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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    I've just been given a subscription to Disney+, which is great, but right now I have no way to access it except through my laptop. I've tried connecting the laptop to my TV with an HDMI cable, but the image is distorted, meaning stretched horizontally and compressed vertically.

    This occurs with everything I try to run through the laptop, not just Disney+, and I'm at a loss for how to correct this. Something about plugging in the HDMI cable seems to automatically distort both the laptop image and the TV image, but I can't figure out why or what to do about it.

    What's more strange is that I've used this same laptop to run PowerPoints at the place where I teach, using their HDMI cable and their TV, and the image is perfect. I can't understand why it works there and not on my home TV.

    It is maddening. Help?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Essex, England
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    Male

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    I had similar problems plsying Diablo via a HDMI adaptor on my laptop.

    There are two possible sources - the TV itself, and the laptop (obvious, but needs stressing - in my case they both ganged up together...):

    Check the settings on your TV - it is possible that it is attempting to autofit the image to the screen (which if they aren't the same is going to distort it).

    You may get different results depending on how the HDMI cable is being used - the possible ways are:
    • Shared Screen - what appears on one should appear on the other, and can do funny things to both displays as it tries to find a happy medium.
    • Extra Display - you get two independent displays and can move stuff between them
    • Projector - Should act as an independent display matching your main screen


    You may also get different results (especially in shared screen) depending on whether your laptop is open or closed. (Assuming your laptop doesn't hibernate when closed).
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

    "The main skill of a good ruler seems to be not preventing the conflagrations but rather keeping them contained enough they rate more as campfires." Rogar Demonblud

    "Hold on just a d*** second. UK has spam callers that try to get you to buy conservatories?!? Even y'alls spammers are higher class than ours!" Peelee

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Orc in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    First step is to try a new hdmi cord; if it's an old one, it might not be enough for your TV resolution, which shouldnt be a problem, but it might be that the TV handles that in a weird way. Second step is to look into your display settings for multiple displays (see if extending the display rather than mirroring it will help, or vice versa). Third step, if you can, is to try someone else's laptop to see if it still happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by crayzz
    That a given person is known for his sex appeal does not mean that he is only known for his sex appeal.
    Quote Originally Posted by jere7my
    For instance, I am also known for my humility.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth
    Check the settings on your TV - it is possible that it is attempting to autofit the image to the screen (which if they aren't the same is going to distort it).

    You may get different results depending on how the HDMI cable is being used….
    Okay—how can I check how the HDMI cable is being used? And what settings should I check on my TV?

    I have literally no idea what to look for.

    Originally Posted by crayzz
    First step is to try a new hdmi cord….
    I bought this one just a few months ago, so I wouldn’t expect that would be an issue.

    Originally Posted by crayzz
    Second step is to look into your display settings for multiple displays….
    Any idea where this would be on a MacBook Pro?

    I am not a natural at technology. Even less so with Macs.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Essex, England
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    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Okay—how can I check how the HDMI cable is being used? And what settings should I check on my TV?

    I have literally no idea what to look for.
    The short answer is "it depends", because it literally depends on what make or model of laptop and TV you are using.

    You may need to refer to the manuals for both. You will need to do an internet search for them (start with the manufacturers website) as they are seldom supplied with the kit any more.

    On the Laptop side:

    Switching between modes can be done via function keys (my laptop uses FN+F5 to switch the display straight to the alternate output (HDMI in your case), and FN+F6 to switch through the options).

    Depending on your graphics drivers there may be a control panel available (look through the icons on the bottom right of the display) which will allow you to do the same things. Otherwise right-click on the desktop and select "Display Settings" for the basic windows settings.

    On the TV side:

    There should be a menu that you can get to using the remote control (look for a key labelled Menu or Setup) - if you don't have the remote then there may be buttons available on the TV itself (look round the back and the sides).

    If you are getting a picture then the HDMI feed is being recognised and used, so that's one headache out of the way. If you lose the picture one of the menu options will be something like Signal Source, which you will need to make sure is set to HDMI (if you have more than one HDMI port then they will be labelled accordingly, like HDMI1 and HDMI2).

    There will be options on the menu for input settings (although they may be called something different). More modern TVs will probably have some degree of help on the screen (older ones you are stuck with the manual...)

    Either way you will need to experiment to find out what works best.

    Remember when making changes that it can take some seconds for changes to take effect, and make a note of the settings you change in case you need to reverse out the changes.

    EDIT:
    Any idea where this would be on a MacBook Pro?
    Giving us the Make/Model information would have been useful in the original post - when asking a technical question it will usually be the first thing you need to give.

    The notes above are for a PC, but a MacBook will have simillar setup menus somewhere, and you should be able to get the manuals from Apple.
    Last edited by Manga Shoggoth; 2019-12-22 at 07:42 PM.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

    "The main skill of a good ruler seems to be not preventing the conflagrations but rather keeping them contained enough they rate more as campfires." Rogar Demonblud

    "Hold on just a d*** second. UK has spam callers that try to get you to buy conservatories?!? Even y'alls spammers are higher class than ours!" Peelee

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Manchester, UK
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    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I bought this one just a few months ago, so I wouldn’t expect that would be an issue.
    Never assume that just because something is fairly new that it can't be broken. I've had items that were broken out of the box before.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    ElfPirate

    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Never assume that just because something is fairly new that it can't be broken. I've had items that were broken out of the box before.
    A broken hdmi cord wouldn't be giving the right image only with changed size though.

    A broken hdmi cable would lose part of the signal, meaning you get a random assortment of colour or nothing at all.

    I have a tv with essentially a loose hdmi port on the mainboard and can only get the hdmi in signal to display by jamming the cable up very specifically so that pins from singal match pins on board. If they are off it just shows a multicolour, red, green, yellow screen, sometimes only get sound. The yellow screen is best, then I know am close to getting it.


    Odds are it's an input/output problem with regards to tv and laptop resolution. As mentioned earlier.
    Last edited by snowblizz; 2019-12-23 at 04:10 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2011

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth
    On the Laptop side….
    Thanks for the extensive notes, I appreciate it.

    It took me a while, but I managed to find the right settings that worked for all my streaming needs. I appreciate the suggestions, definitely very helpful.

    It's still not precisely perfect--the outer margins of the original image are cut off on the TV screen, and it's stretched a tiny bit vertically--but I can live with that.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Essex, England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Distorted Screen Image from HDMI Cable - How To Correct?

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    Thanks for the extensive notes, I appreciate it.

    It took me a while, but I managed to find the right settings that worked for all my streaming needs. I appreciate the suggestions, definitely very helpful.

    It's still not precisely perfect--the outer margins of the original image are cut off on the TV screen, and it's stretched a tiny bit vertically--but I can live with that.
    You're welcome.

    These days things tend to work, but most of the time fixing the ones that don't isn't difficult once you have an idea of where to look.
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

    "The main skill of a good ruler seems to be not preventing the conflagrations but rather keeping them contained enough they rate more as campfires." Rogar Demonblud

    "Hold on just a d*** second. UK has spam callers that try to get you to buy conservatories?!? Even y'alls spammers are higher class than ours!" Peelee

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