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Washed out colours when playing videos


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I have had this problem for since I got my Dell Vostro 1500 in Dec 2007.

Graphics card is a 8600m GT with 174.74 drivers.

The problem is, when playing almost all video's (eg Movies, TV eps, in common avi/mkv formats), the color saturation/brightness/contrast is poor. For example, in the credits of a movie, the "black" background is actually a dark grey compared to the black bars added by the media player in fullscreen mode. Similarly, what should be bright white (255,255,255) is a light shade of grey (if you want some screenshots I can add some). Videos basically seem washed out.

In the past I have worked around this by tweaking the saturation/brightness/contrast in VLC's settings, however, I would prefer to use WMP with CoreAVC for HD movie playback, as it gives smoother video. But WMP wont save color settings, and provides very few adjustments in general.

The "washed out" effect occurs with WMP, VLC (DX and OpenGL modes), and Nero Showtime (that is what I have installed). Mplayer does not seem to be affected.

I also found that in VLC, switching off the "Use hardware YUV->RGB conversions" in the directX settings will correct the problem.

This would lead me to believe that there is something messed up with the colour-space conversion process associated with the gpu or more likely its drivers.

In the fairly minimal mobile nvidia control panel, the desktop colour settings are what I assume to be default: Brightness, contrast and gamma at 50%, digital vibrance at 0, and image sharpening greyed out. The video colour settings are set to "with the video player settings".

I would really like to find a solution to this, I'll try some other drivers, although the 174.74 ones have performed flawlessly, and restarting each tiem is such a pain (same goes for registry hacks), so I would especially like to hear from anyone who has had this problem and managed to fix it, and what specific steps you took.

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