How To Fix Sony TV Picture Too Dark Issue

Are you experiencing a dark screen issue on your Sony TV? There are various factors that can cause this problem such as the picture settings of the TV, a power saving setting, a software glitch, or even a hardware problem. To fix this you will need to perform several troubleshooting steps.

Sony is one of the popular TV manufacturers whose Sony Bravia line of TV models are considered as one of the best in the market today. Their high end models makes use of the latest technology to deliver an outstanding visual as well as auditory experience. This makes it the perfect choice for the discerning individual who wants to have the best home cinema set up.

Why is the picture on Sony TVs so dark?

picture on Sony TVs so dark

One of the issues that you might experience with Sony TVs is when the TV screen is too dark. This might occur in a brightly lit room or even in a dark room and can usually affect your viewing experience.

Here’s what you need to do to fix the Sony TV screen dim or not bright issue.

Solution 1: Power reset your Sony TV

The first troubleshooting step you will need to perform when experiencing picture quality issues on the Sony TV screen is to restart the TV. A power reset or soft reset will usually fix issues caused by minor software glitches or bugs as it will remove any temporary corrupted data that could be causing the problem.

  • Turn off the TV using the supplied remote control.
  • Unplug the TV power cord from the power outlet and wait about 60 seconds.
  • Reconnect the TV AC power cord to the electrical outlet then and make sure to turn on the Sony Android TV.

You can also perform a soft reset using the remote control.

  • Point the remote control to the illumination LED or status LED and press and hold the POWER button of the remote control for about 5 seconds.
  • Select Restart to restart.
  • The TV should restart automatically. Wait for approximately one minute, and the TV will turn back on. If it does not reboot, press the POWER button on the remote control to turn on the TV.

Try to check if the picture quality improves.

Solution 2: Check the picture mode setting

If your Sony TV picture mode is set to Cinema or Custom, the screen may become dark. Try adjusting the picture settings of your TV and check if this fixes the problem.

  • For Google TV models: On the remote control, press the Quick Settings button, then select Display & Sound — Picture.
  • For Android TV models: Press the Quick Settings button, then select Settings — Display & Sound — Picture.
  • For other TV models: press the HOME button, then select Settings — System Settings or Display — Picture.

Try choosing these two modes:

Vivid: A picture with enhanced edges and high contrast.

Standard: Recommended for everyday use at home.

If the screen is still to dim when watching movies then try to manually increase the brightness setting of your TV.

You should also try to turn off the light sensor of your TV. If this setting is enabled the it will automatically adjust the brightness level of the screen according to the surrounding brightness. This means that if you are in a well lit room then the brightness level will increase while if you are in a dark room viewing movies then the brightness level will decrease.

If there is a problem with the light sensor then it will not be able to make the correct brightness setting automatically which is why turning this feature off usually works.

Solution 3: Change power saving to normal or off

If your Sony TV power saving feature is set to low or high then it can affect the light output of your screen causing it to become dim or dark. Turning power saving off or setting it to normal will usually fix this problem.

  • Press the HOME button on the remote control.
  • Select Settings.
  • Select Power.
  • Select Eco.
  • Select Off.

Solution 4: Try viewing the program from a different source

There’s a possibility that the program you are viewing is dark because of an issue with the source such as the DVD player, BluRay player, or a streaming device. Try using another device to view a program. If the display of your TV is not dark then the problem is most likely caused by the previous device. You will need to contact the device manufacturer for additional troubleshooting information.

Solution 5: Brighten the image for daytime viewing

If a picture issue occurs when watching TV in daytime or in a bright environment then try making manual picture adjustments to increase the screen brightness.

Turn up the backlight: Find the Backlight setting and turn it up. Take note that you will want to increase the Backlight setting, not the Brightness setting. Raising the brightness might brighten the picture a bit, but it’ll also crush shadow detail. Some TVs won’t allow you to adjust the backlight any higher in HDR mode, but others will.

Adjust local dimming: Open your picture settings and adjust with the Local Dimming option. Certain presets may dim the entire image to keep black levels as deep as possible, which is not necessary in a well-lit room.

Change the gamma setting: If your TV has a Gamma setting try it to 2.0 or lower which may help the picture appear brighter.

Change your picture preset: Try changing the picture preset to Standard picture mode. The colors won’t be as accurate, but it might counter the ambient light and make the picture look brighter. If you choose cinema mode the picture may appear dark.

Go back to SDR: If you are watching a movie in Higher Dynamic Range (HDR) mode then try switching back to Standard Dynamic Range (SDR) mode.

Solution 6: Perform a self diagnostics

Most modern LCD TVs made by Sony will have a self diagnostic mode. Try using this mode to fix the problem.

  • Press the HOME button on the remote control.
  • Select Apps — ? Help or Select ? Help depending on your Tv model.
  • Select Status & Diagnostics or Problem diagnosis.
  • Select Self diagnostics.
  • Select Start.

Solution 7: Make sure your Sony Smart TV is running on the latest software version

You should make sure that your Sony TV has the last software version installed as this will usually have several improvements as well as bug fixes that could fix the dim picture issue.

Sony Google TV models

  • On the supplied remote, press the Quick Settings button.
  • Select the Settings icon.
  • Select System → About → System software update.
  • On the supplied remote, press the Quick Settings button.
  • Select the Settings icon.
  • Select System → About → System software update. If the Automatically check for update settings is turned off, check manually if there’s an update. To check manually, select System software update with the procedure above, and then select Software update.

Sony Android TV models

  • On the supplied remote control, press the Help button (if available), otherwise press the Home button and then select Help.
  • Select Status & Diagnostics, then select System software update.
  • Check if the Automatically check for update or Automatic software download setting is set to ON. If this option is set to OFF, select Check for a system software update or Software update to manually check for an update.

Once the Sony TV is running on the latest version try checking if the dark shadows issue still occurs.

Solution 8: Factory reset your Sony TV

If the above troubleshooting steps fails to fix the problem then you should consider doing a factory reset, This step will erase all user settings and resets the TV back to factory specifications.

Navigate to the Settings app using your Sony TV buttons.

Perform any of these three steps depending on your Smart TV model.

  • Select System → About → Reset → Factory data reset → Erase everything → Yes.
  • Select Device Preferences → Reset → Factory data reset → Erase everything → Yes.
  • Select Storage & reset → Factory data reset → Erase everything → Yes.

Solution 9: Contact the nearest Sony service center

If after performing the troubleshooting steps listed above the dim screen problem persists then you should contact the Sony service center for assistance as this might already be caused by a faulty hardware component.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is the picture on my Sony TV too dim?

    This is usually caused by a picture setting issue. The brightness level might be too low, the power saving feature might be enabled, or the program coming from the connected device such as a DVD player is just too dark.

  2. Why can't I change my TV picture settings?

    This might be caused by a temporary software glitch. Restarting your TV will usually fix this problem.

  3. Why is my Sony TV Wi-Fi network status showing disconnected?

    It's possible that this is caused by an issue with the router not having an internet connection thus the wireless network is not working. It could also be due to a setting problem of your TV. Try to delete the Wi-Fi network from your TV then connect to it again.

  4. Why does my Sony TV volume keep going up?

    This might be caused by the remote control volume up button that is stuck or constantly pressed. Try removing the batteries of the remote then check if the issue still occurs. If it doesn't then the problem is most likely caused by your remote control.

  5. How do I adjust the Sony volume without the remote?

    Your Sony TV has physical volume buttons which you can use to increase or decrease the volume. You can use this to change the volume in case your remote does not work.

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Chad Buenaflor

Chad has been in the tech industry since 2000. He has a degree in Electronics Engineering and is interested in the hardware and software side of technology. Initially working for a Japanese semiconductor company as a Test Engineer for nearly 10 years, he then pursued his passion for internet technology by working for the support team of Time Warner Cable then finally joining TheDroidGuy as one of their troubleshooting and tech writers. On his free time he plays his favorite games on his PC, Xbox Series X, and Android phone. Contact me at Email

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