One of the problems you may encounter when setting up your XBMC on your TV is that it doesn’t fill the entire screen or portions of the picture are flowing off the screen. If that ends up being the case, there is an easy way to correct the problem either using the software for your video card or settings in XBMC.

The setting we will be tweaking is referred to as overscan. Ideally you won’t need to make adjustments to this because it can affect the picture quality, but at the same time you want to make sure things fit correctly on your display.

ATI Video Calibration:

If you install the ATI VISION Engine Control Center, you should be able to correct how much of the screen is used for the picture being outputted by the computer, and unlike the next solution, this affects how the entire OS is displayed… which is probably what you want.

Just open up the ATI VISION Engine Control Center, navigate to the My Digital Flat-Panels, and click Scaling Options. From there you can drag the overscan slider around until the picture fits your TV correctly.

Ati overscan

XBMC Video Calibration:

You can adjust how XBMC fits to your TV directly from the XBMC interface if you’re not able to do it from within the software provided by your video card manufacturer. This is different than the driver configuration mentioned above because this only effects XBMC rather than how the entire OS is displayed.

To calibrate your display in XBMC go to Settings -> System -> Video Output -> Video Calibration and you should be able to adjust the amount of overscan:

Xbmc video calibration overscan

CyberNet’s XBMC Guides:

There Are 4 Comments

  1. I bought your exact hardware in hopes I would be problem free. That’s not the case. I’m trying to connect my htpc (your exact build) to my Vizio 37in LCD through the DVI-D out converted to HDMI. The picture look horrible. I had the htpc setup with a 22″ Viewsonic through the VGA just to test and install things and it looked great. Now on my LCD the text is grainy, XBMC is laggy and choppy. Any suggestions? I updated all my drivers, optimized overscan, tried all resolutions. Something isn’t right. Any help would be appreciated!

    • Why are you using the DVI-D out and converting it to HDMI? If you have all of the same hardware as I do the unit has HDMI out, which means no conversion would be necessary.

      It’s interesting that you are seeing XBMC being laggy and choppy. I’ve never had that, though I have to say that I disabled a lot of stuff on the operating system to optimize for performance. I don’t, for example, have an antivirus running and disabled Windows Defender. I only use these for XBMC so the odds of me getting infected are extremely low.

  2. This is something everybody needs to know, but no one mentions. That is, how you navigate the video calibration screen. I was trying to ‘calibrate’ (adjust overscan) my 1080p TV from my MBP, and the damned corner ‘L’s were both invisible. I could get the one in the upper left to come down to the exact corner of the TV screen with the mouse moving the giant size “for dummies” cursor. But I could not get the cursor far enough to the bottom right to make the second adjustment. It was really maddening and I could find nothing about how to do this in the very poor XBMC documentation or at any of the forums.

    I finally discovered, completely by accident, that you can navigate from upper left to lower right to square by hitting and then use the cursor (arrow) keys to adjust each corner.

    This is totally counter-intuitive. In any program I’ve ever used, on any platform, the cursor keys are always used for navigation, sometimes the tab key, and the enter key for selection, not navigation ever. Just one of the many inconsistencies in the XBMC UI, I’m afraid. The enter key is also used to view and select items from the ‘crippled’ dropdown boxes throughout the UI.

  3. I see that the CSS ate the word enclosed by ”, corner brackets.


    I finally discovered, completely by accident, that you can navigate from upper left to lower right to square by hitting ‘enter’ and then use the cursor (arrow) keys to adjust each corner.

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