When you are casually sitting down with some popcorn and coke enjoying an awesome movie, you might actually be missing out some of the visuals that are sent by your cable provider. To be clear, the TVs are by default programmed in such a way that they trim off the ends. Both vertically and horizontally. This in turn will create a need to zoom or fit the smaller image with the slightly larger screen. This creates a slightly boxy, smoother image and in turn reduces the picture clarity even though you are having a high definition television and HD cable plan. This process is termed as ‘Over scan’. Thus, you as a viewer are missing out on the actual fullscreen on your tv.
It might not matter much to you, but however if you do need to catch a look at that cool car exhaust which is present at the end of the screen frame, follow these steps.
Why Over scan is used in the first place?
This started way back when the analog signals were used for transmission of TV signals. The signals were giving out distorted ends on the TV screen. Also until the 90’s there were CRT TVs everywhere. CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs are the large TV sets. These devices were not that good in decoding the signals and hence the distortion. Hence as a solution to this problem, the TV manufacturers introduced Over scan. This fixed the existent hurdle but also came with a few disadvantages.
When can Overscan be used?
There are a few instances where the over scan is very much required. For example, you copy that one lovely movie which you have been dying to watch in to your pen drive and connect to the USB slot in TV, your home theatre sound system is up and running, you have checked the movie file format, etc. and everything is fine and you play the video. But then you find out that the video is not being spread over the screen and large part of the TV screen is black. In this situation you can go to your aspect ratio setting usually placed under PICTURE tab and choose suitable setting and voila, everything is fine.
However there are instances where you do not need the overscan.
What is the fix?
Now a days, the CRT TVs have become extinct and are fully out of production. However even with the latest LCD, TFT, Plasma, etc. TVs, the Over scan is still persistent. If you dig in to the user interface, you can find terms as aspect ratio, fit screen, zoom, screen fill, etc. depending upon the manufacturer.
With the help of one of these you can fix the problem of mising the fullscreen on tv. One way of making sure that the image you are viewing is a complete image is to pause at a particular point and compare that same frame at different screen aspect ratio settings. Once you have figured out the optimal one, keep that setting as your default one.
This way you relish the crystal clear video stream and also be able to view 100% of what the cable provider is sending to you.
Enjoy the Show!