Mac Mini Blurry Text/Image With HDTV

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by harryhood, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. harryhood macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    I cannot get my Mac Mini to show up on my HDTV well. I have been messing around with overscan on/off, different resolutions etc, and nothing works well.

    The highest resolution my TV outputs is 1080i. 1080i and 720p both look the same as far as quality of text and image, but 720p works best for overscan issues, so that is what its at right now.

    Text in all applications looks blurry and everything looks slightly blurry/distorted, not nice and crisp the way it HD should look. I have gone through every single resolution in Preferences/Displays, they all look bad.

    The thing is I watched some trailers on Apple Trailers in full 1080p and they looked amazing, as they should.

    It seems like native OSX and its native applications are what looks the worst.

    What can I do about this?

    Here is what I have:

    HDTV: Sony Trinitron HDCRTV Model # KD-30XS955 (I know this is an older HDTV, but this thing looks better than any TV I've ever used, so it can't be to blame)
    MAC MINI: 2.4Ghz unibody, newest model with hdmi port

    Thanks in advance for any help!
  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Did you go into System Preferences->Display and play with the resolution selections? That might make a difference.
  3. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    That's a CRT monitor/HDTV, text is not going to look as well on a CRT monitor compared to an LCD monitor because CRT monitors have much more limited sharpness than LCD monitors. CRT monitors will give better colors than an LCD, but the major tradeoff, besides size, weight, and eyestrain, is the text problem.

    I have a Samsung CRT HDTV in my bedroom, it has a great picture, but if you look close at the text on the bottom of a news network, the weather channel, or the score at the top of a sports broadcast, it's not as clear as the picture. That's an inherent problem with the CRT technology.

    Your Mac Mini is fine. (My 2010 unibody Mac Mini is hooked up to a 1080p Vizio LCD HDTV and text is fine).
  4. harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    I have been using this TV for a long time now, with a PS3, PS2, random DVD players, Oppo Blu Ray player, and never one time has the text look anything other than sharp and crystal clear wether it be native text or subtitles - it's always looked pristine :/

    Why would the Mac Mini be the only thing?
  5. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    Because computer content is designed to be displayed with a computer monitor, not a TV. All those other devices you listed are designed for TV display.
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    it is all about dot pitch

    you have a 30 inch screen

    the dot pitch is too big for print to be clear

    I have a 32 crt hdtv

    movies are great
    eye tv is great
    the monitor print is not.
  7. harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    There is no longer "font smoothing" under preferences/appearances any more in Snow Leopard. Is there any other way to do this?

    If I was able to enlarge the native text (menu bar, all native text in applications etc) on the Mac Mini, in 1080i I think it would look fine. When I use "command +" to zoom in, all of the text looks crisp and nice.

    Is there any way to do this?
  8. harryhood thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2006
    Is there any TV that has picture quality as good or better as a HD CRT TV?
  9. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040


    Jan 25, 2009
    Maybe this would help:

    Mac OS X Hints: 10.6: Re-enable LCD font smoothing for some monitors
  10. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    That is for disabling font smoothing of pixels on an LCD display CRT HDTV's do not have pixels, it won't help the OP.

    Dot pitch is the problem on HDCRT's trying to display computer text, as another poster said.

    OP, you either have to learn to live with the blurry text or just use an LCD monitor or LCD TV. If you're only playing movies it's not a big deal, if you're trying to surf the web, forget it and hook the Mac back up to an LCD monitor.
  11. legion228 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2009

    I had to do a lot of tweaking on both my Mini and Dynex 24" 1080p but finally have it looking like it should. I did have to try every setting combination to get what i wanted though.
  12. dcoulson macrumors member

    Aug 21, 2010
    If there is a 'sharpness' option, set it all the way to 0 - My MBP on my Samsung looked like garbage until I did that. Now it looks the same as on my regular monitors.
  13. Todd H macrumors regular

    Todd H

    Oct 14, 2002
    Eastman, Georgia
    DNR reduction will help as well. I use a Toshiba 32E200U as my Mac Mini monitor and there's a PC setting in the menus that basically just turns on dynamic noise reduction. Makes fonts MUCH more readable, although I turn it off when viewing video.
  14. pblive macrumors newbie


    Mar 22, 2011
    I've just got a new Mac Mini and had the same issue on my (aging) Samsung Syncmaster 932mw. The TV is only 1080i and text was a real mess until I took the sharpness down. The only issue is that you do lose some detail on the pictures. In the end I found a good balance between clear text and detail at about 12 on the Sharpness setting.

    Of course if I go and look at an Apple monitor on an iMac or a top end monitor I'll still see a difference, but then I'd see a difference in my bank statements too...

Share This Page