Why is Hulu so dark?

It looks like everything was filmed in a dimly lit cave. Sometimes I feel like I’m rewatching Tim Burton’s “Batman”. Is there any way to fix it? Is there another free streaming service with a better quality picture?

Just wanted to post that I’ve noticed this too. Hell, 30 Rock is really, really dark on Hulu.

I’ve noticed some people like to have the brightness on their monitor turned really low. Perhaps this is easier on the eye when wordprocessing or web surfing or whatever (when you are often looking at a very contrasty screen, with a lot of black on white, or similar), but it might not be so good for TV. It may be that most web video is set extra bright to compensate for this, but perhaps the shows on Hulu are set as they would be for a normal TV (which is what they were made for, after all) which would normally have a higher brightness setting.

Why not just turn up the monitor’s brightness while watching Hulu? You can always turn it back down again when you go to do other stuff.

I admit, this is a WAG, but it seems plausible.

I don’t know if njtt explanation is correct, but I do know that most video cards have separate brightness and contrast settings for videos. Unfortunately, they do not tend to work on Flash videos.

I do know that I tend to keep my monitor darker than most people, and I have not run into the problem on Hulu. But I don’t watch those particular shows.

Are you using a flat-panel display? Odds are that’s your culprit, for two reasons. The first is that they default to a general setting which isn’t very bright. Most have a “movie mode” which will up the brightness so you can watch a movie. On mine it takes about three button pushes on the front panel.

The second reason flat panels seem darker, is because even the blacks aren’t really black. The ability of a LCD to shutter out the backlight and go completely dark is limited in a way plasma and CRT screens aren’t. This absence of true black causes the brighter colors to stand out less when compared to a glowing black versus a true black. The lack of contrast makes the whole thing seem darker unless you turn the brightness way up, which leads to more bleed through and washes everything out.


That’s what I’ve been doing. I was just hoping there was some other way that was less annoying.

I watch it on my MacBook with the brightness as high as it goes, and the picture still seems muddy.

Yeah some of the videos do look a bit dark. I have my brightness and contrast each set to 75/100 and all of my Blu-rays look great, but I had to up the settings to 100/100 before they looked right on 30 Rock. Some of the videos look fine however, so I guess it might just be how each video was encoded.

Hi folks,
I just googled ‘why is 30 rock so dark’ and ended up here. I’ve got a clue for y’all. It’s not just HULU, it is broadcast that way by Comcast Cable at least. I have a projection DLP TV that shows most programs in vivid brightness, with color clarity that rivals the best TV’s out there, but 30 Rock is absolutely DULL!!! DIM!!! DARK!!! It drives me insane!
So, you have helped me understand that it’s not just me nor my TV. I hope I’ve helped you understand that it’s not just HULU.


I’ve noticed the same about ‘30 Rock’ on my computer & my old ‘regular’ living room TV (my smaller room ‘regular’ TV shows it brighter). Thanks!

I blame KableTown.

The K is for komplaining about the picture quality. :slight_smile: