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Why Is My TV Picture off Center? (Causes and How to Fix)

As the owner of a television, I know how frustrating it can be when the picture on the screen is off center. I recently encountered this problem myself and had to do some research and testing to figure out how to fix it. After discovering a few solutions, I wanted to share my experience and what I learned with others who may be dealing with this issue.

In this blog post, I will discuss the various causes and solutions to why your TV picture may be off center and how to fix it.

The most common causes of a TV picture being off-center include over-spanning, an issue with the picture settings of the TV, an issue with the picture settings of the source device, CC and XDS services, as well as the content itself.

Key TakeawaysDetails
Common CausesOver-spanning, TV picture settings, source device picture settings, CC/XDS services, content issues
Fix Over-spanningAdjust picture size by selecting “Screen Adjustment” or “Screen Size” and choose “Screen Fit” or “Wide”
Fix TV Picture SettingsAdjust aspect ratio, zoom level, or turn on “Wide” mode; use “Auto Adjust” or reset to default if needed
Fix Source Device SettingsAdjust aspect ratio, format, or zoom from the source device’s picture/display settings
Turn off CC/XDSDisable Closed Caption (CC) and Extended Data Services (XDS) features to resolve off-center picture
Soft ResetTurn off TV, unplug from wall outlet, wait 60 seconds, plug back in, and turn on to clear technical glitches
Hard ResetReset the TV to its factory defaults, following the specific instructions for your TV model
ConclusionSimple fixes can resolve off-center TV picture issues, unless the issue is part of the content itself

1. Your TV Is Over-Spanning

If your TV isn’t showing a full picture and instead displays an off-center output with black bars on the sides, then it could be the result of over-spanning.

How to Fix

To resolve the problem of over-spanning, you should adjust the picture size on your TV screen to fit the entire screen as follows:

Grab your TV remote and press the Menu button. You should find it around the middle section of the remote with the word “Menu” labeled on it.

Once you press it, you’ll see a menu box pop up on the TV screen.

Next, look for the “Picture” option in the menu box and choose it. You should now see another selection panel containing options related to the settings of the picture output.

Look for the option “Screen Adjustment” or “Screen Size” and select it to open up a new menu. From this menu, choose “Screen Fit” or “Wide”. Your TV should then respond by centering the picture to a full screen.

2. The Picture Settings of the TV Needs Tweaking

Besides picture size, other picture settings on your TV may be incorrect and require adjustment to display a centered image.

One of the most common issues, in this case, is the aspect ratio. It may also be that you’re on the wrong format, you zoomed out, or you didn’t turn on the “Wide” mode.

How to Fix

You can change the aspect ratio on your TV to increase the picture size and fit it to the screen as follows:

Grab your TV remote and press the Menu button. You should see a menu box pop up on the TV screen.

Next, look for the “Picture” option in the menu box and choose it. Another selection panel will appear containing picture output settings.

Choose “Aspect ratio” and then select 4:3 or 16:9. Wait for your TV to process the request and see if this fixes the issue.

If it doesn’t, repeat the same steps until you enter the picture setting menu and look for a “Zoom” option. Be sure to adjust it back to the original zoom level.

Also, look for a “Wide” option. If your TV has one, make sure it’s engaged.

Alternatively, find an “Auto Adjust” option in the picture settings and then press “OK” to enforce it. This should cause the screen to automatically center the image.

If your TV has a manual option for adjusting screen position, use the arrows on the remote to center the picture.

If all the above didn’t work, go back to the picture settings for the TV and select “Reset to default”. This should correct everything back to normal.

3. The Picture Settings of the Source Device Needs Adjustment

If your TV is showing an off-center picture and you’re sure the problem isn’t with the TV’s settings, then the issue can be traced back to the source device.

For example, a cable box, a computer, an Android box, SAT box, a laptop, or a DVD player.

How to Fix

In this case, you should adjust the aspect ratio, format, or zoom of the picture output directly from the source device.

Simply enter the menu for picture/display settings and locate the required option. Tweak these settings and observe how the screen position changes.

4. The CC and XDS Are On

If your TV has a CC (Closed Caption) or an XDS (Extended Data Services) feature and it’s turned on, it may cause the picture to appear off-center.

How to Fix

Try turning off these features and observe if the issue gets resolved.

Try a soft reset

A soft reset, is where you turn off the TV and unplug it from the wall outlet. You then usually have to wait for 60 seconds then you can put the plug back in and turn the TV on again. Performing a soft reset clears a device’s internal memory of running programs, which often clears up any technical glitches.

Try a hard reset

A hard reset involves completely resetting the TV to its factory defaults. Most TV models have specific instructions. However, if you have a Samsung TV here are the steps to follow:

To perform a factory reset:

  1. Head to Settings > General.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. Enter your PIN > then select Reset.

Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000

Wrap Up

A TV picture off-center can be due to over-spanning, an issue with the picture settings of the TV, an issue with the picture settings of the source device, or CC and XDS services.

Luckily, each of these issues can be resolved with simple steps unless it’s part of the content. In this case, you’ll need to enjoy it as is.

Read more: TV slow to respond to remote