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Roku Guru

How important is the HD "Safe Zone"

I am working on a game for Roku. Right now I am designing it for HDTVs using 1280x720 as my area to work in. Then I remembered that Roku suggests keeping important text and such within a "Safe Zone". I really would much prefer to utilize the entire screen. I have the gameplay in a 960x720 area in the middle of the screen and I would like to use 160 pixels width on each side for some text. It is not a lot of space but I can make it work. However if I develop according the the safe zone guidelines I would only get to use 96 of those pixels.

So my main question is. How many people will actually be affected if I have content right up to the edge of the screen
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Roku Guru

Re: How important is the HD "Safe Zone"

Here are the notes I took with my own precise test results a few months ago:

4x3 standard: ~28 cut off on left, ~12 to 13 cut off on top (resolution blending a lot)
16x9 widescreeen: (exact same as 4x3)
720p: 15 pixels cut off on left and 17 pixels cut off on the right (total 32), 8 pixels cut off on top and 8 pixels cut off on the bottom (total 16)
1080p: ~15 cut off on left (same at 720), ~3 to 4 cut off on top (it's blending the resolution, not exact pixels)
This is just weird. Is it my TV? The Roku? The HDMI cable?
No pixels appear to be getting stretched or blended on the TV across the whole width of the 1-to-1 aspect area
Major piece of the puzzle solved! When I use my PC monitor, there is a setting under "Image Setting" under "HDMI MODE" for "VIDEO MODE" vs "PC MODE"
When I select PC mode, suddenly all the screen is visible, right to the proper edges.
My TV must be always on "VIDEO MODE" with a built-in overscan or something, but it isn't perfect (15 on left and 17 on right)
I have to assume, since the pixels are not blending any, that when the TV is on 1-to-1 aspect, it's displaying precisely 1248x704
So when I change to "aspect" it almost exactly fills the screen, being VERY close to 16x9 aspect
Basically I need to just plan for both versions out there, with a border or something innocuous, no important info or text on the edges.
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Channel Surfer

Re: How important is the HD "Safe Zone"

"Romans_I_XVI" wrote:
So my main question is. How many people will actually be affected if I have content right up to the edge of the screen

A significant number. By default, virtually every television on the market has overscan built in and enabled. It varies widely from television to television, though, which is why there are safe zone guidelines. If you adhere to the guidelines, then you can be confident that it'll work and be visible on all televisions. If you don't, you run the high risk of elements not being visible to the end users.

You could build overscan adjustments into your game, and let the user specify how much to scale the game screen so it fits their television.
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Roku Guru

Re: How important is the HD "Safe Zone"

Ok, thanks for the info. I will stay in the "Action Safe Zone". I think I will publish a beta channel sometime soon, maybe get some feedback 🙂 . It is going to be a very basic game because I am making it using BrightScript. It limits functionality, but it also means the game can be played on all Roku devices. And I'm going to release it completely free, so that will be cool.

Anyway, again thanks for the info.
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