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Thread: Questions about playing old games on widescreen PC monitor

  1. #1

    Questions about playing old games on widescreen PC monitor

    The monitor on my main PC has unexpectedly died, and I don't have any backups right now, so I need to find a new one pretty quickly. Almost everything out there is a widescreen, and I could care less about the whole widescreen vs standard debate, but I did have a question about it that my brief googling didn't seem to answer correctly. I can't search too much, my only net access is either through a P166 laptop or the Wii, both of which are a pain in the ass. So I beseech thee for help.

    What I'd REALLY like is a nice 20" CRT monitor. But, I can't find CRT locally that isn't crap or used, and shipping those bastards over the net is expensive. At work we've got a nice Viewsonic 19" widescreen LCD on sale that I've got my eye on, and is one of the few LCDs in my price range that have decent coloring.

    But, my question is this-how do older 4:3 games fare on a widescreen PC monitor? With an HDTV you can select if you wanted to stretch it or play in letterbox, but the monitors at work (hooked up to a DVD player, not a PC) seem to only stretch. I would be fine with a letterbox if it displayed in the proper resolution since most of the games I would still play would run at 1024x768 res. However since it is an LCD if it tried to fit to screen my eyes would probably start to bleed.

    I really don't play PC games much, but every once in a while I need to break out some Wing Commander Prophecy and Red Alert 2.
    Quote Originally Posted by EvilMog View Post
    Screw being smart. This is TNL.

  2. I have a Viewsonic 19" and it has a horizontal size control, so you can probably adjust the stretching. I've never used it, and I can't check at the moment, but if you have access to one, set the resolution of the PC to some 4:3 res and see if you can adjust it on the monitor.

    Failing that, most new video cards come with scalers for dealing with digital flat panels, in case you ever get a new card.

  3. They shouldnt be stretching anything on a pc, they should just be running at widesceen resolutions, unless it isnt configured correctly.

    That being said, a older game that doesnt support widescreen should just run in an on the LCD that is equal to its resolution.
    Last edited by Wildkat; 21 Feb 2007 at 11:34 AM.

  4. if you can't run it in a window your video card (or the monitor) should be able to scale it properly to a 4:3 resolution and add black bars to either side

    my piece of shit acer 19" widescreen can't do that so I live with malformed characters in non-widescreen games

  5. do either of those games support 5:4 ratio resolutions, like 1280x1024?
    if they do, you should just get a non-widescreen 17" or 19" monitor.
    I haven't even seen new 4:3 aspect LCDs in over a year, and even then they were either dinky 15" models, or overpriced 20+" 1600x1200 beasts.

  6. Duh. Everything is going widescreen. It makes people feel special.

  7. #7
    I bought a Samsung 20" 4:3 lcd late last year for cheap.

  8. I wish Diablo was widescreen.
    "Your soul better belong to Jesus, mmm-mmmmm..... cause your ass belongs to me!"

  9. I just don't like how widescreens take up more deskspace without giving you more viewable area. Otherwise they're great.

  10. Mad Actually, I hate my monitor.

    My widescreen monitor is a piece of shit. Not only does it stretch games, which I don't really care about, but when I play those older games, all these coloured dots flicker on the screen, but worst of all, my monitor constantly goes black and it takes a while to get back. The game doesn't pause. I hate this because when I play a platformer that requires lots of delicate precision, I could get it easily, but the monitor goes black at the worst possible time, and by the time it goes back, I'm already in the water or impaled by spikes. Why did they have to invent these pieces of shit, anyway? It is no better than my old monitor, which was also a piece of shit because everything it displayed was way too dark, even with maximum brightness and contrast. If only someone would tell the idiotic inventors how shitty these monitors are.

    It's a Samsung SyncMaster 205BW, by the way.


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