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manually adjust screen resolution to fill widescreen TV

Posted on 2006-05-30
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
Hi

Im not sure if this is the right section or not, but here goes...

I have recently built a Windows Media Centre 2005 PC with an Nvidia 5200 as its graphics card. There are some widescreen resolutions that I can choose, but they are all way too small. The largest resolution I can choose is 800x600, but this leaves 2 black sidebars. I am using the latest Nvidia drivers and I can see in the advanced options there is an option for screen size/adjustment, but this lets you move the screen around, but not stretch it.
I wondered if there was a file I could manually edit to force it to a resolution that fills up the TV, as the lower resolutions cut off most of the text/buttons in dialog boxes!
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Question by:5t34lth_G33k
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Expert Comment

by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16790147
perhaps you want to install your monitor's drivers?
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 16790246
I dont have a monitor, its on a TV
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16790366
then you're limited to the your display card and it's inherent features. In order for you to get that output you want, the video card needs to have the capability.  the answer to this is that you "can't"
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 16790623
hmmm well I knew you could in Linux by editing the equivalent of an inf file. Searching around, I have just uncovered this:


http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/thread/30311.aspx

If you read through it, you will see I am not the only one having this problem. MCE is a little b*tch at getting widescreen resolutions, it seems. Further down the post, someone posts a link:


http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/powerstrip.html

Powerstrip looks like it can manually override resolution settings set by the driver. Obviously, care needs to be taken, but this could solve my problem. I havent yet tried it, so will report back when I have tested it

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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16790702
Actually powerstrip is a 3rd party solution and may work out for you.  Go check it out.
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jason1214 earned 750 total points
ID: 16791527
BE SURE TO BACKUP YOUR REGISTRY FIRST IF YOU TRY THIS!

You can edit it in the video registry key as well. (NOTE: key may not be exactly the same and instructions may vary on your setup)

Navigate to key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Hardware Profiles\0001\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\VIDEO\{C95CB286-E861-40D0-83CE-5C3A49B256E5}

Then select folder 0000.

In that folder, you are looking for DefaultSettings.XResolution and DefaultSettings.YResolution.  Change them to what you need.

Again, I do not recommend doing this without updating drivers for both the card and the TV.  Remember, the resolution may be a limitation of the TV, make sure the TV is capable of the resolution that you want first.

If you have trouble figuring out the maximum resolution, please post it and we can look it up for you.

Good luck.
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 16850245
Sorry for not getting back earlier - I have been extremely lazy in trying this out, but I did try it on my work monitor (not a good idea, I know) and it worked! I was able to give my 4:3 aspect moitor a 16:9 resolution - admittedly, the screen had just one black bar at the bottom where you would expect there to be both at the top and bottom, but Im sure that is a position setting in the registry

Will get back to you when I have managed to sort it out
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 16855192
how very odd! I did what you suggested on my media pc, but every time it restarts it sets the value back to what it used to be! I have disabled everything I could think of being the culprit (powerstrip, nvidia desktop manager) but it still reverts back to 800x600!
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 16932687
anyone?
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by:Irwin Santos
ID: 16932980
go to the manufacturer's website and download the latest driver for your video card..then install.
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 17071232
I already tried the latest drivers, but thats not the problem here. The problem is that for some bizzarre reason, the resolution is reverting back to 800x600, despite what I configure the registry setting to be.
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by:5t34lth_G33k
ID: 17174351
i managed to get it working by putting in a radeon x800 card - works fine now. Have accepted the registry edit answer, since it did work on my work PC, so it may  prove useful to another EE'er
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