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TV Looks Washed Out (Causes and Fixes): Complete Guide

I recently had an issue with my TV where it looked washed out, like the colors were muted and nothing was as vibrant as it should be. After some digging, I realized this was a common issue for many people. In this post, I’m going to share all the causes and fixes I’ve discovered, along with some helpful tips and tricks. I’ll also share the exact solution I used to get my TV back to looking great.

Possible CausesDescription
Erroneous TV SettingsDefault TV settings, particularly backlight, contrast, and brightness options, may need adjustment to suit your watching conditions. Some game consoles and media streamers require special video settings.
Misusing HDR OptionsWatching non-HDR content using HDR settings or watching an HDR TV in a highly bright environment can lead to poor image processing and faded picture.
Wrong Viewing AngleLCD screens have limiting viewing angles; watching from the wrong angle may cause the picture to appear washed out.
Other Reasons– Out-of-date TV firmware<br>- Instability of power source<br>- Watching HD content using UHD settings<br>- Poor connection between TV and output device
Fixes for Washed-Out Display
Check the SettingsAdjust light levels, contrast, brightness, color temperature, luminance, sharpness, and other options in your TV’s picture settings. Switch between different picture modes, such as natural and dynamic mode, to see if it fixes the color issues.
Set up the Connected DeviceAdjust lighting, particularly contrast and brightness, in the color settings of the output device connected to your TV.
Pick the Suitable Color SpaceMake sure the color space of your HDR TV is set to auto instead of native to get the best display result.
Choose the Right EnvironmentWatch HDR content in a moderate to low brightness room, or switch to SDR settings if you want to watch the TV in a bright space.
Perform a ResetPerform a soft reset by unplugging the TV for at least 60 seconds, or do a factory reset to restore the TV’s settings to default.
Resort to ServicingIf all other solutions fail, contact your TV company’s support service for maintenance, or look for reputable TV repair services near you.

Possible Causes of Dull TV Picture

Many reasons can stand behind the problem when your TV looks washed out.

  1. Erroneous TV Settings

You might think that the default TV settings are suitable for most watching environments, yet this isn’t always true.

Default TV settings, especially backlight, contrast, and brightness options in many cases, need to be adjusted to suit your watching condition. For example, some game consoles and media streamers need special video settings.

  1. Misusing HDR Options

If you have an HDR-supported TV, you may make two common mistakes, causing a faded picture.

The first is watching non-HDR content using HDR settings, which leads to poor image processing.

The second is watching the TV in a highly bright environment, which isn’t the optimal condition for watching an HDR TV.

  1. Watching LCD Screen From the Wrong Angle

For an LCD screen, the problem sometimes can be the watching angle you use because this type of screen is known for its limiting watching angles.

Other Reasons Might Be:

  • Out-of-date TV firmware 
  • Instability of power source
  • Watching HD content using UHD (ultra-high definition) settings
  • Poor connection between TV and an output device

How to Fix a Washed-Out Display

There are a few solutions to get back the desired screen colors; here they are:

  1. Check the Settings

The picture settings of the TV can be the place to get the problem solved. Grab the remote control. Press the menu and go to “Display” or “Picture” or any similar option. If you can’t find an option related to the picture, check the manual for help.

When reaching the picture’s settings, make adjustments to light levels. Start at contrast and brightness. If you still need more modifications, go for additional options like white and black levels. Set the color temperature to warm as well.

In addition, you may also need to check luminance, sharpness, and the other remaining options.

Further, If your TV has advanced picture modes like natural mode and dynamic mode, and so on, try to switch between them. Switching from one mode to the other might fix the color issues.

  1. Set up the Connected Device

Sometimes colors only fade up when you connect an external device to the TV. In those cases, you need to check the output device settings.

To do so, use the main menu of the linked device, and go to colors settings. If you can’t reach these settings, check the device manual to get an idea about where they’re.

Finally, once you’re in the picture settings, you’ll mainly need to adjust lighting, particularly contrast and brightness.

  1. Pick the Suitable Color Space

Your HDR TV might look washed out because you’re choosing the wrong color space option. Make sure that the color space of your HDR TV is set to auto instead of native to get the best display result.

Auto color space option in HDR works on customizing the gamut of the colors automatically. As a result, TV displaying capabilities and the format of the shown content work in harmony with no display issues 

  1. Choose the Right Watching Environment

As we said, the picture may be faded because your TV room is overly bright. Watching HRD content in a bright environment may result in an awful color display.

So, watch HRD in a moderate to low brightness room to get the best out of an HDR TV.

Alternatively, switch to SDR settings if you want to watch the TV in a bright space.

  1. Perform a Reset

If you tried to adjust color settings with no notable result, resetting the device settings may be the solution.

But be cautious when resetting because a factory reset will cancel all the changes in settings you’ve applied to the TV. Before doing a factory reset, try doing a soft reset which is where you simply unplug the TV from the wall and wait for at least 60 seconds.

To factory reset your TV settings, go to the menu and look up the reset option. If you can’t easily find this option, check the manual.

  1. Resort to Servicing

If you tried all the possible fixes and the picture is still washed out, servicing might be the only resort. Reach out to your TV company’s support service and ask for maintenance.

Suppose your device doesn’t have a local maintenance services provider. In that case, it may be a good idea to search for reputable TV repairs around you and request their services.

The Takeaway

By reading this TV looks washed out guide, you know that the solution to a washed-out TV is often in adjusting color settings. It may be in enhancing the watching environment as well. Other times it goes beyond those.

Whatever your TV condition is, we hope this guide has provided you with a clear idea about the causes and possible solutions.

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