Do the brightness function keys work if I use a non-Apple display with my MacBook?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Ckar, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. Ckar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    #1
    I have the laptop in my sig. If I connect a Dell 27" LCD display to the display port, will I be able to control the brightness of the connected screen if I press my F1 and F2 keys?
     
  2. Yakibomb macrumors 6502

    Yakibomb

    Joined:
    May 13, 2014
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #2
    No the keys don't work. When you press them with the 2nd display active they appear greyed out on the screen. You'll have to manually change the brightness on the display itself
     
  3. Ckar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    #3
    Are you sure? That is a let down. Is there any way to get it to work by software? Being able to change the brightness instantly is really convenient.
     
  4. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Location:
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    #4
    If the display manufacturer offers an app for adjusting brightness then it could be done - but it's unlikely that Dell would provide a Mac app.
     
  5. winterlocked macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2010
    #5
    I'm in the same boat. Some people on the forums have had luck with a program called Shades for Mac, though I haven't tried it yet.

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/23370/shades

    Report back if you do, I'd like to know if it's worth getting.
     
  6. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #6
    Thanks for pointing that out. i just installed it on my Mac Mini that I am using as an iTunes server with an ancient Samsung monitor. It works, but may not really do what you want. It doesn't actually adjust the brightness of the monitor, it just darkens the image - the monitor is still running at whatever brightness you have set. So the effect isn't all that attractive, although it may be useful nonetheless.
     
  7. Ckar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    #7
    What if I use a 27" Apple cinema display? Will I be able to control the brightness with my F1 F2 keys?

    What if I used a thunderbolt display?
     
  8. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #8
    of course it works with apple displays but only with apple displays.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    Just curious -
    I do understand the need for control over your display, but how often during a typical day do you need to "change the brightness instantly"?

    Maybe a different color calibration profile, that you can create in your Displays pref pane, might give you a quicker change that will be acceptable to you…?
     
  10. Ckar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2013
    #10


    Then how come it doesnt work on non apple displays? what is the difference? does the mini displayport carry the keypresses from the f1 f2? or does it work like magic?
     
  11. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #11
    I suspect that Apple displays provide keyboard brightness control, as an additional feature with the other buses that are available though the display (USB, FW, TB, Enet). The brightness might be controlled through the USB bus. :confused:
     
  12. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #12
    I have a Mini that I use as an iTunes server, so it just runs iTunes all the time. I connected it to a 10 year old Samsung monitor so I can watch videos or send music to my stereo system. It really needs different brightness settings for day and night, but you have to dig through several levels of menus using the remote to change the brightness. A real nuisance, but not worth buying a new monitor just because of this.

    I am using a 10 year old 23" Apple Cinema Display with my MacBook Air in another room. Even though it is also ancient, the brightness keys on my Apple Extended Keyboard work properly. DeltaMac is correct, this only works if I plug my keyboard into the USB port on the display, then plug the USB cable from the display into my MBA. If I plug the external keyboard directly into the MBA, the brightness keys adjust the laptop's built-in screen.
     
  13. Outrigger macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #13
    because its simply a built in function of the display.
     

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