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Q: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   7 Comments )
Subject: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
Category: Computers
Asked by: perplexed-ga
List Price: $30.00
Posted: 14 Jan 2005 11:44 PST
Expires: 13 Feb 2005 11:44 PST
Question ID: 457258
When I play my DVD (in DVD+RW format) on my TV the picture is fine.
But when I play it on my PC the picture is extremely dark, even with
monitor brightnes at maximum. This happens regardless of the program
it is played on, e.g. PowerDVD or MS MediaPlayer or VideoExplosion etc
(these appear to have no brightness control) When trying to convert my
VHS video collection to DVD I encounter the same 'very dark picture'
problem. Whats happening? whats the cure?

Request for Question Clarification by endo-ga on 15 Jan 2005 09:22 PST

I've noticed the same thing on another PC, I've found that if you go
the PowerDVD options, you can change the brightness or the video
display type (sorry I don't have PowerDVD on this computer to give you
exact instructions). Once you change the option in PowerDVD the image
should be bright enough.

Please let me know how it works out.


Request for Question Clarification by endo-ga on 15 Jan 2005 13:58 PST

Here is how to change the brightness in PowerDVD:

Start PowerDVD, right click on the player, choose configuration, then
video. Under color control, use profile, and select "bright".

Let me know if you have any luck with that.

Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
Answered By: siliconsamurai-ga on 29 Jan 2005 14:30 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi, thanks for bringing your question to

You have asked a two part question and they are certainly closely related.

What?s happening?

In video terms what you are talking about is called Gamma. For
example, on PC games which are too dark you want to look for the
option menu and alter the gamma setting.

In your case you are up against a basic incompatibility between TV and
computer monitors. Monitors use a linear gamma while TV uses a
nonlinear gamma.

Gamma is similar to, but not the same thing as brightness.

Gamma is a measure of the brightness of midtone values produced by the
monitor. A higher gamma value yields an overall darker image. Windows
systems use a higher gamma value than Mac OS systems, with the result
that the same image is noticeably darker on a Windows system than on a
Mac OS system.

If you were to try and play your DVDs on a Macintosh system I bet they
would be significantly brighter.

What?s the cure?

Unfortunately the cure will probably cost you some money but perhaps
not. If you are producing DVDs then the only real fix is to purchase
and use DVD recorder software which allows you to adjust the
brightness as well as the gamma setting, then try a few sample
settings and see which works best on a PC.

By the way, you say that Media Player doesn?t appear to have a
brightness control. There is actually a pretty sophisticated one but
it is very well hidden. Have you tried the View, Enhancements, Video
Settings pull down menu?

This lets you adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, and color hue
on the initial menu page ? it also has a lot of other sophisticated
adjustments in additional screens. This doesn?t work on everything but
it can certainly brighten some of my video so much that it is
completely washed out, or darken it so much it is completely

Without having a sample of your disk in hand I can?t really trouble
shoot the problem any further but if altering the brightness in your
player doesn?t help then you need a different DVD authoring program.

If you are only interested in a few current DVDs and adjusting Media
Player as I described above doesn?t work then download the AGS gamma
corrector and give the free trial software a try.

Google search terms: change dvd gamma on

Google search terms: gamma correction

If you are of a technical bent, you might try the new Google beta
search site

Search term: gamma correction DVD


Search term: DVD recording

For an explanation of gamma and gamma correction see:


Thank you again for turning to Answers.Google for help. I hope that
adjusting Media Play as outlined above fixes the problem. If not, then
you will almost certainly need to either readjust your DVD recorder
software or install more sophisticated software to compensate for the
difference between TV and PC gamma reproduction.
perplexed-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
thanks siliconsamurai-ga, i'm pretty sure thats going to solve the
problem. Unfortunately, right now i'm having problems with
videoexplosion getting ANY picture -dark or bright and havnt been able
to test your advice -hence delay. But ti works perfectly on PowerDVD
so i'm ful of hope!

Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: topbanana-ga on 14 Jan 2005 11:52 PST
Have you tried adjusting the brightness of your monitor, or the
brightness of the output from your video player (or maybe even both?).
If you're not able to do the latter due to software constraints, I'd
recommend using the excellent vplayer to do so. If however, you've
tried both of the above I can only suggest you have a poorly factory
calibrated (or even faulty) monitor - I've had one or two in my time
and there really is nothing you can do to improve it.
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: perplexed-ga on 14 Jan 2005 11:57 PST
thanks for the thoughts. No, all commercial DVDs (films etc) play
perfectly on the PC. The monitor brightness is ok for all other
purposes and is in fact at maximum
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: winsplit01-ga on 14 Jan 2005 12:03 PST
Well many a times the problem is with the contrast and not the
brightness control. Have you tried adjusting the contrast control?
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: nlnvcd-ga on 14 Jan 2005 12:28 PST
1.) what is the video card
2.) what programs are you using to covert to mpg style
3.) how old is your monitor
4.) What OS, burning software using

one reason i can think of is that your monitor might be a little bit
old therefore you were not able to read it correctly. but once you
answer these question..the answer will be a little bit easier to
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: perplexed-ga on 14 Jan 2005 14:58 PST
tried contrast but no success.

Video card is Radion 9200 VIVO
Monitor is Philips, about 4yrs old -but commercial videos play
perfectly. Also, pictures from my video capture are dark, that is
-even befor being saved in digital
OS is windowXP and I am trying to use use Video Explosion capture and
editing, -but pictures too dark (sound track fine)editing
thanks for interest and effort to help
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: topbanana-ga on 15 Jan 2005 07:30 PST
Right click on the desktop, select properties, then the settings tab,
then the advanced button. Open up your DVD playing software and let
the dvd run. Then back in the monitor settings window you just opened,
select the 'overlay' tab (a warning message may pop up in which case
just ok it). Then adjust the overlay settings accordingly to suit your
Subject: Re: Why DVD plays well on TV but very dark on pc
From: anotherbrian-ga on 16 Jan 2005 05:13 PST
Follow topbanana-ga's instructions and adjust the gamma setting.

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