How to display Windows on a widescreen 16x9 LCD monitor?

Hi -- I have a Sceptre x7TV 17" widescreen lcd monitor/tv. I use this with both my Dell Dimension XPS 450T desktop (with nvideo Riva TNT adapter) and my Dell Inspiron 8000 laptop (with ATI Mobility M4 adapter). (I switch back and forth with a KVM switch).

I cannot figure out how to use the 16x9 capabilities of this widescreen monitor for the computer -- only for the TV where it works fine. The highest resolution, on both the desktop and laptop, is 1024x768. There's no option for anything with a 16:9 ratio -- I've read that 1280x768 would be best but I don't have that option.

I can stretch the image but that's not what I want. What I see on the screen is a standard 4:3 image, about the size of a 14" monitor, with black bands on both sides. Thus I'm wasting about 1/3 of the available screen area -- hardly what I had in mind when I purchased a widescreen monitor.

Can anyone help?  Thanks so much!

- Jill
pearsonpartnersAsked:
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tosh9iiiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The dispaly adapters (video cards) you have are too old.  To take full advantage of your new wide screen, you're going to have to purhcase a new video card.  Nowadays, video cards don't cost too much.  You can get one for about $40 at this webpage:

http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=14-150-055&depa=0

It's max resolution is  2048x1536@60Hz so it should be able to accommodate you.

PS make sure your computer meets or exceeds the System Requirements.
PPS Maybe it's time you actually got a new computer, you can buy a decent system (P4 2.8 ghz) for about $650.


Let me know if you need any more help.
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pearsonpartnersAuthor Commented:
Hi, tosh9iii -- Thanks for letting me know! I searched all over the Dell support sites but nowhere do they discuss what my options are for upgrading my system for anything other than memory and software. And there wasn't anything on Sceptre's site.

I just looked at the video card you suggested above. (Incidentally, I bought this monitor on newegg.com, and also my Palm Tungsten C -- great site with great prices!) I'm just wondering: as long as my computer meets the minimum requirements of a particular graphics card, does that mean it will be compatible with my system? In other words can I use any vendor's model, as long as I meet the min requirements?

And -- yes, I know I should just break down and buy a new computer, for many reasons. Will have to do that one of these days.

Thanks again for your help!

- Jill

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CallandorConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try a product like PowerStrip http://entechtaiwan.net/util/ps.shtm, which will let you create non-standard widescreen resolutions with your video card.  I do this with a front projector and it works well.
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tosh9iiiCommented:
Yes, as long as your computer meets the system requirements, you can install anything on it.  It doesn't matter who made it.
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pearsonpartnersAuthor Commented:
Hi, Callandor. Thanks for that tip. I downloaded and tried the PowerStrip application you suggested, however it will only allow fixed aspect ratio adjustments -- not adjusting for widescreen display, at least with my graphics card. I guess I will have to buy new adapters, afterall. Thanks anyway!
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CallandorCommented:
I paid for mine, and was able to set up custom resolutions - maybe the trial version doesn't allow this?
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