Are TCL Roku TV pictures too dark? How to fix

So, you are using your TCL Roku TV and suddenly notice that the pictures are too dark. Some users have also noted that the device is dim to the point of a black screen.

That means you cannot see any grey or small text. The issue can even happen without touching your TV’s settings.

In other scenarios, the screen looks fine. But pictures become too dark once you turn on Live TV or any streaming apps.

So, what causes the problem, and how do you fix picture issues on your TCL Roku TV?

TCL Roku TV pictures are too dark, probably because you have not set the correct picture mode or your TV’s brightness level is too low or zero.

The issue could also stem from captions. When you turn on captions, the screen lightens. When you turn them off, it dims. In such a case, local dimming and contrast settings are inaccurate.

Other reasons why pictures are too dark include the following:

  • The lighting level in your room has changed.
  • Your TV has a hardware issue affecting its brightness.
  • Your device’s software is out-of-date.

You might also notice the problem after updating your TCL Roku TV software.

How to fix the dark picture on TCL Roku TV

If you are seeing darker images like the one below shared by Reddit user, u/kenyonator1, follow these steps to restore picture quality on TCL Roku TV:

Dark picture on TCL Roku TV

1. Restart your TCL Roku TV

You may see a dark picture if your device has a memory leak or has downloaded new updates. In that case, restart your TV to increase memory and apply the latest updates.

  • Press the Home button on your remote.
  • Select Settings, then System – Power – System Restart.
  • Select Restart.
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Confirm your selection and wait for the TV to restart for a few minutes. Once done, see whether the picture quality has improved.

You can also power cycle the device if you see dark and blurry images.

  • Unplug the TV from the wall outlet.
  • Give it one minute.
  • After one minute, plug it back into the power outlet.

Once the TV turns ON, open the video to see if it has fixed the problem.

You can reset your TCL Roku TV with or without using a remote. Knowing how to reset the TV will help you solve many issues, including picture quality and buffering.

2. Adjust your TV’s brightness

You can make pictures brighter on TCL Roku TV by adjusting the TV’s brightness. Generally, if the lighting in your room changes, your TV’s brightness will also change and affect the picture quality.

You should, therefore, lower the brightness in a darker and improve it in a brighter room.

  • Press the Home button on your remote to go to the home screen.
  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Select TV Picture Settings.

You can now adjust the brightness to conform to the lights in your room.

3. Adjust or disable local dimming

Local dimming improves the contract and performance of the TCL Roku TV. The setting will dim parts of the screen that should be dark and alter parts that should be bright.

Although it helps to achieve more realistic blacks and sharper images, it can also cause dark pictures if the settings are incorrect.

  • Play the video.
  • Press the asterisk (*) button on your remote.
  • Once the Options menu opens, scroll and select Advanced Picture Settings.
  • Find Local Dimming.
At this point, you can choose an effect you want to see on your TV using your remote’s left and right buttons. Although the options provided are OFF, LOW, MEDIUM and HIGH, choose OFF to turn off Local dimming. That way, each zone will not individually control the backlight.

4. Change the picture mode setting

Picture modes on TCL TVs
Picture mode settings on TCL

If the picture mode setting in your TCL Roku TV is not correct, you will see dark images on your screen.

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But your device has several picture mode settings for different occasions.

  • Movie – for darker rooms while viewing films.
  • Sports – for viewing sports events.
  • Vivid – for bright rooms.
  • Normal – for daily viewing in all rooms.

Therefore, try switching between the four modes to see if you can correct the issue. To change picture mode:

  • Open the video producing a dark picture.
  • Press the asterisk (*) button on your remote.
  • Go to the Advanced Picture settings menu.

You can now change the picture mode to Movie to see if it corrects the darkness.

5. Update TCL Roku TV software

Sometimes, when pictures are so dark on TCL TV, an outdated OS could be the cause. The same can happen if the device has downloaded the latest updates, but you have not restarted it.

However, you can update TCL Roku TV software by doing the following:

  • Go to the Home screen using the remote.
  • Select Settings, then SystemSystem Update.
  • Select Check Now.
  • Press Update now if an update is available.

After downloading the updates, restart your TV to install and apply the updates.

Why is the TCL Roku TV dark on one side?

You may have encountered an issue with your TCL Roku TV whereby the screen is dark on one side.

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Unfortunately, a dark screen on one side indicates a hardware problem. It is more prevalent if there is a clear line of demarcation between the right and left half. That means your screen is defective or the TCON board is faulty.

Also, if you do not see a boundary line, but one side is dark compared to the other, the LED strips inside the display screen that provide the backlight for the picture are defective. To confirm this:

  • Power on your TV.
  • Use a flashlight and point the light at an angle on the screen.
  • A shadow of the picture will appear on the screen.

Once you see a shadow, the panel works well, but the backlight is not. But if you do not see the shadow, the TCON board is defective, or the backlight’s power supply has failed.

You can fix this by contacting your TV manufacturer or enlisting a professional’s services to check for hardware issues.


If pictures on your TCL Roku TV are too dark, you can fix the problem using different methods. First, restart or power cycle your device and try again.

Alternatively, adjust your TV’s brightness and disable local dimming. You will also have to change the picture mode setting or update your TV’s software to fix the issue.

However, if your TCL TV is dark on one side, you have a hardware problem. If you’ve got a warranty, send the TV back to the seller. If not, find a good repair service near you.

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