Cannot get widescreen video output

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by chainprayer, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. chainprayer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    I am running video from my MacBook to my widescreen tv via a VGA cable. I cannot get any video settings to work that show the video in widescreen format. Everything I select has the black bars on the sides. Any suggestions?

    :D

    Thanks!
     
  2. Tomorrow macrumors 604

    Tomorrow

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Always a day away
    #2
    Is your MacBook sending a widescreen signal to the TV?

    Is the TV's aspect ratio set to "Wide" or "Zoom"?
     
  3. acfusion29 macrumors 68040

    acfusion29

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    Nov 8, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
    Close the lid and make sure the power adapter is plugged in.
     
  4. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #4
    What resolutions are you trying to output? First off, make sure you're using widescreen resolutions. Also, try shutting off mirror mode, as your MB has a 16:10 ratio screen, while the TV is more than likely 16:9 in pixel ratio.

    Also, take a look at the user manual for your TV. Some flat panels have restrictions with input over VGA. Usually it's just maximum resolution limiting (my 1080p set limits vga inputs to 1366x768 for instance), but that may be the case as well.
     
  5. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #5
    what would that accomplish?
     
  6. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #6
    If you hookup a keyboard/mouse that'd put it into clamshell mode I think
     
  7. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #7
    All the resolutions that my TV lists as compatible create the bars on the sides. The only one I can't test is 1360x768 @ 60Hz. I can't find that in the display pref pane. Is there a way to get this? Would this be a widescreen format?

    I can always force widescreen on my TV, but then the image is stretched :-/
     
  8. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #8
    You're TV doesn't list any of the following?

    -1280x720
    -1366x768
    -1920x1080

    If none of those are listed, then it doesn't support widescreen resolutions via VGA. Those are the common 16:9 ratios.

    The only other thing I can think of, is that you are using a MacBook, and not a G4 iBook, right? I just want to make sure, not to insult you or anything.
     
  9. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #9
    So here's the confusing part...

    My manual says "for best picture quality set your video resolution to 1366x768 @ 60Hz. Out of the list of about 50 choices I have in the preference pane, that is the only one that is not listed. Any idea why my computer can't output that format?

    And yes, it is a MacBook :) Thanks for checking!

    I'm currently at a resolution of of 1024x768 and the picture is crystal clear, just not widescreen.
     
  10. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #10
    Do you have 1366x720? We had a Visio at work that liked that strange resolution, or something like that for some reason. The only other software thing I can think of would be to try re-detecting the display in your display preferences.

    In terms of hardware, you could try using the DVI dongle, and then DVI-->HDMI to the TV if you have an HDMI input available.

    Also, are you using mirrored mode or using the TV as an additional screen? On my unibody with Samsung LCD-TV, the resolutions to the TV work better when not in mirror mode, just because the computer is 16:10 whereas the TV is 16:9.
     
  11. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #11
    Also not available. The resolution my TV is calling for (and the one you suggested) just simply aren't available :( (even though every other resolution ever imagined is)
     

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  12. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

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    Sep 28, 2008
    #12
    That 1344x1008, is absolutely bizarre...at least it calculates out to a 4:3 ratio ("square" TV ratio)

    One last one I just thought of, is 1600x900 there? Heh, this is crazy. One other thing, is your VGA cable missing 1 pin? A lot of cables lack one pin, I'm not sure what it does, but if you can find with WITH that pin, maybe that will help the MB detect the TV better?

    I'm at a total loss right now.

    Edit: What model TV is this that we're working with? Also, what model Macbook (which graphics chip more importantly perhaps, GMA 950 vs x3100 for a plastic MB)?
     
  13. jegbook macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2007
    #13
    Interesting. I've hooked my SR MacBook up to two different LCD FHDTVs and both TVs were recognized by the computer and indicated at the top of the display control panel the model of the TV (where your pic says "Display" at the top of the window, mine would say "VO32L FHDTV 10A".

    This is true for both VGA connection as well as DVI --> HDMI connection. I don't think I had all of those whacky resolutions, though.

    Have you tried selecting the "Detect Displays" button again? You might try having the TV connected, putting the MacBook to sleep, then waking it up. Sometimes computers don't want to fully recognize displays just by plugging them in. Sometimes you need to reboot or come out of stand-by/sleep.

    It may also be that the MacBook just won't correctly recognize the TV. I've run into some monitors where my MacBook wouldn't identify the model of the monitor and I wasn't able to select the native resolution of the LCD. And that was booted into OS X or XP -- either way, no native resolution.

    Also unique that there are so many frequencies listed. When I connect my MacBook to my TV, all I get is 60Hz. I like the idea above about checking the VGA cable. That sounds like a winner to me.

    There is a tool called SwitchResX which allows you to create custom resolutions, but I haven't used it so can't speak to its efficacy.

    Good luck!
     
  14. NewMacbookPlz macrumors 68040

    NewMacbookPlz

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2008
    #14
    The only issue with SwitchResX is that I think you're limited to something like 1024x768 in terms of total pixels without purchasing a key to the program. I tried using it to get rid of overscan when mirroring in 1920x1080, and it wouldn't let me go that high without buying the app.
     
  15. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 10, 2008
    #15
    I got it working with that app :). If I used any higher of a resolution my tv wouldn't support it. I will post the model when I get home.

    Thank you everyone for your awesome help and support!
     
  16. chainprayer thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #16
    I am now having the same problems on the windows side. Do you know of a similar program for XP?

    Btw I have a Vizio VS370E.
     
  17. harry454 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2007
    #17
    try screenxres its a app that lets you pick any resolution for your display or displays
     

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