Why Your Image is Sparkly or Grainy Sometimes on Your 4k TV or Projector

You’ve upgraded to a new display and you’ve run into a weird issue. Your 4k TV or projector (this happens on both) sometimes displays a sparkly or grainy image. It doesn’t happen all the time and the sparkles move like static. What’s going on? Did you get a bad display? Is there a fix? Let’s discuss!

Don’t Worry We Can Fix It (probably)

As long as the grainy/sparkly spots move on your projector or 4k TV image, you don’t have to worry. We can fix it. If they are static (meaning that they don’t move), you have a different problem. If they are always in the same place, you either have dead pixels or dust inside your projector. Static image issues usually mean you need a new display. Grainy/sparkly spots that move are usually fixable.

Both sparkles and dropouts

It’s Your HDMI Cable (probably)

Your HDMI cable almost certainly causes the grainy/sparkly spots on your projector/4k TV image. Now, before you start to argue, hear us out. We know that it doesn’t happen all the time. You can use certain sources without any issues. In fact, even when you do have problems, it isn’t all the time. How can the cable do that?

Are the problems often coinciding with menus?

See, some devices send out a full bandwidth signal when you access the menus. While the rest of your content on that device may use a reduced bandwidth signal, the menus will be pushed at full bandwidth. This will cause the sparkly/grainy spots on your projector/4k TV image. This is the same as HDMI dropouts we discussed earlier. The real issue is that you normally can’t change this setting within your device. They default to this resolution when displaying the menu and you can’t modify that setting. You can complain to the company and hope that they push an update, but we wouldn’t count on it.


There are two possible solutions. The first is to swap out your HDMI cable for a more capable one. That will likely solve your problem. The second is to just ignore it and live with an occasionally sparkly image. It will only happen when you access the menus so what’s the big deal? Sure, it’s annoying but it doesn’t affect the playback of your content so is it really worth fixing? Only you can answer that question.

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