MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby Lad491 on Fri Sep 12, 2008 2:19 pm

see above - JB said how to do it for smaller resolutions, its probably the same for larger :)
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby lateagain on Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:35 pm

As far as I can see MSTS does not support widescreen .....unless you're one of those folk who don't seem to mind watching grossly distorted and stretched pictures? Am I the only one who notices this when you go into Curry's, Comet and many many other stores? The people who make the screens recognise that widescreen is a new standard and that much of what we view is extremely old. They go to all the bother of solving this in their technology and then some spotty herbert stretches all the pictures. They even stretch 14:9 to 16:9! Why???

Sorry about the rant but my point is that the programme was written before widescreen monitors and as far as I can see will only display in the traditional 4:3 ratio (whatever resolution you choose to use of that ratio).

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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby dkightley on Fri Sep 12, 2008 3:51 pm

I can confirm what Geoff says re MSTS.

MSTS can only support 4x3 aspect resolution display formats....800x600, 1024x768, and 1280x1024 in both 16 and 32 bit.

This can be achieved by running MSTS normally and selecting the appropriate resolution in Settings, or by creating a desktop icon and using the command line something like (including the quotes!!) to run MSTS in a window:
"C:\Program files\Microsoft Games\Train Simulator\train.exe" -vm:w,800,600,32


Some graphics cards that support wide screen displays have the capability of running an application full screen in "native mode". This gives a 4x3 format screen to be displayed correctly, leaving a black strip on the left and right of the display, preventing the image from being distorted. You'll need to consult the documentation for your card to ascertain if it supports this feature.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby steam4me on Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:19 pm

These are the standard MSTS resolutions: all are 4:3 aspect ratio ( a composite image from my desktop PC in response to a question on Railpage a few years ago):

Image

You can set screen resolutions on laptops to eliminate distortion in MSTS: here's an example of a Compaq laptop (I purchased this just to see how bad Vista and MSTS are - and there's nothing wrong with Vista, but I digress).

Right-click on the screen, select "Graphics Properties", then "Display Settings", thus:

Image

Under "Display Expansion", click on "Aspect Ratio Options" (arrow #1 above).

Select "Maintain Aspect Ratio", thus (arrow #2):

Image

This will give you the largest possible MSTS viewpoint with black bars down each side of the screen (much like a 4:3 TV programme on a wide-screen TV) - note you now DO NOT need the -vm:w parameter (see below):

Image

BTW, if you do use the switches shown above, you don't need to use 800,600,32 in the command line as that forces MSTS to use 800x600 32-bit. Set the screen display in MSTS Options to the largest option available and save: MSTS will open with that resolution every time. The command-line switches ARE useful if you have mini-routes that you want to run at a different resolution to your master MSTS as mini-routes take their initial resolution settings from the registry - unless over-written in the command line (for example, you're working on an activity in a mini-route and want to be sure AE opens in 16-bit to avoid "issues").

I'll grab my other laptop and put up screenshots of changing its display shortly.

EDIT #1: actually you may want to set your windowed MSTS screen resolution to a figure one step lower than the maximum your wide-screen can display: if you don't, you may find that the bottom of the MSTS window is off the desktop.

EDIT #2: As promised.... from my other laptop: right-click on desktop, select "nVidia Display" then "Laptop Display". Select "Digital Flat Panel Settings" ans then select "Fixed Aspect ratio scaling".

Image

I'll kidnap my wife's Dell laptop tonight and see what its display settings are and post some screenshots - if I live :lol:

HTH.
Last edited by steam4me on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby steam4me on Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:13 am

It appears that the same options as I've shown above for laptops exist for desktop PCs - as far as nVidia cards are concerned.

Image

It also appears that you must use the DVI inputs on your panel and video card (rather than the older VGA) if you want these options to work correctly.
Last edited by steam4me on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby Lumpy on Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:54 am

First of all 1280x1024 is NOT a 4:3 ratio!
Secondly, I have seen screenshots of an MSTS display resolution options box
with resolutions up to 1600x1200 and also have read articles quoting this,
but mine only goes up to 1280x1024. Can anybody shed any light on this?
I have got the update patch and MSTSbin and as far as I know there are no other updates.
I run MSTS on a Vista machine with a 1680x1050 monitor with a button on the front to toggle
between widescreen and 4:3 ratio and it runs OK.
I've had to set screen resolution in MSTS to 1024x768 as that is the largest resolution with 4:3
ratio available to me (1280x1024 is a sort of "narrowscreen" format that doesn't fit with
standard or wide screen ratios). The graphics system enlarges this to fill the height of the
screen with black bands either side as described by others.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby lateagain on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:37 am

Lumpy wrote:First of all 1280x1024 is NOT a 4:3 ratio!


Correct! It's 5x4. None the less these resolutions were for standard monitors. Why they varied I can't explain but Mike's excellent post above is the solution to the original problem.

I've often wondered if the 5x4 or 4x3 aspect ratios caused distortion in some models or how we saw them? Even if it does we tend to go with our favourite optimium setting and once you're engrossed in the Sim it's all a bit academic really? :)

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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby jbilton on Sun Mar 15, 2009 11:39 am

Hi
It is a default on my monitor.... which is a 19" non wide-screen LCD.
Its also the default resolution for this panel.... runs straight off the GFX card DVI cable.... no analogue or conversion required.
I did have to pay a little extra for non widescreen.... but I only really run MSTS.... so for me it was the best tenner spent.
Cheers
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby steam4me on Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:15 pm

Lumpy wrote:First of all 1280x1024 is NOT a 4:3 ratio!

4:3 is 1280 x 960, but the closest MSTS option in the MSTS list of options is 1280 x 1024.

Lumpy wrote:Secondly, I have seen screenshots of an MSTS display resolution options box with resolutions up to 1600x1200 and also have read articles quoting this

Yes you have seen screenshots of an MSTS display resolution options box with resolutions up to 1600x1200 in my post 4-5 messages up from here.

Lumpy wrote:but mine only goes up to 1280x1024. Can anybody shed any light on this?

I was able to demonstrate all the available screen resolutions options box in the screenshot above a few years ago by setting my screen resolution to 1600 x 1200 in Desktop | Display | Properties on a card driving a CRT monitor. If I recall correctly, I even tried 2048 x 1536, but 1600 x 1200 was as high as MSTS went (in case you haven't realised yet, I tend to be quite methodical in my preparation of responses on forums and in my tutorials). CRT monitors are "dumb" and you can set screen resolutions to anything you like (within the limits of the graphics card and its drivers), hence I was able to demonstrate the full gamut of MSTS resolutions. LCD monitors seem to interact with the graphics card: I can't set the screen resolution any higher than the native resolution on any of my LCD monitors. Currently I'm running a Samsung 1440 x 900 pixel widescreen LCD monitor at work and the highest MSTS resolution I see on my drop down box is 1024 x 768. Here at home, I'm using a 1280 x 1024 Viewsonic monitor and the highest MSTS resolution is 1280 x 1024. The kids' games PC monitor is a 24" Samsung at 1920 x 1200 and the maximum MSTS resolution is the full 1600 x 1200.

It thus seems self-evident that MSTS will only give you achievable screen resolution options in its drop-down box. Your maximum vertical resolution is 1050 pixels, the closest MSTS vertical resolution is 1024 pixels, hence it only offers you resolutions up to 1024 x 768 - this is not rocket science. Remember MSTS was developed in 2000-2001 when 1280 x 1024 would have been seen as "high-end" for most PCs.

lateagain wrote:Mike's excellent post above

Who's Mike?
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby thenudehamster on Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:51 pm

The other thing to remember is that almost all flat-screen (LCD and TFT) monitors have 'native' resolution at which they give their best picture. My hp w2007 for instance has a native and preferred resolution of 1680x1050 at 60Hz. It copes happily with MSTS set at 1280x1024x32 and I haven't tried to push it beyond that because the HUD text gets too small for my old eyes beyond that (I know, I tried it on my 19"CRT back in the States). However, being a 16:9 screen I have to run MSTS in a window as the driver software will not allow anything but 16:9 resolutions.
Different monitors will have different characteristics; my Fujitsu-Siemens laptop will happily run 4:3 programs in 'letter-box' or black-border configuration, and my other LCD monitor, an unbranded 17" 4:3 can't display beyond 1280x1024 while retaining aspect ratio.

However, most modern graphics cards and monitors will display MSTS in the best resolution the program can reasonably manage; it just may not be the best the monitor or card can.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby lateagain on Sun Mar 15, 2009 3:18 pm

steam4me wrote:
lateagain wrote:Mike's excellent post above

Who's Mike?


:lol: :lol: :lol: Sorry Yuri! I've always been bad with names but your's was right in front of me :oops: Still like I alway's say I'll answer to anything politer than "Oi! You!" :-?

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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby Lumpy on Mon Mar 16, 2009 1:51 am

Thanks guys for all your helpful comments and observations.
That was my first ever post anywhere and I wasn't very hopeful that anyone would actually notice it!
Thanks again, I'm off now for a journey on the Dorset Coast Route or perhaps I'll go back in time (and across the pond!) to 1940's Lehigh & Hudson River.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby steam4me on Mon Mar 16, 2009 3:20 am

Just to complete this thread, I've just found an image demonstrating the ATI Catalyst screen that allows you to set fixed-image scaling on ATI graphics card (ATI have been MUCH slower than nVdia to implement this feature and has only appeared in the last few months).

This has only been implemented with v8.3 or higher drivers.

Image

HTH.
Last edited by steam4me on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby mickrik on Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:40 pm

Hi Yuri,

Which graphics card is that you have installed please so I can obtain one. I have a widescreen monitor and the streched out look of MSTS is driving me crackers :crazyeyes:

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Re: MSTS on Widescreen Monitors

Postby steam4me on Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:04 pm

We have several laptops (about 4 at last count) and desktops (3) running a variety of both nVidia and ATI cards - hence I was able to generate the screen shots above and at http://msts.steam4me.net/tutorials/msts_widescreen.html.

The laptops have both Intel Graphics Media Cards and nVidia 9600 series cards. The desktops are running nVidia 9800GT and ATI X1850 cards. The latest drivers for both nVdia and ATI all support fixed aspect scaling.

Note you need a DVI connection on a desktop to display fixed aspect scaling (see the linked tutorial).

HTH.
Last edited by steam4me on Mon Mar 01, 2010 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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