Roku devices are great for converting ‘dumb’ TVs into smart ones. The Roku platform offers a great and intuitive way of streaming your favorite channels including Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc.
However, since it works with third-party hardware (your TV set) sometimes, you will face compatibility issues.
One of them is an incorrect screen size where the picture will feel either zoomed in, or zoomed out, or stretched beyond the screen.
So, how to fix a Roku screen zoomed in if you find yourself with one such problem? The fix is quite easy.
QUICK FIX: Press the * button on your remote to go to Settings > Advanced picture settings > Picture Size and change your picture size that sits well with your TV screen or the media you are watching.
This should fix most of the cases (and I am going to explain this in more detail below) but if you are still struggling with a zoomed-in/out video, read this article to the end and I will have some more troubleshooting steps for you to fix your Roku screen size.
Roku screen zoomed in – what is the reason?
There might be a few reasons for an incorrectly displayed aspect ratio on your Roku screen. But the most common is a miscommunication between the video generating unit (Roku processor or external device) & the video processing unit (display).
If the display unit receives a video from the video generating unit that is not compatible with the display, you will get distorted or zoomed in or zoomed out video.
For example, if your device generates a video that is only 720p but the display device is set to 1080p or higher, the video will feel “zoomed in”.
Or if the aspect ratio of the native video is other than what the screen is configured to display you will get a distorted display.
In the case of your Roku TV, the display is flexible to process a variety of different inputs (through HDMI, USB, AirPlay, etc.) and it has setting options to adjust the video if the display cannot automatically adjust itself.
How to change picture size on Roku TV?
If you are getting the wrong aspect ratio on your Roku TV or the picture feels zoomed in, you have to adjust the display settings. It is really easy to do. Just follow the below steps.
STEP 1: Put on the video you want to watch (this won’t work when the video is not playing)
STEP 2: On your remote, press the (*) button to open the settings menu on the left.
STEP 3: In the menu, scroll down till you see the “Picture size” setting option. This is where you will be able to change the aspect ratio of the video playing.
STEP 4: Press the < > buttons on your remote to scroll through different picture size options [ Direct, Auto, Zoom, Normal, Stretch) and see which one displays the video correctly.
Once you find the picture size that feels normal and fully zoomed out, you can press the back button and continue enjoying your video.
Remember that the video settings are not global and are only changed for the video you are watching.
If you close that app and open another app like Netflix, the display will be set again to “Direct” which means the display will try to show the original aspect ratio of the video it is receiving from the source.
NOTE: The above setting options work for TLC Roku TV but if you have any other brand of Roku TV, the settings will be more or less in the same place. Just find the Picture Size option and the rest is the same.
Screen still zoomed in? Further troubleshooting
Changing the Picture size will fix the majority of the cases of zoomed-in screens but if your problem is not due to an incorrect aspect ratio, you might still see a distorted video.
There are a few other ways you can troubleshoot your Roku TV or device and fix the incorrect screen size.
I have arranged the below troubleshooting steps in order so try to follow them from top to bottom
1. Check your screen resolution
An incorrect screen resolution setting is the 2nd major cause of zoomed in pictures on Roku TVs (or any other TV as well).
When you connect your Roku device to your TV, it automatically communicates with the device (a process called handshake) and agrees on the best resolution possible on that display.
But sometimes, the software gets it wrong or fails to read the display properties correctly. The result is an incorrect resolution setting and zoomed-in display.
The fix is quite easy.
All you have to do is go into the setting and change the display resolution that fits your screen’s native resolution. See the short video below on how to do that.
2. Check the HDMI cable
If you are using an external video source like a laptop sending video via HDMI or a Roku device like the Roku 4K+ stick, connected via an HDMI cable, check if the cable is good.
HDMI cables after a long use become worn out and lose signal integrity especially if the cable is unusually long and has been in use for years.
To check if the cable is not faulty, you can just replace the cable and use another one to display the video and see if it is working okay now. If the cable was at faulty, your issue should be resolved now.
But if you are still getting a bad video, read along to the next step.
3. Change the HDMI port
HDMI ports are quite susceptible to dust and dirt and sometimes it blocks one or more of the pins that send important command signals between the devices.
First, if you have a 2nd HDMI port on your TV, switch to it and see if the video is now working correctly.
If you don’t have a 2nd port, just take some isopropyl alcohol and a cotton swab to clean out any dirt or dust particles stuck inside. Make sure you clean both ports (the TV and the HDMI cable male end)
Plug in the HDMI again and play the video and see if the problem is fixed now. If yes, great. If not, we will have some software tricks that we can try.
4. Update Roku firmware
The last Roku software version 10.5 released in end of 2021 had an infamous bug. It set the screen resolution to lower settings (720p) even on high-end TVs.
This lower resolution would then cause a zoomed-in effect not only in videos but on the home screen as well. You will see all the icons and everything on the screen all big.
The latest software version is 11.0.0 as of writing this article. So if your device or TV is still running the old firmware, just go to the Settings > System > Software update and update your firmware
If the firmware was an issue, this should fix your screen’s incorrect picture size.
5. Clear cache and restart
Even after updating the firmware your issue still persists, perhaps a cache clearing and restarting would do the trick.
To clear the cache and restart, press the following keys in the exact number and order. Your Roku will go through a series of screens and will restart.
- Press the Home button 5 times.
- Press the Up button.
- Press the Rewind button 2 times.
- Press Fast Forward 2 times.
After your Roku restarts, check and see if you are able to get a normal video.
By this point, most of the problems should be solved by one or other troubleshooting steps. If you are still stuck with a zoomed-in video, your last resort is to factory reset your device or TV.
6. Reset Roku to factory default
Factory resetting your device will restore the default settings and make it new like it came out from the box.
Most software glitches are solved by a factory reset and it is done as a last resort when everything else fails.
you can reset your Roku device by checking its back and looking for any button or pinhole with the word “Reset” written above or on it. (See the image below)
The button may be quite small, so make sure to look for it carefully or check the device’s manual.
Press and hold the Reset button for about 10 seconds or until the device’s light starts blinking. Once it’s done, set up your device again.
You can also easily reset your Roku TV or device from the settings menu. To do so, follow the below steps:
- Navigate to the Settings menu
- Scroll all the way down to Systems tab and select
- From the sub menu, select Advanced System seettings
- Chose Factory reset
Your Roku TV or device will restart and will go through the factory reset process which can take a few minutes. Once complete, your device will be reset back to factory defaults.
Do note that after factory reset, all your customizations, additional downloaded apps, and data will be fully wiped out so make sure you back up your important data if you need it later.
Roku Screen Zoomed in – final words
Incorrect picture size on your Roku TV screen can ruin your experience while watching a movie or TV show but fixing it is quite easy.
In this article, we discussed a few ways to fix your Roku screen size and get rid of the zoomed in video effect.
I hope you find this article helpful and if you are still facing the same issue, you can mention your TV brand and model below in the comments and I or someone from our readers will be able to help you directly.