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How to Change Screen Size on Roku

Posted by Arch on November 24, 2019
roku how to change screen size

If you’re looking to change your screen size you probably want to alter either the resolution, the picture ratio, or both. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. Roku devices are designed to take advantage of modern high-definition resolutions but also older formats commonly used in older-gen smart TVs.

In addition, you can easily change the picture size, whether you’re using a Roku streaming device or a Roku smart TV.

Changing the Display with the Remote

Insert batteries in your Roku remote in order to navigate the menu on your Roku device.

  1. Press the Home button on the remote to access the Roku home screen.
  2. Use the arrows to highlight the Settings menu.
  3. Enter the Settings menu and select the Display type option.
    auto detect
  4. Use the arrows to select the desired resolution.

You should know that Roku devices do a good job of analyzing the capabilities of your smart TV. By using the Auto Detect feature, your Roku device can scan and set the display resolution to one that should run optimally on your TV.

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These are the options available on Roku devices:

  1. 720p
  2. 1080p
  3. 4K at 30Hz
  4. 4K at 60Hz
  5. 4K HDR at 30Hz

Resolution Terminology and Common Incompatibility Issues

The 30Hz and 60Hz values represent the framerates of your video playback. 4K HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. This means that your TV should be able to support even higher framerates and additional color information. Note that not many 4K smart TVs will also have 4K HDR support.

If you set your Roku device to a resolution not supported by your TV, you should see a blank screen. However, the device should revert back to its previous valid setting in about 15 seconds.

You should also know that even though your TV may have 4K HDR support, this won’t guarantee that you’ll be able to watch HDR movies right out of the box. In some cases you may notice that when watching an HDR movie from your Roku stick, the image may have poor quality.

This is often an issue with the TV’s software. Perform an update and try again. If the problem persists, perform a Roku OS update as well. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then either your Roku device or TV are not capable of rendering 4K HDR content.

Changing the Picture Size

If you change the picture size on your TV while you’re using Roku, the change won’t be global. It will only affect the HDMI input currently in use, as in your Roku device.

  1. Press the Star button to access the Settings menu.
  2. Alternatively, go to your Home screen by pressing the Home button on the remote and then use the arrow buttons to get to the Settings menu.
  3. Select the TV picture settings option.
  4. Go to the Options menu.
  5. Select the Advanced picture settings menu.
  6. Go to the Picture size setting near the bottom of the list.
  7. Use the arrow buttons to select a different aspect ratio.

Note that you can’t really create a custom aspect ratio, only select a different one from the provided list. But, even though you can change it, it doesn’t always mean that you should. By using the Auto setting, your Roku device will automatically stretch anything that needs stretching and fit all videos to size, to best utilize your TV’s rendering capabilities.

Other Picture Options You Might be Interested in

From the same advanced picture settings panel, you should be able to access other interesting options. For example, you can customize the brightness, sharpness, color, and contrast of a picture manually, instead of relying on available presets.

On most Roku smart TVs you should also be able to take advantage of the Game Mode picture setting. This is something that can either reduce input lag or enhance image processing rates. Since this feature is strictly available to HDMI inputs, it will also be something you can use for your Roku streams, not just gaming sessions.

Should You Change the Screen Size?

Unless you’re planning to watch some really old movies in poor formats on your large TV, there shouldn’t be any reason to stretch out your picture size. And even then, stretching rarely makes things better if it’s not done at an appropriate resolution and screen size.

Often times the image can get foggy or pixelated, hence why the automatic picture ratio settings tend to perform best. Do you like customizing your picture size or do you agree that Roku devices can do a good job on their own most of the time?

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