monitors

How can I figure out what's wrong with my PC monitor?

Dell Inspiron

Episode 1504

Steve from San Diego, CA

The monitor of Steve's Dell Inspiron has finally bit the dust. Leo says it's probably the cable that has gone bad or worked its way loose. He should try to change the monitor cable. If that doesn't fix it, he should swap out the monitor and see if that's it. Once he has eliminated the easy stuff, then he can look inside the computer. These days, the video card is wired into the motherboard, so that means either replacing the motherboard or getting a new computer. But he should try the easiest stuff first.

How can I control multiple TV monitors separately by remote?

SimpleControl

Episode 1500

Andrew from Nome, AK

Andrew wants to be able to control several monitors separately by remote, but with regular IR remotes, everything he does will affect all of the TVs. Leo says ideally he'd like to be able to do this in software without the remote. Leo says it would be nice if those monitors had a serial port for control. There are remote apps that use Wi-Fi with a phone. Openhab has some documentation for controlling TVs using a serial protocol.

Why can't I see the bottom half of my screen?

www3.lenovo.com

Episode 1479

Larry from Ventura, CA

Larry has a Lenovo Yoga 720 convertible laptop, but when he plugs it into a dock, it doesn't show the bottom part of the screen. However, when he uses it in tablet mode, it's fine. Leo suspects that the monitor driver for the computer monitor is wrong. If it's using a generic driver, it won't show the whole screen. In this case, go to the monitor's website and download the latest drivers. Also, look in the monitor settings for "under scan" and enable that.

Why can't I direct enter channels on my TV?

Insignia HDTV

Episode 1431

Gary from Buffalo, NY

Gary got an Insignia HDTV, but it won't let him directly enter channels on the remote. Leo says that at under $200, it's likely that the TV doesn't have direct channel entry on the remote control and it was done to cut costs by reducing features. It may not even have a tuner. He would need to use his cable or streaming box that has a tuner built-in that could do that.

Why is my Mac's monitor so fuzzy?

SwitchResX

Episode 1431

Carl from Goodland, IN

Carl has a 2012 MacBook Pro Retina, and now when he connects it to his Vizio, he's noticed that the screen isn't as clear. The fonts are fuzzy and the image quality varies from app to app. Leo says that it could be that the native resolution of his Vizio screen may not be one that his MacBook understands and therefore, it runs the default resolution, which is generally half the native resolution of the screen. He'll need to figure out what the native resolution of the screen is, divide it by two and choose the best option based on that. Could updating to El Capitan also be a factor?

What's the best monitor for my laptop?

Dell 27" Monitor

Episode 1412

Cathy from Laguna Nigel, CA

Cathy is looking for a monitor that she can use with her laptop when she's at home. Leo says that any modern laptop will have an HDMI port and that will connect to an external monitor. In fact, some can support up to three monitors!

What size should she get? Leo says to go with the Dell 27". It's very affordable and the color quality is really good. ASUS also makes monitors, and they are very wide for gaming. It would be great for what Cathy needs as well.

Is it worth it to fix my Thunderbolt display?

Apple Thunderbolt Display

Episode 1397

Don from Los Angeles, CA

Don has a Thunderbolt display that turns off randomly. He hears that it's an overheating issue. Jason says that a Thunderbolt display is like its own computer, and if the fans have become clogged or defective, it could be turning off. It may be an expensive fix, to the point where it would be cheaper to just buy a new one. Finding a local guy who could fix it may be the most affordable option.