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Powerstrip

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by scrowe, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Hi all,

    I've setup a Mesh MCE2005 shuttle PC into a Philips 9986 32" LCD via DVI.

    By default the picture is very sharp at 1280x720 @ 60Hz but you get a black border all the way around and the Start Menu is cut-off horizontally. I've had a couple of goes using Powerstrip without any success, the TV loses signal.

    The latest Nvidia drivers for the 5700LE now allow custom resolutions, and I can get a picture on better resolutions that fill the whole screen but it is very blurred and constantly juddering. However, I am encouraged by this, and think it should defintiely possible to improve this situation with powerstrip.

    Apparently, it is possible to get a stable picture using powerstip, but unfortunately the mystic art of timings and resolutions and refresh rates is beyond me, and the Powerstrip site doesn't really offer any great information or understanding. Can anyone point me to a better resource that might explain these things better, so when I settle down for my third go with powerstrip, it might be 3rd time lucky.
     
  2. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi, you don't really need powerstrip with nvidia cards as you can add custom resolutions as you found out. Have you looked at the manual of your display? What is its native resolution? Have you tried adjusting the screen size/position to overcome the cut-off problem in MCE?
     
  3. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Yes, the manual says 1024x768 for PC but this looks awful (and retains the black bar surround), also suports XGA which is 1280 x 720. This is what the PC/TV display by default and it looks fine apart from the approx. 1 inch black border surround and the sunken Start Menu.

    I've just come off the phone with Philips tech support. They didn't really seem to understand what I was after, ie. exact timings, polarity, etc. for the supported resolutions of the LCD screen, but the guy did say that the black surround was a known problem on the TV and are working on a fix, obviously no timescales, etc. and as Philips new range will be out soon, I can't see it ever being forthcoming. It would also mean shipping the TV off for new firmware, etc.

    In the LCD TV screen forum somebody claims to have achieved stable pictures at 1280x768 and 1368x768 using powerstrip, but unfortunately didn't note the settings used as he only had access for a short time to the TV and a PC, but it was encouraging news.

    I think the Nvidia driver does it's own timings/calcualtions under the bonnet when you feed it a custom resolution and refresh rate, but they're not quite right for this particular screen, hence why I think powerstrip may be necessary. Also, there aren't any options within the NVidia drivers for adjusting the screen/size position, nor in the TV menu itself. However, the Philips technician suggested you just use the arrow keys on the TV remote to do this, so I'll need to check.
     
  4. lisag

    lisag
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    Crikey :(
    Sounds like a bit of a mission.... Good luck,
    The only thing I can add is that you can adjust the size and position of the screen within the nvidia driver settings, horizontal/vertical size and position, but I think it is quite limited to the degree of adjustment that can be made.
     
  5. Nicky

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    I'm pretty sure the native res of the 9986 is 1366x768. This means in powerstrip you're looking at two potential resolutions, 1360x768 and 1368x768. Hard to know which, if either is likely to work.

    In powerstrip there are a selection of predefined timings, which include timings for these resolutions (I think at least one of them is listed as a plasma timing). These are a good place to start. The other tip I would have if you're fiddling in powerstrip is make sure you keep the horizontal refresh rate at, or very close to 60Hz. My Sharp LCD screen can only sync to signals between about 58 and 62Hz.

    Nick
     
  6. scrowe

    scrowe
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    I'm sure you're right and I've actually seen screen-shots of the driver control panel on websites, yet on this particular PC the option is missing from the list. I think it may have something to do with how the adaptor has detected the monitor type, and the drivers have adjusted accordingly.

    As soon as I got the MCE machine the Windows Update site diaplayed newer Nvidia chipset and display drivers and those are what are installed. On Saturday, I downloaded the latest Nforce chipset and display drivers from Nvidia, but it made no difference, apart from I think, the custom display resolution was now enabled. Funnily enough these drivers ended up causing TV freezing all night, so I had to talk this person through on the phone to do a system restore, so it's back on the recommended versions on the Windows website.

    There is a black art to all this, this link makes interesting reading:-

    http://www.geocities.com/jgeneedid/

    It may be worthy of an FAQ in here and in the LCD forum.
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
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    The latest MCE approved Nvidia drivers are 71.84. Personally I would not trust windows update alone, and if you have been using system restore I would recommend uninstalling your current graphics drivers and re-installing the newly downloaded ones from here

    http://www.nvidia.com/object/winxp_2k_71.84.html
     
  8. scrowe

    scrowe
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    Unfortunately those are the ones I installed, and caused the freezing problems. This has also been reported on other forums by people using the 5700 Nvidia's so rollback to the earlier driver is all that can be done for the time being.
     

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