TV Answer Man, I like HBO’s House of the Dragon show but the scenes are sometimes so dark that I can barely tell what’s going on. I had the same problem with The Rings of Power on Amazon. Why do they do this? Is there any way to make it better? — Samantha, Lafayette, Louisiana.
Samantha, you are not alone. Many House of the Dragon fans have complained on social media that the show’s picture is too dark and that it’s nearly impossible to discern certain (and vital) details such as facial expressions and body movements. HBO says the dark scenes in House of the Dragon are the creator’s choice, which means it’s how the director wants it. But that doesn’t make it any better for the poor viewer who just wants to know what’s going on. (The House of the Dragon, a prequel to Game of Thrones, airs on HBO every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.)
The recent Amazon fantasy show, The Rings of Power, elicited similar complaints that scenes were often too dark to follow the action.
While you can’t break in the HBO or Amazon production rooms and reedit the shows, there are some steps you can take to shed some light on the problem, so to speak.
1. If the TV’s Picture mode is set to Cinema or Custom, the screen may become dark. If the screen is still dark after the picture quality mode is changed, change the setting Backlight, Picture, Brightness and adjust the brightness to your taste. (The Vivid picture mode usually offers the brightest image, but you may lose some detail with this mode.)
2. If the TV’s Power Saving setting is set to Low or High, the screen sometimes becomes dark. Click your TV’s Settings and set the Power Saving setting to Normal, and then check whether the problem is resolved.
3. Some TVs have a Light Sensor; the picture will become brighter or lower depending on room lighting conditions. Turning off the Automatic Brightness Control may increase picture brightness.
4. Try viewing the TV from a different source, such as a DVD player, to see if the issue is being caused by the device providing the signal to the TV. If the DVD player looks fine, consider replacing the first source with another device.
5. If it is a projection TV, consider replacing the lamp. For a projection TVs, a dim or dark picture may be an indication that the lamp needs to be replaced. Refer to the owner’s manual for more information about replacing the lamp.
And if any of those steps don’t work, the TV maker LG suggests re-setting the TV to factory settings.
Samantha, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann