External Monitor Quality Issues

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jwk895, May 4, 2016.

  1. jwk895 macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016

    Last week I purchased a MacBook Pro Mid 2015 15" laptop, along with a Dell s2415h 24" External Monitor and the quality is dreadful on the external display. I am using a HDMI to HDMI cable, that came straight out of the Dell Box.

    Things I've tried:
    • Messing with the display sharpness settings(text was slightly better turning sharpness down)
    • Enabling font smoothing via the terminal (did nothing)
    • Using a higher quality HDMI cable (did nothing)
    • Enabling LCD smoothing on the system preferences tab(did nothing)
    • Messed around with colour settings on the display and the Macbook
    Anymore suggestions? The colour seems very off also, I've messed around with the colour settings on the Macbook and the display but it didn't help. It's like a orangey/dirty tint to the screen.

    This is very annoying as I do web design and colours and everything I design on the external monitor looks entirely different on the MBP.

    I'm in the process of downloading El Capitan, as it didn't come pre-installed to see if that solves anything.
    I wonder if I need a 4K monitor to get a better experience? But surely this display can't be as good as it gets for a £160 monitor. And I am not splashing out £600-800 on a Apple Thunderbolt display after purchasing a £1300 laptop.

    It ruins the whole experience of using Apple products also, which are meant to feel crisp and of a higher quality.

    Any suggestions please, or if anyone else has experienced this or is it just normal?
  2. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    I had this very problem a while ago. It seems to be down to the MBP thinking the monitor is a TV due to HDMI. There are a few work-arounds, involving display profile tampering etc.

    Does the monitor have another type of input you can use? Like DP/mDP or DVI?
  3. jwk895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    The monitor only has HDMI and VGA inputs. I hooked the MBP up to my 4K samsung 40" TV and it looks absolutely fine on that display.

    I've googled around for a solution and most the problems do seem to be with Dell monitors, however they are also a very popular monitor to pair with a MacBook Pro. I haven't found a solution for me yet though.
  4. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    Strange. 4K will obviously look sharp. But i understand your issue with the 24" monitor. When i connected my 27" 1080p monitor to my windows desktop it was clear and sharp, but once i connected it to the MBP the entire image, and especially the text got very blurry.
  5. jwk895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    Yes, I tried leaving out the fact when I plugged it into my windows PC the display looked stunning.

    Something just seems very off on the external display, let's wait and see if others post any suggestions.

    I am just installing El Capitan now to see if that solves anything, but I doubt it will.
  6. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    I doubt El Capitan will solve anything. This is the closest i got to a solution:
  7. jwk895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    Interesting, when I change the colour setting mode on my monitor from ypbpr to rgb the screen goes pink???
    --- Post Merged, May 4, 2016 ---

    Ok I forced the Macbook into display RGB mode and that has got rid of the washed out colours and it looks 10x better! So thanks for that suggestion, however the only problem now is the text looks off and blurry but maybe that's because I'm comparing it to the retina display and in that case I'd need a 4k or thunderbolt display to solve that issue?
  8. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    Good to hear! Yeah 1080p on a 24" monitor is 92 PPI (Pixel per inch) while the 2880x1800 resolution on the 15" panel on your MBP equals 226 PPI, so your 24" wont look as sharp. The only way to compare properly is to connect the same monitor to a windows PC and see how sharp the text is then.
  9. jwk895 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2016
    It's similar to the windows PC now yes, I did the font smoothing command again also.. this time with a different setting and that has helped. So had messing with the sharpness again via the display settings. I think this is the best I will get it.. slightly disappointing still but as I said I think that's because the Macs retina display looks so good in comparison to non retina displays... I may have to invest in a 4K monitor in the future.

    Anyway, thanks for the help. Problem Solved.
  10. keviig macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2012
    Glad to hear it works OK now :) 4K monitors have taken a huge price drop lately, so you might be able to pick one up for cheap!

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