Bizarre monitor question - changing resolution with black bars to take up space

Okay, hear me out here. I currently have a 40" TV that’s functioning as a monitor. I’m considering downsizing to a 32" for ergonomic reasons.

What I would LIKE to do is effectively isolate a 32"-ish portion of the screen, and use that as my display, with black bars taking up the rest of the space. That way I can play with it for a week without having to buy the new monitor, mess with all the VESA mount stuff, etc.

What I’m kind of envisioning is like how when you connect via Screen Sharing to a remote computer, and its resolution is smaller than yours, so it just shows it taking up the appropriate part of your screen.

Is there a way to do this in software with one’s primary display?

Not actually sure if it can, but maybe have a play with GitHub - waydabber/BetterDisplay: Unlock your displays on your Mac! Flexible HiDPI scaling, XDR/HDR extra brightness, virtual screens, DDC control, extra dimming, PIP/streaming, EDID override and lots more! ?

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Wow. So I created a virtual 16:9 display, with a resolution of 1600x900 (the scaled resolution I’d want to use on the 32" monitor), enabled the picture-in-picture mode for the display, dragged the window size to the size of a 32" monitor, and put it on the left in my System Settings → Displays so the dock shows up on it (I’m a left-dock sort of person).

Set the desktop background to black, moved my few widgets/icons behind the display, and it looks like I have a 32" display living on my 40" monitor.

Applications have to be mapped to the virtual display, but other than that it looks like it works really, really well. :slight_smile:

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