External display image looks "fuzzy"

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by jent, Jan 22, 2011.

  1. jent, Jan 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011

    macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #1
    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!
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Pixellated

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    Dartford, UK
    #2
    Scroll down, look for 1920x1080, because the 1080p setting will have overscan and cut off the corners.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #3
    Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately that option isn't there. Can I somehow force it?
     
  4. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    #4
    How are you connecting? Use DisplayPort or DVI for best results. It sounds like you might be using HDMI, which is a bad idea.
     
  5. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #5
    So, what's the native resolution of your monitor?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #6
    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.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #7
    It's a 24" monitor with a native resolution of 1920 by 1080.
     
  8. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #8
    It must be because of the HDMI cable. The monitor may be treating it differently than DVI.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2011
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #9
    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!
     
  10. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    #10
    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?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    jent

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    #11
    This is a great question, and I'm quite curious since everyone talks about HDMI as being the latest and greatest.
     
  12. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    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
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #13
    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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