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Nexus 7 Washout Workaround

While the Nexus 7 is pretty neat, it isnt without bugs and one of them is a screen washout after playing a video.


The problem lies with the new Nvidia Tegra 3 Technology called PRISM (Pixel Rendering Intensity and Saturation Management) which dynamically controls the backlight to create an ‘equivalent’ visual quality in favor of battery life. When PRISM kicks in during playback, the effect lingers and shows washed out colors everywhere in the nexus for a minute or so before returning to normal, not to mention the effect it has on near white colors within a video that leads to less detail and color.

There is an app in the play store which can disable it completely but reports say there is a significant drop in battery life when using this solution. You could also do this, with root, manually on the terminal through a command but then it occurred to me that both these solutions are directed towards managing the hardware… and so if the hardware was not in the equation, that could also be a solution.


A workaround is using software rendering on your video player of choosing. It doesnt tell the hardware to interact with the video effectively nullifying the PRISM. This is not a perfect solution however because without the power of the hardware I’ve only been able to play up to 720p smoothly; anything beyond is a sketchy matter.

You can see in the photo above that without PRISM, more details and proper colors are present and this is at least needed for proper presentation of video content.

So there you have it, a simple solution without root and without doing anything to the hardware of the device. Hope this helps Nexus owners with a quick fix at least until an update arrives which hopefully provides proper management that time around. Till later!

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.

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