Fixing Overscan

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All TVs have overscan. That is, the picture signal received by the unit is larger than the area that is displayed. This happens for various reasons, mostly good ones. But on a high quality display, you want to see as much of the film as possible on your component or DVI inputs, and any overscan is annoying.

Not only is it bad for a nice film that you want to actually see all of, rather than losing 10-20% to overscan as on most TVs, but it sucks for when you plug your laptop into the DVI input and you have no Dock or menu bar.

So that means going into the service menu to fix it.

I have a Sony KF-60WE610 TV, and the normal things I found for Sony TVs didn't work (perhaps because mine is an LCD?). But I found some clues, and I discovered some things. Here's the procedure I followed.

  • Turn off TV
  • Press Display, 5, Vol+, Power to get to service menu
  • Use Video and Wide until you get the input and aspect ratio to adjust*
  • Put some sort of test pattern on the display (my Avia DVD has an overscan pattern)
  • Press 2 until the top service menu reads "MID4" (MID2 for 480i signals)**
  • Use 1 and 4 to scroll through items under MID4
  • Write down values for DHPL, DHSL, DVPL, DVSL***
  • Adjust the values, starting with *PL (which anchors the top/left part of the picture), then *SL (which stretches/shrinks the picture)
  • Make sure to check the geometry too, using a test pattern for that (optimized for your aspect ratio)
  • Write down new values when satisfied***
  • Press Mute and Enter to save permanently
  • Power off/on to resume normal operations

* The overscan settings appear to be unique per input/signal type/aspect ratio.

** I used MID4 for my DVD player on Video 5 and MID2 for PS2 on Video 4, even though both are component, because the DVD player uses 480p and the PS2 480i (usually; if I get a 480p game, I'll make sure to calibrate it, later).

*** So you can revert back later if necessary. Once written to NVRAM, it's permanent, so keep a written record!

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on December 13, 2004 4:41 PM.

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