How To Set Up Emerson Lc195emx Monitor On Xubuntu 16.04

John David Pressman

My second monitor has been broken since I installed it. It’s one of those nagging little issues you convince yourself doesn’t matter but significantly hobbles your productivity. I just fixed it after finally investing the time to figure it out. Any time I have an issue that takes research effort to fix with my system (rare these days, but it happens) I like to write down a tutorial for others.

I use this neat little Emerson TV as a second monitor, it’s nice because it also doubles as a television and gaming setup. However Xubuntu doesn’t seem to be able to figure out the right resolution to use for it out of the box. The basic procedure for how to fix this is here but it has one major caveat. You can only use certain output formats and resolutions with the television. These are described in the manual, but since the site I got it from doesn’t look very stable I’ll note the available formats in the table below for posterity:

Format Resolution Refresh Rate
VGA 640 x 480 60Hz
SVGA 800 x 600 60Hz
XGA 1024 x 768 60Hz
WXGA 1280 x 768 60Hz
WXGA 1360 x 768 60Hz

The procedure in brief is:

  • Generate a mode line for the resolution and framerate you want using the programs *cvt* or *gtf* for your display.
  • Use xrandr's --newmode flag to add a new mode option to the set of options displays can choose from.
  • Use xrandr's --addmode flag to make the mode available for use on the display you're following this process for. Each display will have a device identifier you can use xrandr to find.
  • Go into your graphical display manager and you'll find the option you've added is now something you can choose from. Use it and your monitor should now work.