Overscan on new MacBook

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by S.Bartfast, May 2, 2018.

  1. S.Bartfast, May 2, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018

    S.Bartfast macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Canberra
    #1
    We have all just been issued new MacBook Pros at work (lucky us) but for some reason our external monitors now seem to overscan making them all but unusable.

    Previously I used a circa 2012 MacBook Pro and connected my external monitor through a Mini-DisplayPort/Thunderbolt 2 to HDMI cable and all worked swimmingly. Upon issuance of the new MacBooks I purchased a USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 to HDMI cable expecting the same set up to work again but unfortunately the image on the second monitor overscans and is all but unusable.

    I have tried two different cables on two MacBooks with different monitors but all overscan. More strangely though, connecting the same monitor to the same MacBook using a Toshiba Dynadock (via a USB-C to USB-A adapter) works perfectly however one needs a way to down-grade from High Sierra 10.13.4 to 10.13.3 for the Dynadock to work.

    Does anyone know how to overcome this issue? Not being able to use an external monitor with this device is a serious limitation and would be enough for me to send it back to the manufacturer, if only it were an option.

    Thanks.


    P.S. When overscaning, not only does the desktop extend off the edges of the screen but what is on the screen appears blurry. Neither of these issues happened with the old MacBook (using the DisplyPort -> HDMI cable), nor do they happen with the new MacBooks when the display is driven by the Dynadock.
     
  2. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #2
    Have you checked the monitor's overscan setting? And that your OS display preferences are set to match the native resolution of the monitor?
    What brand and model of monitor?
     
  3. S.Bartfast thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2018
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    Canberra
    #3
    The monitor is an Acer B243HL and there are no overscan settings. I have searched thoroughly through the OSD menus on the monitor and there is no Overscan (or similar) options. Further more there are no overscan options in the Mac's setting dialogue either.

    When I search for a solution to this most results discuss problems with connecting their Mac to a television but the monitor I'm using is a regular 1080x1920 computer monitor, which worked fine before.

    The settings that are available on the Mac have the option of specifying the resolution to be 1080p (which seems to be the default) as well as 1080i along with 720p and others but all options overscan and look blurry. Note there is no "overscan" slider available in the settings dialogue.
     
  4. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #4
    You can only adjust timings for the monitor if you’re using an analog cable (VGA). The monitor doesn’t have timing settings available if a digital cable is used (DisplayPort or HDMI.)
     
  5. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 3, 2004
    #5
    The manufacturer's spec sheet for this monitor makes no mention of HDMI (says VGA and DVI) so exactly how are you interfacing to this monitor? If you want to remove the overscan problem, remove HDMI from the interface.
     
  6. S.Bartfast, May 3, 2018
    Last edited: May 3, 2018

    S.Bartfast thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    It definitely has an HDMI port on the back and I believe I've heard it play sound by accident on occasion (which must surely come from the HDMI, no?). Aside from the HDMI there is also a DVI and a VGA as well as a green 3.5mm audio port.

    I did just look up the specs as well and your right, most places seem to say there is no HDMI port but also state there are 4 USB ports, of which mine has none. As it is my monitor definitely has a HDMI port and doesn't seem to have any USB ports... strange. I'll see if I can upload a couple of photos.



    By the way, when I say "overscan" I mean the picture is enlarged such that it extends off the 4 edges of the display and only the centre region is shown. While the phrase "overscan" technically relates to the travel of the electron beam in cathode-ray tubes the phrase is still (incorrectly) used in the digital age. Here is a good article discussing the phenomena if anyone is not familiar as it relates to modern televisions: https://www.engadget.com/2010/05/27/hd-101-overscan-and-why-all-tvs-do-it/
    --- Post Merged, May 3, 2018 ---
    Hopefully these images work:

    20180504_091720.jpg 20180504_091628.jpg
     
  7. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #7
    You can also adjust focus and image size while using the display in analog mode (VGA). For digital modes, you’re stuck dealing with it by using a new cable, or something on the host end, unless there’s a firmware update available for the display that addresses the issue you’re having.

    The menu will change based on which input port port is currently selected. So, for example, use a VGA cable, select that port in the display OSD menu, and you’ll notice additional settings for focus and image position in the menus.
     
  8. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #8
    A photo of the overscan would be interesting too.

    What you're describing also sounds like Accessibility Zoom. Maybe that was left on, but previously not working? (an option-cmd-8 should turn it off)
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    OP wrote:
    "connecting the same monitor to the same MacBook using a Toshiba Dynadock (via a USB-C to USB-A adapter) works perfectly however one needs a way to down-grade from High Sierra 10.13.4 to 10.13.3 for the Dynadock to work.
    Does anyone know how to overcome this issue?"


    You provided the answer to your own question in the quote above.

    Sometimes, one has to do, what one has to do.
    In these two situations:
    1. Dynadock + 10.13.3
    2. Dynadock + 10.13.4
    ... one combination of hardware/software "works", the other does not.

    My advice:
    Go with WHAT WORKS for you, and don't worry about the "other way that doesn't"...

    Another thought:
    There is a way to "force" the Mac into seeing the display "as a computer display" and NOT "as a tv screen" (which I believe is what's happening right now).
    It's a little involved, however. Success is not guaranteed.
     
  10. Toutou macrumors 6502a

    Toutou

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    Jan 6, 2015
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Republic
    #10
    This means your Mac thinks the monitor is actually a TV. This causes both the overscan and the blurry image thing. My monitor does that, and luckily there's a reliable way to fix it. It's a bit technical, but don't worry, just follow the steps carefully.

    http://www.mathewinkson.com/2013/03...ix-the-picture-quality-of-an-external-monitor
     
  11. posguy99 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    #11
    Get rid of the HDMI, all it does is cause problems. Instead, get a DP-to-DVI cable (or mDP, depending), and you're done.

    Available inexpensively from Monoprice.
     
  12. S.Bartfast thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2018
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    Canberra
    #12
    Yes, while the Dynadock solution is known to work for 10.13.3 there are a few problems with this.

    Firstly work are extremely touchy about installing all updates and while I could most likely get away with running 10.13.3 on the sly it would most definitely be frowned upon if I were caught, though probably forgiven if I were able to explain. As it is work would actually be more happy with my running the latest version of 10.12 than the second latest version of 10.13 so presumedly that would be an option but it definitely strikes me as being sub optimal.

    The other and more challenging issue is that since I have already upgraded to 10.13.4 I am unable to now find a way to downgrade to 10.13.3. The person who had reported the Dynadock setup working on the new MacBooks had been using a Dynadock on their old MacBook so intentionally never updated to 10.13.4 themselves, where as as I had been happily using the DisplayPort to HDMI cable I updated as soon as it became available. It was only when I discovered the USB-C to HDMI cable didn't work like the previous DisplayPort to HDMI cable that I realised I should never have updated the old system. All this is to say the my new MacBook has only ever had 10.13.4 installed and as such there are no restore points in the history to revert to, and even the old book which had been updated a while ago has since been wiped. While it possibly would be an option to reformat this new computer and somehow find an older version of 10.13 then only update it to 10.13.3 I'm not exactly sure how I would pull this off, and even if I were to it seems a pretty heavy handed solution.
    --- Post Merged, May 5, 2018 ---
    The new MacBook Pro's only have USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports on them. While there is a possibility that a USB-C to DVI cable might work I wasn't able to find one locally so haven't checked this yet. In any event the signal for a DIV port should be exactly the same as that for a HDMI port should it not? Note the mDP -> HDMI worked fine on the old computer, so I don't think there is any issue with the HDMI itself, more I think it's the "USB-C" end of things that's causing issues and unfortunately USB-C is all that these new MacBook Pro's have to give.
    --- Post Merged, May 5, 2018 ---
    Okay, this sounds like the most viable option at this stage. I'll give it a go...
     
  13. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #13
    So what has work said about the issue? As all the new Mac/monitor combinations now show the problem they should be interested no??
     
  14. S.Bartfast, May 6, 2018
    Last edited: May 6, 2018

    S.Bartfast thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 2, 2018
    Location:
    Canberra
    #14
    Alas, no change:

    TheFuzz.png

    Note there is no program menu bar and that the back arrow is right up against the edge of the screen.
    The text is also a little blurry but that might be hard to determine from the photo.
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2018 ---
    Yeah, they should be but I'm afraid us Mac users are somewhat renegades here in the office.

    As it is we're actually kind of lucky to be allowed to use Macs at all in the first place and our benevolent overlords have not the knowhow nor the inclination to resolve these issues, so we've more or less been asked to sort it out and let them know what we need. They'll support us with whatever it is that we need but working out what we need is up to us I'm afraid.
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2018 ---
    Oow, oow, oow... Hangon!

    Yes, it has worked!!!!
    --- Post Merged, May 6, 2018 ---
    In following the instructions I had accidentally copied the contents of the required directory to the destination folder rather than copying the actual directory itself. Once I placed the given file in the appropriate sub-directory my monitor is back to its former glory!

    Oh man, it is such a relief to finally have that sorted.
    Thank you all so much!
     
  15. hainje macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    #15
    I know that this problem was eventually fixed for some users, but I'm really frustrated that these issues exist at all. It's VERY MUCH like Apple doesn't give a darn about it's users. I have this issue with every Mac I have (mini and airlock these days) and I actually don't use them because they are so user-unfriendly! It should not be this difficult to set up a monitor, especially when Apple is the go-to for idiot-proof machines that (should) require minimal prodding and coaxing from their users.

    Why are all of the answers above starting with "oh well you need a patch," or "oh those buttons are hidden so you'll need to press a few extra buttons?"

    Does nobody here have the objectivity to see that this is wrong? The only question should be, to Apple, "why are these overscan and monitor/ TV issues even a problem?"

    I think I'll go get a Surface and give Microsoft my money. At least I'll know that I can plug into any monitor and adjust my setting within the display dialog box(es), without having to do any deep dive crap. Oh, and I'm not complaining because I can't jump through the hoops. I'm quite happy with minor coding and troubleshooting on Mac and pc. I'm frustrated that Mac has these hoops at all. We don't need no stinking hoops.
     
  16. filmbuff macrumors 6502a

    filmbuff

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    Jan 5, 2011
    #16
    I don't know about all that, but I got a MBP and the Ultrafine monitor that they sell at the Apple store. Macbook plugs in with a single cable, everything works instantly with zero setup, the monitor comes with built in color calibrations that are actually good/match the Macbook, all works seamlessly well. That's why people get Apple. As long as you stay in their ecosystem stuff generally works without needing to change overscan settings in your monitor or whatever other bs happens on a pc.
     
  17. hainje macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2018
    #17
    That’s my complaint, exactly. In order for Apple products to work like every other product on the market you have to use it with only Apple products. That’s like saying “your Crayola crayons only work on Crayola paper and with Crayola glasses on.” I’m sure Crayola would like that but if my daughter can’t draw on the walls then she’s not even interested in the crayons.

    What is most frustrating about these issues is that Apple, and it’s customers, largely ignore these issues. It took too long to find this thread with a simple browser-search. The first page of results was always aimed at people having trouble with their Apple monitors. As you say, there aren’t (or shouldn’t be) any problems with Apple to Apple connections.

    Anyway, this is pointless to go on about... thanks for the response that so eloquently helped me domenstrate my point. Apple really is about an ecology of products. They have regained a large market-share with the iPods and iPhones but they still can’t see the big world outside of their own river-valley ecology. It shouldn’t be more disappointing than Seinfeld or The Soprano’s going off the air... but it is disappointing all the same.
     
  18. duervo macrumors 68020

    duervo

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    Feb 5, 2011
    #18
    FWIW, I’ve never had to change “overscan settings” or any other “bs” on a PC to get things to work. Most extreme thing I’ve actually had to do was upgrade a driver or software version to stop it from crashing, which is something I’ve also had to do with macs.
     
  19. RobbieTT macrumors 6502

    RobbieTT

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #19
    I'm confused by this thread. Usually when I have a screen resolution issue I just pick a setting or size that fits and, if needed, adjust the underscan slider. Not usually considered an onerous task, so I must be missing something.

    Screenshot 2018-12-09 at 21.00.31.png
     

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