Catalyst HDMI Black Border

hdmi-border01Catalyst video drivers on Linux have always exhibited second-rate quirks compared to the excellence of nVidia. One such quirk encountered recently is the HDMI black border effect.

As shown in the image, any monitor connected to the HDMI output (direct HDMI to HDMI) will shrink to the center of the screen, and a black border will appear around it.


Using the Catalyst driver with an HDMI monitor might shrink the desktop and fill a black border around it.

The border can be manually removed by opening the AMD Catalyst Control Center with Administrative privileges and setting the Overscan value to 0%.


AMD Catalyst Control Center

(Go to Preferences > AMD Catalyst Control Center > edit page for the HDMI monitor > Adjustments tab, and look for the Scaling Options panel. Set the slider to 0% Overscan.)

The problem is that Catalyst forgets this setting upon the next reboot and requires that you manually adjust it again and again to get a proper picture. Adjusting other settings, such as the Image Options or vertical refresh rate, have no effect either. Catalyst stubbornly refuses to remember the current settings.

There is a command line solution as discovered on this link. It also works in Ubuntu 10.10, and it is repeated here for convenience.

Open a terminal and enter a single line,

sudo aticonfig --set-pcs-val=MCIL,DigitalHDTVDefaultUnderscan,0

Reboot the computer, and the HDMI image fills the screen properly without any black borders.

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