Author Topic: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC  (Read 1097 times)

asprinwizard

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Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« on: November 29, 2008, 05:09:52 pm »
Hi there,

I have just started using LinuxMCE and it all seems fine but I'm having a few problems with the video display. Although the system is so well specified I just wanted a media PC which would play the media from my network on my TV. At present I haven't even got a TV tuner in the PC. It took me a while to get the thing to see my network media but now it can and I've been playing back some movies to check it's all working ok. The only problem now is that it plays back movies in letterbox and I can't find a way to stop this.

My setup is very simple. It's just a PC connected to the network and then connected to my TV. Now it's true that my TV may not be the best for this task. It's a few years old CRT widescreen TV so I've had to root it through a VGA to TV converter as it has no VGA input. However the problem I'm having is the same if I connect the PC to a proper monitor.

Most of the media on my network is in widescreen Xvid 640x360. What I want Linux MCE to do is play these files to fill the screen - no letterbox. At present they are having black bars added at the top which are not needed because the TV is the same aspect ratio as them.

I guess what I'm actually looking for is for them to be played anamorphically so the TV can then stretch them to fit widthways as with my typical TV box or DVD player. I can't believe I'm the only one to experience this problem. There must be a way round it. Can anyone offer any suggestions.

Many thanks

Murdock

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2008, 08:05:23 pm »
Hi - on the lmce admin website under the media director page what is your connector, video settings, tv standard and video card drop down set to?

asprinwizard

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2008, 04:20:19 pm »
Hello again,

Sorry for not befoe. Been away from a computer for a few days.

The settings are:

connector: composite
video: 640x480/60khz
tv standard: PAL
video card: generic

I can't find any settings for aspect ratio and if you use the setup wizard it sets to 4:3 no matter what you select for display settings. So can anyone shed any light on how to set the aspect ratio?

Cheers.

indulis

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 03:15:26 am »
If using Mythtv, check out this post
http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=6859.0

freymann

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 03:36:07 am »
The settings are:
connector: composite
video: 640x480/60khz
tv standard: PAL
video card: generic

 If you have it set for 640x480 you're going to get 4:3.

 You need to use a supported video card.... since the video card is going to dictate the output to the TV, you need a video card that can output in a format your TV supports (specifically, I mean cabling!) and in order to see widescreen you then need to use video settings that support that (720p for instance).

 Sorry, but on my computer, with a nice 19" or 17" LCD Monitor, those support 4:3 format and if I watch widescreen? I get the black bars across the top and bottom. Unless I'm willing to "zoom" in to lose the black bars, and then lose video on the left and right in order to fill my screen. Not much I can do about that, that's the way the monitors work.

 In your case it's pretty well backwards, you have a CRT widescreen TV but your settings are 640x480. That's what you're going to get!

 You didn't say which video card you're using... tell us.

 Most likely the solution is to use a different video card. Between the wiki and these forums you should have no problems finding models that are supported.

 On the other hand, if you don't need the TV tuner or home automation features, you may want to look at XBMC. It's a nice looking, easy to use, easy to install media player.... but you'll have similar widescreen vs 4:3 issues no matter what you use at this point in time.


asprinwizard

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 10:56:01 am »
Hi there,

The computer itself is a Dell Optiplex SX280 which has an integrated Intel GMA 900 Graphics processor. It can output 720p to a monitor but when I put it through the VGA to Composite converter it scrunches everything to the left of the screen. I have used the standard video card setting in the setup. I can get medium overlay to display ok but sometimes the menu popups stop working when the mouse is moved over them so I reverted to non-overlay mode.

So is the upshot of all this that I need to get 720p working on my TV in order to achieve what I want?

freymann

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 01:51:41 pm »
So is the upshot of all this that I need to get 720p working on my TV in order to achieve what I want?

Not exactly. My point was... your computer needs to be configured for 720p since it's providing the feed to the tv.

You need to get that video card working properly. Using "generic" isn't going to get you 720p.

This wiki page may help:

http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Display_Drivers

asprinwizard

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Re: Display and letterboxing problems on new linuxmce PC
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2008, 03:48:26 pm »
Thanks. I'll have a look.