16x9 aspect ratio display

Bryan O'Sullivan bos at serpentine.com
Mon Nov 1 19:52:15 UTC 2004

On Sun, 2004-10-31 at 16:43 +0000, Jim Higson wrote:
> On Sunday 31 Oct 2004 15:36, Bill Gradwohl wrote:
> > Is anyone using a 19" or larger 16x9 aspect ratio LCD on FC2 (or FC3tX)
> > running Gnome as the GUI? If so, I'd like to know what brand/model of
> > LCD and video board you're using and if you like it. Any glitches during
> > installation or usage?
> I very much doubt the brand or model of monitor will make any difference at 
> all.

Not even a little bit true, particularly if you're using something that
doesn't really believe it's a computer monitor.  Case in point: I spent
half a day getting a 42" NEC plasma TV working with FC2, just the other

Monitors and TVs with VGA connectors export their display capabilities
to the computers they're connected to using EDID (Extended Display
Identification Data), a VESA standard.

The particular NEC TV I was stuck with had both component, composite,
VGA and DVI inputs, but the DVI connector didn't work, so I hooked it up
to my machine's VGA output.

Looking at the EDID records from the Xorg log, it quickly became clear
that the TV was lying about the display resolutions it supported.  The
TV's native resolution was 853x480 (common for cheap plasma TVs), but
its EDID swore up and down that it supported every resolution under the
sun *except* 853x480.

Of course, all of the other supported resolutions were either stretched
or squashed by the TV's interpolation hardware, and were either
illegible (the squashed ones) or horribly ugly (the stretched ones).

I had to write my own Xorg Modeline to get the TV working properly, with
no interpolation of pixels.  If you've ever tried doing this, it's
horribly painful, especially if (as in the case of this NEC TV) you
can't obtain some of the critical information you need, such as the dot
clock frequency of the TV.

It took me several hours to tweak the modeline, but I did eventually get
it working.  I would not expect someone who was either not tenacious or
not highly competent to have succeeded with this TV at all.

Plain old computer monitors are a solved problem, but LCD TVs and plasma
TVs and so on just don't seem to get much testing with computer hardware


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