Help: HTPC resolution not displaying right on HDTV - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi there,

Well, I hope someone can help me.

I've setup an HDTV with one of the just released HDMI video cards and I'm quite happy to find that both video and audio work via one HDMI cable!

However, I'm having an issue with resolution.

I have a Samsung HLR4266W and when looking at the specs for this TV, it states a resolution of 1280x720. So, I went ahead and setup the HTPC and video card to this resolution. While it does display, the start menu and desktop is cut off and off the screen. Even if I raise the resolution just to test, it never shows the desktop properly.

Can anyone offer some advice on displaying the Media Center 2005 desktop properly on an HDTV?

I'm assuming some tweaking would need to be done or download Powerstrip for custom resolution?

I'm a bit confused because of the fact that I have set the resolution according to the specs of the TV, yet it doesn't display quite right.

Any help is appreciated!
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post #2 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 06:03 PM
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This sounds like it's due to "overscan" (see wikipedia).

Go through your TV's setup menus and see if there is an overscan setting that you can adjust to zero.

Or, on your computer, go through the properties for your graphics driver (display properties -> advanced) and look for an overscan adjustment.

Powerstrip can also help with this issue.
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post #3 of 18 Old 01-12-2007, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, after posting this, I played around a bit and it definitely was an overscan issue. Ran nVidia's Control panel and all is adjust properly now!

However, this brings a number of concerns...

After running the display wizard from nVidia's Control Panel, it adjusted my screen properly. However, when going to the display settings, I found that what it did was set a custom resolution of 1176x664. Considering the TV specs state 1280x720, I'm concerned now about quality?

Will movies run at lower quality? Is it OK to run it at this resolution despite the fact the TV is capable of running at higher res? Is this where Powerstrip comes into play? Not exactly sure why Powerstrip is such a powerful HTPC utility after nVidia's control panel was able to adjust at a custom resolution?

My main goal is to play DVDs on this HTPC and have them display better than a standalone unit can.

Thanks for the quick response and I hope you can address my concerns...

--mike
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post #4 of 18 Old 01-13-2007, 08:18 AM
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Check out this link:
http://pixelmapping.wikispaces.com/P...ping+explained

Samsung does not make tvs for PC use. Either they dont know how to do it, or they choose not to.

The best you can do - as you said, is a "resolution within a resolution", or 694 pixels of information where the panel has 768.

Id lett samsung customer support know what I thought of their solution.

BTW, I havea no-name 40" lcd that will do either1366x768@66Hz or 1280x720@60Hz cropped. As jumpy movement from framerateconversion is worse than cropping, I use the last mode for movies:

-k
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post #5 of 18 Old 01-13-2007, 06:02 PM
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can you tell me how you solved this problem in the nvidia control panel?
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post #6 of 18 Old 01-13-2007, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasondrhodes View Post

can you tell me how you solved this problem in the nvidia control panel?

jasondrhodes,

Very simple. Just go into the nVidia Control Panel and you'll see a wizard for TV setups. Run it, and it will allow you to adjust or "crop" the desktop to display properly on your TV. I was quite shocked at just how well this worked.

--mike
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post #7 of 18 Old 01-14-2007, 09:11 AM
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I just ran the TV wizard on my JVC 56FN97 and ended up with a resolution of 1824x1004 (rather than 1920x1080). However, the image isn't centered vertically (about 1/2" blank at the bottom) and the left and right sides are slightly trapezoidal. I could not find any settings in the nVidia control panel to adjust these in the control panel. Any suggestions?

Mez
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post #8 of 18 Old 01-14-2007, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knutinh View Post

Check out this link:
http://pixelmapping.wikispaces.com/P...ping+explained

Samsung does not make tvs for PC use. Either they dont know how to do it, or they choose not to.

The best you can do - as you said, is a "resolution within a resolution", or 694 pixels of information where the panel has 768.

Id lett samsung customer support know what I thought of their solution.

BTW, I havea no-name 40" lcd that will do either1366x768@66Hz or 1280x720@60Hz cropped. As jumpy movement from framerateconversion is worse than cropping, I use the last mode for movies:

-k

Actually, the Samsung DLP TVs are some of the "better" TVs for connecting to PCs. The reason you need a "resolution inside a resolution" to get rid of overscan is because the full image is intentionally projected larger than your screen area.

The panel is a true 1280x720, and even with 1:1 pixel mapping, there will always be some cropping because of the geometry of the optics.

Ozy
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post #9 of 18 Old 01-14-2007, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eldritch View Post

I just ran the TV wizard on my JVC 56FN97 and ended up with a resolution of 1824x1004 (rather than 1920x1080). However, the image isn't centered vertically (about 1/2" blank at the bottom) and the left and right sides are slightly trapezoidal. I could not find any settings in the nVidia control panel to adjust these in the control panel. Any suggestions?

Mez

This is likely your TV, not the signal coming from your PC. You should have options for adjusting the geometry of your set.

Ozy
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post #10 of 18 Old 01-14-2007, 01:18 PM
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On my 1280x720 Samsung DLP I went into PC setup and got the picture centered and stretched as far as it would go. I then used Powerstrip to make a custom resolution to fit exactly.
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post #11 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 05:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozy666 View Post

Actually, the Samsung DLP TVs are some of the "better" TVs for connecting to PCs. The reason you need a "resolution inside a resolution" to get rid of overscan is because the full image is intentionally projected larger than your screen area.

The panel is a true 1280x720, and even with 1:1 pixel mapping, there will always be some cropping because of the geometry of the optics.

Ozy

I am sorry, I did not see that this was a DLP tv.

Still, do you think that the "start-button" and task-bar are parts of the computer image that are supposed to be chopped off?

My frustration is borne from the fact that tv-manufacturers and salespeople dont seem to have a clue what this is. They proudly state that there is a "computer connetion", pointing to the VGA connector, when what I want is 1:1 pixel over DVI/HDMI with no scaling/cropping/overscan. My HTPC software is very capable of doing overscan if I need to, and I have no need to pass my digcam pictures through 2 passes of scaling (first from 8 megpix to 720p, then slightly up in the tv to do hardwired overscan).

-k
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post #12 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 06:05 AM
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Isn't there a menu option deep in the tv setup somewhere to turn off overscan?
(not on the computer, fix it on the display if it has that option, many do.)

Troy

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post #13 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pcCinema View Post

Isn't there a menu option deep in the tv setup somewhere to turn off overscan?
(not on the computer, fix it on the display if it has that option, many do.)

Troy

On my lcd-tv the overscan can be reduced in the service menu. However, the service tech wouldnt give me the access code, he wanted me to ship it to service for a substantial fee for doing this.

-k
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post #14 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knutinh View Post

Still, do you think that the "start-button" and task-bar are parts of the computer image that are supposed to be chopped off?

My frustration is borne from the fact that tv-manufacturers and salespeople dont seem to have a clue what this is. They proudly state that there is a "computer connetion", pointing to the VGA connector, when what I want is 1:1 pixel over DVI/HDMI with no scaling/cropping/overscan. My HTPC software is very capable of doing overscan if I need to, and I have no need to pass my digcam pictures through 2 passes of scaling (first from 8 megpix to 720p, then slightly up in the tv to do hardwired overscan).

-k

Fact is, overscan has been a factor in TVs for a long time, basically since TV was around. Broadcasters and TV manufacturers are well aware of it. TV was never meant to display computer signals. Frustrating, yes, but necessary since lack of overscan would bring a host of complaints on why there is wierd lines and garbage at the edge of TV shows.

Charles
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post #15 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 12:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyar15 View Post

Fact is, overscan has been a factor in TVs for a long time, basically since TV was around. Broadcasters and TV manufacturers are well aware of it. TV was never meant to display computer signals. Frustrating, yes, but necessary since lack of overscan would bring a host of complaints on why there is wierd lines and garbage at the edge of TV shows.

Exactly. On my Samsung 50" DLP HLP5063W, I have 1280x720 resolution with 1:1 pixel mapping, and I do get a 1-3% cropping around the edges of my TV.

I just live with it as it actually doesn't hinder my use of the TV, and it's the least headache for running windows, games, movies, etc...

Ozy
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post #16 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olyar15 View Post

Fact is, overscan has been a factor in TVs for a long time, basically since TV was around. Broadcasters and TV manufacturers are well aware of it. TV was never meant to display computer signals. Frustrating, yes, but necessary since lack of overscan would bring a host of complaints on why there is wierd lines and garbage at the edge of TV shows.

For a fixed-matrix display like an lcd/plasma, there is simply no excuse for not having:
1. An EDID that advertise all supported modes
2. One of those being 1:1 pixel with no overscan, no scaling, no nothing except direct access to the panel.

I am astonished that tv manufacturers seems to go out of their way to make their gear look bad when connected to a PC or HTPC.

Fact is, LG make LCD-tvs that accept native signals. Sadly, many people find out that after they have purchased other monitors that introduce totally unnecessary scaling artefacts as well as clipping.

-k
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post #17 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knutinh View Post

For a fixed-matrix display like an lcd/plasma, there is simply no excuse for not having:
1. An EDID that advertise all supported modes
2. One of those being 1:1 pixel with no overscan, no scaling, no nothing except direct access to the panel.

I am astonished that tv manufacturers seems to go out of their way to make their gear look bad when connected to a PC or HTPC.

Fact is, LG make LCD-tvs that accept native signals. Sadly, many people find out that after they have purchased other monitors that introduce totally unnecessary scaling artefacts as well as clipping.

-k

There is an excuse: These are TVs, not computer monitors. Yeah, that isn't a great excuse, but until there is a greater market for HTPCs, I doubt many TV manufacturers are going to go out of there way to put in features that a lot of people don't care about.

You should look at commercial displays such as commercial plasmas. I had a Pioneer 50" that did not overscan, mainly because it was essentially a big computer monitor. (It had no TV tuner).

Charles
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post #18 of 18 Old 01-15-2007, 01:19 PM
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I have tried to draw the logical block that are necessary in a tv signal chain.


"NTSC" (US/Japan)


"PAL/SECAM" (the rest of the world)

Now, the overscan process would be a modification of the "Scaling" module, that scaled up to for instance 1400x800 pixels, then cropped that back down to 1366x768.

Now, I think that this chain would look a lot simpler, possibly better quality, and certainly fewer chances for manufacturers to mess up, if the decoder simply output a simple progressive signal at 24, 50 or 60Hz that was scaled according to display resolution.

-k
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