I recently purchased a Vizio TV, and what should have been an exciting experience quickly became frustrating when I realized the picture was off-center. After a few hours of adjusting my TV stand, I was still unable to get the picture into the center of my screen. I then decided to do some research and look for solutions to this common problem, and I’m here to share the tips and tricks I discovered that helped me get my Vizio TV picture back into the center. In this post, I’ll outline the steps I took, as well as other solutions I discovered, to help you get your Vizio TV picture back in the center!
The reasons behind this common display issue include the input source, content scaling, overscan, TV program layout, and closed caption features on the TV. Although rare, a software glitch or hardware failure can also cause this.
Why Is My Vizio TV Picture Off Center?
First off, you’ll want to eliminate your TV’s software or hardware as the cause of a crooked picture. To check this, open the menu using your Vizio remote and see if it’s distorted with the rest of the image. You’ll want to have your TV serviced if it seems like it.
If the menu looks fine, which usually is the case, keep reading to learn more about the common causes of an off-center TV picture.
Input Source Default Setting
You may be watching content from different sources, such as a set-top box, Blu-ray, DVD, or a video streaming app. Switch to another input to see if you’re experiencing the same off-center picture from the other device or app.
If the off-center picture is isolated to the previous input source, then its default setting is probably the reason.
Aspect Ratio of Content
In the olden days, the standard for boxy CRT TVs was the almost square 4:3 aspect ratio.
If you’re watching old TV shows in this ratio on your widescreen (16:9), your TV will fill the empty spaces around the picture with black bands. These dark areas may appear like they’re pushing the picture off the center of the screen.
Similarly, movies recorded in a cinema format (21:9) may look stretched or distorted on your HDTV (16:9).
Overscan is a relic of the old analog technology, wherein additional data is attached to the pixels on the screen.
Picture this: The video content and TV resolution are both 1080p, but most TV screens are still zooming in on the image by default. Instead of getting 1:1 picture quality, you’re losing around 5% of screen data, and the remaining image is stretched to fit the screen.
TV Program Layout
As part of the broadcast, regular news and sports programs can have banners, logos, and stickers covering the top or bottom screens. The TV picture may seem off-center due to the layout of the TV program. Unfortunately, it’s something that can’t be helped.
Closed Captioning Is On
Sometimes, the closed caption feature can make the picture appear distorted or cut off.
How to Fix an Off-Center Vizio TV Picture
Here are the steps you can try to straighten the picture on your Vizio TV that has gone askew:
- Adjust the Picture Aspect Ratio
On your Vizio remote, press the Menu button, then navigate to System > Aspect Ratio. Cycle through the options to see what best centers the picture. The standard options you may find are:
- Normal: displays the original or source format.
- Wide: stretches a 4:3 picture to fill a 16:9 screen
- Zoom: stretches the image horizontally and vertically.
If adjusting the aspect ratio on your TV doesn’t change a thing, then the input source device is likely to be in control of the picture’s aspect ratio. You’ll have to change the settings on that device.
Look for a button on the device’s remote that says Format or Wide. Press the button to see if it adjusts the image.
If you can’t find that option on the remote, scan the on-screen menu items under System or Picture for the aspect ratio. You can also refer to the user’s manual to locate this setting.
- Fix Overscan
You’ll want to disable overscan, especially if you’re using your Vizio TV as a computer monitor. Because nothing is cropped, you’ll see the full window display and read the texts clearly.
On your remote, press the Menu button. Navigate to the menu item that says Wide, then press the OK button. Using the arrow keys, select Wide from the selection of screen aspect options.
The Wide mode is Vizio’s equivalent of Full, Screen Fill, Screen Fit, or Dot by Dot in other TVs. They all turn off the overscan feature.
- Turn Off Closed Captioning (CC)
On your remote, press the Menu button and use the arrow keys to select the Closed Captions option. Press the OK button and set the Closed Captions to Off using the left/right arrow keys.
If that doesn’t work and your TV is displaying from another source, then it’s likely that the input device is controlling the CC settings. Check if there’s a CC button on the device’s remote and use it to disable this option.
Otherwise, navigate the on-screen menu or consult the owner’s manual to find this option.
Is your Vizio TV picture off center? The picture may look awry because the TV displays original content using a different scale or an outdated technology known as overscan.
The easiest way to work around this is by changing the aspect ratio of the screen. You can also turn off the TV’s closed captioning as it can also mess with the picture.