How can I watch videos in black and white on my computer?
March 24, 2009 9:40 AM   Subscribe

How can I watch videos on my computer in black and white?

I was wondering if there is any way in which I can watch videos on my computer in black and white. Ideally, I'd like to avoid converting all of the videos to black and white. Is there a program that I can play them in that will just discard all of the color information?

I feel it would give the videos a timeless feel. It would also put focus on the dialogue and exaggerate the expressions.
posted by siclik to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You could just change your video display to grayscale....
posted by zarq at 9:43 AM on March 24, 2009

Best answer: VLC client from . Open your video with it, use Window: Extended Controls. Go to the Adjust Image pane, and slide the saturation all the way down.
posted by Steve3 at 9:48 AM on March 24, 2009 [1 favorite]

VLC can do this: go to Settings / Enable Extended GUI, click "Enable" on the Video tab, and drag the Saturation slider all the way to 0. Any video player with a Saturation setting can do the same trick.

It won't really look like an old black and white film. If you boost the Contrast it will get a little close though.
posted by Nelson at 9:51 AM on March 24, 2009

I think you can do this with VLC Player. Go to preferences, make sure "Advanced" is checked at the bottom, and go to "Video" and check "Grayscale Video Output." Or, on the toolbar, choose "Window", then "Extended Controls". Make sure "enabled" is checked, then go to "Image Adjustment" and slide the saturation to 0.
posted by spockette at 9:51 AM on March 24, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the great advice - VLC worked great!
posted by siclik at 9:56 AM on March 24, 2009

Windows Media Player will do the same. The Quicktime player relegates this to the paid for "Pro" version.
posted by mmascolino at 10:59 AM on March 24, 2009

The alternative to VLC would be to get the ffdshow plugin, which lets you run all kinds of filters on your video, no matter which app is playing it. It's most easily obtained as part of the K-Lite codec pack.
posted by neckro23 at 5:05 PM on March 24, 2009

On a Mac, another option would be to turn on black and white grayscale through the "Universal Access" system preference.
posted by umbĂș at 6:31 PM on March 24, 2009

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