Black Screen with sound – Vizio TV

Does your Vizio TV screen go black? Do you still get sound? It could be related to the power saving techniques built in to the TV.

I found this posting after spending some time searching. It took a bit to find the right search query because it is an odd problem.

According to that posting, the backlight power savings control need to be disabled:
1. Bring up the Vizio Menu
2. Select “Picture”
3. Go down to select “More”
4. Select “Advanced”
5. Select “Backlight Control”
6. Change the setting to “off”

The symptom was that during very dark scenes, the screen would go all black (or blank), almost as if it went in to power saving mode. Video would return if the video was stopped to bring up any menu. This setting should resolve that problem, so there is no need for a service call or to return the TV!

Dark screen or poor contrast on Fedora 17

The problem isn’t directly related to Fedora 17, but it is related to Linux.  There have been reports of other distributions experiencing the same issue.

The belief is that it is a GRUB issue, or some brightness/contrast problem with Xorg based upon what it is getting from GRUB.  One thing to try is to add:

acpi_osi=Linux acpi_backlight=vendor

to /etc/defaut/grub’s GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX variable and rebuild grub via:

grub2-mkconfig > /etc/grub2.cfg

As it turns out, the issue I experienced was two fold: a mythtv frontend setting which inadvertently turned on “night mode” and a unusual TV setting which I solved by these steps.


A small tool for interfacing with the control module on DELL servers is the “ipmitool” package.  It comes in handy when you need to do some basic detective work but do not want the baggage that comes along with the Dell OpenManage packages.

ipmitool sel list
ipmitool sel clear

You can even get fancy with tools like Nagios to monitor the hardware logs and act upon them accordingly.  If anything, it’s a quick way to clear the solid amber light on a DELL server without resorting to rebooting it.