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Wide Screen Monitor Distortion how do I fix it?

#1 User is offline   HelenVG 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 02:50 PM

I just got a new lovely wide screen monitor for my PC, hp pavioion 514c running Windows XP Home. Images are stretched out. Not so bad for words but messes up photos. Is there a way to fix this? Monitor advertises 1600 x 900 resolution, but my computer doesn't go up that high. Do I need a new graphics driver or something to fix the distortion?
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#2 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 04:40 PM

View PostHelenVG, on 27 October 2009 - 02:50 PM, said:

I just got a new lovely wide screen monitor for my PC, hp pavioion 514c running Windows XP Home. Images are stretched out. Not so bad for words but messes up photos. Is there a way to fix this? Monitor advertises 1600 x 900 resolution, but my computer doesn't go up that high. Do I need a new graphics driver or something to fix the distortion?


It would appear that the integrated graphics in your computer does not support a resolution as high as 1600x900.

You might be able to select a lower resolution with the proper aspect ratio, however. Widescreen monitors have aspect ratios of 16:9, while "traditional" monitor have an aspect ratio of 4:3.

Have you tried any of the other lower resolutions? Look for one where the first number divided by the second number is about 1.78 (that is about a 16:9 aspect ratio). If you want, list the resolutions that are available to you when you try to change it and we can see if there is one that might work.

If that does not work, then you might able to adjust the monitor settings using the monitor controls to minimize or even eliminate the distortion, but you likely will not get the full benefit of your widescreen monitor (i.e. you might end up with large black bars on each side of the image).

If you cannot find a resolution that works, then you might be faced with getting a new graphics card.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#3 User is offline   mjd420nova 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 05:40 PM

The proper resolution for widescreen would be 1440 by 900. Anything above that would be distorted. Integrated video does not support widescreen as you've found out. You'd have to install a seperate plug in video card to take advantage of the wide screen moniton without distorting the display. I love my 22 inch widescreen as it allows me to have two full size web pages open side by side at one time.
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#4 User is offline   pizzaisgood14 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 06:25 PM

View Postmjd420nova, on 27 October 2009 - 05:40 PM, said:

The proper resolution for widescreen would be 1440 by 900. Anything above that would be distorted. Integrated video does not support widescreen as you've found out. You'd have to install a seperate plug in video card to take advantage of the wide screen moniton without distorting the display. I love my 22 inch widescreen as it allows me to have two full size web pages open side by side at one time.

I would not recommend going any resolution lower than the native resolution, especially for lcd monitors as you will not be getting the full clarity. I looked up your computer and it appears you have a open pci slot and a 4x agp slot. I recommend installing a new graphics card. Anything would be better than you have now and may even help out in certain applications.
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#5 User is offline   compnovo 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 08:03 PM

View Postmjd420nova, on 27 October 2009 - 05:40 PM, said:

The proper resolution for widescreen would be 1440 by 900. Anything above that would be distorted. Integrated video does not support widescreen as you've found out. You'd have to install a seperate plug in video card to take advantage of the wide screen moniton without distorting the display. I love my 22 inch widescreen as it allows me to have two full size web pages open side by side at one time.


The native resolution for any LCD monitor depends on the format and the manufacturer. For instance, the Proview 19" widescreen my wife is using with her Mac Mini supports a native resolution of 1440x900, as you say. However, the Acer widescreen 23" monitor I'm using with my Windows box has a native resolution of 1920x1080 (I have a discrete graphics card). Incidentally, onboard integrated graphics do support widescreen monitors if the resolution is not too high (as is the OP's). The Proview my wife is using used to be hooked up to an old Dell Dimension 2400 with onboard graphics. The reason it worked is because a 19" widescreen monitor at 1440x900 has fewer pixels than a standard 17" LCD monitor, which just about any computer can handle.

This post has been edited by compnovo: 27 October 2009 - 08:03 PM

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#6 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 10:29 PM

Early widescreen monitors were 16:10 while widescreen TV's were 16:9. Currently the widescreen monitors that have been on the market for a while are 16:10, but the newer models are 16:9. My year old HP 2408w has a native resolution of 1920x1200. Dividing the 1920 by 16 = 120 and of course dividing the 1200 by 10 is also 120. My older 22w monitor has a native resolution of 1680x1050 also a 16:10 monitor. The newer 24" monitors show a native resolution of 1920x1080 which calculates out to 16:9.

The change in the ratio is probably a side effect of the merging of the separate monitor and TV lines. I have a new Samsung T260D that has HDMI, DVI, VGA, component and composite inputs along with a tuner. It is currently used as a monitor, but can be used as a TV. Strangely enough, it's native resolution is 1920x1200.

The HP 514c has one AGP 4x slot and there are still a number of AGP graphics cards on Newegg in the price range of $30 to $70.
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#7 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 11:18 PM

View Postrgreen4, on 27 October 2009 - 10:29 PM, said:

Early widescreen monitors were 16:10 while widescreen TV's were 16:9. Currently the widescreen monitors that have been on the market for a while are 16:10, but the newer models are 16:9. My year old HP 2408w has a native resolution of 1920x1200. Dividing the 1920 by 16 = 120 and of course dividing the 1200 by 10 is also 120. My older 22w monitor has a native resolution of 1680x1050 also a 16:10 monitor. The newer 24" monitors show a native resolution of 1920x1080 which calculates out to 16:9.

The change in the ratio is probably a side effect of the merging of the separate monitor and TV lines. I have a new Samsung T260D that has HDMI, DVI, VGA, component and composite inputs along with a tuner. It is currently used as a monitor, but can be used as a TV. Strangely enough, it's native resolution is 1920x1200.

The HP 514c has one AGP 4x slot and there are still a number of AGP graphics cards on Newegg in the price range of $30 to $70.


Thanks for reminding me that widescreen monitors have tended to be 16:10. I got too caught up in the whole HDTV world.

And you are likely correct...it seems that HDTVs and computer monitors are starting to kind of "merge". You are even starting to see it kind of from the "other direction" too...the new 27" iMac (all-in-one computer) can supposedly act as a "dumb" TV monitor for a cable box or DVD player or TiVo even though it is an all-in-one computer. I suspect we will see more of this type stuff in the future. This is all part of the movement toward "all-in-one" media devices/computers/home entertainment systems.
Good riddance PCWorld.
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#8 User is offline   HelenVG 

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:40 AM

Wow! What an education! Thank you all for explaining to me what's going on, and what my options are. How stupid I feel for just going out and buying this monitor without a clue how stuff worked! I do have one more option, which is to pack this new monitor back in the box and return it to Office Depot to exchange for a monitor with the "traditional" 4:3 ratio. The reason I got the new one was to help out my failing eyesight, and I do appreciate the larger characters on the new monitor, even tho distorted. However, I also do a lot of digital photography editing and it is essential that I see the photos undistorted. I'm afraid a new graphics card would just reduce the print back to the size I started with on the old monitor (since the verticle screen size is about the same). I do not watch movies or play video games on the monitor, and, apparently, the ratio on most websites, Windows and other aps are designed for the old 4:3. Is that right? So I needed bigger, not wider.
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#9 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 08:06 AM

View PostHelenVG, on 28 October 2009 - 04:40 AM, said:

Wow! What an education! Thank you all for explaining to me what's going on, and what my options are. How stupid I feel for just going out and buying this monitor without a clue how stuff worked! I do have one more option, which is to pack this new monitor back in the box and return it to Office Depot to exchange for a monitor with the "traditional" 4:3 ratio. The reason I got the new one was to help out my failing eyesight, and I do appreciate the larger characters on the new monitor, even tho distorted. However, I also do a lot of digital photography editing and it is essential that I see the photos undistorted. I'm afraid a new graphics card would just reduce the print back to the size I started with on the old monitor (since the verticle screen size is about the same). I do not watch movies or play video games on the monitor, and, apparently, the ratio on most websites, Windows and other aps are designed for the old 4:3. Is that right? So I needed bigger, not wider.


It would help if you could post the old monitor size and the new monitor's size as well as the make. This will help us in trying to make a recommendation.
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#10 User is offline   smax013 

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 11:52 AM

View PostHelenVG, on 28 October 2009 - 04:40 AM, said:

Wow! What an education! Thank you all for explaining to me what's going on, and what my options are. How stupid I feel for just going out and buying this monitor without a clue how stuff worked! I do have one more option, which is to pack this new monitor back in the box and return it to Office Depot to exchange for a monitor with the "traditional" 4:3 ratio. The reason I got the new one was to help out my failing eyesight, and I do appreciate the larger characters on the new monitor, even tho distorted. However, I also do a lot of digital photography editing and it is essential that I see the photos undistorted. I'm afraid a new graphics card would just reduce the print back to the size I started with on the old monitor (since the verticle screen size is about the same). I do not watch movies or play video games on the monitor, and, apparently, the ratio on most websites, Windows and other aps are designed for the old 4:3. Is that right? So I needed bigger, not wider.


If you are doing it to try to make the screen icons bigger, then a little careful at what size monitor your choose in combination with what resolution you run it at. This may not be a huge issue with your integrated graphics.

Generally speaking, once you go to about a 24" monitor or so, they can handle a "step" higher resolution. Typically, 19" to 22" or so monitors (and maybe even 17") all have the same maximum resolution. Thus, generally a 22" monitor will have things appear larger than a 19" monitor when running at the maximum resolution. When you "bump" beyond the 24" point, they frequently can go a step higher in the resolution.

Now, in your case, your computers graphics system will likely be the limitation on what resolution you might be able to do anyway.

The key point is that if you really want to have stuff appear larger, then you will generally need to go to a lower resolution. This is where a large monitor helps. With a smaller monitor, running at a higher resolution will generally mean small text and icons...so to get them bigger, you drop the resolution...and end up with less screen "real estate". With a bigger monitor you have a better change of keeping it at a resolution that gives you the icon/text size, but still gives good screen "real estate".

Hope that kind of makes sense.

This post has been edited by smax013: 28 October 2009 - 11:53 AM

Good riddance PCWorld.
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#11 User is offline   rgreen4 

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Posted 26 December 2009 - 07:44 AM

For those looking for Stillcrazy's post about a distorted monitor, please post here.

This post has been edited by smax013: 26 December 2009 - 01:30 PM

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