromecast settings and then the ‘Display and sound’ option. Find the ‘Dynamic range and color format’ choice. Then, in ‘Dynamic range format preference,’ select ‘HDR.’
If your Chromecast is connected to the correct port, this should automatically play ‘HDR’ content in the correct format.
Cause #3: Different HDR Technology (Dolby Vision vs. HDR10)
Currently, there’s more than one standard for streaming HDR content. If you look at the ‘Dynamic Range Format’ setting on your Chromecast, you’ll find it has one extra option called Dolby Vision.
Dolby Vision is another form of HDR that offers much better performance but has a different technique of displaying the image than standard HDR. That’s why it’s in a category of its own. This also applies to TV support.
Some TVs only support standard HDR and may not support Dolby Vision and vice versa. So, if your TV only supports Dolby Vision, choosing the HDR option might not provide the proper image to the screen. As a result, the image will appear dark.
All you need to do is choose the correct HDR format from the ‘Dynamic range and color format’ menu that your TV supports.
For example, if your TV only supports Dolby vision, you may select it from the other options in the ‘Dynamic range and color format’ menu.
Cause #4: Wrong TV Display Settings
Sometimes, the issue might not come from the Chromecast but from the TV itself. This can appear in a couple of ways.
You may have your TV brightness all the way down to the point that every image, not just the Chromecast, appears too faint.
Another possible cause could be the TV’s image mode, which may be set for either a single port or the entire TV.
For example, many TVs feature cinematic presets, which often cause the picture to be much darker.
Read more: Chromecast Pink Screen
Most, if not all, TVs have an option to adjust the overall brightness of the display, so check your TV’s display settings for that option. Some TVs feature a more tailored approach and enable you to adjust a certain preset.
For example, if you have the cinematic preset option chosen, you may be able to modify it to be a bit brighter. You can even create a custom preset of your own.
If the preset customization option isn’t available, you can select a ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ preset, which strikes a good balance in most cases.
Reboot the Chromecast
Often, an easy solution is to simply restart your Chromecast device.
- To do this, open the Google Home App, Touch and hold the device’s title, tap settings, more settings then reboot.
- Alternatively, you can simply unplug the Chromecast for at least 60 seconds which will reboot the Chromecast.
Clear the cache
It would also help to try clearing the cache of your Chromecast.
To clear the cache on Chromecast with Google TV, you need to follow these simple steps:
- Go to your profile icon and select Settings, then System, then Storage, then Internal shared, storage then Cached data. Select “Clear cached data for all apps,” then click Ok
Power through the mains not the USB
If you are currently powering the Chromecast via the USB port on your TV, try powering your Chromecast using the mains port instead using the USB to mains adapter that comes with the Chromecast. The issue is that the USB port might not be delivering enough power to your Chromecast.
Factory reset the Chromecast.
As a last resort, you can also try factory resetting the Chromecast.
While the device is plugged into the TV, hold down the power button for around 25 seconds. The device would flash red, then white. Once it flashes white and your TV goes blank, release the button.
Read more: Chromecast no video on Youtube
It can be rather frustrating to excitedly connect your Chromecast to your TV only to find the image is too dim and barely even visible. The good news is that it’s likely just a display setting issue.
The cause might stem from the Chromecast settings or the TV settings. In any case, it’s nothing you can’t fix yourself!