I noticed when watching movies on my 27 inch iMac that they are too dark. There are a lot of details in the blacks missing compared to watching on a DVD player. Then at church for some reason our macbook air that’s hooked up to a projector plays movies that are very dark too. Turning the contrast or brightness up doesn’t work as it just washes out the black. But you can change the color profile in the preferences control panel to fix this up.
What to do:
1. Open System Preferences Menu and go to ‘Displays’
2. In the Displays Panel for your Projector select the ‘Color’ tab.
3. Unselect the ‘Show profiles for this display on this display only’ then select one of the new profiles that appear. Try sRGB IEC1966-2.1 or Adobe RGB(1996). See if that brightens up the movie on the projector.
4. If that doesn’t work or if you want more improvement, press the ‘Calibrate’ Button.
5. Now check the box that says ‘Expert Mode’
6. Now press ‘Continue’ 6 times till you get to this screen that adjusts the Gamma setting:
I’m not completely sure how Gamma works, it’s related to the way we perceive light levels and the way that increments in light intensity are is spread out at different light levels. You can read about it here on wikipedia and Apple have an article here.
The short story is that changing the Gamma setting to the left seems to help with brightening up a movie on a projector. But it looks very washed out to use this Gamma setting for everything.
So I’d suggest saving two settings, then switching the display when you want to watch a movie or use a projector.