How to use your TV as a monitor

Change the display resolution for a better picture

Question: I often use my TV as a second monitor for giving presentations. My Windows 7 laptop normally operates at a 1920x1080 resolution, but changes to 1360x768 when I connect the TV. The image on the TV is displayed full-screen, but it isn't on my laptop. Adjusting the resolution doesn't solve the problem.

Answer: The TV, which is currently cloning your laptop screen, is limited to a 1360x768 resolution. The laptop therefore reduces its resolution to match.

It's possible to use different resolutions -- the native resolution of your laptop and the 1360x768 of the TV. In the Display Settings (go to Start, Control Panel, Appearance and Personalization, Personalization, Display Settings), select 'Extend the desktop onto this monitor' and drag your presentation on to the TV.

You can also arrange where the displays are in relation to each other in the Graphics Properties dialog box. Note that display outputs from computers have a tendency to be too large to fit on the screen of a flatscreen TV correctly. If you have an ATI or nVidia graphics chip, there may be a utility in its driver package to help you adjust your screen correctly. Look for an 'overscanning' option, which lets you resize your desktop to fit the screen without changing the resolution.

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Chris Byers

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