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Old Jan 22, 2011, 01:28 PM   #1
jent
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Arrow External display image looks "fuzzy"

I have a 24" Samsung external display which I love. I connect both my 13" MacBook and my 11" MacBook Air to it. On the 13" MacBook, the image is crisp and couldn't be better.

If I understand correctly, the 11" Air can output a higher resolution, and in the Displays section of System Preferences the default and best resolution is "1080p." On the 13" MacBook it's something significantly lower.

That being said, the picture quality is somewhat fuzzy when hooking up the monitor to my Air, and I don't think it's due to the Air itself, but instead something must be misconfigured. What can I do to get the sharpest picture possible? Thank you!

Last edited by jent; Jan 22, 2011 at 03:27 PM. Reason: Corrected screen size.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 01:51 PM   #2
Pixellated
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Scroll down, look for 1920x1080, because the 1080p setting will have overscan and cut off the corners.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 02:31 PM   #3
jent
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Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately that option isn't there. Can I somehow force it?
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 02:55 PM   #4
zinka
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How are you connecting? Use DisplayPort or DVI for best results. It sounds like you might be using HDMI, which is a bad idea.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 02:59 PM   #5
Stetrain
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So, what's the native resolution of your monitor?
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 03:20 PM   #6
jent
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Originally Posted by zinka View Post
How are you connecting? Use DisplayPort or DVI for best results. It sounds like you might be using HDMI, which is a bad idea.
On the 13" MacBook I use a Mini DVI-to-DVI adaptor with a DVI cable. On the 11" Air I use a straight HDMI-to-Mini DisplayPort cable.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 03:26 PM   #7
jent
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So, what's the native resolution of your monitor?
It's a 24" monitor with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 03:39 PM   #8
Stetrain
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It must be because of the HDMI cable. The monitor may be treating it differently than DVI.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 05:36 PM   #9
BRS-Aus-Tex
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Go with DVI

I'll second the DVI recc. I always thought DVI and HDMI were the same except for audio but when I hooked up my 13" MBA to a 23" Dell via HDMI the image was worse than my 5 year old ThinkPad! Switched to mini-to-DVI adapter and it's perfect!
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 07:37 PM   #10
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How are you connecting? Use DisplayPort or DVI for best results. It sounds like you might be using HDMI, which is a bad idea.
Why is HDMI a bad idea for external moniters? I really don't know. Is it a bad idea for hooking up to TVs as well?
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:15 PM   #11
jent
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Why is HDMI a bad idea for external moniters? I really don't know. Is it a bad idea for hooking up to TVs as well?
This is a great question, and I'm quite curious since everyone talks about HDMI as being the latest and greatest.
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Old Jan 22, 2011, 11:21 PM   #12
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Although not the same computer, I have a current Mac Mini Server hooked up via HDMI to a Sony 46" LCD TV. The picture quality at the 1080P setting doesn't look very good (fuzzy), but if I set it for interlaced 1080I it has a very acceptable display. I want to try the DVI inputs but I need to get someone to help me lift it down to reach the connectors on the back.

-howard
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Old Jan 23, 2011, 01:53 PM   #13
Stetrain
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Why is HDMI a bad idea for external moniters? I really don't know. Is it a bad idea for hooking up to TVs as well?
I think it has to do with the way that the TV/monitor processes the signal (good for video, bad for tiny text and UI elements) when it gets a signal via HDMI as opposed to a DVI signal, which it treats as raw pixel data since it's most likely coming from a computer.
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