Getting Netflix movies to fill widescreen

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Getting Netflix movies to fill widescreen

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My Inspiron 6000 laptop is attached by S-video cable to my HDTV set, but widescreen watch-instantly movies won't fill the TV screen. They are in what appears to be the 16:9 ratio but display in the middle of the screen with lots of black space completely surrounding the image. 4:3 movies and older TV shows look pretty normal, mostly filling the screen from top to bottom with black bars on each side. If I hit the fill button on the TV remote control, the image (whether 16:9 or 4:3) fills the widescreen TV but is badly stretched. From what I have read, I get the idea that the display setting on my laptop should be 1280 x 768, but when I set it to that, the image doesn't change and the setting automatically returns to the default 1024 x 768.

This is probably pretty basic stuff that I just don't know how to do. Can anyone help? Does my problem have to do with the 1 and 2 screens showing on the Display/Setting dialog? I have to click on the screen icon 2 even to be able to set the slider to 1280 x 768 or 800, but then the changed setting doesn't seem to take effect and I am back to screen 1. In other words, even though the Inspiron desktop is in the wider format, its output to the TV seems to be in 4:3, and asking the TV to make the image fill the screen merely ends up stretching the squarer format into an unsuitable widescreen. Do I need another piece of software or driver? Is it the video card -- XTI Mobility Radeon X300? The connector -- S-video, VGA, DVI?

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

All Replies
  • http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articles/anamorphic/aspectratios/widescreenorama.html

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - XP SP3 / Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • Thanks for the response and link. Perhaps I wasn't clear about my problem. With my current setup, my normally widescreen Inspiron 6000 display seems to appear only in the squarer 4:3 format on my widescreen HDTV. Therefore, when a 4:3 older movie or TV show is playing, it displays pretty much like any older movie or TV show would if it were being picked up over my DirecTV satellite service or from the DVD player. When a 16:9 movie or TV show is playing, however, it is in that appropriate widescreen format but only within the 4:3 desktop space that the computer seems to be outputting to the TV -- meaning there is lots of unused, black space surrounding the 16:9 picture. Is this, then, an output problem requiring me to use a different type of connector -- say, VGA instead of S-video? Or is it a video-card issue, as participant Fireberd indicated, and installation of the proper HD-output card would include an HDMI connector for cabling. Or is this a display settings problem that I should be able to fix simply by changing the display settings on the control panel (if I knew what I was doing!).

    If it is a video-card issue, can someone suggest an appropriate one for an Inspiron 6000 laptop?

    Your help is appreciated.  

  • At least with Nvidia, the driver takes whatever the resolution your main display is using, and then sends that resolution or lower to the external.monitor or TV. To get the best 16:9 display on the HDTV, you would need a 16:9 built in display, which most laptops do not have.

    XPS M1530, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32-bit
    Inspiron E1705, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32-bit
    Dimension 9100, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32 bit
    Inspiron 660, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 64 bit
    Compaq DX 4370G, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 64 bit
    Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 32 bit

  • But isn't that what the Inspiron 6000 is -- with WSXGA display resolution creating something like a 1.6 aspect ratio (16:9/16:10)? If a widescreen movie were viewed on the laptop monitor, it would display in a roughly normal 16:9 format. It is only when I hook up the S-video cable and try to watch the streaming movie on the HDTV that the desktop display (whether with a movie showing or simply the desktop icons showing) looks squarer -- i.e., like 4:3. Does this mean the when the laptop outputs the image to the TV it does so only in 4:3? Is this a function of the connector or of the video card? And how can I fix it so I can stream widescreen movies on my laptop and output the picture in full widescreen on my HDTV?

  • The limiting resolution on the HDTV depends on the resolution of the HDTV, not the computer. If you h ave the WSXGA+ (WSXGA not available on the E6000), resolution is 1680x1050, about 16:10 vs 16:9 for the wide screen TV.

    The vertical resolution of the HDTV is 768 pixels vs. the 1050 for the monitor. The HDTV display will need to be scaled back to about 1000 pixels wide (768/1050*1368) by 768 high. This is pretty close to 4:3, so the video circuity will select from the set of standard, supported resolutions the one best matching the 1000x768, which is probably 4:3.

    This is unfortunate, but happens to everyone. You might want to try to select a different resolution for the built in monitor that is closer to that of the HDTV, which should give a bigger picture on the HDTV.

     

     

    XPS M1530, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32-bit
    Inspiron E1705, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32-bit
    Dimension 9100, Windows 8.1.1 Pro 32 bit
    Inspiron 660, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 64 bit
    Compaq DX 4370G, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 64 bit
    Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 8.1.1 Home - 32 bit