If you have an ultrawide monitor, you no doubt know the struggle. Streaming videos and content from services, while created in 21:9, doesn’t get you quite the right look. This guide will show you how to get fullscreen 21:9 content to display correctly on your ultrawide monitor.
The issue with ultrawide video
One of the main reasons for buying an ultrawide monitor is the ability to view content on a bigger and clearer screen. You would think that watching videos on YouTube and streaming from Disney+ or other services would fill that need. They don’t.
In fact, most of the time visuals never reach the edge of the screen. A 2:1 movie will not display properly on your 21:9 monitor, and there are massive black bars gracing the sides of the content you’re watching. This is likely due to the relative age of ultrawide in general. This monitor size has been around for quite a while, but streaming service websites favor 16:9 all the way. Fortunately, there’s a solution to getting fullscreen video on your ultrawide monitor.
Getting fullscreen video on ultrawide monitors in Chrome
The Monoprice ultrawide I use now is great, but it suffers from the same video streaming issue that most do. After some digging, we found a really great extension on Google Chrome. It’s called UltraWide Video in the Google Chrome Web Store. Simply head to the link and click Add to Chrome.
Once you add the extension to Chrome, it should start working automatically on some websites like YouTube and Netflix. However, not every website – like Disney+ – is supported natively. That’s why the extension has a couple of options worth exploring.
When you find yourself seeing horribly cropped videos online, you can simply click the extension at the top-right in Chrome. From there, you can manually override the extension and force crop. Just click Force crop (experimental) and the video you’re viewing should expand and meet the edges of your screen.
Between modes, there doesn’t seem to be a large disparity in video quality between normal viewing and fullscreen on an ultrawide monitor. When video fills your entire ultrawide screen, you might be losing a little bit of quality in some circumstances, but as far as we could tell, there wasn’t much of a difference, at least not enough for us to consider going back to large black borders around a tiny video.
You may have to play around with the extension a little bit. To add, since this isn’t a native feature of Chrome, there will likely be bugs that you come across. Even if that’s the case, this extension makes owning an ultrawide monitor a little more worth it and makes streaming movies and TV that much better.
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