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Hi Check the input selection on your TV and set it to AV.This option is on your TV's remote control. Also check the cable connections to and from the DVD.Make sure the colors match on the connecting ports.
You will have to make sure you are connecting them with the red and white cables on audio and the yellow on video at both ends, as both your dvd and tv have low def and hi def cabling options.
That means Red and White to Audio at each end and Yellow to video at both ends. If you connect the yellow cable to one of the other three connectors at iether end you will only get black and white as they are meant for a different type of connection.
To get the maximum quality out of your sets you may want to purchase a set of Hi-Definition Component cables which will give you a set of five cables, still red and white for audio but now red, green, blue for video.
Depending on how it is configured to your TV it could be high contrast with the TV. One thing you might want to try is replacing the video cable if you have a spare. If you are using an RF modulator and watch DVDs on Channel 3, you might want to replace the coax line between the box and the TV set.
Since you're using a composite cable (yellow RCA) that carries both luma (brightness) and chroma (color) information, it's not the cable that is the problem.
That means it's either the DVD player itself, or the TV. If you have another video device (VCR, etc) that you can connect to the TV, try that. If the other device also goes from color to black and white, then it's your TV. Otherwise the problem is your DVD player.
Since your TV only has mono audio (white RCA, but no red) I would recommend getting a new TV if the TV is to blame.