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Desktop Look on HD TV


OSNN Veteran Original
I am not sure if I had this conversation before, but either way I don't remember.

I have an old Samsung Syncmaster 21" monitor, been using it for years and have not got a new one yet. I know when I watch an HD file it looks like crap compared to when I watch that file on the PS3 hooked up to a 50" HDTV.

I decided to hook my computer up to my other 46" 1080P LCD HDTV, I have it set to 1080P (1920x1080) and of course any video files I play look amazing. Yet my browser, desktop, anything that contains text or even images looks degraded and hard to look at.

I have played with the settings, but I am thinking it might be something else. Ideas, is this normal? I have attached an image of my desktop, I just hope the captured image looks the same for you as it does for me, otherwise it's useless lol I am thinking maybe the degrading look is actually over detailed information....


Ahh, the wonderful world of pixel formats. Are you ready to dive into this?

Check the link below, but I can tell you that on my HTPC, I just lowered the R/G/B values in my television's menu and I'm running a 4:2:2 pixel format in order to make text bearable. You can also set your video player (I use media player classic) to adjust gamma/brightness/contrast in order to compensate.




OSNN Veteran Original
I think I understood most of that. Glad it's a normal situation, though stupid.

I do remember seeing in some setting (forget if it was MPC or the TV) for 0-255 and those things. So I will play around and see what I get.

Will this ever be different? Will computer content and video/game content ever be exactly the same product, if you know what I mean?
Will this ever be different? Will computer content and video/game content ever be exactly the same product, if you know what I mean?
Someday, I hope. There needs to be a summit of film and computer graphics makers. They should all agree to pixel formats since their worlds are now colliding anyway.


OSNN Advanced
You're better off using 1600 x 1200 or 1920 x 1200, if your TV can support it.
1920 x 1080 is a crap for normal usage on a PC, it's more for movies than anything else.

What you could do is put the windows side-by-side though.. :)


OSNN Veteran Original
Yea I didn't have the option for 1920x1200.

I was just using the TV for a day, back to my small monitor. Hoping I will get a nice 30" at some time.


Political User
First of all you will want to run at the panel's native resolution (1920x1080) no matter what. Also, check to see if your TV has an aspect option of "Just Scan" or "1:1 Pixel Mapping", or something along those lines. Basically what that will do is just display whats coming in, rather than trying to resize the image if it contains any over or underscan. Both of these things if not addressed can lead to blurry images or just general reduced image quality. Video's might look great, but they suffer from the same issues that text does it's just not as noticeable.

Additionally, you will get optimal image quality using either DVI or HDMI as I'm sure you know. D-Sub video connections often result in fuzzy text at that high of a resolution. Finally the other thing I can think of is that some tv's have an actual "PC" digital input. Do not confuse this with the analog D-Sub "PC" labeled input that some have. I'm talking an actual HDMI input or DVI input. For example, on my Samsung TV the 2nd HDMI input is labeled "HDMI/PC - 2". If your TV has something like this either printed on the back or in the manual I highly suggest you use it. I'm not 100% sure why, but this PC "optimized" input results in sharper picture quality than the other HDMI ports when hooked up to my HTPC.

So I hope some of that helps, I went through a very similar situation when I first built my home theater system and these are all things that I had to address to get optimal quality.

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