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TECHNOLOGY Q&A

OverScan

 

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA
June 2013

Q: I purchased a new television for use as a computer monitor and connected the device using an HDMI cable, but this solution is not working properly as my computer displays an oversized screen image that is about 10% too big for my monitor. This prevents me from viewing the edges of my display screen, or accessing the Quick Launch toolbar and minimize/restore down/close buttons. I have been unable to find a solution to this problem from my computer and monitor manufacturers. Can you help?

OverscanA: This problem is most likely related to using an HDMI cable to connect a large flat-screen TV to your computer. Televisions usually default to a setting called OverScan mode, which can prevent the television from displaying the computer screen’s size properly unless both devices use identical resolution settings. Because it is connected via HDMI, the television may not recognize that a computer image is being received, therefore, the proper internal adjustments are not automatically applied. To solve this problem, connect the television using a VGA connection, if available. If not, use your television screen’s remote to turn off OverScan so the picture will resize to fit your monitor. (For example, I use two 40-inch Coby television monitors as my computer screens, and on these devices this setting adjustment is made by selecting Menu, Picture, Advanced Video, and setting OverScan to Off.)

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