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16. Fixing Problems with the Image.

OK, so you've got your X configuration numbers. You put them in Xconfig with a test mode label. You fire up X, hot-key to the new mode, ... and the image doesn't look right. What do you do? Here's a list of common video image distortions and how to fix them.

(Fixing these minor distortions is where xvidtune(1) really shines.)

You move the image by changing the sync pulse timing. You scale it by changing the frame length (you need to move the sync pulse to keep it in the same relative position, otherwise scaling will move the image as well). Here are some more specific recipes:

The horizontal and vertical positions are independent. That is, moving the image horizontally doesn't affect placement vertically, or vice-versa. However, the same is not quite true of scaling. While changing the horizontal size does nothing to the vertical size or vice versa, the total change in both may be limited. In particular, if your image is too large in both dimensions you will probably have to go to a higher dot clock to fix it. Since this raises the usable resolution, it is seldom a problem!

16.1. The image is displaced to the left or right

To fix this, move the horizontal sync pulse. That is, increment or decrement (by a multiple of 8) the middle two numbers of the horizontal timing section that define the leading and trailing edge of the horizontal sync pulse.

If the image is shifted left (right border too large, you want to move the image to the right) decrement the numbers. If the image is shifted right (left border too large, you want it to move left) increment the sync pulse.

16.2. The image is displaced up or down

To fix this, move the vertical sync pulse. That is, increment or decrement the middle two numbers of the vertical timing section that define the leading and trailing edge of the vertical sync pulse.

If the image is shifted up (lower border too large, you want to move the image down) decrement the numbers. If the image is shifted down (top border too large, you want it to move up) increment the numbers.

16.3. The image is too large both horizontally and vertically

Switch to a higher card clock speed. If you have multiple modes in your clock file, possibly a lower-speed one is being activated by mistake.

16.4. The image is too wide (too narrow) horizontally

To fix this, increase (decrease) the horizontal frame length. That is, change the fourth number in the first timing section. To avoid moving the image, also move the sync pulse (second and third numbers) half as far, to keep it in the same relative position.

16.5. The image is too deep (too shallow) vertically

To fix this, increase (decrease) the vertical frame length. That is, change the fourth number in the second timing section. To avoid moving the image, also move the sync pulse (second and third numbers) half as far, to keep it in the same relative position.

Any distortion that can't be handled by combining these techniques is probably evidence of something more basically wrong, like a calculation mistake or a faster dot clock than the monitor can handle.

Finally, remember that increasing either frame length will decrease your refresh rate, and vice-versa.

Occasionally you can fix minor distortions by fiddling with the picture controls on your monitor. The disadvantage is that if you take your controls too far off the neutral (factory) setting to fix graphics-mode problems, you may end up with a wacky image in text mode. It's better to get your modeline right.