I use the latest model of iMac 27 inch and output to an Samsung 40 inch HDTV, and found that the Menu Bar is missing on the HDTV. This is usually known as the "overscan" issue, that the top 10 or 15 lines are missing (and so are the bottom, left, and right) -- this is because in the old days, there are some signals for TV info piggy-backed in the TV signal (usually at the bottom) and the TV won't want to display it, so the top, left, right, bottom 10 or 15 lines are cut off.

This isn't a problem with a Dell Studio 15 Notebook: the notebook computer output HDMI directly, and 100%, every single pixel is visible on the HDTV.

Also, I tried both a generic Mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable (from Monoprice), as well as an expensive, Belkin cable sold at the Apple Store -- they are the same.

Also, this issue happens no matter I choose the "Mirror Mode" or the "Individual Display Mode" on the iMac -- in either case, the 10 or 15 lines are missing at the top, bottom, left, and right.

Is there a way to solve this? To make it work like the Dell notebook? (either by hardware, software, or settings?)

Update: a better solution I found later on was to change the HDTV to not overscan at all, if that's possible. More details in: How to solve the "overscan" issue if the iMac is connected to an HDTV and using BootCamp and Windows 7? That solution is to set the TV not to overscan at all. For example, the setting of 16:9 or 4:3 may both overscan, but the setting of "Just Scan" will not overscan at all.

  • Some TV's also have a DOT for DOT setting too.
    – bjbk
    Nov 9 '15 at 2:54
  • I have this same problem on my NUC 5i3RYH. I bought the mini-DisplayPort to HDMI adapter to save €15, but there is an overscan issue (not with the HDMI port directly). This would indicate that it is not the TV's fault. (running Arch Linux) Feb 25 '17 at 13:00

There should be an "Underscan" adjustment in display preferences. Open up the Displays in System Preferences. Have a look at your available resolutions. There should be a 720p, 1080i and 1080p, choose whichever is appropriate for your TV, and a slider labelled Underscan should appear. Adjust as necessary to get the picture right on your TV.

Underscan adjustment

  • 1
    this is perfect answer... if I mirror the display, the iMac side won't have the underscan, but the TV has another dialog that has the "underscan" control Nov 8 '11 at 5:34
  • please also see the "Update" in the original question for another solution Mar 31 '12 at 8:05
  • After spending a while browsing the web, this is the simplest and most concise answer I found. Thanks! Apple also documented it accordingly: support.apple.com/en-us/HT202763
    – Moreaki
    Nov 27 '15 at 19:13

I had this same issue and spent ages trying everything to correct it. Turned out it was just the zoom option in the picture settings of my TV menu. It was set to "Auto" and after changing to "Full" I now have my external display set up perfectly :) I guess the moral of this is to try the simple solutions first!

Edit - There was a few other options in this menu that helped improve the overall quality also, such as turning "HDMI true black" ON

  • Doh! I had this problem using a Belkin dock with Thunderbolt input and HDMI output so the MacBook didn’t know it was an HDMI monitor and the underscan control is not available. Checked the Samsung TV menu and set to “fit”. Works great.
    – bitfiddler
    Aug 6 '20 at 0:07

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