Should I set the retina MBP to Full resolution for 4K videos?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by FuNyuN, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. FuNyuN macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012
    Does changing the resolution only affect text? Or does it affect videos also? I have a bunch of 4K content I want to watch in the best possible way. Should I run one of those scripts that forces the MBP to it's full resolution? Or does it not make a difference? Thanks.
  2. drewsof07 macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    I wouldn't think it makes a difference. The scaling is only for GUI effects.
  3. sholzer macrumors regular

    Jun 21, 2013
    I remember seeing some comparisons of a game (borderlands 2) when it was forced to run at native resolution vs running scaled and the native resolution looked MUCH better.

    Not sure if the same will happen with video, but it might actually make a difference
  4. seinman macrumors regular

    Jun 15, 2011
    It depends on the app. The two video playback apps I use (QuickTime and VLC) are both optimized for HiDPI, so you don't have to do anything. If you are using an app that isn't yet updated for HiDPI, then changing the resolution settings may make it look better.
  5. FuNyuN thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012
    I'm using MPlayerX
  6. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    It would be very suprising if it would be different for any video player. Only the GUI elements like buttons and text need to be HiDPI compatible to a degree. The content, which is the video itself, always get to use all the pixels.
    Your choice of video player should make any difference.
    The scaling mode might. In VLC you have more options in the advanced settings. Chances are you wouldn't notice the difference. Scaling down isn't that hard.
  7. FuNyuN thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012
  8. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    This is not correct! It depends on how the player decodes and displays the video. If they use Apple's frameworks, such as AV Foundation, then they should automatically support the HiDPI content (this is a speculation on my part - I haven't actually tested it out). However, if (like VLC does), they use their own decoding and an OpenGL view to display the video, the application must take some additional steps to make sure that its outputting HiDPI content. Unfortunately, the HiDPI API in OS X does have some inefficiencies, e.g. it is not possible (AFAIK) to get access to the 'native' framebuffer - you are getting either the HiDPI one (2x2 pixels) or the normal one. This means, that even when displaying a 4K video, there will be some (potentially unnecessary) scaling.
  9. FuNyuN thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012
    So my best bet is to use VLC? And that will give me the best picture quality regardless of what resolution I choose?
  10. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    it depends if the app is telling osx properly if it wants to run its environment at native, some people have told me all opengl interfaces will work properly in hidpi, however in my dota2 test you can see they are not fine

    dota2 set to 2880x1800 when OSX is set to 'best for retina' blury
    dota2 set to 2880x1800 when OSX is set to 2880x1800 crisp/clear
    thread link

    try both and see if you can see a difference in the video, if not then don't worry

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