Why do external displays look crap connected to Macs?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MyAppleWorld, Nov 26, 2012.

  1. MyAppleWorld macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Birmingham, UK
    I was using my Samsung LED 24" monitor via HDMI on my Windows laptop at factory settings (No monitor or windows calibration) and it was perfect.

    I have connected my macbook pro using thunderbolt to HDMI adapter and the colours/text look dreadful. Contrast is extremely high, unable to distinguish grey from white! The monitor is set at the correct resolution (1080p) in Display preferences.

    I have done a Mac calibration (advanced) from display preferences and its a lot better but still bad compared to windows laptop.

    Why does the wizard ask to put the contrast up to 100% to start? My monitor is set at 55% by default which was perfectly fine on windows.

    why are the colours so bad, particularly greys? i.e. the apple UI.

    I have lost the ability on the monitor to configure HDMI black setting (its greyed out) now that the macbook is plugged in.

    I have found historically external monitors look crap on Macs, whereas windows 99% of the time just WORK.

    Any tips? My monitor is S24A350H.
  2. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    My Dell monitor looks absolutely fine. Try putting the contrast up to 100%, the calibration tool works assuming that.
  3. Jare macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2010
    I'm surprised you can even get HDMI to work properly. I gotta run my RMBP through DVI to my monitor to get it working correctly. (HDMI to DVI adapter ftw!)
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My Apple ACD looks great on my rMBP, did you try bypassing the HDMI and run it through the thunderbolt port (with an adapter if needed).
  5. MyAppleWorld thread starter macrumors 6502


    Nov 1, 2005
    Birmingham, UK
    I guess I need to buy a thunderbolt to VGA and try that. My monitor only has HDMI and VGA.

    The other problem is that the external display doesn't come back on when I wakeup the mac by moving the mouse - 9 times out of 10. I have to unplug and replug.

    Is this why apple do not sell a thunderbolt to hdmi adapter?
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    To calibrate any monitor use an external sensor as in the Spyder or Munki products.
  7. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    I know what you mean! Wallpaper does appear fuzzy for some reason, thought I was imagining things.

    In any case, video playback appears crisp as ever on my TV, so it must be a trick on the eyes or something, it's pretty weird.

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