I am looking to buy a decent laptop for an htpc and basic home pc. I bought an acer es 1 512 c88m and the hd video quality seems blurry and basically not hd. Also, it doesn't expand full screen when I have it hooked to my tv. The max resolution is 1366x768 and i'm not sure of the graphics or processor. Can this pass as an htpc? Are there settings I have to mess with to improve the quality? What's a good cheap laptop that has decent hd? I'm sure one of these $250 and below refurbished ones would cut it. I bought my wife one at walmart for $250 and the hd is very good and full screen on the tv. Thanks.
sounds like you are duplicating your display instead of extending it.
You probably have a 1080p TV and your laptop is 1366*768 (1080i). The default when you plug into an external monitor is to duplicate the display. So your laptop is sending the 1080i signal to your 1080p TV resulting in less than stellar visuals.
Right click on background
go to screenresolution
Click on screen 2
Open the drop down box titled 'Multiple Displays' and change it to 'Extend dsesktop to this display'
set teh resolution of monitor 2 to 1080p and apply.
Now you just need to drag the media you want to watch from the destop of the laptop to the new screen, and you will be watching it in the right res.
I tried the extending method, setting the tv output to 1080p. I chose to display only on the tv. This eliminates the need to drag between screens. I'm still not sure if it's displaying as well as it should, though. Does the laptops graphics/cpu at all affect the quality if I'm extending the display? If not I'll probably just go with that method. If buying a new laptop with AMD and better HD will increase it further, I might decide to do that instead.