HDMI connection fail.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by kam1013, Apr 14, 2014.

  1. kam1013 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #1
    i have a rMBP13 purchased spring of 13. i have always connected it to external monitors/tvs using the mini display port to a dvi port on the external. when i have tried using HDMI it has always looked terrible (rasterized text, too contrasty, and off colors). i never worried too much about it since the other method worked, i assumed it was user error and i was using the HDMI port wrong. in the past year i have tried about 5 monitors with both methods and all results have been consistent with above (before and after an upgrade to mavericks). so this week i decided i was going to buy a new bigger tv that would be my tv and external monitor in 1. got a 39" jvc 1080p. realized my only option for connecting was HDMI so i tried again. same results: text is so rasterized i can't read on it for more than a minute or two. definitely can't do design work on it as intended. bummed because after wasting most of today researching this issue i feel like there is a sea of users with problems and really no success stories other than people that just want a picture on the TV and are not trying to do detailed design/web development work on there using both desktops as working space (laptop screen + external).

    connection options tried on this jvc today:
    HDMI cable straight from port to port
    mini displayport cable > HDMI on tv
    OTHER brand mini displayport cable > HDMI on tv
    mini displayport adapter attached to HDMI cable that goes into HDMI on tv

    other things i have tried today are some random patch that supposedly forces the TV into rgb mode (patch process worked but didn't fix the issue at all).

    so basically my question is: 1) is anyone SUCCESSFULLY using an HDMI connection with their rMBP and an external and happy with the picture? as in you can look back and forth between the retina display and the TV and continue to work (design/photo/coding) without crying out in pain? and if so please let me know what model/brand is working for you without serious modifications.

    2) did anyone have this same issue with their rMBP HDMI port and have it worked on by apple with a successful outcome?

    3) and if not using an HDMI does anyone have a monitor they are using with another type of connection that is working good out of the box? the more i research i feel like my past experiences have been a fluke and no monitor is guaranteed to work besides the apple displays. no way am i shelling out extra money on top of my rMBP for an apple display but if i can't accomplish what i am hoping on a normal tv i still need to grab a display to use for work.

    thanks for any insight you guys...

    best,
    k
     
  2. SquirrelGirl macrumors member

    SquirrelGirl

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    #2
    I alternately use HDMI to HDMI or Airplay with a late '13 rMBP.

    It looks flawless with a direct cable connection to a 40" cheap TV, it is obviously more stable than airplay too. Very readable. There will be some loss to print between the two, but it honestly looks better than any "non-retina" screen I have owned and much better than other external set ups I have used in the past. It makes me raise an eyebrow at my retina screen in fact. When working between the two I actually favor the TV.

    HDMI cable being used - Belkin PureAV 12ft
    TV/Monitor - VIZIO M401i-A3 (bought for less than 400$)
    Mac - 13" rMBP, MidLevel Late '13
     
  3. kam1013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #3
    hmm. that makes me think there is either something wrong with my HDMI port or maybe i just need to try a tv that isn't bottom of the quality barrel (39" jvc for $299). thanks for the info!

     
  4. SquirrelGirl macrumors member

    SquirrelGirl

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2014
    #4
    What is the refresh rate on your TV? That 60 to 120hz can help when dealing with scrolling text.

    Do you have any consoles? If so, how does the set holdup to gaming? If it can handle intense menus and real gameplay well, I doubt it is the TV holding your display back.

    Good luck, I hope someone who has dealt with this particular issue can respond with help. :)
     
  5. kam1013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #5
    refresh rate on this one is 60mhz. the quality is crap before i even begin to scroll, when everything is still on the screen. i don't have any consoles and haven't tried using it for any gaming (i do web and print design so most of what i work on is still or only has minor animation).

    my guess at this point is it does have something to do with the way the tv sees the mbp connection through the HDMI. i am guessing that in the past when i have it connected via dvi/vga it knows it is a computer output so it chooses correctly and when it is connected via the HDMI cable it just thinks it is a dvd or something.

    i'll probably try a few other tvs before i completely give up on trying to use 1 for 1 purposes noting your success with your vizio. they have a bunch of vizio models at the box store i went to so i am going to start in that direction.

    thanks so much!
    ~k
     
  6. kam1013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2010
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #6
    okay good news to report. i swapped my new tv for a different new HD led tv this morning, this time the cheapest of the vizio models and using the mini display > hdmi cable the picture was immediately better when i plugged it in to my rMBP13 (mid 2013 model) out of the box. the plain text areas still seemed to be a little over sharpened but once i went in and turned the sharpening way down it looks much, much better. after adjusting the picture settings on the TV itself i was able to pretty well match the retina display without having to run the color correction patch. i am satisfied with the picture and will be able to do design, minor photo editing and coding on here. the 39" jvc was a fine tv for the money and if it had a little more robust color settings i probably could have gotten it closer to this display but for only $20 more this one is still a great deal. i want to note that by turning the sharpening way down it didn't blur the picture at all, just made it so the edges weren't completely illuminated.

    hope this post helps other people out. for around $300 i got a nice sized tv that doubles as a monitor & works out of the box with my retina mbp. great setup if you work out of 1 room and don't need multiple displays like me.

    thanks for the help squirrelgirl!

    best, k
     

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