Raspberry Pi HDMI Color Issue

While on vacation a couple of weeks ago I took my Raspberry Pi with me. You can easily connect it to a television using only an HDMI cable, so I hooked mine up to the hotel’s television, fired it up, and began playing some retro games. Right off the bat I noticed something wasn’t quite right.

If you’re not familiar with the Raspberry Pi you might not notice anything odd in this picture, but those “blue”berries are supposed to be raspberries! I actually didn’t notice this at first. Note that the resolution is reporting as 1360×768. From here I moved on to PiPlay’s menu system.

Again, if you’re not familiar with PiPlay this might jump out at you, but this menu is normally red, not blue. I then fired up Dig Dug and…

…yowza! Something is definitely wrong with this picture — literally!

After spending a few minutes on Google I discovered the problem. Apparently in “some” instances, “some” televisions will swap the red and blue colors on “some” Raspberry Pis in “some” resolutions. That’s about as specific as I could nail down, but that’s exactly what I was experiencing.

The solution in my case was to add the two following lines to /boot/config.txt:

For hdmi_group=1, hdmi_mode=4 forced my Pi into 720p (@60Hz). Without that line, the television was defaulting to 1360×768. Both resolutions are 720p, but the higher one was the only one that caused the colors to flip flop.

With the change made to config.txt I rebooted the Pi.

Note in this picture the raspberries are now the proper color and the resolution is simply being reported at 720p.

The PiPlay menu is now the proper red color…

…and Dig Dug is back to normal.

I haven’t run into this problem before at home, so it must have been something specifically with that television at the hotel. Once I got home I removed those lines from config.txt and the Pi continues to boot with the proper color scheme.

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