Is it possible for external display to look and feel like MBP's screen?

jas9

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Original poster
Oct 31, 2016
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I am planning on getting an external display for my MBP 2017. Due to my sensitive eyes, the external display's screen must look and feel like my MBP's screen and I must not be able to notice any difference or my eyes won't take it well. I don't know the exact technical term but I want the contrast, brightness, colors and everything on the external display's screen to match with my MBP's screen. Do I make sense? Is it possible to do that or will I always notice some difference between the MBP screen and external display screen?

How will I connect the MBP to external display? Via either USB-C to HDMI cable or USB-C to DisplayPort cable. Which is better to use; HDMI or DisplayPort?

The two external displays I have shortlisted are following:
ViewSonic VX2776 - https://www.viewsonic.com/eu/products/lcd/VX2776-smhd.php
HP 27F - https://support.hp.com/ca-en/document/c05873316
 

techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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Both of these re 1080 FHD monitors, it won't make a difference HDMI or DP.

MBP resolution is finer, but 27" monitors will appear much larger than the MBP display. Provided they have decent controls over the image, you should be able to get an acceptable display.

If you are concerned, go to a brick and mortar store that carries these models and see for yourself.
 
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revmacian

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I am planning on getting an external display for my MBP 2017. Due to my sensitive eyes, the external display's screen must look and feel like my MBP's screen and I must not be able to notice any difference or my eyes won't take it well. I don't know the exact technical term but I want the contrast, brightness, colors and everything on the external display's screen to match with my MBP's screen. Do I make sense? Is it possible to do that or will I always notice some difference between the MBP screen and external display screen?

How will I connect the MBP to external display? Via either USB-C to HDMI cable or USB-C to DisplayPort cable. Which is better to use; HDMI or DisplayPort?

The two external displays I have shortlisted are following:
ViewSonic VX2776 - https://www.viewsonic.com/eu/products/lcd/VX2776-smhd.php
HP 27F - https://support.hp.com/ca-en/document/c05873316
I've been researching this myself recently. If you go with HDMI you need to ensure that your USB-C to HDMI adapter is capable of displaying 4K@60Hz, and you need to ensure that the HDMI cable itself is capable of HDMI 2.0 and supports HDR (the cheap adapters and cables won't do this). This will help render a display that won't cause you to pull your hair out. Keep in mind that it's going to be difficult to get Retina-like quality unless you pay more money for a high quality monitor or TV.
 

sergioarista

macrumors member
Jul 7, 2010
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As said:
To get something as high quality as the Mac display, you need to spend the money.
Endorsed by Apple, the LG UltraFine 5K is a good option. It's the same pixel density as the MacBook Pro, and very close in other respects too.
The LG Ultrafine 4K and 5k are the closest as the panels are the same used by iMacs

I use the 4K one.

You must be aware that color profiles can be calibrated, but apart from that there are other factors, as size, reflective es from screen, even height might affect your perception.
 

revmacian

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Oct 20, 2018
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As said:


The LG Ultrafine 4K and 5k are the closest as the panels are the same used by iMacs

I use the 4K one.

You must be aware that color profiles can be calibrated, but apart from that there are other factors, as size, reflective es from screen, even height might affect your perception.
Thank you for that. I just read the webpage for the UltraFine 4K display, it's an amazing monitor and I'm highly considering buying one.. would go great with my 2017 MBP.
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP wrote:
"I am planning on getting an external display for my MBP 2017. Due to my sensitive eyes, the external display's screen must look and feel like my MBP's screen and I must not be able to notice any difference or my eyes won't take it well."

My opinion only:
If you set up such a high standard, you're going to be let down.
For what you desire is... well, it's well nigh impossible.

"that is all..."
 
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jas9

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2016
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I've been researching this myself recently. If you go with HDMI you need to ensure that your USB-C to HDMI adapter is capable of displaying 4K@60Hz, and you need to ensure that the HDMI cable itself is capable of HDMI 2.0 and supports HDR (the cheap adapters and cables won't do this). This will help render a display that won't cause you to pull your hair out. Keep in mind that it's going to be difficult to get Retina-like quality unless you pay more money for a high quality monitor or TV.

So I got a USB C to HDMI adapter. I have connected MBP to a 24" 1080P monitor. The quality is acceptable, though I wish I could make it better if possible. How can I check if the adapter is capable of display 4K@60Hz? Is there some sort of a test or any way to find out if this particular adapter is 4K@60Hz? The HDMI cable came with the monitor and the monitor specs do say that it comes with a HDMI 2.0 cable. I just gotta figure out if this adapter is 4K@60Hz or not so I could get a more expensive one. This one is a cheap, brandless adapter.

Btw, does it matter to have a 4K@60Hz adapter even if your monitor is 1080p?
 

techwarrior

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Btw, does it matter to have a 4K@60Hz adapter even if your monitor is 1080p?
No. Just about any HDMI cable will give you 1080p. You want better quality, you have to go 4K or 5K on the display, and then the cable or adapter will limit you if you go cheap.
 
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Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP wrote:
"So I got a USB C to HDMI adapter. I have connected MBP to a 24" 1080P monitor. The quality is acceptable, though I wish I could make it better if possible. How can I check if the adapter is capable of display 4K@60Hz?"

You can't squeeze blood from a stone.
You can't get 4k on a "1080p" display.
 

jas9

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 31, 2016
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0
No. Just about any HDMI cable will give you 1080p. You want better quality, you have to go 4K or 5K on the display, and then the cable or adapter will limit you if you go cheap.
OP wrote:
"So I got a USB C to HDMI adapter. I have connected MBP to a 24" 1080P monitor. The quality is acceptable, though I wish I could make it better if possible. How can I check if the adapter is capable of display 4K@60Hz?"

You can't squeeze blood from a stone.
You can't get 4k on a "1080p" display.
Obviously I don't expect to get 4K from a 1080p monitor. I was just referring to revmacian's post above since he said that I would need to make sure that my adapter cable is 4K@60Hz. I never said that I am buying a 4K monitor. So I thought that 4K@60Hz adapter is a must for 1080P as well when connecting it to MacBook.

So since I have a 1080P monitor, I DON'T need a 4K@60Hz adapter and any cheap adapter would give the same quality as a 4K@60Hz adapter. Is that right?
 

Fishrrman

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Feb 20, 2009
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OP wrote:
"So since I have a 1080P monitor, I DON'T need a 4K@60Hz adapter and any cheap adapter would give the same quality as a 4K@60Hz adapter. Is that right?"

I -think- the correct answer is:
- Any HDMI cable that will support 4k will also support 1080p,
BUT...
- Not all HDMI cables that support 1080p will work with 4k.

The only way to know the latter would be to try the cable and see.

I could be wrong.
 

techwarrior

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Jul 30, 2009
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So since I have a 1080P monitor, I DON'T need a 4K@60Hz adapter and any cheap adapter would give the same quality as a 4K@60Hz adapter. Is that right?
Pretty much. HDMI 1.0 supported 1080p but 1.3a and later added support for current HDCP standards. So, If you plan to use the rig to watch HiDef videos that have Digital restrictions, make sure you get a newer cable. Most of the newer cables and adapters have added things like CEC, HDCP, 3D, 4K, etc. Since the cost is rarely significant, buy an HDMI 2.0 or 2.1 cable to make sure you are most current, and if you go 4k later, that will support a 4k monitor.

More here if you want to geek out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI
 

jtara

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Mar 23, 2009
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Due to my sensitive eyes, the external display's screen must look and feel like my MBP's screen and I must not be able to notice any difference or my eyes won't take it well.
As other have pointed out, that's impossible with the monitors you have specified. They don't have the same resolution nor color gamut. They are not going to look remotely "the same".

Talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist about what characteristics your "sensitive eyes" need to avoid eyestrain, and use that to guide your purchase.

If you want them to "look the same" you will have to match density and panel type. You won't do that with a cheap 1080p monitor. (Panel type yes - if you shop carefully, density, no.)

A final step would be to use a hardware tool such as a Datacolor Spyder to match the colors. You will need an upgrade to Elite (it's just a software upgrade, can purchase at any time, but may be cheaper if you get it with the hardware) in order to match color across multiple monitors. (Unless you just try to do it by eye.) They call this StudioMatch.
 
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