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PC to TV: Which Resolution for the Best Results?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've run my PC connected to a TV for the last 2 years, and I really enjoy it. However, I'm not sure which resolution to run for optimal results.



-PC is connected to the Panasonic X3 plasma TV (http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/model/TC-P42X3) via HDMI.
-HDMI signal is 1920 x 1080. 1080p
-TV is 1024 x 768. "1080p"



Windows 7 and the GPU (GTX 580) both think 1920 x 1080 is the native display resolution, but when thats selected the screens stretched out too far, and I cant see the borders of the desktop due to overscan.


At 1024 x 768 (native) there are massive black borders on all 4 sides. When I resize/scale to this res, it looks a bit distorted.


No standard res will display correctly; I've tried them all, dozens of them. I've also tried all TV and GPU settings. I have to resize/scale a resolution (the GPU will resize/scale any res.) to get it to fit the screen or create a custom res of ~1824 x 1036.


So I don't know if I should run at 1920 x 1080 because Windows 7/the GPU thinks its correct or the TV's actual native res or perhaps somewhere in between. If running at a higher than native TV res can provide more image detail, I'd definitely go that route, otherwise I'd go with native to gain some FPS in games. I have a ticket in with Nvidia now and am awaiting their reply but regardless any opinions/suggestions are greatly appreciated

Edited by SenileAnimal - 10/31/13 at 10:53pm
post #2 of 10
Usually you want to avoid any scaling done by the TV even if it is from a higher resolution. Use your eyes if you don't see any difference in quality then use the native resolution since the input lag should be lower when the TV is using no scaling.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the reply.


I've tried all resolutions (dozens from 480-1080) and options on the TV and GPU and no matter which resolution I select, it does not display properly, requiring scaling with the GPU. The width is perfect at 1024 without scaling, but I'd have to do a custom resolution for the length (~1830). Would I be best off shrinking the 1080 signal as little as possible to fit the screen via a custom resolution?


I don't understand if the display is capable of rendering more detail by fitting 1920 x 1080 to the screen or if the native res is the limiting factor and should be downconverted to it/near it. There is no apparent difference except that objects are smaller towards 1080, with more information shown on the screen.




post #4 of 10
If your computer has a vga output, you may want to try it (vga-> component) as vga has less "restrictions" than hdmi in terms of resolutions.... potentially.
post #5 of 10
This is just my opinion but if my display panel native resolution then I use that resolution in general. Are you saying using the native resolution still requires messing around with it?

This is usually the problem I have seen with 720p plasmas. The resolution is 1024x768 not 1280x720 but the pixels are wider so the 4:3 aspect ratio resolution of 1024x768 will look 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio.

So the TV will take the 1280x720 resolution and scale it to the native resolution to 1024x768 while still looking widescreen. I think when you use 1024x768 on the PC the TV will not have to scale but the original programs/icons might look weird since your just stretching it.

In this situation if native resolution does look weird then use the resolution that looks best to you. Either way it seems it will be scaling anyways on the TV. If your scaling with the GPU then should not be too much problem better to let the GPU scale things then the TV. This is not a hardball rule of course just assuming the GPUs is more advanced than the TV scaler.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the reply. I don't think it has a vga, but I'll check. That's an interesting option.


In doing research on this, it seems I may have missed a key point that I should share (I'll edit the topic post as well): Windows 7 and the GPU both think 1920 x 1080 is the native resolution. From what I've read, this is somewhat unusual, and it does seem to look best near that (~1832 x 1024 to compensate for the overscan) and display more detail, whereas closer to 768 it looks distorted.


I've sent the question to Nvidia as to how best config the display.  I hope they don't pass the buck to EVGA who will pass it off to Panasonic, but we'll see.


felonyr301: thanks for explaining how they got 4:3 to look like 16:9; I wondered about that.  It won't display correctly at any resolution without scaling. I have to create a custom resolution/ resize to ~1832 x 1024 or use scaling to fill the whole screen correctly.


It seems more and more like I'm better off with the custom resolution, but I'm hoping for a definitive answer from Nvidia because if there's no more detail actually being displayed I'll run at 1024 x 768 to gain more FPS in games.

Edited by SenileAnimal - 10/31/13 at 10:11pm
post #7 of 10
it sucks but those 1024x786 (albeit display can look good) plasma panels usually always have to do sometype of scaling for its weird native panel resolution with its wider pixels than normal.

Definitely will rather have the better fps and lower input lag (if that is an issue there) than a slight smudge of better pq that is not noticeable at all.
post #8 of 10
One other thing.... don't know if it applies but some tvs have label assignment on inputs. Those "labels" may have to be set to "PC" to tell the tv that the input is coming from a PC as opposed to "normal hdmi" type devices.
post #9 of 10
You will have better luck searching for the answers to video card settings and hacks over in the HTPC forums on this site.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

@felonyr301: True. A small loss in detail could be worth the FPS. Makes me wonder if I should try setting the desktop for ~1836 x 1024 for a large work area and then selecting the games to run at ~768p...


@budwich: Tried that. Made no difference. Thanks for the suggestion though.


@Sammy2: Excellent idea. I'll check it out. 


I got a response from Nvidia, but it's pretty underwhelming. Seems to them that if it fits the screen via scaling/resizing/custom res that's as good as it gets. I'm going to press them for more detail though.


EDIT: New thread in the HTPC section: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1497533/would-you-use-hdmi-native-res-or-tv-native-res

Edited by SenileAnimal - 11/1/13 at 12:18pm
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