How to Fix Dark Shadow on Samsung Smart TV [2024]

Are some areas of your Samsung TV screen darker than others? Various factors can cause this issue, be it the ageing panel components, imbalanced picture settings, or faulty HDMI connections. These “dark shadows”, as many of you like to call them, can ruin your viewing experience, making it hard to enjoy your favourite shows and films.

Usually, resolving such an issue requires seeking professional assistance. But you can try a few things on your own to check and troubleshoot this dark shadow on Samsung Smart TV. We’ve discussed some of them in detail below.

Why does my Samsung TV have a Dark Shadow? What Could Be Causing It?

These dark shadows you’re experiencing on your Samsung TV usually point to faulty backlight strips (responsible for lighting up the LED screen). Therefore, the only way to fix the shadowy tint is to replace those strips, but sometimes, it isn’t that straightforward.

We’ve come across forum threads where users self-replaced the LED strips, the T-CON board (the main component driving the panel), and even the TV’s mainboard, yet the problem somehow persisted. Surprising, right? It’s because this dark shadow issue isn’t always solely tied to faulty hardware.

In the case of your Samsung TV, plenty of factors—like picture settings and firmware bugs (even when it doesn’t seem like one), could be the root cause. Surprisingly, it might not even be your TV’s fault; sometimes, a faulty connection to your external device could be the troublemaker.

So, let’s not dive deep into the more advanced solutions and start with some of the easiest, most common fixes that won’t require cracking open your TV (always a plus!). Ready?

How to Fix Dark Shadow on Samsung Smart TV?

Dark Shadow on Samsung Smart TV

Power Cycle the Samsung TV

Start with performing a power cycle on your Samsung TV. It means unplugging your TV from the wall outlet for a few minutes and then plugging it back in. Doing so will allow your TV to reset any odd firmware bug or power-related issue affecting the panel’s ability to produce an evenly lit image.

A useful tip: While unplugged, long-press the TV’s physical Power button (if you can reach it) to drain any residual power flowing through the circuitry. Or, just leave it unplugged for 5-10 minutes before plugging it back in. If this resolves the issue, you’re good to go. Else, move to the following solution(s).

Control Ambient Lights

Believe it or not, those dark shadows on your screen might actually be caused by your room’s lighting conditions. How much and what kind of light you have in your space can have a tangible effect on the TV’s picture quality.

For instance, in the case of uneven lighting, the glare may make it a challenge to see some parts of the screen or make out details clearly.

The same goes for outdoor lights bleeding through your window, causing one part of the TV screen to look dull and shadowy. Try adjusting the angle at which your TV sits or tweaking those curtains or blinds to let in just the right amount of natural light. It might as well be the quickest fix to your issue!

Check Your External Device

Oftentimes, this dark shadow effect on a particular zone of your Samsung TV screen stems from the output itself – especially if you have a streaming or cable box connected over HDMI for your entertainment needs. How so? Let us explain.

You know – when you’re watching something and need to access some menu, the interface or overlay has a darker gradient that doesn’t completely obscure the view? Sometimes, that shadowy effect may persist due to some software bug. It might remain static even when you change the channel or exit an app.

One way to know for sure is to change to a different input source (e.g., Blu-ray player, game console). If the dark shadow occurs only with a particular device, power cycling will most definitely resolve the issue. It involves unplugging from the outlet, waiting 10 to 15 seconds, and plugging the device back in.

If power-cycling/rebooting the external device didn’t work, ensure all the power and video cables connecting your external devices (and TV) are firmly plugged in on either end. We recommend disconnecting your devices from the power strip/surge protector and plugging them directly into a wall socket.

Look for any dust or debris clogging the ports and preventing contact with the connectors. For HDMI cords, reversing the ends also works sometimes. Loose or damaged cables can cause signal interference, affecting the picture. Using a spare is suggested before you jump to any conclusion.

You may also try plugging your external device into the other HDMI ports of your TV (or a different TV or monitor if possible) to see if the dark shadows appear on all of them, in which case the problem might be the device itself.

Adjust the Picture Settings

Sometimes, the dark shadow on your Samsung TV could be due to a wrong picture setting or mode. For example, the Dynamic or Vivid mode could make the brightness and contrast too high or low, resulting in a dark shadow effect for select content.

Press the Settings (gear symbol) button on the remote, choose Picture, and select Picture Mode. Cycle through the various presets (e.g., Standard, Movie, Natural, Filmmaker Mode) and see which works best to reduce the shadowy effect.

Adjust the Picture Settings

If you aren’t satisfied with the default picture modes, Samsung TVs also allow for making granular adjustments. Simply navigate to the Settings (All Settings) > Picture > Expert Settings menu and adjust the Backlight, Brightness, Contrast, Gamma, and other sliders to fine-tune the picture to your desired quality.

Select Samsung TVs, especially higher-end models, feature local dimming, allowing the backlight to dim or brighten in specific zones according to the HDR content. It can enhance the perception of contrast and depth but may also create dark spots due to improper tuning.

While Samsung doesn’t offer a toggle for fully disabling the global dimming feature (although there are ways to do so from the service menu), turning off the Contrast Enhancer function may curb the aggressive auto-brightness adjustments that cause the shadowy effect. You’ll find it in the Settings > All Settings > Picture > Expert Settings menu.

Some more features we suggest disabling are Brightness Optimisation (Eco Sensor or Ambient Light Detection on older models) and Brightness Reduction. Head to Settings (All Settings) > General & Privacy > Power and Energy Saving and toggle them off. The steps may vary depending on your model. In the same menu, turn off the Motion Lighting and Auto Power Saving (or Energy Saving Mode) features if available.

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Reset Your Picture Settings

If messing around with the picture settings of your Samsung TV is what caused the dark shadow in the first place, consider starting fresh with a reset. Use the remote to head to Settings (All Settings) > Picture > Expert Settings, scroll down and select Reset Picture, and confirm by clicking Yes.

Run a Picture Test

If resetting the picture doesn’t work, use your TV’s built-in self-diagnosis tool to see if the dark shadow is derived from the screen or the source. On newer models, you can access the Self Diagnosis tool from the Settings > Support (or Device Care) menu. Simply click Start Picture Test and follow the on-screen prompts to complete the test.

Update Your Samsung TV

You might be surprised how often a botched firmware can affect your TV’s ability to produce a complete picture, sometimes even causing HDMI compatibility issues with select devices. Samsung often pushes updates addressing such bugs, plus new features and apps to enhance your experience.

Therefore, ensure your Samsung Smart TV is up to date by going to Settings > Support > Software Update and clicking the Update Now option. Assuming a new software version is available, follow the on-screen prompts and let your TV download and install the update, which may take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Update Your Samsung TV

It’s also possible to update using a thumb drive. Check out Samsung’s official support page on this topic for more information.

Nothing Works. What’s Next?

As mentioned at the very beginning, the dark shadows on your Samsung TV might be caused by physical damage or issues with the panel. It can happen due to accidents, prolonged usage, or manufacturing defects.

The first thing that comes to mind is dead LED backlight strips, but it could also be a faulty T-CON board or a loose ribbon cable connecting it to the panel. There are plenty of video guides on the web instructing how to replace them, but the repair steps require more technical knowledge, skills, and caution than you’d expect.

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However, provided your Samsung TV is still covered under warranty, there’s no need to tear it down on your own and void the warranty. Instead, contact Samsung Care for professional assistance, as they’ll be able to determine the cause and extent of the problem and offer you a repair or replacement option.

That said, if it’s an older model that’s no longer covered by a warranty, sending in the TV for a repair or replacement might cost as much as a new one. So, if you’re comfortable or confident performing DIY repairs, buying replacement parts and spending a few hours is worth the hassle. Alternatively, reach out to a local technician for assistance.

We hope this article has helped you fix the dark shadow issue on your Samsung TV. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave them in the comments section below. We’ll be there to discuss them with you.

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