I've just bought a Sony Bravia KDL40S5100 TV. Its VGA input is acting weird. I have a Gateway desktop with Windows 7 and Intel 945 graphics. I also have a laptop running Ubuntu 9.04.

The TV will not display the Gateway desktop when the resolution is over 1360x768, I have to wait for it to time out and bring me back. The Intel driver even urges me to switch to the "recommended" 1920x1080. I just installed Win7 using this TV as the monitor. When the original welcome screen started after setup, it started me at 1080. I had to start in safemode to set a res that would work!

When I plug my laptop into the TV, 1920x1080 works just fine.

Any ideas?

This laptop also has Win7, which I am going to try, but I haven't gotten a chance yet.

  • Are both the TV and laptop connecting over VGA? Aug 29, 2009 at 15:32
  • Yeah, VGA is the only interface I'm using out of these PC's. I still haven't figured it out, but I haven' spent much time with it. Aug 29, 2009 at 18:32
  • 3
    Some TVs are very picky about the signal quality and timing over VGA. 1080 over VGA is pushing the boundaries over cheap VGA cabling. Have you tried a short cable?
    – Brad
    May 5, 2012 at 20:20
  • You might want to update that installation of Ubuntu...
    – Attie
    Aug 6, 2017 at 21:12
  • You think? This question was asked in 2009 when 9.04 was current. Pay attention Aug 8, 2017 at 6:03

4 Answers 4


Try a new cable. I've seen so many cases that the PC can't detect the monitor's resolution due to the broken cable. The component signals are still OK so the image can be displayed, but the monitor information which is sent in another wire can't be read properly

Similar issues:


Sounds like it could be a refresh rate out of range (as far as the TV is concerned) -- have you compared the rates between PC and Laptop?

  • I did check that, but I, of course, get no other option then 60hz when plugged into the TV. Aug 15, 2009 at 15:53
  • On both laptop and PC? Aug 15, 2009 at 16:27
  • Are you setting the resolution from the standard Win7 display dialog, or through the Intel GFX application? I have an old Acer laptop that will not allow me to set a decent resolution through the standard windows dialog, but calling up the Intel GFX settings allows me to do whatever I wish. Sep 19, 2012 at 17:55

I concur this may be an out of range issue. TVs are not exactly flexible when it comes to supporting multiple resolutions.


Ubuntu uses different video drivers than Windows. Additionally, most "Smart" devices (TVs included) use a GNU/Linux distribution as their OS. So when you use a Windows computer, it is connecting to a different OS with different drivers than a GNU/Linux to GNU/Linux connection.

When you install Windows on a computer that is using an unsupported video adapter, Windows Setup installs a standard VGA mode driver. However, after you install Windows, you may be able to obtain and install a Windows-compatible driver for your video adapter from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). If you are running Windows Vista, visit the Windows Vista Compatibility Center to find links to the latest VGA drivers.

Under some conditions, the new OEM video drivers may cause shutdown problems, or cause your computer to stop responding (hang). Because of this, you may want to remove the new OEM drivers and revert back to using the Microsoft Standard VGA drivers to help determine if the OEM drivers are causing the problem.

Taken from Microsoft's website (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/268852).

  • 2
    While Windows and Ubuntu do indeed use different video drivers, the rest just isn’t true. Display timings and whatnot are standardized and the signal leaving the VGA/DVI/whatever port is in no way OS-specific.
    – Daniel B
    Apr 21, 2015 at 6:21
  • Daniel, please see the edit for an explanation of the effect different drivers can have. The protocols, though standardized in theory, are not always implemented in the same way. Apr 24, 2015 at 18:31
  • That’s got nothing to do with the signal that leaves the computer.
    – Daniel B
    Apr 24, 2015 at 20:46
  • I think you are right... It isn't the interaction between the two different drivers but rather that the driver on Windows is the problem and needs to be updated. Apr 24, 2015 at 21:21

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