Any shaded or dark scenes are so dark you can't make out what's on the screen. The contrast is adjusted up to 100% and the brightness is up to 100% as well. If the automatic picture preference settings are selected (e.g. Sports/Standard/Movie) instead of memory the picture goes even darker. Bright scenes are fine.
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Make sure your contrast isn't set too high. Most ghosting is caused by either contrast, brightness or tint issues. Try adjusting these settings. Also check if there is a Dynamic contrast setting for your TV as well as this can cause ghosting also.
The proper way to set flat screen tv's is opposite of old school CRT tv. First, find a movie with dark scenes and pause on a really dark part. Now set brightness only high enough to see some detail - no more. then go to a really bright scene and set contrast just high enough for good brightness. You may need to go back and forth a few times to get good setting.
It sounds like the master contrast has slipped. If you are confident with electronics, there is a little knob on the main board which allows you to set the master contrast. This is only applicable if the picture looks like it has too much brightness (like a white haze over the picture in dark scenes). Gently adjust the knob to set the correct contrast and you should be up and running. If that doesn't work, then your tube is on the way out.
adjust the contrast through the printing preferences in the driver window (control panel, printers and faxes), can you tell me from what program are you printing from? and what kind of file (jpeg,raw,tiff) are you printing?
If you feel good about opening your set then you can try this: Look for the flyback (high voltage) transformer, with the thick red wire which goes to the top of the picture tube. There are 2 controls on the flyback transformer, focus (top) and screen (bottom)Turn the brightness and contrast all the way down and then increase the screen control until you see retrace lines, and then back it down until those lines just vanish. Return the brightness and contrast to normal and adjust the focus control, if necessary, for a nice sharp picture. Let me know if that brings your brightness back.
*The brightness control setting determines how bright your picture will be.
*The contrast control sets the gain of the video circuit. This determines the difference between dark and light scenes. Low contrast settings make the picture "hazy". High contrast settings make the picture more distinction between dark and light scenes.
*The sharpness control determine the frequency
response of the video circiut. High sharpness settings give better resolution but also shows
more noise in your picture. Lower sharpness settings smoothe out the picture removing noise but also fine detail. It needs to be set for the best all around picture.
*Picture Enhancement is pre-set adjustments which give you
different picture qualities. You just select the one you like.