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"Viewable" screen size question


dschoemaker1
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I have a panasonic plasma, about five years old, great set. I use it with my PC, a GATEWAY SX2840-01. Using the vid card that came with the computer I get a desktop screen that uses about 80% of the screens total real estate. The control panel changes either make it too large (so it flows off the edges) or at the 80% level for the next closest thing (I don't see where to adjust it in the sweet spot). When I use Media Browser to start some shows I've ripped, and they are 4x3 format, it drops down to 70% screen usage and there are no "corners" to drag out to use more, widescreen shows up even smaller in that 70%.

 

Even happens when I stream using WMC. MacGyver comes in at 70%... but in Boxee, where I can adjust the picture size to "custom" I can get it to about 95%.

 

Changing the aspect ratio on the TV via remote has no effect when the vid feed is the HDMI plug off the HTPC. What do you guys think would be the best way to get more usage out of the screen, a new vid card? A specific DVD player program?

 

Thanks. Don.

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If you can try hooking it up with a VGA connector before you buy a new video card. I have a 47" LG LCD hooked to my PC on a Nvidia 260GTX video card and it is full screen using the VGA input. I have never tried to connect it via HDMI connection.

 

fasthair

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What is the highest resolution that you can use on the VGA port? Some TV's won't allow the VGA resolution to be adjusted as high as can be achieved through HDMI.

 

It might help us if you list the TV model number. I have a Panasonic Plasma (it's only 1 year old) and there are a couple of adjustments that I can use to overscan the display. This will actually cut off the edges of a full screen HD program.

 

Is there a specific manufactures video card that came in the Gateway? Sometimes there are utilities that allow you to alter the overscan settings on the video out.

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dschoemaker1

 

I have had similar problems with my Sony plasma. Here are some suggestions. First off, if you are using an HDMI or DVI connection on an ATI or nVidia card, you will not be able to use the "standard" resolutions and will have to go into you controls and adjust to a custom resolution. The plasma screens of that vintage are actually 720P and have to be adjusted to a custom resolutions. We need to know what kind of video card you are using as well as the driver you are using in addition to the connection type. If you look at my post on this site, you will see where I had to adjust my resolutions as well. This is on a I3 but the same is available on nVidia and ATI as I have these as well.

 

 

 

http://homeservershow.com/core-i3530-htpc.html

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According to NewEgg's website the graphics are:

 

Graphics

GPU/VPU Type Intel GMA X4500HD

Graphics Interface Integrated video

 

It is plugged into my HDMI out on the computer because I run the video/sound in over that and then use the audio out on the TV to send it to a ZVOX box (which turned an OK tv into a great viewing experience fyi). I was losing a ton of dialogue to the "background" music on the set.

 

I don't have the comp here (at work) but will check tonight to see what the driver is for video. I haven't downloaded any changes. In Boxee it lets you adjust "overscan" and that's worked great with the set and making those shows watchable from 10 feet. I just don't see how to do that using standard WMC.

 

I've really taken a minamilist view on this machine and added only the programs I have too to this box... boxee, Hulu, media center master, and media browser.

 

This hasn't really been an issue, but I'm losing a ton of screen real estate and its bugging me. Thanks for the comments guys.

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On the Intel graphics drivers properties, it is called "Scaling" You can adjust the scaling to be virtually perfect. I have done it on many Inter graphics chipsets. Make sure you have the latest driver from Intel and you should be fine.

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Thanks guys, with the help of that PDf and adjusting scaling it worked great. :) Windows is using 100% of the screen and WMC is the appropriate size.

 

 

As an aside THIS is why I listen to the podcasts and read this forum. Your solution cost me absolutely nothing but the time it took to write it up and review the constructive responses. Thanks again.

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Hmmm, you just gave us an idea, paid tech support.... Just kidding, glad we could help.

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pcdoc - I thought you were paid tech support (for some people).

 

dschoemaker1 - We are glad to lend a hand.

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