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Using a TV as a monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 21, 2013 3:52:19 PM

Hey forum,
I am trying to use an old computer as a living room system, hooking it up to the TV with a HDMI cable to use on Netflix. However, any text displayed on the TV is mushed together and is illegible no matter the distance you are away from the TV. Is there a way to make the text more legible without compromising in resolution?
Thanks, Oliver

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February 21, 2013 5:21:54 PM

In windows, you can change font sizing.

Right click on your desktop, and go to change resolution. There will be an option to make font bigger or smaller. Select that, and then increase the font size.

In games, this may not be as simple. Some games do come with an option to scale the UI, but usually it is to scale is down instead of up. This isn't as big of an issue these days though, since most PC games are console ports. Thus, the UI should already be legible for TV use.
February 21, 2013 5:54:24 PM

Do you have the resolutions on your computer set as the same native resolution of your TV? Also, many TV's have a setting that you can change to "PC mode" (or something to that effect). This mode generally helps when some of the borders are cut off.
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February 21, 2013 6:52:23 PM

wiggbot said:
Right click on your desktop, and go to change resolution. There will be an option to make font bigger or smaller. Select that, and then increase the font size.


Great response, thanks. Another question: does having a monitor/screen as a primary display make a difference to the quality? As of now, my laptop's primary display is it's own built in screen and in the resolution window even though I have selected the video to show only on the TV it still says the recommended resolution is 1366x768; which is the resolution of the built-in display.

I have also noticed that when I put the resolution down to this value the video quality didn't change much and the text was clearer. Is this my laptop not being capable of streaming such information or am I overlooking a setting somewhere?
Thanks again, Oliver

February 21, 2013 7:00:27 PM

mmaatt747 said:
Do you have the resolutions on your computer set as the same native resolution of your TV? Also, many TV's have a setting that you can change to "PC mode" (or something to that effect). This mode generally helps when some of the borders are cut off.


Yeah, I have a Samsung TV and I have 'renamed' the HDMI port to PC but it didn't do much except uncut borders, which still helped :) . It seems that the image is maybe being compressed then enlarged again as the pixels seem merged together.
February 21, 2013 7:16:31 PM

olie777 said:
Great response, thanks. Another question: does having a monitor/screen as a primary display make a difference to the quality? As of now, my laptop's primary display is it's own built in screen and in the resolution window even though I have selected the video to show only on the TV it still says the recommended resolution is 1366x768; which is the resolution of the built-in display.

I have also noticed that when I put the resolution down to this value the video quality didn't change much and the text was clearer. Is this my laptop not being capable of streaming such information or am I overlooking a setting somewhere?
Thanks again, Oliver


What laptop do you have, and what is the native resolution of the TV you are plugging into? Odds are that it SHOULD support up to 1080p if it has an HDMI out, but let's verify that. May account for the text being clearer issue.
February 21, 2013 8:32:06 PM

My laptop is the HP Pavilion G62-144DX with a native res of 1366x768 and the TV has a 1920x1080 native resolution. Also the HDMI port is built into the motherboard so nothing from adapters or conversions.
February 21, 2013 8:52:14 PM

Your laptop's onboard video can handle 1080p, and as such when selecting what resolution to use you should select 1080p.

The reason for things not looking as clear may be due to the fact that your tv's dots per inch (dpi) is much lower than your monitors. Thus, up close you will notice pixels. Why it gets smoother at a lower resolution is beyond me, though.
!