The Xbox 360 has a built in shortcut to reset the display settings of the console back to its default. Great forward thinking. Unless you are Microsoft and as usual you only provide half a solution…

If a 360 has been connected to a HDTV at say 1920 x 1080 resolution (FULL HD) and you move to a different HDTV that doesn’t support that mode you won’t see an image. The Microsoft answer is to reset the settings by holding in the yellow ‘Y’ button and right trigger on boot up (ensuring there is no game disc in the tray and the controller is set to port one – the upper left LED quadrant). Except it doesn’t work. At least not unless your HDTV supports 640×480 resolution.

So, I have therefore done this laborious short cut that should get you up and running on a different HDTV.

This is based on a PAL console – not sure if it works on NTSC.
Also, be sure to disconnect your network cable/WLAN connection (if still connected to Xbox LIVE, you will need to push the D pad up once before starting the instructions below).
This is based on the late 2008 interface. Subsequent and prior versions may not work the same.

HINT: Turn on your sound – it will help you with the ‘blind’ navigation of the interface.

Here goes:

1. Turn on the 360 and wait for the boot up chimes/bongs to stop.
2. Use the D-pad on the controller and push right 7 times (the sounds will stop when you reach the end) – this gets you to ‘System Settings’
3. Press A (takes you to ‘Console Settings’)
4. Press A (takes you to ‘Display’)
5. Press A (takes you to ‘Screen Resolution’)
6. Press A (takes you to the list of available settings)
7. Press the D-pad down three times (note – you may have to experiment with different numbers of ‘down’ – this is choosing between different resolutions that still may not work on your screen)
8. If the screen appears great. You can now choose a more relevant resolution. If not, just wait a few seconds, a sound will be heard and you can D-pad down another one to try another. Eventually, you should find one that works!