Blurry Font on Large External Monitor?

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by thebitguru, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. thebitguru macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016

    I recently got excited about really large external monitors and upgraded from a 27" (+15" MacBook Pro screen) to a single 4K 43" LG 43UD79-B. The size is great and seems like a good alternative to dual monitors, but I can't get the fonts to look sharp enough, especially when comparing to my previous setup.

    I have played around with the settings on the monitor and talked to LG customer support without much luck. I am running at the native 4K resolution and have tried both with and without the "Use LCD font smoothing when available" option in the General settings. I have tried all the aspect ratio options on the TV. I have also tried the different font smoothing settings through Terminal without much luck. Videos and photos look great.

    What's weird is that if I look at the font on the monitor's On Screen Display (OSD), which seems much sharper, and make the font inside a window about the same size, the font inside macOS seems way more blurry than the OSD font. This is one of the reasons that I am wondering if it's something in macOS's font rendering that needs to be adjusted. Also, searching for "retina" images with text on google and comparing to the same size font on my screen, the font in the retina version, as an image, seems sharper.

    I have also tried SwitchResX and one other utility to see if maybe I needed some odd resolution (or their HiDPI setting), and that hasn't helped either. The monitor seems to be able to run at the full 4k at 60HZ, and I have tried DisplayPort, HDMI (with a 60HZ adapter), and USB-C inputs with similar results.

    Any thoughts on what else to try? Maybe my understanding of the science behind this is off and I have unrealistic expectations...?

    Unfortunately, this specific unit has a dead pixel slightly off center that's bothering me enough that I will be returning it anyway. I am wondering if I should get it replaced or give up on finding something that's close to this size until the tech for larger screen improves. Who knows, maybe AR/VR glasses will be the alternatives in a little bit! :)

    BTW, I was going to post some pictures of the rendered font, but after looking at it on different screens I realized that a picture of a screen from a camera viewed on a different screen isn't very representative of what I am seeing.
  2. Cordorb macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
  3. vddobrev macrumors 6502

    Oct 28, 2016
    Haskovo, Bulgaria
    Unless you run the HiDPI half 4K resolution i.e. what looks like 1920x1080, the fonts will be a bit blurry. Or the full 4K native.
  4. thebitguru thread starter macrumors member


    Nov 15, 2016
    Sorry, I forgot to reply back to this post.

    @Cordorb and @vddobrev, thank you for your insights. I gave up on trying to find a large screen and went back to my 27" 4K. I am thinking that I need to wait for 5K/8K screens to get what I am hoping to get at that size.

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3 February 23, 2018