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Vizio TV Picture Not Full Screen

I recently ran into a frustrating issue with my Vizio TV, the picture wasn’t full screen! After trying all the solutions I could find online, I finally figured out how to get my TV display to full screen. In this blog post, I want to share the solutions I found, including the one that worked for me, so that other Vizio TV owners can potentially save themselves from the same headache. Read on to learn how to get your Vizio TV picture to full screen!

The root cause of this problem is your TV’s incorrect aspect ratio. It could also be that your source device’s aspect ratio doesn’t match your TV’s. You can change it by tweaking a few settings both on the TV and the device.  

Another reason is that you’re watching something that isn’t proportioned with your Vizio’s aspect display, or your cable TV box is using an SD connection. Likewise, you can resolve this by changing the connection settings. 

1. Incorrect TV Aspect RatioChange Vizio TV’s Aspect RatioAccess the TV’s aspect ratio settings by pressing the remote’s “Menu” button, navigating to the “System” tab, and selecting “Aspect Ratio”. Adjust the settings to fix the issue.
2. Incorrect Source Device’s Aspect RatioChange Source Device’s Aspect RatioCheck the aspect ratio of the connected source device (e.g., game console or Blu-Ray player). Access the aspect ratio settings using the device’s remote or through its “Menu” and “System” settings. Match the device’s aspect ratio with the TV’s.
3. Using SD ConnectionSwitch to HDMI ConnectionIf using a Standard Definition (SD) or coaxial connection, change the TV input settings to HDMI and adjust the cable TV box settings accordingly.
4. Black Bars on ScreenUnderstand Cinematic Bars and Social Media ContentCinematic bars (black bars at the top and bottom of the screen) are added by movie editors to optimize the movie’s width and prevent cropping or stretching. Social media content (e.g., TikTok, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts) often has black bars on the sides due to portrait orientation. Use the “Zoom” feature if desired, but note that it may reduce picture quality.

Vizio TV Picture Not Full Screen

Below are the reasons and possible solutions to your Vizio TV’s full-screen display issues. 

Incorrect TV Aspect Ratio

The most common reason why your Vizio TV doesn’t display pictures in full screen is because of incorrect aspect ratio settings. The aspect ratio is simply the quantitative relation between the display’s height and width. 

Like most modern television sets, Vizio TVs have a default setting of a 16:9 aspect ratio. So, if for some reason you unknowingly change this setting, chances are you’d get a display smaller than your screen size. 

In other words, if the image sits in the middle of a black and empty space, perhaps you have zoomed out the image. It could also be that you’re viewing media with a 4:3 aspect ratio. 

How to Change Vizio TV’s Aspect Ratio

You can change your Vizio TV’s aspect ratio by first pressing the TV remote’s “Menu” button. Once done, navigate to the “System” tab using the arrow keys and then press the “OK” button. After that, highlight the “Aspect Ratio” by using the arrow keys once again. Press the “OK” key to proceed.  

Next, you’d see various options depending on the model of the Vizio TV you have. You might see the “Zoom”, “Normal,” and “Wide” options. We recommend you try them all to find the best fix. 

Incorrect Source Device’s Aspect Ratio

An incorrect source device’s aspect ratio connected to your TV could also mess up the display. So, have a look if your source device like your game console or Blu-Ray player has the same aspect ratio as your Vizio TV. 

How to Change Source Device’s Aspect Ratio

Normally you can access the source device’s aspect ratio using its remote. You can take a look if it has a “Format,” “Shape,” or “Wide” button. If the remote has one of these buttons, press it to change its aspect ratio. 

Alternatively, you can solve the issue by going to the device’s “Menu” and accessing its “System” settings. From there you can make some adjustments and match its aspect ratio with the TV. 

However, some source devices vary in how you change their aspect ratios. We aren’t sure about the kind of device you got. So, if the steps above don’t apply to what you have, we suggest that you contact the manufacturer’s customer support.

You’re Using SD Connection

Most if not all televisions nowadays use High-Definition Multimedia Interface or HDMI. TV manufacturers prefer this interface to provide users with crisp and clear images as well as quality sound output. 

However, this doesn’t mean that modern TVs can no longer run on Standard Definition or coaxial connection. In fact, the said connection is one of the reasons why Vizio TVs aren’t showing a full-screen display. 

You’d often see this setup when a cable TV box is connected to the television set. When the said box is set on HD yet you’re using an SD or coaxial connection, your television won’t be able to display media in full screen. 

To fix this problem, all you have to do is change the TV input settings to HDMI. You should do the same to the cable TV box. 

Black Bars on Screen

Some movies have black bars at the bottom and top of the screen. Likewise, you’d see these bars on both sides of the display. If you’ve been getting these issues, continue reading to learn more.  

Cinematic Bars

Also called cinematic bars, black bars are added at the top and bottom of the screen to optimize the movie’s width to the video player.  Unfortunately, some users think that their TVs aren’t giving them a full-screen display because of these bars. 

However, movie editors apply black bars as a method to prevent cropping or stretching the movie. It also adds some cinematic feel to the film.

Social Media Content

You’d also see black bars on both sides of the screen when you play content from social media sites. This includes videos from TikTok, Facebook Reels, and YouTube Shorts. It happens because most of their uploads were recorded in portrait orientation using smartphones.

While you can always fill the screen by using your Vizio TV’s “Zoom” feature in the “Aspect Ratio” tab, doing it isn’t recommended. You see, zooming these online contents and movies will only make them blurry. 


So there it is—the reasons why Vizio TV’s picture isn’t going full screen. 

We’ve discovered that this display glitch happens when both your TV and source device’s aspect ratios were incorrectly set. However, we’ve also learned that some media are better off unchanged to maintain picture quality. 

In the end, you can always fill the screen if you choose to by just pressing a few buttons.