Many Home Theater enthusiasts, like myself, like to watch movies in a dark room. There’s nothing wrong with that; science even says it won’t hurt your eyesight, despite what your parents may have told you. But when you watch TV in the dark, you might want the picture to be a bit brighter than normal for both ambience and acuity.

If your picture seems too dark, whether it’s in a dark or well-lit room, there are some things you can do to brighten it without going too far and diminishing the display and/or scorching your pupils. And here they are:

1. If the set’s Picture mode is set to Cinema or Custom, the screen may become too dark. You can try setting it to Standard or Vivid, although the latter may make the picture a bit too bright for some. Play around with the settings to see what’s most comfortable to you. But I would be amiss if I didn’t note here that most videophiles prefer Cinema Mode, which tends to best simulate a movie theater display.

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2. If the screen is still dark after the picture quality mode is changed, you can also manually change the Brightness setting. Go into the Brightness setting and turn the Brightness number up until the picture seems better to you. Again, be careful that you don’t make it too bright or else you will begin losing picture detail.

3. If the TV’s Power Saving setting is set to Low or High, the picture could become dark. Go to your Power Saving setting and turn it to Normal.

4. Some TVs have a Light Sensor; the picture will become brighter or lower depending on room lighting conditions. If you turn off the Light Sensor’s Automatic Brightness Control, it may increase picture brightness.

5. View programming from a different source, such as a Blu-ray player, to see if the issue is being caused by the device providing the signal to the TV.

6. Check if the picture seems dark on each HDMI port. To determine this, simply connect your main video source (streaming player, cable box, etc.) to different HDMI ports in the TV. You might find one HDMI port is displaying a darker picture than another.

7. If you have a projection TV, consider replacing the lamp. A dim or dark picture may be an indication that it’s time to buy a new one.

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