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Video display issues

Q:The video is displayed only in the top half of the screen, upside down, and also doubled.


  • Use LAV video decoder
  • In Xvid decoder configuration, force Output Colorspace to YV12.
  • Use DirectVobSub version 2.33 instead of newer versions.
  • Use Vista's default theme instead of the classic theme.

General solutions to try when the video displayed is all messed up:

  • In Media Player Classic, go to Options -> Playback -> Output -> DirectShow video, select a different video renderer.
  • Install a different version of your graphics driver.
Q:The video contains one or more weird lines

This may happen with some buggy graphics drivers (on old hardware). Update your driver.

A workaround that often helps is to disable usage of the YV12 colorspace. You can find an option for that in the settings of LAV Video Decoder. In case you are using ffdshow, then you can find the option on the Output page in ffdshow video decoder configuration.

If you (sometimes) see a single single horizontal line in the video, then that is called "tearing". See this topic for some solutions for that problem.

Q:The video plays with the wrong colors

For HDR video:

You need to use a player that is compatible with HDR video.

We recommend using the MPC-HC player from the K-Lite Codec Pack. Many other players, included Windows Media Player, are not able to correctly play HDR video.

You also need to make this settings change in MPC-HC:
MPC-HC Options > Playback > Output > Video Renderer > madVR

If you still have issues after that, then change this setting in madVR:
madVR options > devices > HDR > select "tone map HDR using pixel shaders"

You can use the "target peak nits" value to adjust the brightness. Value 100 is usually a good choice if your screen isn't HDR capable.

For normal video:

If the colors look dull or washed out, then click here for solutions for that specific problem.

If you have a very old computer:

This may happen with some buggy graphics drivers (on old hardware). Update your driver if possible.

A workaround that often helps is to disable usage of the YV12 colorspace. You can find an option for that in the settings of LAV Video Decoder. In case you are using ffdshow, then you can find the option on the Output page in ffdshow video decoder configuration.

Q:All colors look completely wrong when playing WMV files

If you have an ATi video card, this is caused by the driver trying to accelerate WMV decoding and failing. You need to disable DXVA WMV hardware acceleration.

With newer ATi drivers, this can only be done from the Catalyst Control Center:

  1. Start the Catalyst Control Center.
  2. Click "View -> Advanced View".
  3. Go to "Video -> All Settings".
  4. Scroll down to the bottom.
  5. Uncheck "Windows Media Video Acceleration".
  6. Click "Apply".
  7. Close the CCC and reboot your computer.

If you have an older ATi driver that doesn't use the Catalyst Control Center, you'll find the WMV acceleration setting in the Windows Desktop properties:

  1. Right-click the desktop and click "Properties".
  2. Click the "Settings" tab.
  3. Click the "Advanced" button.
  4. Here, find a checkbox called "WMV9 acceleration" or something like it. Uncheck it.
  5. Click OK, and reboot your computer.
Q:The video plays with black and white colors in Windows Media Player

This problem is usually caused by a bug in the graphics drivers. First try resetting all the drivers settings to their default values. If that doesn't help, then try a different version of the driver, either older or newer.

A workaround that often works:

In WMP menu go to Tools -> Options -> Performance -> Advanced. That brings up the video acceleration settings. There you should see options called "Use overlays" and "Use high quality mode". Change those settings and restart the player.

Q:Video playback is too dark on some files

Adjust the brightness. There are several ways to do that:

Graphics card

Most graphics card drivers allow you to adjust various picture properties such as Brightness, Contrast, Gamma and saturation.

You can access your graphics card control panel via:
Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced

Media Player Classic

Options > Miscellaneous > Brightness

Windows Media Player

1. In WMP, right-click on the title bar of the window or the Now Playing tab
2. In the context menu, select: View -> Enhancements -> Video Settings

Note: If you can't adjust the sliders in Video Settings, then you need to enable the option in WMP to use the video mixing rendering (VMR). To turn on VMR in WMP, do the following:

1. In WMP, right-click on the title bar of the window or the Now Playing tab
2. In the context menu, select: Tools -> Options
3. Click on the Performance tab.
4. Click on the Advanced button.
5. In the Video Acceleration area, enable Use video mixing renderer.

Q:Video playback is too bright or too dark on almost all files or the colors are all messed up

This is most likely caused by incorrect settings of your graphics card driver. Some old versions of the NVIDIA drivers are notorious for messing up their own settings.

Driver settings:

  • Go to your control panel of your graphics driver. Reset all settings to their default values. Important settings are Brightness, Contrast, Saturation and Gamma.
    You can access the graphics driver settings via: Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> Display -> Settings -> Advanced.
  • Go to your control panel of your graphics driver. Select the "Color Correction" page. Select "All" in the drop down box called "Apply color changes to:". Then click on the button called "Restore Defaults".
  • Go to your graphics card control panel. Open the "video and television" options. (You need to be in the advanced view). Select "adjust video color settings", then select "correction". Hit "do not use co lour temperature correction".
  • If resetting the settings does not help, then find a newer or an older version of the graphics drivers. Uninstall your current drivers, reboot, and install the older ones.

A possible workaround for the problem is to change the video renderer in Media Player Classic. You can find this option via: MPC Options -> Playback -> Output -> DirectShow Video

In Windows Media Player there also is an option that influences the renderer that is used. In the WMP menu go to Tools -> Options -> Performance -> Advanced. This brings up the video acceleration settings. There you can choose between 'Use overlays' and 'Use high quality mode' (VMR).

Q:I am unable to play video in full screen

If you are able to videos at their normal resolution, but not in full screen, it means something is wrong in the graphics drivers or its settings.

Updating your graphics driver should fix this problem.

Q:I have troubles displaying RealMedia files on my secondary monitor

Rename your file to .rmvb. Then MPC will use DirectShow instead of the RealMedia framework to play the file.

Q:When I play the video full-screen, the screen goes black while the audio continues normally.

This problem may occur if you have the WindowBlinds or ObjectDock programs installed. Disable those programs.

If you have a NVIDIA graphics card, then you could try to update its drivers.

Q:I don't see the video, just a black or white window, but the audio plays ok.

A black video window during playback is caused by a compatibility issue between your player, Windows, and the graphics driver. It depends on the way the application renders the video on screen, so the problem only affects certain applications. To be specific, legacy video overlays are not working/supported on your system.

It is a known issue for several applications, such as IrfanView, XnView, Ableton, Sibelius, Picasa, and ThumbsPlus.

This specific problem only happens on certain system configurations. Most commonly Windows 10 with NVIDIA GPU.

I would like to emphasize the fact that this is NOT a codec problem. It is a graphics driver problem/limitation. Installing other codecs or changing codec settings is not going to solve your problem.

Possible solutions:

  1. If you have multiple monitors, move the window to another monitor. In some cases video is only displayed correctly on one specific monitor (usually the primary one).
  2. If you have a laptop with two GPUs, then try running the application on a different GPU. In the Windows 10 display settings you can configure which GPU should be used by an application. Since this problem happens most commonly with NVIDIA GPUs, try using the integrated Intel GPU if you have that.


  1. Open two instances of the application and load a video in both instances. There is a very high chance that the second instance has working video, while only the first instance has the black video issue. Pause the video in the first instance and use the second instance for viewing or working with the video. You don't necessarily need two instances of the same application, you can also use another affected application such as IrfanView as the first instance.
  2. If you have a monitor that can physically be rotated, then rotate it 180 degrees. In the NVIDIA driver settings, rotate the screen 180 degrees as well as compensation.
  3. Use DSR (Dynamic Super Resolution).
    NVIDIA Control Panel > Manage 3D Settings > Global Settings > turn ON DSR
    For example use multiplier 1.20x
    In the Windows display settings, select the resolution that is 1.2x the size of the native resolution. Warning: this trick may make the displayed content to be a bit less sharp.

If this problem occurs with Windows Media Player, then have a look at the WMP section of this FAQ for solutions. The solutions/workarounds above only apply to "basic" DirectShow applications. Normal media players do not suffer from the described problem.

If you are unsure if a file actually contains video, then you can check with the MediaInfo Lite tool to that is included in the K-Lite Codec Pack.

If you suspect your problem is not a window rendering issue, but a codec problem, then we recommend to test if playback works with the GraphStudioNext tool from the K-Lite Codec Pack (Full/Mega). If playback works with GraphStudioNext, then it should also work in proper media players that use DirectShow codecs.

Q:Some videos files look "washed out" and colors are not vivid

This is caused by wrong luminance levels. Solutions can be found here.

If luminance levels are wrong, then black is displayed as dark gray and white is displayed as very light gray. Colors look very dull.

Q:What are luminance levels?

Digital video is typically encoded in a YUV format. YUV is a family of color spaces (YV12, YUY2, etc), that encode color information (chroma) separately from brightness information (luma).

There are two standards for the encoding of luma. For standard-definition TV the standard is BT.601. For high-definition TV the standard is BT.709.

Luma values fall in a range. Unfortunately this range is not always the same. There are two commonly used ranges: 0-255 (aka PC levels) and 16-235 (aka TV levels).

When converting a YUV colorspace to RGB, the correct standard (BT.601 or BT.709) must be used and the correct range (TV or PC levels) must be used.

The above is not always done correctly. It can go wrong with certain combinations of video renderers, video resolutions, and graphics driver settings.

The most common thing to go wrong is that the video renderer outputs TV levels instead of PC levels.

Q:How can I correct wrong luminance levels?

There are several methods for correcting luminance levels. We have listed them below in order of recommendation.

All methods assume that you are outputting the video to a PC monitor or LCD TV, meaning a device that needs full range luminance (0-255).

If you are using an old CRT TV or projector, then read the comments at methods 2 and 3.

Method #1: Adjusting graphics driver settings


Tthe NVIDIA drivers have an option for configuring the luma range. You can find the option here:
NVIDIA Control Panel -> Video -> Adjust video color settings -> Select "With the NVIDIA settings" -> Advanced tab -> Set Dynamic Range to "Full (0-255)"


The ATI driver requires a Registry tweak. With the tweak applied, the driver will convert TV levels to PC levels for SD resolution video. It already does that by default for HD video.

Several ATI driver tweaks can be found at: avsforum.
The UseBT601CSC setting is the one related to luminance levels.

Note: the above tweak only works with driver version 9.1 and older. ATI removed it in 9.2 and newer.

Method #2: Convert to RGB32 with LAV Video decoder

Open the settings of LAV Video decoder. In the output formats section, uncheck everything except RGB32 and RGB24.

Method #3: Pixelshader in Media Player Classic

A pixelshader is a small program that runs on your graphics card and processes some graphic data. In this case each frame of your video.

Media Player Classic has a special pixelshader called "16-235 -> 0-255" for converting TV levels to PC levels. This shader only adjusts luma values. Use the [SD] variant of the shader if luminance levels are only wrong for videos with low resolutions. Use the [SD][HD] variants if the levels are always wrong.

Some requirements for the pixelshaders in MPC:

  • You need to use a compatible video renderer: VMR-7 (renderless), VMR-9 (renderless), or EVR Custom Presenter.
  • Surface setting must be set to "3D surfaces".
  • It requires some DirectX components that are not included with a default Windows installation. Run the DirectX Web Installer to get the required DirectX updates.

Method #4: Convert to RGB32 with ffdshow

Forcing ffdshow to output in the RGB32 colorspace can help prevent luminance level issues. Downside of this method is that doing this conversion increases CPU usage.

To force RGB32 output in ffdshow, you should uncheck all colorspaces except RGB32 on the Output page in ffdshow configuration. It is also recommended to enable "High quality YV12 to RGB conversion".

There are additional options on the RGB conversion page. Recent versions of ffdshow will automatically use the correct settings, so you don't need to worry about them.

If you are outputting to a CRT TV or projector (or any other device that expects TV levels as input), then you need to adjust the setting under Output levels on the RGB conversion page. It is configured by default to output to a computer monitor. LCD TVs usually also expect PC levels, just like a computer monitor. Some TVs have an option to choose between Full and Reduced range.

Tip: the Profiles/Presets feature in ffdshow can be used to create different sets of settings. You can even auto-load profiles based on conditions like resolution of video format. You could for example create a profile specifically for HD resolution video, and use the 'standard' profile for low resolution videos.

Method #5: Levels filter in ffdshow video decoder

ffdshow has a special filter for adjusting (luminance) levels. To correct wrong luminance levels for a PC monitor or LCD TV you need to convert to PC levels. To correct wrong levels for a CRT TV, you need to convert to TV levels.

To convert from TV levels to PC levels use 16-235 as input range and 0-255 as output range. To convert from PC levels to TV levels use 0-255 as input range and 16-235 as output range.

Method #6: Monitor settings

Some monitors can be calibrated to assume a certain luminance level as input. Read its manual for the details.

Method #7: Resize in software

If wrong levels occur only with SD video resolutions and not with high resolutions, then another solution would be to resize the video to your screen resolution before sending it to the video renderer. For example ffdshow can be used for resizing the video.

Q:The video looks too bright when DXVA is used

Go the Catalyst Control Center of your ATI graphics card. Find the option called "Dynamic Contrast" and disable it. It is located under "Avivo Video" -> "All Settings".

Q:Some videos give a green screen

This is almost always caused by a bug in your graphics driver. So the first thing you should try is updating the driver.

Here are some workarounds that may help if a driver update does not solve the problem:

  • Disable hardware acceleration (DXVA, CUVID, QuickSync).
  • Change the video renderer in Media Player Classic. The problem is usually only with specific renderers.
    MPC Options -> Playback -> Output -> DirectShow video
  • Use ffdshow as decoder for the video format that is in the file. Use MediaInfo tool to get file details if you don't know the video format.
    Then enable resizing in ffdshow. In ffdshow video decoder configuration, enable the "Resize & Aspect" filter, and on that page choose the setting called "Expand to next multiple of: 16".
Q:How can I solve tearing?

Some solutions that can help reduce tearing:

  • Update your graphics driver
  • Change the video renderer in Media Player Classic. A good alternative for the default renderer is madVR.
    MPC Options -> Playback -> Output -> DirectShow video
  • Use the automatic refeshrate change functionality from MPC-HC:
    MPC Options -> Playback -> Fullscreen
    The trick is to set the refreshrate of your screen as a multiple of the framerate of the video. For example:
    framerate 25 -> refreshrate 50 or 75
    framerate 23.976 -> refreshrate 23 (which actually means 23.976), otherwise 24 or 72
    framerate 29.97 -> refreshrate 59 (which actually means 59.94), otherwise 60
  • When using the EVR Custom Presenter renderer in MPC-HC, there are some VSync options that can help reduce tearing. First enable VSync:
    MPC menu -> View -> Renderer Settings -> VSync
    Then during playback you can then change a setting called "VSync offset" by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Up and Ctrl+Alt+Down. You should be able to move the position of the tear by adjusting this offet. The trick is to move the tear all the way to the top (or bottom) of the screen, where it is no longer visible.
Q:There is a vertical red line in the middle of the video

Open AMD Radeon Settings. On the video tab, disable demo mode.

Q:I only get black video in IrfanView / XnView / Ableton / Sibelius / Picasa / ThumbsPlus

Read this topic above about black screen issue.

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