Pink or Purple screen on DIRECTV? Here’s the fix

A customer came to us recently saying there was an overall purplish cast to his screen when watching DIRECTV. After a few questions, I knew exactly the problem and exactly the solution.

We used to call it “superpinky”

Back in the early days of DIRECTV’s DVRs, there were a lot of cases where the bottom part of the screen would get a color cast to it. We called it “Pinky.” It wasn’t incredibly annoying and the phenomenon actually got some affection from the folks at DBSTalk.com. Back then, a team of pre-release testers were hard at work finding bugs, and Pinky was one of the most benign.

Until he got out of control, that is.

There was a period of time when it was common to see a pinkish-purplish cast to the entire screen, similar to what you see in the image above. That image is a photoshop, but it looks like what I remember seeing. We called it “superpinky.”

Superpinky took a powder…

If I remember my history right, the last time we saw superpinky come out was about 2008. Since then, the phenomenon hasn’t been seen in wide release. There is one case where this big pink or purple screen has been seen though, and that’s how I knew how to deal with it.

Pink screens are caused by non-compliant or poor-quality HDMI cables. If you have a C61K 4K Genie Mini Client, you will need a cable that is compliant with HDMI 2.0a. If you have any other system, you’ll need one that works with HDMI 1.4.

Not as easy as you think

The problem is that the HDMI Alliance doesn’t actually certify cables. There’s nothing really different about one sort of HDMI cable or another, besides the build quality. The certifications really have to do with the devices that are being used. They shouldn’t be affected by the cable between them.

That’s what they tell you anyway. I have found that while most super-cheap HDMI cables work fine, occasionally you get a dud. I find that replacing the HDMI cable with something a little more industrial grade can usually solve this problem. Occasionally, you might need to try a different port on your TV or reset your receiver.

That should get rid of over 99% of issues with “superpinky.”

What if the problem is still there?

If you’re still seeing issues after reboots and replacing cables, it’s a pretty good bet the receiver needs to be replaced. This is extremely rare but if you do need a replacement, call the folks at Solid Signal at 877-312-4547. Our Novi, Michigan call center is ready to help you during East Coast business hours. If it’s after that, fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within a day. You don’t need to sit on hold with AT&T’s massive call centers to get what you want. One call to Solid Signal will give you the personal level of attention that you need! We can help with problems like these or anything relating to DIRECTV, DISH, or any of the brands that we carry.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 5,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.