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Mac Mini Display Quality on Television

Q: I’ve got a new Mac Mini, and I want to use my 55″ Philips flat-panel television as the monitor for it. The problem is that none of the video resolutions (I’m changing them in the Mac’s Display system preferences panel) look all that great. Many of them look stretched, and when I find one that looks right, it doesn’t cover the entire screen. How can I make this work?

A: The problem is overscan; fortunately, there is a setting for this in newer Macs. When you connect your Mac by an HDMI cable, an “Underscan” slider will appear in the Display system preferences panel. Adjust this (usually you’ll need to add a bit of overscan by sliding the control toward “more”) to change the size of the image on the TV screen. By playing with the resolutions and the Underscan slider, you should be able to find a “sweet spot” that provides a good image that doesn’t look stretched and that fills the screen from edge to edge.

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