I finally got my Pi to display on an old TV, via the RCA connector. Unfortunately, the Pi outputs a picture that is bigger than the TV can display. It does this on both the TV pictured here: enter image description here

and a newer (though still pretty old) flatscreen we have, so it probably isn't the TV.

All the fixes I find for this problem I can find are specific to HDMI overscan, and none of them have fixed this. I just can't seem to find someone who has had this same problem with the RCA connection.


I have two old TVs that I got to work using the composite connection. Both were fixed by adjusting the overscan settings. On the older, smaller TV, setting overscan_left, overscan_right, overscan_top and overscan_bottom along with adjusting framebuffer_width and framebuffer_height did the trick. I have the NOOBS SD card and used Linux running in VirtualBox on a Windows 7 box to edit the config.txt file. For the second TV, setting the four overscan values and framebuffer sizes did not make any difference. Eventually I found a reference to overscan_scale=1 and tried that and everything started working. I was able to change these values in two ways in RASPBMC, one using ssh to login to a running system and edit /boot/config.txt and the other was to add them in the System Configuration page under "PROGRAMS". Using ssh was much easier if you have access that way.

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  • Where is reference to overscan_scale=1 ? I have searched without success. – Milliways Apr 26 '14 at 2:32
  • I first saw a mention of it in an 16-JUL-2013 entry in the raspberrypi forums [raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=78&t=50100 ]("Emulation Station - Some ongoing frustrations"). Google brings up several other references to it for me. – scm0 May 18 '14 at 21:59

Look at http://elinux.org/R-Pi_ConfigurationFile which describes the settings in /boot/config.txt. I believe these should work for composite video (but I haven't used this).

The overscan can be set using sudo raspi-config Advanced Options.

You can also configure with /opt/vc/bin/tvservice

/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -s will display current settings

/opt/vc/bin/tvservice -c "PAL 4:3" will set the aspect ratio (which I think defaults to 5:4).

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  • Good advice, but didn't fix this specific problem. Thanks for the info, though. – b4ux1t3 Apr 19 '14 at 5:21

As it turns out, there are two places in the config.txt that have overscan options if you use NOOBS to install. So, if you are having a similar problem, make sure you scroll to the bottom of the file and are certain that overscan is set properly there.

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