Problem: Ubuntu’s Totem Movie Player displaying in Grayscale CodeUnit 22 FEB 2010

The other day I got a nasty surprise on my desktop Karmic Koala Ubuntu installation when all of a sudden, Ubuntu’s default video player Totem Movie Player started showing all my videos in a nasty grayscale mode instead of their usual vibrant colourful selves. Now not having changed any system settings or installed any new applications, I was quite perturbed and scratched around trying to locate a solution to this annoying little problem.

And as it turns out, solving this little conundrum is actually pretty damn simple.

All you need to do is start up a video and while it is playing, go to the Edit -> Preferences menu option and select the Display tab on the resulting dialog box. At the bottom of the display tab you will see four colour balance sliders. Try re-setting these to default and if that doesn’t solve the problem on the already playing video, adjust the Hue and Saturation sliders until you get the picture looking exactly how you want it to.

There you go, problem solved! :)

Icky grayscale

Beautiful colour

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.