Can sending the wrong resolution hurt your TV? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
 
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Can sending the wrong resolution hurt your TV?

I recently got a new video card (ATI X1950 Pro) and have been playing around with various resolutions trying to get the best possible picture.

My display is a Prima 32" LCD TV connected by VGA (connected to the DVI port on the video card through a DVI-VGA adaptor). The TV has a native resolution of 1366x768 and I normally run Windows at 1360x768. However, for games I often prefer a higher resolution so I can get more information on the screen -- for example, I run Everquest 2 at 1360x960.

The ATI Catalyst Control Centre says that my TV reports that its maximum resolution is 1440x960. I can force HDTV resolutions (1280x720 60Hz and 1920x1080 30Hz) -- the first is pretty much the same as my default and the second doesn't look very nice due to the 30 Hz refresh.

As an experiment I tried forcing it to use 1920x1080 60Hz and my TV recognized it and displayed it. Given that this is essentially "1080p", which as far as I know my TV shouldn't do, is it safe to use this resolution, or even higher ones? Am I correct in thinking that whatever you send to the TV is intercepted by the TV's scaler which should simply reject whatever it can't recognize?

Is the theory "If it displays it's ok" a good one?

Also: Currently, the HDMI port on the TV is connected to my DVD player and the Component ports are connected to my cable box so they are unavailable for use by my computer. Would I get better results by using one or other of these, or is VGA just as "good" as component/DVI/HDMI?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 10:51 AM
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I have not heard of anyone harming a TV by sending an incorrect resolution. Although the final display format of your TV is 768P, a number of newer TVs accept 1080P and that signal is then simply downconverted to the native resolution, like the other formats 480i, 480P, 720P, 1080i are converted to the native resolution.

I believe that most people find the cleanest results when there is a 1:1 pixel map that doesn't involve conversion of any kind.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 10:52 AM
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You are correct. The scaler in your TV will take whatever you feed it and either reject it or convert it.

Older CRT TVs could be damaged by high sync frequencies because the circuitry was analog.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I'll continue to test then.

>>>I believe that most people find the cleanest results when there is a 1:1 pixel map that doesn't involve conversion of any kind.<<<

Agreed. But sometimes I would prefer the larger amount of information you can get on the screen at a higher Windows resolution -- Windows applications often not being particularly scalable.

Once again it depends on whether you think the scalar in the TV is better/worse than the scalar in the PC. Similarly, I let my 8300HD cable box do scaling for SD channels, converting them to 1080i before sending them to my TV.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 11:40 AM
 
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1:1 means there is no scaling needed. Why would it depend on whether the TV scales better then the PC?
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 11:42 AM
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If you are sending 1:1 it means that the image has been scaled in the PC first.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 12:03 PM
 
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The only thing that would be scaled is video. When just running windows or playing a PC game, 1:1 would suggest there is no scaling done.

In the case of video, it's really only a question of "which scales best" if you always set the screen resolution to the resolution of the video. That's not necessarily easy to do on a PC and chances are you are just double scaling the image if you are not rendering to the native resolution of the tv.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 02:59 PM
 
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There is little or no advantage to using anything other than the native resolution with an LCD TV. I'll bet that 1366x768 will give the best results with any material. Let the computer software and video card do the scaling. Some software may work better than others.

On the issue of damage... Modern sets have protection circuitry to prevent damage from incorrect signals. Plus, there isn't much in LCD TVs that will suffer damage from an out of spec signal. That was different with CRT displays that had coils and transformers which could overheat due to being driven out of spec.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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>>>There is little or no advantage to using anything other than the native resolution with an LCD TV. I'll bet that 1366x768 will give the best results with any material.<<<

This assumes that the content you are viewing is scalable. For many games (for example), increasing the resolution increases the amount of information on your screen. Switching from 1360x768 to 1360x960 gives me more room in Everquest II for adding hotbars and information windows. The icons/text might be slightly harder to read, but I can get more of them.

I'm going to try 1920x1080-60Hz tonight to see if that works acceptably.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 04:19 PM
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Games are often a PITA because many are setup to work with only specified resolutions.
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 07:35 PM
 
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Yes, you can fit more "stuff" on a screen with a larger virtual display. It doesn't mean that the display quality is any better. Often it is much worse due to scaling artifacts, like with text. A 1920x1080p LCD TV would provide much better results but it does make a pricey monitor. High resolution computer monitors are getting cheap in comparison.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-06, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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>>>Yes, you can fit more "stuff" on a screen with a larger virtual display. It doesn't mean that the display quality is any better.<<<

Fortunately most video cards give you a choice of resolutions which allows you to decide for each application what resolution is best (quality vs. quantity).
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-07, 11:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Games are often a PITA because many are setup to work with only specified resolutions.
Maybe games from 3-4 years ago but it's not as big of a problem anymore. I run a less-then-standard 1232x696 custom resolution for my tv to get 1:1 with no overscan and have yet to play a game I couldn't get to run natively in that resolution.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 2007-09-07, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
 
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>>>I'm going to try 1920x1080-60Hz tonight to see if that works acceptably.<<<

Didn't seem to work too well. I couldn't get it to fill the screen from left to right. The best I could do left a 3-4 inch blank space on the left side of the screen.

It's surprisingly clear though -- although text can be hard to read.

In any event, I am going back to 1360x768 for most purposes.
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