This article will help you improve image quality and increase sharpness, as well as teach you how to fix a distorted image (i.e. with black bars on the sides).
Although image compression is responsible for a slight decrease in image clarity, image quality is defined by your computer and TV resolution, computer and network performance, and display calibration. This article will focus on display calibration.
The default image settings on most TV’s and projectors today are adjusted for best appearance when watching satellite TV. These settings aren't always perfect and often get adjusted incorrectly, which may distort the image sharpness and colors when showing a computer screen on a TV or projector.
To get the best picture, we recommend going through the key facts and trying some of the configurations mentioned below.
- The image quality depends on the screen's calibration.
- Overscan causes the picture to be cropped on all edges.
- The image shown on the TV is the resolution of your computer screen scaled to your TV screen's resolution.
- The aspect ratio of TVs is usually 16:9, but some computers use 16:10, which will be fitted into the screen. This will result with black bars shown on the side of the stream.
Let's start with opening an Excel-style spreadsheet. You can refer to its different grey scales in the rows, columns and the menu bar as guidelines for adjusting the screen settings. You will see if the picture has poor quality and wrong colors.
Then follow these steps:
- Find the best looking standard mode (can be named 'Natural') or reset all adjustments.
- Reduce contrast until all the lines in the spreadsheet are visible (often around 70-80% of max value).
- Reduce sharpen until the text looks good and is easy to read (often 0-20% of maximum).
A setting called “Black levels” in advanced settings can be useful for getting the light grey tones to look good.
Disabling 100 Hz and other image processing settings will remove latency caused by the TV. This will make it feel more responsive. The downside will be that, when playing video, it can look less fluent because the TV doesn't process extra frames.
Many TVs and Projectors still use a setting called "Overscan" for standardizing a picture size sent from satellite TV, and this may be enabled by default.
Symptom: The picture looks cropped, where the edges seem to continue past the screen's boundaries.
How to Fix:
- Start a stream
- Open your TV's screen settings
- Look for "Screen Size" or "screen Adjustments" or "Aspect Ratio" or "Overscan"
- Cycle through the various options until the image fits the screen correctly. Usually, the correct option is "Native", "Full" or "Unscaled".
If the TV has a PC mode this often both disables overscan and adjusts the image settings for the optimal quality when receiving a digital signal from a PC. On top of that, it also disables many image processing that will lower the latency when streaming.
The image resolution shown on the TV is the resolution of your computer screen scaled to the resolution of your TV screen. This means that if your computer has a 720p monitor, the picture streamed to your TV will also be 720p even though the TV is 1080p.
Airtame 1 is using HDMI hotplug events in order to record the new resolution provided by the screen every time it gets plugged into the HDMI port of the screen or projector, even while still being powered.
Airtame 2 device does not use hotplug events and will show resolution that was pre-selected or which was used during the first boot. To force new resolution you will have to reboot Airtame or select the resolution manually.
Filling the whole screen
Modern TV screens use a 16:9 aspect ratio, however, some modern computers (ex. Macbooks) use a 16:10 aspect ratio.
When Airtame (16:9) shows a 16:10 ratio, it must scale the image to fit the screen without distorting it. The result is black bars on either side of the image.
If you would like to stream your picture without seeing black bars, you'll need to change the resolution of your computer screen to one of these 16:9 resolutions:
- 1920 x 1080
- 1280 x 720
- Streaming modes and latency: Audio & Video streaming
- Tips & Tricks to get the best stream: Test and Improve Streaming
- Adjust resolution to better fit your display: Change Airtame's Resolution
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