Black Border around all sides of screen when connecting Mac to HDTV via HDMI

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by eme jota ce, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. eme jota ce macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #1
    I've seen a few posts about this problem on Macrumors and through Google searches, but I haven't found a solution to the "Black Border" problem some of us are having when connecting Macs to HDTV's via HDMI cables. Nor am I certain what the cause of the problem is: Mac?, TV?, HDMI cable length?

    For me, resetting PRAM by holding Command-Option-P-R at startup and waiting for two chimes removes the black border for up to several computer restarts, but eventually the border comes back until I reset PRAM, again.

    I have a 55' long HDMI cable from Monoprice ("HDMI Tin-Plated Copper CL2 Rated (For In-Wall Installation) Cable (22AWG) - 35ft (Gold Plated)") running from a mac pro with an ATI Radeon video card to a 52" Mitsubishi 1080p HDTV.

    Any suggestions what the cause / solution of the Black Border problem?

    Thanks,
    mjc



    To clarify, this is not just a black bar at the top and bottom like when watching certain DVD's, but a black border around all four sides that effectively reduces the size of your TV from, e.g. 52" to 46" whether watching movies, surfing the web, or otherwise using the Mac via an HDTV
     
  2. georgeoommen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    #2
    Try using a VGA cable. there are some reports that this a "feature" of the HDMI interface, which VGA does not have.

    I have the same issue for my Mini connected to my HDTV. alternatively you can turn on the overscan (somewhere in settings, not sure where), but then you'll lose about a half inch all around the screen.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Your TV is treating the input signal as an overscan signal. You need to find a way to force the TV to not do this. The way is TV specific (and on many TVs there is no way). Search the manual for PC mode or 1-1 pixel mapping. Or try posting on av forums...
     
  4. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #4
    Thanks georgeoommen,

    No VGA input on my HDTV. Previously, I ran a VGA cable from a mini to a Sony HDTV and did not have the same problem with this "feature," but I'm pretty much stuck with the HDMI interface in this setup. Wires run behind the wall and no VGA input on the tv. I do have Component cables that run from the AV Receiver to the HDTV, though.

    Checking an un-checking overscan does nothing to the appearance of the display in this configuration, but I remember it did have an impact on the Mini-to-Sony via VGA setup.
     
  5. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #5
    Great. Thanks. I'll look into the manual (again).

    You think that's the case even though the TV displays a great picture each time I reset PRAM?
     
  6. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #6
    I'm pretty sure you said you tried this, but just to clarify, you did try checking the Overscan button in the Displays system preference, right?
     
  7. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #7
    Yes.
     
  8. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    Would a different Video Card solve the problem?

    I'm wondering if I'd get a full screen if I found a Video card with component video output.

    Blackmagic makes a card called the Intensity Pro that has component output, but I have no idea if that's really a solution or just trading the current problems for a new set. :confused:
     
  9. torid110 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    #9
    In the mitsubishi setup, did you set the input you're plugging into to be "PC" ?
     
  10. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #10
    Yes. It's set to PC, which doesn't seem to allow many customization options.

    it tried to set it to something else (may generic HDMI) but received not picture at all.
     
  11. grue macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2003
    Location:
    Somewhere.
    #11

    On Samsung units, it's called "Just Scan" mode, and on Sharp I think it's called "Dot for Dot"
     
  12. duffer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    #12
    Get yourself a copy of SwitchResX or DisplayConfigX. I have used both programs in the past and currently use SwitchResX (I find it to be a bit easier to setup).
     
  13. torid110 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Location:
    Jersey City, NJ
    #13
    I'm pretty sure i had the same issue as you. You wouldn't happen to have a WD-52627 would you ? If i remember correctly the second HDMI port is PC only (even though the manual says otherwise) and it's evidenced by the fact you have less picture settings than when connected to HDMI-1. Can you try connecting the PC to HDMI-1 and try setting it to a generic video setting in the mitsu setup ?
     
  14. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Chicago
    #14
    Interesting Idea. My model is the LT-52244. The manual says:
    All images are displayed at 1080p. The TV
    uses Plush 1080p™ to convert lower-resolution signals
    to 1080p for display. HDMI 1080p signals are displayed
    without overscan when received on inputs named
    Game (if Picture Mode Game is selected) or on inputs
    named PC.
    ...
    HDMI 1.3 Inputs. These inputs accept digital 480i,
    480p, 720p, 1080i, and 1080p video signals plus
    PCM digital stereo signals. The HDMI™ inputs can
    also accept a variety of PC signals and resolutions.
    ...
    Used with an adapter, these inputs also accept
    compatible digital DVI video signals.
    ...
    Appendix B provides the following specs:
    PC (digital signals only):
    VGA (640 x 480, 60 Hz)
    W-VGA (848 x 480, 60 Hz)
    SVGA (800 x 600, 60 Hz)
    W-SVGA (1064 x 600, 60 Hz)
    XGA (1024 x 768, 60 Hz)
    1280 x 720, 60 Hz
    SXGA (1280 x 1024, 60 Hz)
    1920 x 1080 (60 Hz)
    WXGA (1360 x 768, 60 Hz)​
     
  15. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #15
    Thanks. Any idea on the settings? I'm a little nervous that those programs make adjustments well beyond my understanding, which might cause me some problems like those discussed on other threads - loss of screen...
     
  16. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #16
    You need to get the settings precisely correct: if the manual doesn't tell you (those are no where near enough) try a search by model number at avforums.

    I got precise settings for my Samsung from there: works perfectly with a 1:1 pixel mapping. Very strange settings: 59.74 hertz refresh etc!
     
  17. eme jota ce thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
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    Chicago
    #17
    Thanks Robbie.

    I'm checking avsforum.com.


    [UPDATE : August 2009] Nothing available on avsforum for a mac / Mitsubishi combo. Still dealing with black bars around screen when playing Mac Pro to HDTV.

    I've also visited the Genius bar after Apple 800 support was unable to address the issue of the mac basically not being able to display correctly to the HDTV (other devices properly fill the screen when using the same HDMI inputs tried with the Mac).

    This computer has two primary display uses (1) watching movies via Plex, and (2) light Internet browsing, and quick modifications to other apps like Indigo. When watching movies, I turn on Overscan in System Preferences which removes the black border but pushes the edges of the desktop off the screen, ie the image is too big for the tv screen, then have Plex reduce the screen size so that movies perfetly fill the whole screen. Then, when needing the desktop or Safari.... I uncheck Overscan and see the return of the black borders.
     

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