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NVidia 8400GS & 32" LCD TV- half the games display

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 18, 2010 1:00:13 AM

Hello. I have and no longer use a Mac Mini 1.83 GHz Core2Duo with 64MB Intel GMA950 graphics, and i had this hooked up to my Magnavox 32" LCD TV (model # 32MF338B). With this Mac I was able to boot into Windows (using BootCamp) and play games like Diablo III and Tron 2.0 (I love older games) When playing Diablo, the highest res from the game was 800x600, which was fine and showed the two black vertical bars on the
left and right sides.

Now I have built a PC with an nVidia (Galaxy) 8400GS 512 MB video card and it runs both WinXP and Mac OS X 10.6. The dekstop for both operating systems run fine, but PC games don't display at all on my Magnavox TV (yet they run fine on my 19" Samsung Monitor). Whenever I load Bioshock or Unreal Tournament 3, I hear the audio but get no video. I see other forum posts about games hanging when loading, but this isn't the case as
I'm able to press Escape or F4, use arrow keys to navigate around the menus blindly and exit back to the desktop. I did try Diablo II and it does run using my TV. The thing is that the TV has to get a video signal before I can alter the settings. The VGA format can either be "Dot by Dot" (takes up 98% of the screen with thin black bars on the sides), or "full" (expands so the video takes up the whole screen & the black bars aren't there). When playing Diablo II, I can also set the TV to "sidebar" so that the video is in a 4:3 ratio. If i keep it there and exit Diablo, it automatically goes back to dot-by-dot mode.

The LCD TV has a VGA port, and it makes no difference if I have the VGA cable going from that to the VGA input on the card or the DVI input (with VGA adapter). I'd like to note that I have to have the 19" monitor going so that I can see the BIOS, as it doesn't appear when I start up my machine using the TV. Anytime I start up my PC (booting into either OS X or WinXP), I can see the BIOS screen on my 19" monitor, but either my TV shows "TV" as the input or is just black.

When I was using my Mac Mini, I could boot into Windows and see the XP screen. Yet with my PC and a faster, better video card, it's selective. I've tried somewhat newer games like Battlefront II and get those working. Others give me trouble.

Is there any way to set screen dimensions and resolution in a game before launching it? I'd hate to think a newer card is necessary esp since older games will run at an almost full resolution (BF II gave me the options for 1360 x 768, my TV resolution), but newer games won't display at all. I've tried HDMI on the TV to DVI on the card but it won't work. What gives?
November 18, 2010 1:40:03 AM

Also, these newer games run perfectly when I have my 19" monitor hooked up, and it alone. If they display video properly on the my 19", why aren't they displaying at all on my 32" TV?
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November 18, 2010 3:51:38 PM

It looks like I had to use a different launcher in the UT3 folder to get the right resolution, had to download a separate file to get Need For Speed Carbon to work, and had to modify a settings file and download the update for BioShock. Still, there are some games I have to test out.
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