Wednesday, June 4, 2014

ViewSonic DCR Causes Dim Terminal/Console Screens

For a long time, I've been fighting with my screen dimming while I'm in a terminal session (black or dark backgrounds).  I simply could not see the text due to the dim screen.  I didn't know if it was a bug in power savings code in Ubuntu or some issue with my monitor.  Today I accidentally won the battle.

I have a ViewSonic VA2226w monitor.  I happened to press and hold the up arrow on the monitor and I saw an on-screen display message that I hadn't before noticed.  It said "DCR off".  Turns out, Viewsonic's "Dynamic Contrast Ratio" was the culprit!

So, at least for the ViewSonic VA2226w, the way to toggle DCR is:

  1. exit all OSD menus, if opened
  2. press and hold the up arrow until you see "DCR on" or "DCR off"
I hope you haven't fought with this as long as I have.  DCR is a bug, not a feature.