Fixing Cropped Picture and Cut Off Screen Sides on HD Plasma / LCD TV Displays Connected via HDMI / DVI to Notebook / PC

Last night, observing a friend’s Sony VAIO connected to a 42” Panasonic Viera 720p plasma display via the HDMI input, the screen was not displayed properly, with a significant portion bleeding out of the boundaries of the screen. It was cut off about 5% on every side, like it was zoomed in.

Asked her about how she feels about it and the answer was even more ridiculous than the problem itself: “if I could only see the Start menu button…” She then explained how both Sony and Panasonic tech staff have come along for help, and tried to solve the problem using nVidia Control Panel, by means of some absurd fashion: resizing the desktop and adjusting horizontal and vertical dimensions to the desired screen size… Well, that’s definitely a proof to my “pizza-boy-turned-support-technician” theory.

It’s not OS-dependent and if you’re luckily using a Mac, you might not be able to see all of the menus at the top of your Mac’s screen or the lower half of the Dock icons might be cut off.

TV Picture Overscan

If I send, for example, a display signal of 800×600 from my PC through the VGA connection, with overscan set to OFF, I will get the image at the center of the screen with a black border around. As the display is 1024×768, this would result in some of the screen being unused. That is why overscan is enabled by default.

The basic function of overscan is that it stretches the image a fraction so as to take the outer picture frame off of the screen. This, thus prevents little edge artifacts appearing on your screen on Standard Definition viewing.

For the HD signals being sent through HDMI, the overscan option is only available when Aspect Ratio is set to Auto (16:9 signal only) or 16:9. This has to be separately set for SD and HD signals. For HD it does not need to be on and is very easy to switch from on to off. This option might be available regardless of the input connection you are using. Some users leave it off all the time, but I prefer the perfect edges all the time, so leave it on for SD.

As stated above, the aspect ratio must be in auto (which is the default setting) or 16:9. For me, I find it a useful feature.

Panasonic

On Panasonic HD plasma displays, for the HDMI port you’re currently using, select Menu > Setup > Picture Overscan, and turn it OFF. If you are unable to find the Picture Overscan option, then try fiddling with the Aspect settings. You will probably find it set to Auto. Switch it to 16:9 and you should find the Picture Overscan option will be available from the Setup Menu.

Pioneer Kuro and Pioneer Elite Kuro [Updated July 17, 2007]

Strangely, world’s finest HDTV isn’t “Full HD,” and only does 720p! Ignoring technology-rabid 1080p-obliged consumers, Pioneer’s 2007 Kuro and Elite Kuro displays sport a 1,024 × 768 XGA resolution panel for 42-inch models, and the 50-inch flavors up the ante with a 1,365 × 768 WXGA resolution. With both being 16:9 dimensionally, only the 50-inch has square (1:1) pixels.

As for the picture sizing, you will need to set your Pioneer Kuro TV input to “dot-for-dot” (no scaling), and maybe the overscan setting as well in order to exactly.

Samsung [Updated September 5, 2010]

On Samsung LCD HD TVs, the option makes more sense. The problem could be because you had initially selected a wrong screen size (16:9 | Wide Zoom | Zoom | 4:3). So, for the specific Samsung HDTV HDMI port connected to either a PC DVI port or a notebook HDMI port, select MenuPicturePicture OptionsSize and set Screen Fit. If that didn’t solve the problem, while having your Samsung HDTV HDMI port connected to either a PC DVI port or a notebook HDMI port selected as current source, select SourceToolsEdit Name and among options (like DVR | Game Console | PC), select PC. This will hopefully counterbalance the cropped picture, and edges rendered outside the screen will be justified inside the viewable area. If you want it to make more sense, be informed, by Edit Name they meant Input Type!

World’s largest chaebol, though it’s a far cry from being a high-end brand, Samsung produces mass-market products common consumers enjoy. So thanks to Samsung’s customer satisfaction policy, if your HTPC feeds a Samsung LCD HD TV, or technically speaking, if your personal computer outputs DVI, and you’ve converted the DVI to HDMI, using either a DVI to HDMI converter or a DVI-D Dual Link to HDMI cable, selecting Screen Fit (and perhaps PC) for the HDMI input you’re currently using, should solve the cropped screen problem.

Commenting Request [Updated December 5, 2010]

If you’ve been experiencing the same HDMI cropped picture problem in your HD Ready/Full HD plasma/LCD/LED display panel, and seen the edges of the screen are like they’re rendered outside of the viewable area, please comment, stating the brand/model of the TV display, and where the option to solve the problem lays.

90 thoughts on “Fixing Cropped Picture and Cut Off Screen Sides on HD Plasma / LCD TV Displays Connected via HDMI / DVI to Notebook / PC

    • I have a pansonic tv and i couldn’t find the overscan option. I solved it by playing with it and found out i can enter this mode called “Game mode” and it fixes the problem of getting the edges cut off

  1. Brand Panasonic
    Part Number TC-P50X3
    GTIN 00885170043589

    cant find any way to fix cropped edges …no menu options for it :(

  2. Thanks so much for this. I figured I would help out by mentioning something. The newer LG Tv’s with the circular quick menu use the option “Just Scan” in the Aspect Ratio menu. I’m assuming it’s the same as overscan considering it solved my edge cutting problem.

    • Coming here from google. Looks like this article is still relevant in 2013
      I can also confirm the same for my LG TV.

      Just Select the Aspect Ratio option in Q. Menu and change it from 16:9 (or whatever it is)
      to “Just Scan”

      Thanks for this article clearly explaining the problem and the solution.
      One Question if you know the answer. Does this happen only when connecting computers and not say your BluRay Player? And why?

  3. Great, this fixed the problem on my Panasonic P46V20Z plasma TV, thanks so much.
    Menu – Setup – Other Settings – 16:9 Overscan.

  4. Great article, thank you! For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why the TV was “overdisplaying” the PC through HDMI – this happened with our Xbox etc as well, but now I’m sorted.

    Lots of love, a happy chappy!

  5. any ideas for an Apex model le40h88? i’m using a workaround right now with my nvidia control panel for a custom resolution, but this is really starting to bother me. any help is appreciated.

  6. JVC HD-52g886 Rear projection. tried everything but this TV insists on cropping my picture. Running HDMI from HD cable box. Aspect is set to “Full” Still about 5% cropped on all edges. Please advise.

  7. :(( nothing changed in my Samsung LE40BE530 lcd tv, after I changed input name to pc :(
    I’m using a laptop with Nvidia gpu

  8. So hang on, if I play a 4:3 film/movie into the TV it won’t have the overscan option enabled (because the option just says ’16:9 overscan’)? That’s crazy, it’s things like 4:3 VHS rips and older stuff that need overscan the most! Does anyone know if this is correct that you can’t overscan 4:3 on these Panasonic panels?

  9. when i use my old laptop ( hp ) it is fine

    tell i buy new laptop ( asus ) and when i try connected it to my lcd hd tv ( sony ) , there are cutting in right and left side :(

    can some one help me in SONY lcd plsssssss :(

  10. Hello and good night.

    Im having the same problem everyone had, but my TV is an LC32W053 AOC FULL HD TV MONITOR and when i connect my tv with DVI-HDMI cable to my computer and put resolution to 1920×1080, the screen cut off and the image is blurry. I cant read a think. He says the native resolution is 1360×720. Ive been seaching and the problem some people say is the 1:1 PIXEL MAPPING, but i cant fix it out.
    Please, help me Komeil.

    Thank you.

  11. I have a pioneer PDP 428XD which i bought a few years ago. I am convinced the picture is “cropped” when I view anything. Mostly, I am connected to a cable box via Sky in Italy. I have tried all settings easily avaiable in Home Menu. Nothing works. I havent entered Factory settings. Can anyone please help? many thanks

  12. you know…..the best thing about life is that we can come here we know nothing about each other and yet we help and collaborate and do things better then the combined force off hdtv brand maker service centers!

    to the guy with the SONY HDTV (mine is xbr LED series) i have the solution:
    go to menu/screen settings
    then go to Display area: you have 3 options:
    - Full pixel
    - normal

    choose Full Pixel

    and you will have full screen with not edge cropping, finally i can see my start menue bar after 8 months of torture to my eyes!

    now i need to find this option in my friends Toshiba hdtv
    - and something called -1

    • I agree! Web technology is cool…

      I hope you can help me. I’ve found the bit on my Sony Bravia LCD that you’re talking about, and I can see the Display Area option but it’s faded out so I can’t select it/change to Full Pixel… Any ideas?! Please help!

      Cheers,

      S

  13. hi there. nice article you have here.. i have exact same problem, im currently using sony bravia tv and sony vaio laptop. the resolution set in my tv is 1920×1080 and somehow if i reduce it. it will crop my screen even more. i did try to open the setting, but cant seem to find a way to fix the problem. plus it forbid me to use normal resolution mode, even my tv has the options for full, wide zoom, wide, and normal. *sigh* can anyone help ? T_T

  14. Finally someone seems to have an answer to this problem! I have just bought a Sony 40″ LCD Bravia. None of the option screens seem to to offer the option to switch overscan to off though. The biggest I can get the picture from my PC to be (through HDMI lead) is on Scene Select: General, with Screen Format: Full…

    We exchanged this for a Samsung (because we thought Sony was a more reputable make and was slightly discounted) and I don’t remember having the problem with the Samsung. I noticed it straight away with the Sony though. Any chance you can give me some advice? Maybe we should just take it back to the shop and swap it back for the Samsung!?

    cheers,

    S

    PS. We paid 350 for the Sony (but I think it’s last year’s model), and £380 for the Samsung. Is that a fair price? what do people think?

  15. For Samsung LCD TV to turn off overscan, basically switch the picture size to screen fit from 16:9 and it will not crop the edges. This is what is written in the TV User Guide also:
    “Screen Fit: Displays the full image without any cut-off when HDMI (720p / 1080i / 1080p) or Component (1080i / 1080p) signals are inputted.”

  16. Thansks a ton. I have been trying hard for the past few days to fix this problem, based on several suggestions provided by others on the Internet. It was your explanation, and the combination of overscan and 16:9 ratio that did the trick.

    Kind regards, Sunil Sivanand

  17. I have a Samsung Plasma 51 inch. Every channel is cut-off. When Im watch Espn I can’t not see the scores on the lower right side of the screen because they are cut off

  18. It’s not working on my Panasonic VIERA Plasma. I have tried all suggestions, no oversize, no 16:9 and zoom adjustments option is grayed out. only 2 options on computer for resolution and neither are correct.. :( The computer also recognizes the screen as a Panasonic. Please help

  19. i have an LG flat screen TV please help the boarders are surronding the whole TV and images are stretched

  20. Just been tinkering with the LOGIK HD TV my wife bought me to use as a monitor (best wife ever) and I have the same problem as everyone else. Article writer suggests it’s overscan but I have no ‘scan’ option of any kind on this system.
    I have sort of fixed it by:
    1) setting the Laptop (Hewlett Packard) to 1280×720 and Landscape orientation by right clicking the desktop (Windows 7) and bringing up a new option there called ‘Screen Resolution’.
    2) next, I set the TV to 16:9 aspect through the Settings menu. Together, these changes repesented the combination closest to a full picture as I previously had on my laptop.
    3) I then right clicked on the desktop again and selected ‘Graphics Properties’. This brought up a dialog box that showed both picture inputs (the TV and the laptops’s own screen). Here, I selected the tab down the sidebar labelled ‘Display Settings’.
    4) On this Display Settings tab I selected the tab across the top for the TV and clicked a button labelled ‘Aspect Ratio Options’.
    5) This gave me the option of customising the horizontal and vertical aspects of the picture on the TV by using a slider for each. They were defaulted at 100 so I moved them down to 80 and reclaimed pretty much all of the screen! I can now see the Start button at the bottom left (!) and use the Back button on my browser again!!! Woo hoo!!!

    Hope this helps someone until a better technical explanation comes along.

  21. Same principal, slightly different way on Panasonic Viera TH-P42ST30Z menu/picture/advanced settings/16:9 overscan/off

    Thanks so much!

  22. I have a panasonic tv. Kids played with remote and I could only see the outside of the picture. Now it says channel not available, no signal. No idea what I did….help :-)

    Thanks

  23. LG 50PZ250N, HDMI is cropped, color is sort of blurry and “lifeless” or to sharp when manually trying to change it.
    Also the menu for this screen is horrible limited leaving you with barely no options for further and advanced customization.
    I have tested this on several different computer with different spec, the same result.

  24. For Panasonic Vierra the options will be hard to find on the menu settings, but I found my solution through my cable box. I found an option for aspec settings on my cable box menu and fixed it from there. Charter remotes even have a button on the remote, which is probably how it got to the cropped image in the first place from my elderly parents pressing random buttons -___-

    • This turned out to be my problem as well. The “ASPECT” button on the Suddenlink remote cycles through several options. Mine was set on “Stretch 1080i”. This caused not only overscan but this picture was also slightly distorted. It was driving me crazy. What a relief.

  25. On a Panasonic Viera TC-P42S30 the option is Menu/Picture/Aspect Adjustments/Screen Format = FULL and HD Size = 2

    If you look at the description for Size = 1 it says ” Size 1 displays 95% to trim noise…doh! Took forever to find. Now to figure out why there is no sound through HDMI from my E6420

  26. I have a samsung syncmaster B233HD. Same problem, cuts corners off. I have no idea when you say source < tools… where is source? thanks

  27. You, sir, are a genius.. I’ve been looking for a way to solve this for quite some time, but could never find how to turn off the overscan!
    Thank you very, very much!

  28. I have encountered this problem on my VIZIO L37 HDTV. It is really annoying. I tried to change resolution on my laptop but it does not help at all. Plus, the menu setting in the HDTV does not help much. There is no option to turn off overscan.

  29. To remove the cut off edges while your laptop is hooked to your Philips TV via HDMI, go To TV Menu > Features > Mode Selection > PC

    Technical Details
    Brand Name: Philips
    Model: 47PFL5704D/F7
    Display Technology: LCD
    Display Size: 47 inches
    Image Aspect Ratio: 16:9

    Thanks for the article!

  30. I have a Samsung SyncMaster SA650 wide screen PC display with the same problem. The image was cropped in 1080p resolution at the top.
    I found a menu setting calles PC/AV Mode, this was set to AV, when I set it to PC it was ok again. Thanks for hinting me in the right direction.

  31. Panasonic TX-37LX80H……no advance/other option/setting or overscan function can be found on the tv menu……can you please help?

    n i m wondering if it is possible to update firmware of the tv ? just thought that it might have some relation to that…

    thz!!!

  32. I have a BEKO NR 19WLJ520HD tv and when i connect my tv with my s3 through hdmi i have an oversized screen! I tried the changing the aspect ratio but still it remains oversized! I dont know what do! Pleease help!

  33. How many years later is this post still helping people. Only today a customer mentioned how this post had helped them solve this problem, a problem that had plagued them since they bought the set. They followed your instructions and now are happy.

  34. Panny user. Just turned off overscan and my scroll bar appeared. Hurrah! Hope this also solves us not being able to see the score on Sky footie matches – that was always just outta sight. Great, if it does. Many thanks. So pleased.

  35. this happened to me today only when I replaced my DVD player with a new one. I am so frustrated I have a 50 inch Panasonic plasma.

  36. Can anyone find the setting for turning off overscan for the Panasonic TC-L42U12 LCD TV? The only size adjustments are for the PC input, which is analogue, and I am using HDMI.

  37. I have a tc-p54g10 and was unable to make the correct adjustments from the TV. However, after digging around my PC settings I was able to adjust overscan from the AMD Vision Control Center (Radeon Card)

  38. Its not perfect, but for Sony Bravia 32″ tv I went into the “Home” button > Screen > Display Area and changed it from “-2″ to “normal.” It still cuts a little off but its much butter…

  39. You deserve an internet medal for this! Been bugging me for aaaages.

    If anyone is looking for the overscan option for a Panasonic TX-P42GT30B it’s:

    Picture > Advanced Settings

    Thanks again Komeil!

  40. I have just spent about 1/2 hour fiddling with my new Panasonic and could not find any overscan option (it’s the cheapest one they sell so probably doesn’t have it!).
    However, I tried fiddling with my Windows 7 laptop and discovered the following fix:
    - right-click on your desktop
    - Graphics options
    - Panel fit
    - Digital TV
    - Maintain display scaling
    Fixed it for me. Hope this helps some of you!

  41. Thank you so much, I had tried everthing I could think of to do this, but my TV was basically useless as a monitor. This fixed my problems immediately.

  42. I had same problem in AOC Full HDTV. Selected DVI mode in HDMI TV to HDMI PC interface, Everything is fine but sound will not come in TV.

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