why does a macbook pro video signal look so bad hooked up to a HDTV

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Prettyboyian, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. Prettyboyian macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    I have my new mid 2010 macbook 15 inch with high res display hooked up to my tv and i must say it look horrible in comparison to windows . the colors look weak the background ****** . why when you plug in a windows pc ( and i aint being a fanboy because i love them both ) it looks wonderful. everything is perfect colors look great background looks great automatically. but mac it looks like ****. now dont get me wrong you play a hd movie on the hdtv from a mac the quality looks good but the regular background and stuff looks horrible.

    am i doing something wrong. do you have to calibrate it. and why ? if windows doesn't need calibration why does mac?
  2. Fubar1977 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2010
    North Yorkshire, UK
    Not sure, total opposite in my case. My MBP looks great wheras my wifes soon-to-be-gone win7 laptop looks awful.
    Check in display settings to make sure the external display is set to the right resolution though, just in case.
  3. moel macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2007
    Use utilities -> color sync utility

    It's probably that both ACTUALLY need calibrating, but that the default gamma settings are different.
  4. snouter macrumors 6502a

    May 26, 2009
    FWIW, my 2010 17" MBP looks TERRIBLE hooked up to my 23" monitors (not TVs) via a mini DisplayPort to HDMI adapter. Like worse than any "calibration" would be able to fix. I'm using a MonoPrice adapter, but have not had any issues with their products to this point. My MonoPrice mini DisplayPort to DVI connection looks great.

    I'll have to hook it up to my TV and see what that looks like.
  5. Prettyboyian thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 26, 2008
    it could be the color sync thing. so i just hook it up to the TV and run the color sync ?
  6. moel macrumors 6502

    Nov 7, 2007
    Yup run coloursync utility, and you'll be good to go. Then you can calibrate the laptop and the tv :)
  7. Blu101 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 10, 2010

    Don't forget to check your tv settings first on that channel. Before you run colorsync, set your tv settings to their mid-points as a start, adjust from there if necessary (many tvs come with brightness/contrast cranked to max for in-store viewing). You can go one step further here and calibrate your tv using a calibration DVD or blu-ray (depending on what you have and what resolution you want to run your MBP on). If you don't have a calibration disc, use a good DVD or blu-ray movie and adjust your tv settings to your liking. Once this is done hook up your MBP and then tweak the MBP for best picture quality. You may need to re-tweak your tv settings here, but you shouldn't be too far off from optimal.

    Note some cheap HDMI cables and adapters may not work right. Make sure they are compatible with HDMI version 1.1 or 1.3 at a minimum (I forget which one you need as a min).

    Can the intel HD graphics power an external monitor/tv? If not, make sure you have the auto graphics switch turned on for the nvidia 330M.
  8. Lyshen macrumors 6502

    Jan 12, 2008
    Intel HD can't power external display. The MBP will switch to the Nvidia for powering external display...

    Also to note, if you use gfxCardStatus... if the external monitor won't display anything, it's because it's set to Intel only.

    I've hooked my MBP 15" to a projector, hotel HDTV and a monitor, all of them looked great.

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