My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better? - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 06-06-2011, 01:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

Hello, I am currently typing to you on my new "second screen", a Vizio M220VA 22" LED HDTV. The computer powering it is actually a laptop; my much loved (never expected to be saying that about a computer)Lenovo Ideapad Y560 0646-54U. I love the idea of laptop for mobile use, but also appreciate the desktop setup when I'm at my desk. You've gotta love multiple screens. So I've finally got it all hooked up with HDMI. After a lot of testing and returning, I now have my laptop connected to a Vizio M220VA 22" LED 1080p HDTV.

My elation is kept in check, however, by small black bars around the display. This is not due to settings on the TV; all settings produce this effect to some degree. Furthermore, when I watch television or play Xbox, the black bars are not there. The TV is capable of filling the screen, but it appears that my computer is not. It is also true that this happens on every monitor and TV that I have connected my laptop to. Lowering or changing the resolution displayed on the connected monitor does not solve the problem.To confirm what the problem is: when (and only when) I use my TV as a computer monitor, I see little black bars around all sides. This also appears to produce some sort of distortion with the items onscreen, as if the whole image had been shrunk down in photoshop or something. This, however, is minor. All I want to do is use all of my screen real estate. If the television were the problem, the same issue would be present when I watch TV or play Xbox (and it doesn't). So what is the problem?

If so, how do I fix this? While I have been told that HDMI is the optimum vehicle with which to connect to my television, I have been looking into VGA. I'm willing to admit that I'm a little shaky on the terminology here; the manual for my TV calls this port an "RBG PC" port, but to my limited knowledge, it looks like a VGA port. The manual also says that the RGB PC port will allow me to use the Television to the full extent. It claims that it's compatible with full 1080p, something that I had been told was impossible with VGA. Regardless. Do you think that this would be a viable solution? What benefits and drawbacks does VGA have? I have no problem buying another cable (I guess these things are always good to have), but only if it will solve my problem.

Thank you very much for any helpful responses! Anything that will help explain or solve my problem.

I'm also having some other computer issues; would you mind taking a look?
Converting female SPDIF to a headphone jack? Sound output via HDMI?
Laptop will not recognize wired ethernet connection, but can use wireless.
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Old 06-06-2011, 07:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

not sure if using vga will fix your black bar problem and going that direction you wont use your HD to advantage. from the looks of your laptop your running an ati card, download catalyst go to scaling options and overscan to use the whole screen.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

My computer came installed with Catalyst, but I'm not finding "scaling options" anywhere. I've pored over that program, but I can't find anything like that.
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

You might need the updated drivers.
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Old 06-07-2011, 03:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

Bah, drivers... why are you so difficult? Windows automatic search determined that I was fully updated. However, I was able to download driver packages from the ATI website. That improved Catalyst, and allowed me to change the over/underscan. My picture is now perfectly scaled, and the distortion is gone.

Thank you very much; problem solved!
Also, ++points for Paper Mario's wrestling buddy.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My computer can't use the full area of my monitor through HDMI... will VGA be better?

good to see your figured it out
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