Xbox 360 images on your TV are unclear

Find out what to do when the image on your TV does not display clearly when you use your Xbox 360 console.

When you use the Xbox 360 console with a TV, you might experience one of the following symptoms:

  • The display is not clear.
  • The screen flickers.
  • The screen fades to black.
  • The screen strobes or displays polygons.
  • Incorrect colours are displayed.

    These symptoms can be caused by the following:

  • A feature of the game you are playing
  • The connection between your Xbox 360 console and your television
  • A setting on your television
  • The console's display settings


Try another game

Some games have features that might appear to be a display problem but are actually part of the game's special effects. To find out if a display problem is specific to a particular game, try playing a different game to see if the same problem happens.

Note Games for the original Xbox console are no longer supported and may have display problems when played on an Xbox 360 console. For more information, see Play original Xbox games on your Xbox 360 console.

Check the AV cable connections

  • Make sure that you are using the correct AV cable for your TV. See Connect your Xbox 360 console to a TV.
  • Check that the AV cable is connected correctly to the console and to the TV.
  • Make sure that the cables are inserted firmly.

Note Use either the Xbox 360 VGA HD AV cable or the Xbox 360 Component HD AV cable to correctly view high-definition content on a high-definition television (HDTV). If you use a composite cable, do not try to set any HDTV settings. If you try to set HDTV settings, you may lose the picture.

Check your TV settings

Some display issues can be caused by the way the TV is set up. To confirm that this is not the case, please check your TV's settings. For more information about how to check your TV's settings, see the owner’s manual.

In your TV's settings:

  • Make sure that your TV is set to the same video broadcast system (PAL or NTSC) as your Xbox 360 console. For example, if your Xbox 360 console was purchased in the United States, make sure that your TV supports NTSC.
  • If your Xbox 360 console is a PAL console, set your TV to PAL 60.
  • If your TV has a type of picture/motion compensation enabled, disable it. Examples of compensation types include the following:
    • Dynamic contrast
    • Automatic compensation
    • Contrast detection
    • Light detector
    • Motion detection
    • Motion interpolation
    • Motion smoothing

Note These features may have different names depending on the make and the model of your TV. To determine whether your TV has these settings, contact the manufacturer.

If your TV's settings are correct, try connecting your Xbox 360 console to another TV to see whether the same display issues occur.

You may also try resetting your TV to its factory settings. For information about how to do this, see the manual that came with your TV.

Reset the console display settings

If the display problem is still not resolved, reset the display settings of your console. Here’s how:

  1. Remove any discs from the disc tray.
  2. Turn off the console.
  3. Turn on the console.

    Note If you are using an Xbox 360 Wireless Controller, turn on the console by using the Guide button on the controller. Make sure that you use the player 1 controller when you do this. The player 1 controller will have the upper-left light illuminated.

  4. As the console starts, on the controller, press and hold Y while pulling the right trigger. The display settings are reset to the default settings, and then the console automatically restarts.

If the problem is still not resolved, your console might need to be repaired. Start the repair process online.

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