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Tip - 4:3 aspect ratio on a Widescreen display

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Tip - 4:3 aspect ratio on a Widescreen display (2D panel stretching)This tip is for ppl who fly 2D panels, and don't like oval gauges (2D panel stretching) on a widescreen display.It's called "Manage custom resolutions" which will allow you to run FS2004 in full screen mode, on a widescreen display, with a 4:3 aspect ratio. It's not a perfect solution, but one that works, as I don't like flying in windowed mode.The steps below are written based on my setup and using the "newer" NVIDIA Control panel. For the "older" NVIDIA control panel, you can do the same thing, but its call "Fixed aspect ratio timing" on the tab called "Display Mode Timing".My setup:a. NVIDIA video card.b. Windows XPc. 178.24 video driver installed.d. ACER 20" Widescreen LCD with a native resolution of 1680x1050.Creating a Custom Resolution.1. Right click on your desktop and start the "NVIDIA Control Panel".2. Ensure "Advanced settings is selected.3. On the left pane, click on "Manage custom resolutions".4. On the Right pane, check "Allow modes not exposed by the display" and click on "Create".When you check "allow modes not exposed by the display", you're allowing Windows XP and FS2004 to see the new screen resolution we're about to create.5. Click on "Advanced>>" to expand the current window, and on the "Timing standard" line change "Auto" to "Manual".6. This step will be different for everyone, so experiment. I created a new screen resolution of 1400x1050 which fills most of my widescreen LCD, and maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio.For my 1680x1050 widescreen LCD I changed the following lines:Horizontal Desktop pixels: 1400 Vertical desktop lines: 1050Active Horizontal pixels: 1400 Active vertical lines: 1050Note: these two lines above should match each other. Also, ensure the aspect ratio is 4:3 (1400/1050=1.33333333)Horizontal total: 1840 Vertical total: 1080Note: this line effects actual size on the screen. Play with these numbers to adjust. 1840 and 1080 were pre-loaded, and I never changed them, you may have too.7. Press "Test" and see the result. If the result looks good, press "yes" before the time runs out, to save this new custom resolution. Don't worry about the image shifting off to the right. We'll fix that next.Note: If you create a new resolution that matches an existing (default) resolution don't make the your new custom resolution the same.For example, you wish to create a 1280x960 resolution using "Manage custom resolutions". Before doing so, confirm it's not already defined. Right click your desktop, click on properties, select "settings" tab, and move the "Screen resolution" pointer. If you see 1280x960, then you can't create another one using "Manage custom resolutions". But you can create one close to it, like 1280x959 or 1280x961. 8. Close the "NVIDIA Control panel", right click the desktop, click "Properties", select "Settings" tab and change the desktop screen resolution to the new one we just created (1400x1050). Click "apply" and yes.9. We now have to center our new 4:3 display on our widescreen. Right click your desktop and start "NVIDIA Control Panel". On the left pane, click "Move CRT screen position". Use the arrows in the right pane, to adjust your display to center it and then click "apply". 10. Now reboot Windows XP. I found if I don't reboot Windows XP, the screen adjustments don't keep.11. Once Windows has reloaded, we can now change our desktop screen resolution back to your desired resolution.12. Start FS2004, click on Settings, Display, Hardware tab, and pick the newly created custom resolution (1400x1050). 13. Enter Full Screen mode and you should have a centered 4:3 display.Hopefully this helps someone.RJ

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Thank you very much RJ!I posted about this problem some days ago, and was looking for a no-design solution.Now, before I give it a try, my only concern is - should I switch between the two resolution (the native one and the custom one), or the screen quality is good with the custom resolution for the other applications as well?Just your opinion.RegardsFrancesco

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Thank you very much RJ!I posted about this problem some days ago, and was looking for a no-design solution.Now, before I give it a try, my only concern is - should I switch between the two resolution (the native one and the custom one), or the screen quality is good with the custom resolution for the other applications as well?Just your opinion.RegardsFrancesco
Well,, I would not use the custom resolution for every day to day use. Widescreen is much nicer. :( If you follow my instructions, and tinker a bit, you'll understand how it works. Once you've created this custom resolution, and assign it to FS2004/FSX, only when you start FS2004/FSX will you end up with a 4:3 display on your widescreen. You'll end up with two black strips on each side of your display if you centered it correctly as per my instructions.RJ

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Well,, I would not use the custom resolution for every day to day use. Widescreen is much nicer. :( If you follow my instructions, and tinker a bit, you'll understand how it works. Once you've created this custom resolution, and assign it to FS2004/FSX, only when you start FS2004/FSX will you end up with a 4:3 display on your widescreen. You'll end up with two black strips on each side of your display if you centered it correctly as per my instructions.RJ
Ok, I followed your instructions, but the result is not as expected. First of all, Nvidia control panel has no "move crt screen position" (it's a TFT screen actually, so it makes sense :-)), as you can see in the attachment. But I could set a new 1400x1050 custom resolution, like yours. Now, I have the new custom resolution in FS2004 hardware resolution list, but when I select it I have simply a blurred, less readable panel, just like selecting another 4:3 resolution as before (let's say 1280x1024 or 1024x768). I have no black strips or similar. What can be the reason? Maybe this monitor resizes automatically the screen so this is the reason I have not that option in Nvidia control panel?Waiting for your opinion.ThanksFrancesco

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First of all, Nvidia control panel has no "move crt screen position"
Strange, my test system here has no CRT either, just a 20" LCD and I have "move crt screen position".
Now , I have the new custom resolution in FS2004 hardware resolution list, but when I select it I have simply a blurred, less readable panel, just like selecting another 4:3 resolution as before (let's say 1280x1024 or 1024x768). I have no black strips or similar. What can be the reason?
What's the native resolution of your LCD?RJ

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Would it not be easier to just drag the 2D panel right edge back to the left so the proportions are normalized & no oval gauges? Then fill in the blank screen area with 2 or 3 popups. Save the flight and you can restore the adjusted layout next time.Here is an example I mocked up some time ago. It was done on a 4:3 monitor- the black space underneath is unused screen to simulate a wide format mon. Black rectangles are unused monitors 2 & 3 for this experiment.Note the added PMDG B744 Lower EICAS display plus Switch Panel and also misc Sw Panel. I think it improves the appearance AND usefulness. Or the CDU could be placed there if you prefer.Alex Reid

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Would it not be easier to just drag the 2D panel right edge back to the left so the proportions are normalized & no oval gauges? Then fill in the blank screen area with 2 or 3 popups. Save the flight and you can restore the adjusted layout next time.Here is an example I mocked up some time ago. It was done on a 4:3 monitor- the black space underneath is unused screen to simulate a wide format mon. Black rectangles are unused monitors 2 & 3 for this experiment.Note the added PMDG B744 Lower EICAS display plus Switch Panel and also misc Sw Panel. I think it improves the appearance AND usefulness. Or the CDU could be placed there if you prefer.Alex Reid
Hi Alex,, yeap another good tip.However, now I don't anything (very easy). I start FS2004 and it's all automatic, I'm placed in a 4:3 display on a widescreen, no dragging, just flying :( What ever works best for you is all that counts. I know you use 3 screens (me thinks) :( I thought I'd share another option for ppl to try, as I don't recall this one being mentioned before. Could be wrong however, and if so, I missed this being mentioned.RJ

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Then again,, maybe my tip doesn't work for others??? Francesco (me4246) appears to have problems making this work for him.I wonder if anyone has tried this, and if so, did it work? Cuz it works great for me.RJ

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Then again,, maybe my tip doesn't work for others??? Francesco (me4246) appears to have problems making this work for him.I wonder if anyone has tried this, and if so, did it work? Cuz it works great for me.RJ
Hi,my native resolution is 1680x1050. Maybe we have different Nvidia CP versions: mine is 2.1.270.000 .Alex's tip is not bad, anyway...I simply didn't think about it! It could be my last chance if I can't solve the problem :-(Francesco

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Hi,my native resolution is 1680x1050. Maybe we have different Nvidia CP versions: mine is 2.1.270.000 .Alex's tip is not bad, anyway...I simply didn't think about it! It could be my last chance if I can't solve the problem :-(Francesco
Yeap, I have 2.1.270.000 (same version)If you right click your desktop, click properites, and on the setting tab, select your 1400x1050 resolution, does your widescreen shrink to 1400x1050? It should. If not, try creating a screen resolution of 1399x1050 and try again.RJ

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Yeap, I have 2.1.270.000 (same version)If you right click your desktop, click properites, and on the setting tab, select your 1400x1050 resolution, does your widescreen shrink to 1400x1050? It should. If not, try creating a screen resolution of 1399x1050 and try again.RJ
No, it doesn't "shrink". It simply goes to that blurred resolution, full screen, and the same for a new 1399x1050 resolution.F.

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No, it doesn't "shrink". It simply goes to that blurred resolution, full screen, and the same for a new 1399x1050 resolution.F.
Well that's unfortunate.I'm wondering if you use nHancer and that is causing issues?I don't. I used nHancer only to delete the default fs9.exe profile that Nvidia installs. See this thread about that:http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?showtop...126&hl=antiBy deleting the fs9.exe profile, I can use the Nvidia control panel or nHancer to adjust my video card.Either way, that's too bad It doesn

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For the people who tried this, and it did not work, I've updated the steps. See if it works now...The steps below are written based on my setup and using the "newer" NVIDIA Control panel and 180.48 drivers. For the "older" NVIDIA control panel, you can do the same thing, but its call "Fixed aspect ratio timing" on the tab called "Display Mode Timing".For the 191.07 drivers the procedure is very much the same, but it's called "Change resolution" under the display section, and you'd then click on "add resolutions", and then "Create Custom Resolution".My setup:a. NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT video card.b. Windows XPc. 180.48 video driver installed.d. Samsung P2350 23" Widescreen LCD with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080.e. I'm using the "VGA" type video connector with my LCD. If using the DVI type connection, this method will work, but, I have not yet figured out how to center the new 4:3 screen on my widescreen LCD. The new 4:3 screen will be either on the left or right hand side of the LCD if using the DVI connection. Creating a Custom Resolution. (Updated)1. Find out and set your LCD to its "native resolution". It must be set to the native resolution for this to work. Also note your native vertical lines, as we'll be using that value later. Example: native resolution of my LCD is 1920 x 1080. My native vertical lines are 1080. 2. Right click on your desktop and start the "NVIDIA Control Panel".3. Ensure "Advanced settings" is selected.4. On the left pane, under display, click on "Manage custom resolutions".5. On the Right pane, check "Allow modes not exposed by the display" and click on "Create".When you check "allow modes not exposed by the display", you're allowing Windows XP and FS2004 to see the new screen resolution we're about to create.6. **Important Note: after clicking the "Create" button, DO NOT CHANGE THE RESOLUTION SETTINGS at this point. Before changing any values, you have to click on "Advanced>>" to expand the current window, and on the "Timing standard" line change "Auto" to "Manual". If you change the resolutions values before changing to "Manual" the custom resolution will not work.7. This step will be different for everyone, depending upon your native resolution. I created a new screen resolution of 1440x1080 which fills most of my widescreen LCD, and maintain a 4:3 aspect ratio.The concept is to have as much of your widescreen LCD filled with your new 4:3 display. My native vertical lines (height) is 1080, so to achieve a 4:3 display, I'll need a new Horizontal pixel width of: 1080 x 1.3333333 = 1440.Note: if your LCD already has a 1440x1080 resolution by default, you cannot create another one. Instead you must create one using values that are slightly different (example: 1441x1080). If you create a resolution that you already have by default, the 4:3 screen will not work.For my 1920x1080 widescreen LCD I changed the following lines:Custom Display mode values Horizontal Desktop pixels: 1440 <------Changed from 1920 to 1440Vertical desktop lines: 1080 <----Keep the same for maximum vertical displayBack-end parametersHorizontal Front Porch: 326 <----changed this value to 326 to center (left to right) my new 4:3 screen on my widescreen LCD. You'll have to experiment.Vertical front porch: 4 <----I kept this the same, but you can change this to shift/move your new 4:3 screen (up/down) on your widescreen LCD.Active Horizontal pixels: 1440 <----changed from 1920 to 1440.Active vertical lines: 1080 <----Keep the same for maximum vertical display. Horizontal total: 2200 <---Do not changeVertical total: 1125 <---Do not change. Note: The "Horizontal total" and the "Vertical total" are preloaded with the currect values for your LCD, providing you did step 6 correctly. If you did not follow step 6 correctly, the values will not be pre-loaded correctly and your 4:3 display will not work. It's important to note again, you must be doing this procedure, with you LCD set to its native resolution, or these values will not pre-load correctly. When you create a custom resolution using the 191.07 drivers, the descriptions above are slightly renamed.8. Press "Test" and see the result. If the result looks good, press "yes" before the time runs out, to save this new custom resolution. If you need to adjust your 4:3 display up/down or right/left, press "no" and adjust you "Horizontal Front Porch" and/or "Vertical front porch" to center.Again, this procedure to correctly center your new 4:3 display, works only when using the VGA type connector. I don't know how to center the 4:3 display, when the DVI connection is used.9. Close the "NVIDIA Control panel", right click the desktop, click "Properties", select "Settings" tab and change the desktop screen resolution to the new one we just created (1440x1080) and click "apply" and yes. Confirm your widescreen desktop is now a 4:3 display. 10. You can now change our desktop screen resolution back to your desired resolution.11. Start FS2004, click on Settings, Display, Hardware tab, and pick the newly created custom resolution (1440x1080). 12. Enter Full Screen mode and you should have a centered 4:3 display.RJ

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