Chromebook only: second screen problems

I’d like to apologise. It seems I’ve only been blogging about problems with my Chromebook recently, instead of focusing on the positives. The truth is there are so many benefits to this platform, and Chrome OS does many things so seamlessly, that it’s easy to forget this is not a well-established operating system like OS X or Windows.

However, I think it’s because of how slick Chrome OS feels, despite its junior status, that I’m encountering more problems than initially expected. And it’s also because of this that I’m far less forgiving of said problems – the latest of which relates to using my Chromebook hooked up to a second screen.

When I connect my Chromebook to a second screen (my five-year old Toshiba TV) the image becomes pixelated and zoomed in. Watching iPlayer becomes impossible as I can only seen one third of the picture. I haven’t got another screen to try this with, so I’m not sure if this is an isolated issue.

Unfortunately this is one of the more prominent problems with running a web browser and not a fully-fledged OS. Unlike Windows, I can’t select the screen resolution manually and I have no say over how the image is displayed. Instead I’m forced to work with whatever Chrome OS decides is the ‘optimal’ resolution, which, when it comes to my TV, is far from perfect.

This post suggests activating the developer channel may solve the problem. But I’m not sure I want to head down this route. If I’ve understood things correctly, once you’ve activated developer mode you can’t go back without re-flashing the stable version of the OS onto the Chromebook via USB. And that’s a hassle I could do without.

I also came across this while scouring the internet for a solution. It’s a list of known issues with Chrome OS. Hopefully it’ll prove useful for other Chromebook fans out there.

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