Terrible font rendering on external screen?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by sanderbjerkevoll, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. sanderbjerkevoll macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    #1
    Greetings from Norway.

    I have the 13" MBP w/ touch bar. I went for a screen with 2560x1440 resolution and USB-C connectivity. The problem is, that when I am using the screen, the text is so pixelated and jagged. And the weird thing is that it doesn't even work changing resolution/scale or using the Zoom function in Accessibility. The text remains jagged and pixelated even when it is bigger. This means that the text is not vector based like it should be.

    I have returned the monitor and received a new one, I also tested the monitor on one generation older MacBook Pro connected with HDMI and the problem still remains. The monitor works perfectly on Windows.

    I have this monitor: http://www.philips.co.uk/c-p/258B6QUEB_00/brilliance-lcd-monitor-with-usb-c-dock/overview

    So, what is wrong and how do I fix it?

    You can see how pixelated the text is here: http://imgur.com/JZxjf2D
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    Jaggy text can look pretty bad. Depends on if the display output is provided as graphics, where the text is considered part of the the image - or the text is font-driven.
    Windows displays text that can be very hardware-agnostic, and the text is drawn in a very different method from macOS.
    macOS is pretty much graphics oriented.
    You can try one of the methods that forces the video to RGB mode. That may fix your issue completely.

    Is there a menu in the internal adjustments on the display itself, that will change how video is displayed such as a setting for showing Movies, or Text, or some other setting that "optimizes" the display for different uses?
    You may find that one of those settings will help, too.
     
  3. MC6800 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 29, 2016
  4. sanderbjerkevoll thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    #4
    Thanks for answering, but none of the solutions works. I have spent hours looking for a solution on the web, but it seems like it doesn't exist. Do I really need to spend even more money on a 4K-monitor to eliminate the issue?
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
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    Delaware
    #5
  6. sanderbjerkevoll thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 21, 2017
    #6
    I have tried with HDMI on another MacBook Pro, but that MacBook had the same issue as well.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

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    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #7
    hmm...
    I wouldn't expect that HDMI would make a significant difference, and I wouldn't suggest that you purchase an unusual cable, if I didn't think it might help.
    There's no setting on the display itself, where there are stored color configurations, like movie, or text, or photo, or game settings that you can try? I had the same issue on my Dell, and the internal settings smoothed the text completely for me.
     
  8. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #8
    Do you see subpixel rendering on that monitor if you look at text with a magnifying glass? It will appear as colored edges on text, as you should see on your MPB's display when magnified. I don't see it in your photo.
     
  9. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #9
    It seems you don't need a magnifying glass-- just zoom in the display (check System Preferences>Accessability>Zoom, then repeated Cmd-Opt-+). Subpixel rendering no longer works when it's zoomed in since the zoomed pixels don't align with the physical pixels, but it lets you see which fonts are subpixeled. You can also check/uncheck "System Preferences>General>Use LCD font smoothing when available" and see how it changes this (you have to scroll the screen first so it has to redraw it). If your external display is supixel rendered the fonts (system fonts, at least) will have reddish and bluish left and right edges. If not, they have grayscale edges.

    Which side is red depends on the arrangement of red/green/blue subpixels within each pixel, so I assume the system needs to interrogate the monitor, and if that fails, no subpixel rendering.
     
  10. littlej2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2018
    #10
    I have the same issue with the MBPro 15" 512GB with touch bar. I purchased a high quality USBC to HDMI dongle which supports 4K at 60Hz, and have it connected to my 32" £1200 dell monitor which has 2560x1600. I can see that it has the correct resolution and fequency, but the text looks exactly like someone took a screen shot, then converted it to a very lossy jpeg. The text is not only spidery, but blurred. Text on a grey background looks like it has a white halo, a typical compression effect. It is not usable. Images, as far as I can tell, look good.

    The HDMI cable I am using is a 4K one which looks great when I connect it to my Windows laptop and the same monitor.

    Trying the "use LCD font smoothing...." makes no difference on or off.

    Have apple crippled all non-apple monitors?
     
  11. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #11
    I don't know which Dell monitor you have.
    Are there internal screen settings that you can try to change?

    Windoze uses a very different method of displaying screen fonts, and typically will have much clearer fonts on screen than a macOS system using the same monitor.
     
  12. MC6800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2016
    #12
    Could be, but since Apple doesn't make external monitors anymore that would be all of them.

    Can you try the zoom test I suggested in post #9?
     
  13. littlej2 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 26, 2018
    #13
     
  14. ressac macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2011
    #15
    I have 27" fullhd monitor with mbp 15" (2016) connected via hdmi + apple official usb-c dongle.

    I did run all those fancy scripts, I did every F... thing to make those fonts look smoother and there is no way to do it on 1080 screen with macos. I even tried usb-c -> hdmi -> dvi with old samsung 23" fullhd and it's looks same way as with my new monitor 27".

    I also tried with live ubuntu usb on the same mbp, and fonts were awesome!

    is anyone having same problems but with 1440p monitors?
     

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