I have purchased a large TV for a monitor that claims it is 1080p and clearly states that its native resolution is 1920x1080, and when I hook it up using HDMI, everything does read that; But the image I am getting is very, very clearly not 1920x1080; I can tell this because the exact same resolution on my second monitor (a 19 inch LG) displays things at a very different size and ratio. For example, things that span the entire screen easily on the smaller screen do not fit at all on the larger one.

When I say "smaller", I do not mean that the things on the large TV are smaller; I fully expect that, given that it is a larger screen. I mean that the actual amount of pixels it displays across the screen is inaccurate. For example, if I open up a website that is sized to fit a 1024x768 resolution on my LG screen, there is a massive amount of padding on either size as the content floats correctly in the center; But on this new TV, it fills up the entire screen as if it is the actual resolution.

Is this even possible? I am at a loss as to what to do. I have looked over the specifications time and time and time and time again and I see absolutely no reason why this should be showing at a smaller resolution.

The exact TV I am using is here; Sceptre 32'' LCD HDTV

This is on Windows 8.1 (x64), using an nVidia GeForce GT 540M display adapter.

To illustrate what I mean by "it reads that it is 1920x1080", I have taken a screenshot of the same page (this one) across both screens, with the resolution display from Windows visible as well.


  • 1
    What precisely does "everything does read that" mean? Feb 6, 2014 at 21:46
  • That is a good question. I am very sorry for my obscure phrasing. I have updated the question to clarify, and included a sample screenshot that demonstrates the issue more clearly.
    – Stacey
    Feb 6, 2014 at 21:51
  • Basically, it means that anything within the operating system or the TV menus is reporting 1920x1080 as the resolution; But I can very clearly see it is not.
    – Stacey
    Feb 6, 2014 at 21:58
  • the images you posted are pointless cause we can't actually see them up close. Feb 6, 2014 at 23:22
  • 1
    Look for an under or overscan option in your nVidia display settings. Adjust that. Also, on your TV's remote look for a "mode" or so and try all the options. If your TV is set to the incorrect mode that can cause the display to not be correct.
    – headkase
    Feb 8, 2014 at 5:09

2 Answers 2


What is the resolution the computer is using?:
To find out the exact resolution that the computer itself is "sending" to the tv, do a ScreenShot , or hit the PrintScreen Button and paste the image off the clipboard into some picture editing program. Then read the dimentions of the captured picture.
That will confirm that the computers own resolution viewport thing. Screen caps to test can be done with a single monitor or dualies and you can find out what the computer sees.
If the computer own res is showing low, check out features of your video card, using your video card software. HDMI is not always pixel perfect with the video cards, sometimes (depending on the version and manufacture) it requires a bit of tweaking. ATI for example treated HDMI as if it was going to act like an analog tv. Some early LCD digital televisions did act that way (overscans).

DPI (not resolution) is system wide not monitor independant:
From what you showed (luv them pics) the computer is indeed in the desired resolution, and for some reason your tv is doing an interpolation. (it also looks like it is being interpolated) That does not explain the size difference , when DPI settings are system wide not monitor independant. While it looks like your usual 720type interpolation (again) it doesnt explain what looks like a DPI change.
Also why are the Icons of the same clearity but the browser not? have you tested what your observing with many programs, or could it be something that a browser is doing? (I dont know of any browsers that would scale thier DPi based on a monitor, but ya never know what stupid features they will put in next :-)

Resolution can be different on different monitors:
The windows system is completly capable of running 2 monitors at 2 different resolutions. Each monitor can therfore have a resolution set for it. OffTopic- color profiles and cleartype and refresh rates can also be different.

TVs for a computer what fun:
If the screen capture shows the proper res, it could be assumed (but not guarenteed) that the changes you need to make are on the TV itself. First verify the actual model number, to insure you got what you think you got (look on the back of the actual tv). Then try and find format , aspect and other settings on the tv, while nothing seems cropped or zoomed, and the tv will always deal with the picture as a whole item (again not making a lot of sence that it is only part of the image).

Setting everywhere , find them all, learn the purpose:
Tvs are tvs , they are not monitors, so they have a lot of settings designed to work with broadcast signals, most tvs can be set to other than pixel by pixel settings, and some will even overscan still (throwback from CRTs).
Hooking up a TV often required tweaking both the software for the GPU, and the TVs own settings to attempt to keep everything pixel=pixel, so it could be some tweaking will be in order. (overscan, underscan, aspect, format even possible to be effected by refresh rates)

The pictures you display are very usefull, but I could not determine for a fact what is going on, maybe some of the above will help, or help you to provide more information.

Windows Display Resolution:
In the windows Display Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution select the monitor/tv picture (first) that you are having troubles with and check the resolution settings there. If you have 2 monitors make sure before you make changes you have the monitor (picture) selected.

Monitor drivers (profiles):
Usually it is not really important if the tv/monitor name is not shown (the profile driver for the monitor is not installed) "Generic" connections should still be capable of getting the correct resolutions, without the added profile for the monitor. With that said it doesnt hurt to check if the monitor came with a CD or a download off thier web that has a "monitor driver" which is just a profile for that monitor. Monitor profiles also hold color calibration information.

What windows wont do, GPU software often will:
The software that comes with the GPU card (or chip even) Often has many more advanced features for adjusting things than the windows own simple and to the point display setting. Because your using Nvidia, I dont know where the options are. In ATI it also has a special section for HDMI connected tvs, that can resolve some issues and differances when hooking up an actual TV (instead of a monitor).

  • You are correct. When I do a screenshot with only that monitor, the output resolution is much different. What information would allow you to better determine what is going on?
    – Stacey
    Feb 7, 2014 at 22:30
  • I will add more stuff. What is the resolution that you saw during a screencapture? What is the resolution that shows in the windows own display setting? What does your Nvidea software show? (i have not worked with nvidia so that software would be foreign to me.
    – Psycogeek
    Feb 8, 2014 at 4:08
  • Hey, I followed all of your instructions, and it took me a month of research and learning, but I have fixed it. The problem is, much as you describe, TVs are not monitors. It took a combination of pixel mapping, DPI resizing, and resolution hacking. Thank you so much for your help.
    – Stacey
    Mar 11, 2014 at 12:25
  • @Stacey Great, it was fun wasnt it :-) , If you have anything to add like specific settings and locations they were found in, feel free to add that stuff in somewhere to help others.
    – Psycogeek
    Mar 12, 2014 at 1:10

Using Windows 10 - I had the same issue.

Fixed by right clicking desktop and selecting 'Display Settings'. There is a drop down menu for 'Scale and layout' which changes the size of text and other apps - It was set to 150%. Changing it to 100% fixed the issue.

Hope this helps!

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