Distortion and color fading issues in VLC: Solution

There is no doubt that VLC is currently the most popular and used media player. However, this does not mean that it is exempt from possible errors in certain circumstances. One of these is the appearance of problems of distortion and loss of color intensity when playing videos.

These problems usually arise due to a problem with our graphics card configuration or incorrect video output settings, which causes the colors to appear incorrect and fade. At the same time the different black levels of the videos can appear somewhat blurred and the dark areas of the image can appear more grayish than black.

Distortion and color fading issues in VLC: Solution

Perhaps it is somewhat complicated for us to realize all this if we have never compared how we see it in our system, with any other. This is why it can be a good option to try more than one player besides VLC, like Windows Media Player for example, and compare the still image of one with that of the other.

Possible causes of loss of color intensity

Given the appearance of a problem like this, we may wonder what are the causes that cause this error with colors when using VLC. It really is difficult to focus on a specific cause since the reasons can be several, among which we can mention the following:

  • Incorrect color settings on the graphics card – There are generally two color gamut options for graphics cards: full (0-255) and limited (16-235). Obviously, Full is to help reproduce the full color of the video and shows all ranges of color as much as possible. If your color setting is Limited, you will surely experience some color fading issue.
  • VLC is not configured correctly – This media player has various settings for color reproduction. By combining different options, you will have different content playback experiences. However, if we are not familiar we will not know how to configure them correctly, which can cause a bad configuration to affect the color representation.
  • Outdated or damaged drivers : Another cause that can cause these loss of intensity problems when using VLC is that the problem is caused by having video drivers that are outdated or damaged.

Beyond the reasons that may have been the cause of this problem, the truth is that we are going to want to solve it as soon as possible, to enjoy our videos with their natural colors again, so we are going to see how we can solve it.

Troubleshooting steps

Next, we are going to see different actions that we can carry out to eliminate the problems of distortion and loss of color intensity when using VLC.

Adjust chart color settings

First of all, a recommendation to adjust the intensity of colors and black levels in VLC Media Player. In case this does not work, we must make an adjustment in the color configuration of our graph, which varies according to the manufacturer.

On NVIDIA graphics

The first thing we will do is right-click on the system desktop and go to the NVIDIA Control Panel.

To do this, we right-click on the desktop and select NVIDIA Control Panel. Later we go to the Video section and “Adjust video color settings”. We change to “With NVIDIA settings” if the option is not enabled. Later we switch to the “Advanced” tab. Here, in the Dynamic Range menu, we select Full (0-255) instead of Limited (16-235). Finally, we click Apply to save the changes.

Panel de control de NVIDIA ajustar configuración del color

On Intel graphics cards

In the event that we use an Intel graphics card, we must open its control panel from the search box of the Start menu.

Once open we go to the video section. Here, at the top left, click on Color Enhancement. Now on the right side, in the Input Range section, click Use Driver Settings and select Full Range (0-255) instead of Limited Range (16-235). Once this is done, we click Apply to save the changes.

Panel de control de Intel Rango completo

On AMD cards

If our computer has an AMD graphics card, the first thing to do is access the control panel through the Start menu search engine.

Once in the control panel, click on the Preferences section. Then we click on Additional Radeon Settings. Here we click on the My digital flat screens section. Now in the Color Depth section, we open the Preferred Color Depth dropdown menu and select 8 .

Change corresponding settings in VLC

Once we have made these simple changes, we may see a noticeable difference when it comes to playing videos in VLC. With everything and with it, the developers of the aforementioned free program, VideoLan, at the same time suggest that users make other changes to the software itself in the event that what was mentioned above is not entirely effective.

Change video output

We open our VLC player and click on the Tools tab, at the top and within the menu we click on Preferences. On the new screen, click on the Video section. Here within the Video Preferences, in the output section we display the menu and select DirectX Video Output (DirectDraw) and finally click Save, so that the changes made are saved correctly.

Salida de vídeo DirectX en VLC

In case this doesn’t fix it, we can also uncheck the “Use YUV -> RGB hardware conversions” box in the section called “DirectX” a little further down.

Change video filters

From the VLC main menu, click on the Tools and Preferences tab. Next, at the bottom we see the Show settings section and here we mark Everything. Now in the right column, we click on Video and expand the Filters section. Here, we click on “Postproc” and set the “post-process” quality to 6. Then we click on SW Scale and in scaling mode we choose “Lanczos”. Finally, we save the changes and restart the player.

Filtros de escalado de vídeo en VLC

Disable hardware accelerated decoding

Hardware acceleration mode is set to help play high-resolution video much more smoothly, but in practice, turning on hardware acceleration will cause a color tone shift.

So, disable VLC’s hardware accelerated decoding by clicking Tools and going to the Preferences section. Later we select Input / Codecs. Here we pull down the Hardware Accelerated Decoding menu and select Disable .

Deshabilitar la aceleración por hardware en VLC

Update drivers

If none of the above has worked, the problem may be related to outdated or bad drivers, so it is convenient that we update them to the latest version available.

To do this, press the keyboard shortcut “Windows + X” to access the Device Manager. From here, we display the Display Adapters section. We right-click on our graphics card and click “Update Driver” , allowing it to automatically search for the latest version available.

Actualizar controlador gráfica Intel

We can also choose to update it manually, downloading the drivers from the NVIDIA page or from the AMD website , depending on our case. Later we update the device again, but in this case we choose the option “Browse my PC for drivers”. Then we select the downloaded drivers and let them update.