Category Archives: Window Media Center

Dealing With Overscan and Windows Media Center

My Windows Media Center HTPC is connected to a Panasonic LCD TV via HDMI and has always suffered from overscan.  The Windows Media Center setup wizard applies an overscan adjustment, which fixes the problem in Media Center, but overscan is still a problem for BIOS access.

My first HTPC was an AMD build based around a Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H motherboard running Windows Vista.  My current build uses the on die graphics of a Core i5 processor and Windows 7.  Both builds had an overscan problem.

The Intel graphics driver has a scaling option which is accessible by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing Graphics Properties.  This works well in Windows, but doesn’t help with BIOS access.

The resolution to my overscan problem was found in my TV setup menu.  There’s an overscan setting, which was enabled.  Disabling the overscan setting resolved all the overscan problems.  If you have the same problem it’s worth checking your TV setup too.

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Incorrect Screen Resolution When Resuming From Sleep With Windows Media Center

I’ve used Windows Media Center as my main way of watching TV since Windows Vista.  In fact, other than on demand, e.g. iPlayer etc. it’s the only way to watch TV in my house.  I’m now using it with Windows 7 and until recently I’ve always had an issue with sound and screen resolution when resuming from sleep.  My HTPC has a GA-MA78GM-S2H (rev. 1.0) motherboard (AMD chipset) and is connected to a Panasonic LCD via HDMI.  I found that when resuming from sleep at least half the time there was no sound on the TV, or the screen resolution had reverted to 4:3, rather than 16:9.  No matter which order I turned the TV and HTPC on and off, or which drivers I used, I couldn’t resolve the issue, until now.  For the last two weeks every time I’ve used my TV, which is at least once a day, the screen resolution has been correct when and the TV has always had sound when resuming from sleep.  This is how I fixed it:

  • Resume the computer from sleep and turn on the TV as usual.
  • If the screen resolution is incorrect, navigate within the Media Center interface to Tasks -> Settings -> TV -> Configure Your TV or Monitor.
  • Continue through the wizard selecting your display type, connection type and display width until you get to a screen where Media Center asks you to confirm your display resolution.  In my case it said “Current resolution: 1024 by 768 pixels This resolution does not appear correct.”  Choose not to keep the current display resolution.
  • From the list that appears select the correct  resolution for your TV.
  • Finish the wizard.

Hopefully, you’ll always have the correct screen resolution from now on.