Why Is Your TV Screen Darker Than Usual?(+Solutions)

Is the TV a bit darker than normal? Don’t worry. This is a problem that many TV owners run into. The good news is that it is a problem that can be fixed fairly easily. You just need to know why it is happening. So, why is your TV screen darker than usual?

There are several reasons why a TV screen may be darker than usual. Some TVs have an ambient light setting that will automatically darken the TV in certain situations. In other cases, you may have played about with the settings on the TV and selected ‘Cinema’ mode or something similar. The TV has rarely been damaged permanently.

Let’s go into a bit of depth on this. We are sure that some people are itching to know how to deal with the problem. However, before we get there, we need to work out why it is happening in the first place. 

Why Is Your TV Screen Darker Than Usual?

As we said, there are a few reasons why your TV screen can be darker than normal.

In many cases, some of these reasons only apply to specific TV models.

Your TV Has a Lighting Sensor

Some TVs, particularly Samsung ones, have a lighting sensor built into them.

As the room gets darker, the TV will get darker.

This is supposed to make watching TV in darker settings much more comfortable.

You Changed The Brightness Settings On Your TV

In some cases, the brightness settings of your TV will have changed.

If you have made the TV brightness too dark, then the TV is just going to be too dark too.

You Have Switched Picture Modes On Your TV

Picture modes change multiple settings at once. Most TVs have picture modes nowadays.

Things like ‘Cinema’ mode on your TV will change the screen to be a bit darker than normal.

The HDMI Cable Is Damaged

While rare, a damaged HDMI cable can cause a screen to be darker than normal.

You will know this is the case if you swap out the cable, or you switch devices and the TV is a normal brightness.

The TV Is Damaged

This is rarer nowadays. However, if your TV has a backlight, this could have died or not be as bright as normal.

Most TVs nowadays are not lit with LED backlights, though. It is only the older LCD panels.

Why Is Your TV Dark On One Side/Bottom?

If your TV is only dark on one side of the TV, then the problem is a bit more terminal.

There are no settings on a TV that could result on the TV being darker in some areas than others.

This means that there is likely to be a hardware fault.

If you are lucky, then the problem is going to be with the HDMI cable.

Once you have swapped that out, then everything should be fantastic again.

If you aren’t quite so lucky, then there is a problem with the actual TV.

This could be due to a faulty board, faulty backlights, etc.

In both cases, this problem is going to be harder and a lot more expensive to resolve.

How To Fix a Dark Screen on a TV?

Assuming the whole of your TV screen is darker, there are a few things that you can do.

We will go from the least invasive to the most invasive methods here. Work your way up the scale! 

You will need to consult the manual for your TV to follow these instructions.

However, we are fairly confident that you will be able to find the manual for your TV online. 

Check HDMI Cable

The first step is to check your HDMI cable. Swap it out and see if it helps.

You may also want to change the devices plugged into the TV.

In some cases, the device rather than the TV could be the problem.

Turn Off Automatic Brightness Adjustment

If your TV is getting darker with the lights off, then there are likely going to be sensors in your TV that will be detecting this.

You need to switch those settings off.

How you do this will vary on your TV model (hence the need to check the manual).

However, the setting will likely be buried somewhere in the ‘Menu’. 

Change Picture Settings

If swapping the HDMI cable out doesn’t work, then you will want to change picture settings.

Most modern TVs will have picture settings.

They enable you to change a whole host of different settings at once to suit whatever you are doing with your TV.

For example, there will be settings for movies, TV shows, and gaming.

Generally speaking, the movie option is going to make the screen darker.

Once you have found the picture settings, flick between modes and see if that helps.

Change Brightness

If the screen is still too dark, then look for those brightness settings. Turn them up!

Take Your TV In For Repair 

If your TV still isn’t working quite as well as it should be, your TV may need to be repaired. The backlight could have gone.

How to Fix Dark Areas On a TV? (Side/Bottom)

As we said, this is a trickier problem to fix. If it isn’t your HDMI cable that is the problem, then chances are it is the TV.

If the TV is darker in some areas than others, then your TV is likely damaged.

This may need fixing or, in rare cases, the TV may even need replacing.


If your TV is darker than usual, it is normally a problem that can be resolved by tinkering about with the brightness settings on your TV.

In rare cases, your TV may be broken.

However, since it is rare for TVs to be lit with an LED backlight nowadays, this is becoming less and less of an issue.

If your TV is dark in some areas, then your TV may be broken and will need a repair or replacement.