OS X to finally get proper under/overscan correction? Updated: Confirmed

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jaw04005, Jun 15, 2010.

  1. macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Interesting on Apple’s Web site:

    Mac mini comes to the big screen.

    It’s easy to connect Mac mini to the biggest screen in the house — your HDTV — courtesy of a built-in HDMI port. Plug in one HDMI cable and start enjoying content on your Mac mini in brilliant HD. Like movies and TV shows from iTunes, the Internet, and your photo library. There’s also a handy control that lets you easily adjust the output on Mac mini to fill even the biggest HDTV screen. And when you just want to listen to music, you can play your entire iTunes collection through your home entertainment center, or stream it to a set of speakers in any room via an AirPort Express Base Station.


    Hopefully that means an actual adjustment tool, not just the current 720p/1080p/1080i settings in the Display system preference.

    Updated: Macworld Sr. Editor Dan Frakes confirms the build of OS X that ships with the new Mac mini includes new underscan controls. Screenshot included.


    Attached Files:

  2. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    You can enable/disable overscan. This much I know. It's a little checkbox.

    You can also set resolution more specifically, if I recall correctly, but that might depend on the TV.

    At school when hooked up via HDMI to an Insignia 42" tv, I can turn off overscan and set the resolution. Maybe its tv dependent?

    I'd post screenshots, but its my roommates TV ;)
  3. macrumors demi-god


    Jun 2, 2007
    The post is coming from inside the house!
    It would be a beautiful thing if I never had to mess around with DisplayConfigX again.

    Here's to hoping!!
  4. macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Yes, this is correct. It's in the Display tab in system prefs. At least in Snow Leopard. There are now more resolution choices for external displays, as well as a checkbox for overscan. Works great for me when I connect my MacBook Pro to my TV.
  5. macrumors 68010

    Sep 30, 2003
    That checkbox has been there forever.

    Another thing you need to check is your TV - make sure it's on the 1:1 or "bit by bit" view setting, it changes depending on the manufacturer.
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 6, 2009
    Sounds like you need SL mate :)
  7. thread starter macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Macworld confirms the new Mac mini has new underscan controls in the Display system preference.

    "In fact, Apple has even updated the Displays pane of System Preferences for the new mini to let you tweak video underscan—useful when connecting the mini to a TV. (Sorry, AV lovers—there’s no update to Front Row. Apple told us this Displays option is the only software change you’ll find.)”


    Trying to get a screen shot from Dan Frakes. I haven’t updated to 10.6.4, can anyone confirm it’s rolled into the build? I would guess not considering 10.6.4’s development cycle, but it will likely be included for all Macs in 10.6.5.

    Mac OS X has had a basic overscan checkbox for years, at least since 10.3 Panther. You don’t need Snow Leopard. I believe it was introduced when Apple started shipping S-Video adapters as optional accessories with their Macs (for projectors and SD TVs). The problem is it’s not designed to deal with the special over/underscan issues associated with HDTVs, and many HDTVs (particularly two or three year old 720p/1080i sets) don’t have 1:1 pixel mapping or “just scan” modes.

    This is a big problem on the Mac side since Apple has never included OS-level controls to fix it (like NVIDIA and ATI do on the Windows side). Mac users have had to use DisplayConfigX or SwitchResX to find a convoluted calculation for their specific HDTV set or use VGA (although on many HDTVs if you use the VGA port, your TV turns off image processing and it can leave you with a muddy/washed out picture).

    Edit: Big thanks to Dan at Macworld for the screenshot. Looks simple enough.

    Attached Files:

  8. macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I just updated my mac mini with 10.6.4, and the underscan setting is NOT available. How incredibly disappointing, but not surprising. This is the (now) previous generation, purchased just a few months ago.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Sep 9, 2009
    Where the fresh snow don't go.
    should've looked at buyer's guide :p
  10. macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    I did. The recommendation was safe, and said something like 'no major updates expected'. :( The overscan issue is hard to discover until you buy and start using the mac mini yourself.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    XBMC is the way forward (and when I say XBMC I mean plex!)
  12. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    I Noticed the same thing on my Mac Mini after upgrading to 10.6.4.
    The question is if the setting in Display Preferences is exclusive for the new Mac Mini or if it will be part of a future version of OSX, like 10.6.5 or something.

    If not it would be very nice to be able to "hack" the setting and use it on an older Mac.

    I would very much like to be able to adjust overscan on my Mac Mini.

    Anyone with a new Mac Mini that could check?
  13. macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    It probably is specific for the 320m gpu at this point, so getting it to work on a new MacBook would be simple. For older cards though... we can hope they'll work with Nvidia/ATI to get it, but who knows.
  14. macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2008
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Does this underscan option only apply to the new mini? What about the edition available last November? I can't seem to get it to work with my HDTV.
  15. macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2003
    Yes, at this point the new option exists only for the redesigned mini released this week. It's always possible that they'll enable it for older machines at a later date, but don't expect it.
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2010
    Now that they've implemented the underscan functionality for the new minis, it would be trivial to get it working on older ones. But I doubt they're ever going to do this, because they'd rather have you buy a new mac mini.

    Using SwitchResX, I'm able to get a 720p-ish resolution that comes close to filling up my TV's screen. But I have to boot in regular 720p first, then switch over to the custom resolution. Otherwise, the image is shifted to the right for some reason. I haven't tried 1080p-ish custom resolutions yet.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2009
    Truly pathetic if they wouldn't roll it into an SL update for everybody.
    I mean, this issue is there for any TV hookup, also for MBPs etc.
    Get on it Apple!!
  18. macrumors newbie

    Jul 14, 2010
    what I have found regarding underscan

    I have the new mac min. Here's what I have found:

    Underscan is enabled only for the HDMI display, and only if you are using the HDMI output connected to an HDMI device (duh).

    If you're using a second display (from displayport), underscan becomes disabled and greyed out IF you mirror your display between the two. If you setup your displays with the desktop spanned across the two, then underscan becomes enabled again.
  19. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    So if you only use the Display Port the underscan is also greyed out?

    I wonder what happens if one use a Display Port to HDMI adapter, would underscan be enabled then?
    I know, if you have a new Mac Mini (with HDMI) it would not make any sense but the test could give an indication on if the option could be made available for other Mac's.
  20. macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    It works I just fixed my overscan. I have an iMac hooked up with a display port to hdmi adapter. I am so stoked I have hated this tv for so long because of the overscan.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    How did you do? Any "hacks"? Are there instructions available anywhere?
  22. macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    No you just plug it into the tv go to displays in system preferences and it is there. It is about time apple integrated this into the os it is awesome.
  23. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    Ok, sorry, I might have misunderstood you... You mentioned an iMac and I thought you have the underscan option on the iMac?

    What computers and displays do you have and how do you connect them?
  24. macrumors member

    Feb 4, 2010
    Haha dude, 27 inch iMac Hooked up to my 46 inch samsung tv that had overscan it's running an hdmi cable across the room and hooked into the iMac with a displayport to hdmi adapter. Then I go to system preference then displays then arrangement. The slider to fix overscan Is on the samsung screen when you first click arrangement because it opens to windows, one for the settings of each screen. So you have to either move your mouse over to the tv and move the slider to fix overscan or click the gather windows button o bring the tv settings over to the iMac. I'm telling you that cuz it could be an easy mistake to not see the setting for the tv if your just looking at the iMac side.

    So anyway yes 2010 iMac displayport to hdmi hooked to samsung tv with overscan problem and finally on the new software update osx has the underscan slider
  25. macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2009
    Ok, that sounds good!

    Since the iMac is newer than the Mac Mini I guess you have had the option all the time?
    Or did it appear with the "graphics update 1.0"?

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