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How To Fix Washed Out Colors Over HDMI On Windows 10

If you use VLC player to watch videos on your PC or a monitor connected via HDMI, chances are that you’re seeing washed out colors. Given VLC player is one of the best media players available, this is uncharacteristic of the app. The good news is, it’s an easy fix and VLC isn’t to blame. It’s the fact that you’re using HDMI and your on-board graphics card that have something to do with it.

Access Graphics Panel

In order to fix washed out colors on your display, you need to change the colors that your on-board graphics card displays. Your on-board graphics card, whether it’s an Intel chip, or an Nvidia or AMD one, comes with its own control panel. This is where you will find the color settings.

To access the control panel for your graphics card, right-click on an empty area on your desktop. From the context menu, go to the settings, or control panel for your respective graphics card. Make sure you do not accidentally go to the dedicated GPU control panel because you won’t find the settings that you need to in it.

Enable Full Range RGB

The trick is to figure out how to enable full range RGB in the control panel of your graphics card. The control panel will be different for Intel, Nvidia, and AMD cards so this can get a little tricky.

Intel Graphics Card

In the Intel Graphics Settings panel, go to Video>Color Enhancement. Under Standard color correction, select ‘Application settings’.

Next, under Input Range, select Use driver settings, and select ‘Full Range’.

Nvidia Graphics Card

If your on-board graphics card is an Nvidia chip, open the Nvidia Control Panel. Look for, and expand the Video section of settings in the column on the left. Select ‘Adjust video color settings’. Under the ‘How do you make color adjustments’ section, go to the Advanced tab, and select dynamic range Full (0-255).

You should also look under the Display section. The resolution that is set should have ‘Full’ selected under output dynamic range.

AMD Graphics Card

Open the AMD control center and go to Preferences>Radeon Additional Settings>My Digital Flat Panels.  Here you will see a section called ‘Color depth’. In this section, there’s a dropdown called Preferred color depth. Open it, and select 8 from the options.

If you see an option for Pixel Format, make sure it is set to RGB 4:4:4 Pixel Format PC Standard (Full RGB). These settings are done on a per-display basis.

If your graphics card and your processor are exceptionally old, and we’re talking something like 5 or 7 years old, it is possible that these settings may not be available. Check if your processor and graphics card support full range colors if you’re unable to find the settings.

1 Comment

  1. Wow! I have a new SW321C monitor from BenQ. When I hooked it up I tried to use the USB-C access point (the preferred access point) my desktop wouldn’t load the driver or profile. It appears the desktop doesn’t have the latest Gen3 PCI port or Thunderbolt3 either.
    I have to use the HDMI access port which works. To get the largest area of the color range, I needed the full color range setting to be set for the “full range”.
    I searched and searched on my machine to find the color range setting without success.
    Your explanation showed me how to do it.
    Thank you.

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