A Windows Media Center TV Screen Size Fix

Recently I cleaned the slate on my PC and performed a reinstall of my operating system (Windows 7 Home Premium). Following the installation, which went very well, I did experience a TV Screen Size issue, in the Windows Media Center, where the TV display aspect ratio was locked into the 4:3 (square display) mode and would not let me change it to the 16:9 (widescreen display) mode.

After researching this on the internet, I discovered that many people have experienced this issue; especially, with various HP computers with the NVidia video cards. What I discovered is that the fix, in most cases, is really an easy fix, but is not what you think it would be . Now, this may not work in all instances; however, I felt compelled to put the fix (that worked for me) out there in the event someone else is troubled by this problem.

A fix to this issue requires you to go into Windows Media Center, startup the TV and when the TV display is on your monitor screen, simply right mouse click in the middle of the display. After you right mouse click, you will see a blue band appear at the bottom of the screen. You can’t miss it.  On the right side of this band you will see a right and left arrow. Click on the right arrow and the band will change with various options available. When you see the option for Zoom, stop at that point. By default, it will be on Zoom 1. Give the other zoom levels a try. I found that Zoom Level 4 perfectly aligned my display to match the size of my widescreen display (16:9 ratio).

Windows Media Center

I know this fix may not be a fix for everyone who is experiencing this issue; however, in most cases by following these steps will fix the problem. The option to change the display is right under our noses; however, there is nothing readily visible to let you know this option is even there.

If you are wondering how I am watching TV on my computer, then check out this article Watch Cable TV on your Computer .


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7 thoughts on “A Windows Media Center TV Screen Size Fix

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  1. I wish I had found this solution before I spent hours on the internet, pulled half of my hair out, cried and swore in three languages! Thank you. It solved the problem immediately.


  2. For most folks, I think the advice here is poor. Zoom 3 will stretch a 4:3 picture uniformly in the horizontal direction to fill a 16:9 screen. Zoom 4 does not stretch the picture uniformly. It stretches more near the sides, leaving the pixel aspect ratio nearly unchanged in the middle. IMO, if the picture was supposed to be 4:3, it is better to leave it that way, pillar boxed on a 16:9 screen. If you can’t stand the pillars, then Zoom 4 is the better option. OTOH, if the picture is supposed to wide screen but is coming up 4:3, then Zoom 3 is the solution. Zoom 2 is well suited to watching a letter boxed wide screen picture coming from an SD station. The on-screen graphic indicators about what the zoom modes do are wrong! (Why Microsoft has never fixed these obvious errors has always puzzled me.)


    1. David,

      All I can tell you, since this was posted over 3 years ago, this worked for me on my setup (at the time) with the technology I had available to me at the time. Fast forward to NOW, and what you are saying may be true (or false).

      Thank you,



  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hate Windows Media Player and its unintuitive menus, etc. Who would have guessed that the zoom control is accessed not through “settings” but by right clicking on the TV screen? Anyway, thanks again for the tip.


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