So, my PVM 20L5 is calibrated so as to precisely hug the image the outside of a PS2 game and/or an N64 game that uses all pixels. I find that those systems usually have the “widest” and “tallest” games when all pixels are used (although I have not tested this extensively and might be mistaken).
This means, however, that on some games and systems like Banjo Kazooie on N64, all Genesis games I’ve tested, all NES games I’ve tested, and all Saturn games I’ve tested, there’s a rather noticeable gap between the TV frame and the game’s borders where pixels are not drawn showing a degree of underscan that seems to vary depending on what I’m playing.
I’m torn as to whether I should leave it this way or if it’s better to overscan the bigger images a little so that there’s no borders for nearly any of the games I play.
No doubt, games back then were designed with tolerance for some overscan and my TVs growing up all overscanned images on most consoles - even the ones that have smaller images like the Genesis.
One particularly interesting system, however, is the Dreamcast. I’m not sure what it’s native aspect ratio is in VGA mode, but it’s the only system that is even slightly overscanned with my current monitor. If I adjusted the borders for that, however, everything would be pretty severly underscanned.
Interestingly, some games from the 32/64bit era started offering centering settings for the image in the options menu, (Super Smash Bros and Soul Calicut being the ones that came to mind) and in those settings they often had an outer boarder which displayed what I assume to be the inner most threshold of overscan the devs seemed to design around.
But I find that depicted border to be a bit too generous and inconsistent between games and haven’t used them to calibrate my display.
I know my NEO GEO CMVS has a similar border calibration screen that is on the system level, but that also seems a bit too generous. I also know the 240p test suite has one but I’ve never actually run it before (I should change that).
So what do you all do? Do you adjust the CRT borders on a per-machine basis, leave it slightly overscanned for all systems so there are never any borders, or do what I did and adjust it for the (nearly) largest image from a 4:3 system that you can find, and just cope with borders for other games/systems?