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Powerstrip - Configuring for Your Display

By Thomas Steves

If things are working fine after restarting, you are ready to try the new resolution.

Click the Powerstrip tray icon and select "Display Profiles" -> "Configure".
Use the "Resolution" Slider to find your Resolution. In this case it should be "640x480 pixels", or the resolution you are trying to use.


To see if your display accepts the resolution, click the "Advanced Timing options" button.

You will get the following popup window...


Click the "Selected" button to choose your newly set resolution.
If you get an unusable display, wait 15 seconds or hit the <Esc> key and you should go back to your regular settings.

If you can view the display, you should get the following popup window...


The time should count down from 15 seconds and reset your display back to normal if you don't click the "Yes" button. If you're able to see things somewhat properly, ready to start adjusting things, click "Yes".

Note: If the display is not centered, too tall or too narrow, you will need to tweak things, so you'll need to click "Yes" to do that. Don't expect things to be perfect, just "useable".

You should get the following screen...


Notice above how the Horizontal and Vertical "+" and "-" buttons are depressed or not depressed. The above setting is for negative sync.

Note: You should usually not change the sync settings using your HDTV, use the CRT for that.

Testing with Your HDTV

Now you are ready to plug in your HDTV. If you get an unusable display, plug your CRT back in and relax a bit. If you get a display that doesn't roll and looks relatively ok, you are ready to start "Tweaking" the display.
If you have a Problem:

If things are bad, reattach the CRT and check your settings. A monitor will usually be far more forgiving than your HDTV, so you need to be more detail oriented when trying to make it work. Make sure the settings look like they should work with your transcoder if you are using one. Is the polarity correct? Resolution compatible and properly set on the transcoder or projector?

If this does not work, try a different "Predefined" resolution. If things don't work only when connecting the HDTV or Projector (PJ) , recheck your transcoder settings and/or Display devices supported resolutions. Maybe it does not support 640x480p? Scan rate not correct? Try again, repeat as necessary.

If you get upset. STOP! Try again when you feel calm and relaxed. Browse the aforementioned forums for clues.
OK, then, assuming you get this working. We are not going to "tweak" the settings yet. For instructions on doing this see the "tweak" section. The thrill of 640x480p will certainly wear off quickly. Not enough room!

Next you may want to experiment with more of the "Predefined" resolutions, if you think they should be compatible with your display. 848x480 is a good place to start for people with widescreen 16:9 displays that accept 540p/1080i vertical resolutions. Use the same techniques you used above, especially the part about stopping and relaxing when things aren't working.

Custom Resolutions

We are now going to create a new Display Profile. We will be using 1080i/540p based timings to match our RPTV HDTV display which does not support 720p.
[note] If your display supports 720p (you're sure?) we highly recommend you use 720p (around 45 kHz Horizontal)... Make very sure your set REALLY supports 720p, some will convert 720p to 480p or 1080i, in which case it will not accept the necessary Horizontal scan rate and won't work!

Scan rates

480p and 960i should use a Horizontal Scan Rate of 31.5 KHz.
540p and 1080i should use a Horizontal Scan Rate of 33.75 KHz.
720p and 1440i should use a Horizontal Scan Rate of 45.0 KHz.
Fudging these numbers a bit is possible to a small degree, depending on the display.

Click the Powerstrip tray icon and select "Display Profiles" -> "Configure".
Select the "Advanced timing options" button.
Select the "Custom Resolutions" button.
Change the resolution button to "User defined" rather than the "Predefined" (default).


Note: Your horizontal resolution for most video cards should be divisible by 8. Good resolutions to use are therefore 848, 856, 864, 872, 880, etc. For those mathematically challenged, 8x112=896. Keep multiplying 8 times some other number to find resolutions to try. For a 16:9 display, with an 896 horizontal resolution, you would take 896, multiply by 9 and then divide by 16. You get 504.
["horizontal-resolution" x 9 / 16 = "vertical-resolution"]
Use the same technique for 4:3 displays. You will probably want to shoot for smaller horizontal resolutions than a widescreen display.
["horizontal-resolution" x 3 / 4 = "vertical-resolution"]

We will use 896 for Horizontal and 504 for vertical resolutions.
Set the Horizontal refresh rate to 34 Hz.
Make sure "Polarity" settings are the same as what you found to work previously.
Keeping the "Aspect Ratio" on "Auto" is usually a good idea, but you can change this if you need to.

Click the "Add New Resolution" button and you should again get this screen...


You can either click "restart" now or continue and add more resolutions by clicking the "continue" button. When finished adding resolutions you may want to try, click "Restart".

After restarting
Click the Powerstrip tray icon and select "Display Profiles" -> "Configure".
Change to the new resolution, in this case "896x504".


Click the "Advanced timings options.." button.

Note: If you now have a problem with the display, again, DO Nothing for fifteen seconds and the display should change back to the previous settings and start working again.

If not, try these key combinations:
"backspace" key - undo, cancels last adjustment.
"ALT-R" key combination - resets display , continue.
"escape" key - reset and close display.

Assuming you get this working... on to tweaking...


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