What I want to do:
I want to put vertical letterboxes on the sides of my widescreen display to run a 4:3 resolution while maintaining the native pixel-for-pixel aspect ratio and scaling: my display is 1360×768, and I would like to end up with a desktop of 1024×768 with two 168-pixel-wide letterboxes occupying the remainder. N.B. I am reluctant to accept third-party software as a solution.
What I've got:
- Windows 7 Home Premium
- EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE
- NVIDIA Control Panel version 7.7.760.0
The display is a Dynex LCD DVD/TV combo DX-22LD150A11. It is using VGA input, which is provided through a hardware DVI adapter into a VGA cable (it has coax, VGA, HDMI, component, and USB inputs). It reports its native resolution to Windows as 1024×768, but most games detect native as 1360×768 (which corroborates what I found online in a service manual).
What I tried:
The NVIDIA Control Panel:
has a setting called "Adjust desktop size and position".
- The scaling setting aspect ratio claims, and I quote, "Stretches the desktop as much as possible to fit the display while maintaining the aspect ratio. If the desktop has a different aspect ratio than the display, there may be black bands around the desktop." That is precisely what I want, however when I change my resolution from 1360×768 to 1024×768, it stretches to fill my 16:9 display area anyways. It is also ineffective if I change my resolution first, then apply this scaling. I suspect this is because the control panel believes the monitor's native resolution to be 1024×768, which is quite noticeably and obviously not the actual native resolution of the display: I have tried many resolutions, including 1024×768 and 1366×768 and 1360×768 is the only resolution that does not blur any pixels. However, if that suspicion is correct, then it should letterbox if enter 1024×768 resolution, enable scaling, and then set a lower resolution (e.g., 800×600), it does not letterbox, instead stretching the desktop even worse.
- The scaling setting no scaling claims "The display image remains the original size and is centered on your display screen. This may result in small, but crisp, image. The remaining area around the image is surrounded by black bars." This sounds similar to aspect ratio, but that it would be willing to letterbox both horizontally and vertically together; but it doesn't work either.