TV display issue on new Dell XPS


R

Robert M. Gary

I just bought a new Dell XPS "Media Center" system. I'm using it as a
"true media center", the computer hooks up to my home entertainment
system via SVideo and RCA for both in/out. The computer came with
NVIDIA GeForce 7300 LE.

For some reason the display on the TV is terrible. The fonts are almost
unreadable. It also seems that everytime I run the Media Center app it
changes the display settings. If I run Media Center in full screen mode
I just get a flickering screen.
However, the Media Center demo video (the Pool Party) shows up awesome
and clear. Also, if I go to youtube.com or play videos full screen from
music.yahoo.com they also look wonderful.

So, why is the display so bad for the standard window's stuff? My
display settings are defaulted to "Default Monitor" and I've tried
every setting possible 640x480 is almost readable. I also noticed that
the only refresh rate I can select is 60Hz, could this be wrong for a
TV?

1) Is there a special driver I should download if I'm using the SVideo
output for a TV
2) Does this standard video card just not work well with a TV??

-Robert
 
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J

Jaime

Are you talking about the MCE interface or when you are in the standard XP
interface. If the latter, a standard def TV is never going to display normal
Windows screen very well. The best resolution of a SD TV is lower than the
worse resolution of a PC monitor. S-video should give you the better image.

Did this system come with everything pre-installed and set up for MCE? If
so, you probably should call Dell support and find out if something is set
wrong.
 
R

Robert M. Gary

Jaime said:
Are you talking about the MCE interface or when you are in the standard XP
interface. If the latter, a standard def TV is never going to display normal
Windows screen very well. The best resolution of a SD TV is lower than the
worse resolution of a PC monitor. S-video should give you the better image.

I guess I'm surprised at just how bad it is. At 640x480 I can't even
read text in IE (not even the address line). However, if I watch a
video online (like music.yahoo.com) its great quality. Just the windows
stuff is bad.
The Media center works great when the screen is small but if I make it
full screen my display just flickers blue. However, if I watch the
"demo" video of the people playing pool in MC I can make it full screen
and its fine. So as long as I'm seeing video, the quality is great.
When I want to display another other than video its crappy.
Did this system come with everything pre-installed and set up for MCE? If
so, you probably should call Dell support and find out if something is set
wrong.

I will try Dell tonight. However, they are so clueless when it comes to
Windows configuration things I thought I'd ask here first.

BTW: I just saw that Netflix will now allow me to watch videos
online!!! What a perfect time to have a Media Center hooked to the TV!
This is certainly the way of the future.

-Robert
 
M

Michael Brown

You need to use something better then svideo like vga, dvi or hdmi to get a
good picture.
 
D

Dana Cline - MVP

You're limited by both the composite and sVideo connections - they can
handle a max of 720x480, the "Standard Definition" TV resolution. If your TV
is capable of higher resolution, it should have inputs for component (RGB),
VGA, DVI, and/or HDMI.

You'll never get a usable window for the regular Windows interface using a
regular TV unless you have one of the higher resolution inputs. That's why
many of us have two connections (i.e., monitor and TV) so we can use the
monitor for Windows things and the TV for video things.

Dana Cline - MCE MVP
 
R

Robert M. Gary

Dana said:
You're limited by both the composite and sVideo connections - they can
handle a max of 720x480, the "Standard Definition" TV resolution. If your TV
is capable of higher resolution, it should have inputs for component (RGB),
VGA, DVI, and/or HDMI.

I'll work with Dell to see what they can come up with. I'm at 640x480
right now and can't read the next on the IE address bar.

-Robert
 
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J

Jaime

Keeping all the comments (including mine) about SDTV in mind, I should point
out that I only use a standard TV and through twiddling and tweaking, I have
a fairly "usable" XP desktop.

Mind you, I would want to write a novel in a word processor or try to do my
home accounting on the TV and yes I have to scroll L/R to see everything,
but it is quite usable for downloading/installing drivers, making
configuration changes, and even the occasional net surfing. I don't remember
exactly what I've set everything at, but I'm pretty sure 800x600 and I
change to large fonts. I also played with the video card settings for
contrast/brightness/etc.
 
R

Robert M. Gary

Jaime said:
Keeping all the comments (including mine) about SDTV in mind, I should point
out that I only use a standard TV and through twiddling and tweaking, I have
a fairly "usable" XP desktop.

Mind you, I would want to write a novel in a word processor or try to do my
home accounting on the TV and yes I have to scroll L/R to see everything,
but it is quite usable for downloading/installing drivers, making
configuration changes, and even the occasional net surfing. I don't remember
exactly what I've set everything at, but I'm pretty sure 800x600 and I
change to large fonts. I also played with the video card settings for
contrast/brightness/etc.

Thanks! I found the following at Nvidia's site. Apparently they have a
display configuration menu made just for MC users who are using a TV.
They include some "extra" settings like gamma, etc. I have high hopes,
I'll try it tonight.
http://www.nvidia.com/object/mce_extensions.html
 
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