Text fuzzy on television

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by vpjayant, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. vpjayant macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    Just got a brand new MacBook Pro 13" (free replacement of my old MacBook) and hooked it up to my 28" TV via VGA (Mini Displayport -> VGA) and everything seems fine at 1920*1200, but the text is very blurry. I tried it at other resolutions and had the same problem.

    I used the same television with my old laptop at the same resolution and text came out perfectly so I'm assuming it has something to do with the Mac. Help?
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    VGA is an analog connection and by its very nature, causes blurring. You will need a digital connection (possible with a mDP -> HDMI cable) for a sharper picture.
  3. vpjayant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    I understand that but it doesn't explain why text in Ubuntu appears perfectly clearly but not in OSX.

    I'd gladly dish out the extra money for another adapter but I don't see any problem within Ubuntu so doubt that VGA is the problem.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    TVs are almost always 16:9 rather than the 16:10 ratio of computer screens, so I'm suspicious that your having it set to 1920X1200 (which is 16:10) is the issue. Specifically, if it IS 16:9, then that means the TV is being forced to rescale the image to fit, which could well blur crisp lines. There should also be a 1920X1080 resolution available, which probably matches the TV, and may look better.

    [Edit: My second suggestion was that it could have to do with a low-quality VGA cable, but you replied while I was typing, and if it looks ok in Ubuntu, that's probably not it.]

    Third: Did you check the font smoothing style? It's in the "Appearance" pref pane. Having the wrong one selected could well make text (and ONLY text) look blurry. Note that changing it doesn't take effect immediately, only in programs launched after the change. You should probably log out and back in to make sure.

    Other things to try: The TVs with a VGA input I've seen usually have a number of adjustments to the position and actual resolution of the image; see what your TV has and if you can mess with them. Also try downloading an HD "test pattern" that has an image of alternating dark and light one-pixel lines; this will let you check if you're actually getting the resolution you think you are--if so, all the lines should be visible. If they are blurred together, there's rescaling happening, which could also affect the quality of text.
  5. vpjayant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2007
    This TV is a Hannspree TV/Monitor. They're normally a monitor company so I think it should work fine as a monitor. It is actually 16:10, so that isn't the issue. I did actually try a test pattern, and all the lines looked fine. Really unsure as to what could be the cause of this. I've been fiddling with the settings of the actual tv and there isn't much more than just vertical or horizontal positioning.

    EDIT: I've been messing with some alternative resolutions and I've found that anything above 1440 * 900 is blurry, but 1440 * 900 and below is fine (or possibly the blurring isn't as noticeable).

    EDIT 2: Aww hell yeah. Just messed with the clock and phase of the screen (no idea what they do) and now it looks much better. Not perfect, but better.

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