Using LCD TV as a monitor

HI. I’m using my spare Logik 21" tv as a monitor but the display is awful regardless of the dpi settings. It’s soft and not sharp. I’m using the on board graphics card on the base unit, a Dell Optiplex 755. Would a cheapo pci graphics card help?

Linux Mint 16
Windows Vista
Dual boot

What resolution are you using ?

How are you connecting ? … normal VGA connector ?

Yes Mark I am using a VGA adapter. I have used all resolutions from 800x600 right up to 1900 and something. They are all soft and some do not fit the screen.

Ideally you’d set the resolution to the TV’s native resolution … I take it it’s HD , or HD Ready:-

720p (1280 × 720 progressive scan)
1080i (1920 × 1080 split into two interlaced fields of 540 lines)
1080p (1920 × 1080 progressive scan)


Then if necessary adjust the DPI and possibly anti-aliasing to sort out any font clarity issues.

Does the TV have an HDMI input ?

Hi Mark

I’m setting it to 1280x720 but (I think) Mint is changing it to1360x768.

The TV does have an HDMI port. but not the base unit.

What does:


say ?


Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 1366 x 768, maximum 32767 x 32767
VGA1 connected primary 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 410mm x 256mm
1440x900 59.9 +
1280x1024 60.0
1360x768 59.8*
1024x768 70.1 60.0
800x600 72.2 75.0 60.3 56.2
640x480 75.0 72.8 60.0
720x400 70.1
VIRTUAL1 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis

I guess we can try manually adding 1280 × 720 and 1920 x 1080 resolutions if you’d like ?

or you could just get a card with HDMI

Thanks for your help Mark. I’ll just buy a cheap card from fleabay.

Hokey Cokey :slight_smile:

Preferably an Nvidia one, AMD drivers can be a pain!

Yes took your advice chemicalfan and bought secondhand one from Ebay. Just arrived. Fitted into case and connected hdmi lead. Very bright and sharp but icons are only showing half at the edge of the screen. Any suggestions?

Downloaded driver from Nvidia site…
If I double click it I get;

gedit has not been able to detect the character encoding.
Please check that you are not trying to open a binary file.
Select a character encoding from the menu and try again.

nvidia GeForce 210
Dell Optiplex 755
Logik tv/monitor
Mint 16

Any reason why you are not installing this from the package manager?
Anyhow, the instructions on the Nvidia site tell you how to do this:

Installation instructions: Once you have downloaded the driver, change to the directory containing the driver package and install the driver by running, as root, sh ./

I can’t install via package manager for some reason.

Which distro are we talking about here ? … have you tried installing the drivers through “Additional Drivers” ?


If Mint16 is the same as Ubuntu, and you can’t find “Additional Drivers” … open a terminal and run:


then look for the “Additional Drivers” tab.

Are there any drivers listed there for activation ?

Hi Mark. I posted all the info in a post above as I new I would be in bother! :wink:

I’m using Mint 16 on this set up.

See my last post … I must have been editing it when you posted.

Yes but no graphics cards.

Very bright and sharp but icons are only showing half at the edge of the screen. Any suggestions?

Have you tried to adjust your TV? What options you got for the hdmi input. Can you change the aspect of the source?

Some TV/Monitors have an Auto Adjust option, I had a similar problem once and Auto Adjust sorted it for me