How To Fix Underscan in ATI's Catalyst Control Center

Posted on 3rd Mar 2010 at 09:53 by Clive Webster with 25 comments

Clive Webster
I've just updated my graphics driver to Catalyst 10.2, and it doesn't seem to know what a 1080p screen is... The screen is being underscanned, so there's a huge black border around the displayed image. There's a way to fix the issue, but it's hardly easy.

The reason for the update is my Windows 7 RC install was timing out, and given this and that there are so many 1080p screens on the market at the moment, I'd guess quite a few people are in the same boat as me. The issue is that (and I don't know why) CCC underscans many screen resolutions by default - usually the resolutions of TVs, such as 1,920 x 1,080. It seems no-one's told the Catalyst driver team that most new PC monitors use this resolution these days.

The fix to the underscanning issue is buried in CCC, but bit-tech is here to help! Step one is to open CCC in Advanced mode, and then go to the Desktops & Displays menu (use the drop-down in the top-left)

How To Fix Underscan in ATI's Catalyst Control Center Fixing Underscan in Catalyst Control Center

Now you need to open the menu for the screen that's being underscanned. However, there are two images of each screen on this page, each with their own drop-down menu. The drop-down of the large screen has different options to that of the smaller screen, and lacks the crucial 'Configure' option we're looking for. Well done on making things simple, ATI.

How To Fix Underscan in ATI's Catalyst Control Center Fixing Underscan in Catalyst Control Center

Once you've navigated the labyrinthine route to the screen configuration menu, you need to click the Scaling Options tab and you'll see a slider. Slide this around until your picture fills all of your screen. You may want to go to the Attributes tab to enable GPU scaling, as this will (I presume) mean that your CPU won't be burdened with the overscanning.

At the moment, I'm not sure if this is an issue with the HDMI output in particular - I've had a similar experience with my media PC, which outputs over HDMI. Therefore, I hand the discussion over to you - if you've updated your Catalyst driver lately, tell us whether you had a similar underscanning issue or not. Please include the Catalyst version you updated to, your screen resolution and the connection type and we'll see how general or specific the issue is.


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azrael- 3rd March 2010, 10:03 Quote
This behaviour has been there for a LONG time and it's very confusing unless you know where to look. I was also dumbfounded when I set up a friend's Windows 7 about half a year ago.

I'm surprised that noone with clout has contacted ATi regarding this behaviour. Maybe someone at, say bit-tech, could do it... :)
Xir 3rd March 2010, 12:18 Quote
Hmmm, I drive a beamer at 1920x1080 over HDMI and see no overscan issue...then again my driver is quite old I guess.
Desktop size is pixelprecise, some games give a smaller picture though.
azrael- 3rd March 2010, 13:48 Quote
I believe it's only in the Windows Vista/Windows 7 drivers.
popcornuk1983 3rd March 2010, 13:59 Quote
I had the same problem. I have a 24' monitor @1920x1080 which connects through DVI and has no issues. However when I connect my 32' TV via HDMI it never seems to fit. It doesn't matter if I'm trying 1080 or 720(which is what windows 7 recommends in the screen resolution box).

I had to go hunting for ages to find the scaling options in the CCC. But even then it's not a 100% perfect fit as there is still a tiny tiny amount of overscan. It's fine as I only watch movies on the TV. But I know it's there and it annoys me something rotten!
popcornuk1983 3rd March 2010, 14:00 Quote
Using windows 7 64bit. Never had the issue on Vista.
Paradigm Shifter 3rd March 2010, 18:32 Quote
I fixed all my HDMI underscan woes with ATi hardware by telling my TV to 'Just Scan' (ie: 1:1 pixel mapping). Turns out it wasn't a problem with ATi at all. Just the TV defaulting to something stupid.

I've never had underscan from ATi hardware via either DVI or VGA, it seems like it's an HDMI thing rather than a specific ATi problem. What was interesting is that my nVidia Ion HTPC had the opposite problem - ridiculous amounts of overscan; that was fixed with the same option on the TV.

Have had this with both Vista and Windows 7.
Picarro 3rd March 2010, 19:37 Quote
Grrr.. Whenever I try to fix this and click "Configure" on my HDTV in the CCC menu it just goes to the start screen. Any suggestions?
blohum 3rd March 2010, 23:48 Quote
"The drop-down of the large screen has different options to that of the smaller screen"... it took me two hours before I realised that, thanks ATI!
Zayfod 4th March 2010, 03:06 Quote
I have noticed that ATI/AMD is tending towards over-complication in the design of its driver interface, far too many levels and layers of options hidden behind tiny unimportant looking pieces of interface.
leexgx 4th March 2010, 03:53 Quote
found some tvs need to be set to game mode to get the full screen when its coming from an PC
Xir 4th March 2010, 08:16 Quote still on XP, that explains.
yeah, the CCC is too complicated, just a plain driver would suffice for most.
But if you do feed to a TV, using CCC is easier than just the driver.
Picarro 4th March 2010, 09:10 Quote
Got it working. Had to update from 9.8 to 10.2 :-/
Cyberpower-UK 4th March 2010, 16:47 Quote
I only ever had this problem with Crysis/Warhead.
zpikez 6th March 2010, 22:10 Quote
had this problem with my 4870 all versions ive had of ccc had the card 8 months or so and ive been using my old monitor because this was soooo annoying, thanks for the help clive
zpikez 6th March 2010, 22:11 Quote
oOo it may be a hdmi thing though, my i3 media center also did it but the interface was much more simple than CCC
teamtd11 6th March 2010, 23:10 Quote
i have this with my 1920*1200 24" when using a dvi-hdmi cable. so its not just with 1080
praxis22 8th March 2010, 12:16 Quote
Actually I may have this issue on XP with a 4870 & a CRT @16x12 may have to check it out, it's been driving me nuts for a while.
mrbens 14th March 2010, 19:51 Quote
I had to route thru the CCC options too when I first connected my PC up to my plasma as a second monitor.

The CCC is a mess. They need to organise the menus to make everything a lot clearer and not hide important options in submenus of submenus!
Fark 23rd March 2010, 14:28 Quote
Thank you so much for this guide!

I were so frustrated and angry I couldn´t find this option in catalyst.
Sure it works flawless for some, but for a lot of people catalyst is doing this all the time. I have a 23" monitor with 2048x1152 resolution + a 1080p projector connected to a ATI 5750 and I have this problem every time I´m updating catalyst.

With Nvidia I never had any issues like this, but then again, I don´t want to use an Nvidiacard so I´ll guess I have to live with the fact I must follow this guide every time I´m updating catalyst.
Fiona-dhc 26th March 2010, 20:33 Quote
Same problem as Picarro: when I click on the 'configure' option it shoots me back to the main screen of the CCC menu. So I can't change the underscan issue.

I already updated to the most recent CCC version 10.3 for windows 7 64 bit.
alexdcd 15th April 2010, 09:36 Quote
Well I have a dell studio 1558. The catalyst control center stop loadin after I installed Solidworks 2009. So now I can't even output to my 32 inch tv for 1080p workspace. I also have a desktop but use dvi to hdmi and it outputs amazingly perfect picture quality over 8800GTX. It's been a while since I had an ATI card but now I'm stuck with it. Iv tried CC Cleaner, registry values, dotnetfx hotfixs, uninstalls, root deletion, even universal package but still no luck. Anyone have a set driver for mobile 4570 that stops this. May have to output over VGA!
nash_1338 3rd January 2011, 06:34 Quote

Ever since I upgraded to windows 7 from vista, the black border problem occurred(not full screen via HDMI).

I used a DELL XPS 16 HD Mobiliti Radeon 4670(an epic laptop by the way).

Birdo 26th February 2011, 15:23 Quote
I did this successfully when I had a laptop with CCC 9.2 on it, but now I have a new laptop the only CCC I can get my hands on is 11.2 and I cannot get a Configure option as described - any ideas?
Fizzban 26th February 2011, 23:04 Quote
Originally Posted by Birdo
I did this successfully when I had a laptop with CCC 9.2 on it, but now I have a new laptop the only CCC I can get my hands on is 11.2 and I cannot get a Configure option as described - any ideas?

You can find older versions here if that helps.
El Pix 7th September 2011, 09:53 Quote
Thanks Clive, this solution perfectly worked for me.

EXCEPT one issue with my Samsung Syncmaster P2770HD, that I had to fix, too. When connecting a PC via HDMI with the Syncmaster, the picture quality is the opposite of sharp and colors are oversaturated. This can be fixed.

To do so, press MENU on your remote, hover to INPUT and choose EDIT NAME. Then move to HDMI - another menu will appear to the right. Choose PC and it's done. I believe this works with other Syncmater models as well.

El Pix
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