Poor TV output quality

Answer ID 31
Published 09/29/2004 03:57 PM
Updated 07/09/2009 03:19 PM

I am getting poor quality TV output from my video card.  How can I improve the quality?

TV video signals will appear blurry compared to the sharp image quality from a high-resolution PC monitor.  Graphic cards are designed to output at resolutions of 640x480 resolution or higher.  When the TV encoder converts this to an NTSC or PAL TV format, it must reduce the video signal quality to adhere to TV format specifications.  While PC monitors generally have a dot pitch of about .24mm (the distance between two phosphor dots), the dot pitch for TV's will be at least twice that distance.  This results in blurry text on your TV.  PC monitors are non-interlaced meaning when they do a redraw, they draw every line.  TV's, on the other hand, are interlaced and only redraw every other line.  This leads to visible flickering on your TV. 

For these reasons, TV's are best used to display photos, videos and video games.  For text, web pages and other office applications, a proper computer monitor is recommended. 

To improve the image quality on your Standard Definition TV, use the higher quality S-video or component cable to connect your graphics card to your TV.  Lowering your resolution will also help improve image quality.  Since TV's are analog, the longer the video cable is, the more the quality of the signal will degrade.  Do not use signal cables longer than 12 feet / 3.6 meters. 

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