What Is VA Glow, Gamma Shift, And Black Crush?

Most monitors which have Vertical Alignment (VA) panels have incredible static contrast ratios. These ratios allow the panels to deliver exceptional blacks, which cannot be achieved by some of the other panels on the market today.

While they might be slightly better at black colors than your IPS and TN panels, they lack some consistency when it comes to viewing angles and consistencies. Even though they are cheaper, they still provide a good viewing experience, but before you buy one of these monitors with this display panel, there are a few things about the downsides we should address.

VA glow, gamma shift, and black crush are a few of these common issues and to ensure that you can understand them, we will look a bit closer at what they mean and how they work. This article aims to give you more insight into these possible issues.

What Is VA Glow?

VA glow can be described as a pale glow, which often happens at the bottom of the screen when you are playing dark games or watching movies with dark scenes. It is hard to notice for those without a keen eye and should be far less visible than the IPS glow many people have to deal with.

VA glow will vary significantly depending on the various models and the units of the monitors. However, you can reduce the VA glow by simply moving away from the screen a bit. VA glow is most prominent in some of the older models.

What Is Gamma Shift?

Gamma is affected by these VA panels, but this is often due to the various angles that you can view from. To explain gamma shifts, we need to look at the color on the screen and change our viewing angle. By changing the viewing angle, you might notice a slight shift in the color depending on where you are sitting.

Gamma shift is noticeable if you view your monitor often. However, it does not affect the display as much as people would think. Bear in mind that if you are doing color-sensitive work, you might find that the gamma shift is more pronounced and this could affect your work. 

What Is Black Crush?

Black crush is one of the more easily noticeable issues with VA panels and this refers to how the dark shades seem to appear darker in the center of the screen than they would otherwise appear. It could often blend into a pure dark screen at times and this would hamper your ability to see.

The issue is often seen when something is viewed on a screen that features writing on a black background. You would notice some of the distortion created by the display and it might not be visible to all people. The edges of the monitor tend to be clear and you can then identify it as being black crush.


VA panels are some of the cheaper models on the market today, but they still offer some great viewing quality. The IPS panel is the other option, but these are far more expensive than the VA alternative. Fortunately, these issues are not that common and you will often not even notice unless working with color-sensitive work.

This article was last updated on December 6, 2022 .

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By Adam

The Display Blog staff account. We know display.