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What Causes Projector Discoloration?


Do you notice that the image projected on your screen has colored tints or tones which are not part of its original color?

This means your projector is experiencing discoloration.

To correct projector discoloration, you have to first find the exact cause of the problem. 

The problem is usually from the projector screen itself, the projector’s internal components, or a wired connection.

In this article, we’ll reveal what causes projector discoloration. We will also explore solutions for different projector discolorations.

What Causes Projector Discoloration?

man looks directly to the projector

Colored tones in projected images can be from either of these sources: 

  • the projector screen
  • the projector lamp

You have to conduct a visual inspection of your screen under sunlight to determine if it is the primary cause of the discoloration. 

Once you can confirm or eliminate this possibility, you’re very close to solving the problem. 

For accurate results, we recommend that you inspect the screen on a clear sunny day. Carry out the inspection outside, and compare its surface to that of a white sheet of paper.

If you notice a difference in whiteness between both, the screen is likely the root of the discoloration. 

If both the screen and the white paper have the same tone, then the fault is most likely from the projector or cabling.

4 Most Common Causes of Discoloration in Projectors

1. Faulty connections or wiring

Cables forge a connection between the projector and the media source device. If a pin on the connector of a cable (i.e. VGA, HDMI) is bent or broken, it can prevent the projection of a particular color. 

For instance, in yellow-toned discolorations, the cable’s pins for transmitting blue may be bent or broken.

2. Faulty projector lamp

a zoom in photo of a projector lamp

Lamps that have surpassed their shelf life can cause discoloration. 

The lifespan of a projector lamp depends on the type of lamp it is. Lamp bulbs are best used for about 2000 hours while LED or laser bulbs go as far as 20,000 hours. 

After this timeframe, the lamplight gets considerably weaker.  

Frequent switching the projector OFF/ON can reduce the lamp’s intensity, and result in an image discoloration effect.

3. Accumulation of dirt

dirt found on a projector lamp

Dust, dirt, smoke, and other impurities can accumulate quickly on the projector. The cooling fan causes these pollutants to get in through the air vents. 

They coat the surfaces of the projector’s internal optical components, which may result in a discoloration effect.

4. Faulty polarizers

One of the optical components of an LCD projector is the polarizer. 

When the images’ colors pass through the LCD panels, they are controlled by polarizers. 

Faulty polarizers produce discolored spots on the projected images. These spots eventually lead to the discoloration of the entire image on the screen.

What is ‘Color Range’ on a Projector?

RGB colorThe color range on a projector is also referred to as the ‘color gamut.’ It is the range of colors a projector can produce. 

The color range determines the color reproduction capabilities of the projector. A projector with a wider color range can produce more colors. 

There are different, generally recognized color gamut standards. Within these standards, devices have their color ranges. 

The standards include (but are not limited to) the following: 

  • sRGB (standard red green blue)
  • DCI-P3
  • Rec.709
  • Prophoto RGB
  • NTSC
  • Adobe RGB

The most common color gamut standard in projectors and other digital devices is the sRGB.

The color gamut (color range) of a projector is largely determined by the color wheel and the purity of light gotten from the projector’s light source.

How Does a Color Wheel Work in a Projector?

The color wheel contributes a great deal to determining projection quality. It is a very important component of DLP projection technology

It is a transparent circular disc that comprises a set of colors. It may be RGB, RGBW, RGBRGB, RGBCWY, or RGBCMY etc. 

Often the color wheel is composed of the primary colors RGB, but sometimes white segments are added to increase brightness. 

Other secondary colors like magenta, yellow, or cyan may also play for higher color accuracy. 

The projected images or film colors are recreated when the light from the projector’s light source passes through the transparent wheel. 

The color wheel rotates its color pattern at very high speeds in front of the light source. This results in the production of the necessary amount of red, blue, and green light to produce an image.

The DLP chip sends the colored patterns of light to the lens and the human brain efficiently pieces the image together. 

How Do I Fix the Color on My Projector?

man adjusting projector color via a remote control

Projector manufacturers make it possible for you to customize your projector’s color. 

These changes can be made from the on-screen menu in most projectors, and you can see their effect immediately.

Steps to adjust the color on your projector include:

  1. Power on the projector
  2. Display an image or play a video of your choosing.
  3. Press the Menu button on the remote to access the on-screen menu.
  4. Navigate to the advanced menu.
  5. Adjust the color settings which may include saturation level, tint, etc.
  6. Stop when you’re satisfied with the look of the displayed image.

How Do I Fix the Color on My Epson Projector?

Epson VS260 3-Chip 3LCD XGA Projector, 3,300 Lumens Color Brightness, 3,300 Lumens White Brightness, HDMI, Built-in Speaker, 15,000:1 Contrast Ratio, small
Click image for more info

On an Epson projector, you can adjust the projector’s color mode using the remote control. 

Take the following steps to optimize the projected image to your preference:

  • Power on the projector
  • Project the image you want to use for tuning.
  • If you’re projecting a video from a source device, press the play button.
  • To adjust the color mode, press the Color Mode button on the remote. 

The name of the color mode will be displayed briefly on the screen and the effect of the new color mode will be noticed on the image

  • To go through all the available color modes, repeatedly press the Color Mode button.
  • Stop when you find your preferred color mode.

Why Does My Projector Have a Yellow Tint?

The yellow tint on the screen may result from the projector’s screen or a fault from the projector as earlier discussed.

Conduct a visual inspection of your screen and check the VGA cable for any broken or bent pins to ascertain the source of the problem.

Inspect the projector’s filter for dirt accumulation as well. 

When the projector’s air filter is clogged or dirty, it obstructs airflow and makes it overheat. This often results in yellow discoloration.

How Do You Fix a Yellow Projector?

Clean the projector screen

a woman preparing to clean the screen

If the projector screen isn’t purely white, you should try to wipe off the dirt thoroughly. Do this with a soft, dry cloth. 

Ensure you wear a glove to prevent a buildup of fingerprints or body oil on the screen.

If the screen still retains the yellow tint after cleaning, we recommend that you buy a new projector screen.

Check the VGA cable

man holding a VGA cable

If you’re using a VGA cable, ensure that it is inserted into the component video port properly. 

Bent or broken pins are a common issue with VGA cables. If the pins transmitting blue color on the VGA cable are faulty, it will result in a yellow-colored image. 

Check for a bent or broken pin on the VGA connector. We recommend that you replace the VGA cable if this is the case.

Check the lamp

Check the projector’s lamp meter to determine the number of hours it has been used for and the amount of time remaining. 

If it is nearing or has exceeded its stated limit, we recommend that you replace the projector lamp.

Check the air filter

Check the filter for dirt accumulation and make sure to clean it. It is important to learn how to clean a projector air filter properly. 

Why Does My Projector Have a Purple Tint? 

The purple tint on a projector may result from an improper connection while using an HDMI-to-VGA adapter.

It may also mean that the projector is set for the wrong input signal.

If the incoming signal is an analog RGB signal and the projector is in the component video or YPbPr mode, a purple tint will be seen on the screen. 

How Do I Make My Projector Not Purple?

a Nintendo Switch connected to a projector through HDMI port

Proper connections

While using the HDMI-to-VGA adapter, ensure that the HDMI connector is properly connected to the receiver.

Also, ensure that the VGA cable is securely connected to the adapter.

Rectify input signal setting

To rectify the purple tint and prevent any further input signal mismatch, we recommend that you set the projector’s input signal to ‘Auto’.

This will optimize the image quality for any input signal. You can rectify this setting through the projector’s signal menu.

Why is My Projector Green?

A man adjusting the projector

A green tint may be seen on the screen for one or a combination of the following reasons:

  • You are using a faulty VGA cable. 
  • The VGA (or any other) transmission cable is not connected properly. 
  • The projector is not correctly configured to the input signal. This is common with images projected from DVD players.
  • The color wheel of your DLP projector has stopped rotating and is stuck on the color green section.

How Do I Fix the Green on My Projector?

  • Connect all cables properly.
  • Change the VGA cable if you notice any broken or bent pins.
  • Change the input signal setting to ‘Auto’ mode.
  • Fix the color wheel by opening up the projector and taking out the obstruction preventing the color wheel from moving.

NB: We recommend that you take the projector to a professional technician to fix or replace the color wheel. 

How do you Fix a Blue Screen on a Projector?

projector with burn in problem

The blue discoloration is often noticed when you’re transmitting component video signals from your media source. 

If you’re using a component-to-VGA cable  for your source device and projector, do the following:

  • Ensure that the pins on the VGA connector end of the cable are neither bent nor broken.
  • Connect the cable properly on both ends.
  • The red, green, and blue connectors for component video should be connected to their corresponding output ports on the source device.
  • Set the projector’s input signal to ‘Component’ or ‘Auto’ to match the source device’s output.
  • Ensure that the output mode of the source device (i.e. DVD player) is set to ‘Component.’

How Do You Fix a Pink Projector?

The pink projector discoloration may occur when projecting with a VGA connection.

If this happens, configure the input signal setting on your projector to ‘Auto’ or RGB.

FAQs

Why is my projector screen red?

If your projector has a red hue when projecting with a VGA connection, the input signal setting on your projector may not match the signal from the media source.

The best practice is to set it to ‘Auto.’

Some projector users say that moving the connection cable up and down while it is plugged in corrects the problem. 

In this case, it means the VGA cable used for the connection is faulty. 

How do I get rid of the shadow on my projector?

setting up a projector

Shadows on the screen often occur with overhead projectors. 

If you notice a shadow discoloration on your screen while projecting, you must check the projector and the transparency sheets to pinpoint the source. 

For the projector, there could be dirt or debris on the lens. Check the projector lenses and mirrors. 

Properly clean the projector lens and replace it completely if you notice any damage.

For the transparency sheets, shadow discoloration could be due to one of the following reasons:

  • The image printed on it is of a low resolution.
  • The transparency sheet is torn or creased in places.
  • The platform for placing your sheet is smudged or dirty.

Here’s what to do:

  1. If the image is of a low resolution, consider printing it out from an alternative source with higher quality. 
  2. You can also sharpen the image by editing it before printing. 
  3. Smoothen out the sheets so that they are flat on the platform. Don’t use a creased or damaged transparency sheet. 
  4. Clean the glass on the platform to get rid of any particles, or smudges causing shadows on your projected image. 

Conclusion

Using projector for home cinema with friends

Projectors are now widely used in various places, and for various applications. To enjoy its benefits, your projector has to work properly.

Projector discoloration reduces the quality of your viewing experience. This discoloration can be a result of different reasons. 

The first step is to determine the cause; after this, the appropriate measure to correct the fault can be carried out.

Last update on 2021-07-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.


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