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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

435883 Views 1,987 Replies Latest reply: Apr 21, 2014 10:40 AM by GKphone RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • Gaussfactor Calculating status...
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    Jan 3, 2014 12:19 AM (in response to tfouto)

    Has anyone noticed that the 2008 iMac screens are N-S polarized, and the current Retina screens are E-W polarized? The new screens are better for folk like me who need to wear multifocal polaroids when viewing the screen. I had to have special polaroid glasses made (a fixed-focus compromise) to view the 2008 screen. However, the current discussions make me think that Retina screens are a risk, despite their friendlier polarization.

  • tfouto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Gaussfactor,

     

    thanks for the info.

     

    Can you add a little more about that? I am not totally familiarized on polarization tech displays. About the polaroid glasses you had to used. Don't you need to use it anymore? Do you think is possible for us to use any kind of glasses or eye-correction to mitigate our problems?

     

    Thanks

  • Gaussfactor Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 3, 2014 5:04 PM (in response to tfouto)

    Polarized spectacles have the effect of minimizing glare, whether from snow, ocean or computer screen. Regular polaroid sunglasses and prescription polaroid multifocal (or fixed-focal length) spectacles are polarized horizontally: for multifocals, this is the only option. Computer screens on the other hand, are polarized either horizontally, vertically, or at 45deg. If your polaroid glasses and the computer screen you're using are polarized in the same direction, i.e. horizontally, then you will see the image with the glare removed. If your screen is polarized vertically, you will see nothing unless you awkwardly rotate your head a little. If the screen is polarized at 45deg - a weird IBM feature - you will see an image darkened by 50%. My current iMac 2008 screen is polarized vertically, so I had to have fixed-focus vertically polarized glasses made up for a reading distance of about half a metre. It worked well, but did not entirely eliminate episodes of painless migraine (visual disturbances lasting about 20 minutes). Final verdict: worth the expense. My current iPad 2011 screen is polarized horizontally when viewed in landscape, and so is visible with my prescription multifocals, which I use also for driving, reading outdoors etc. Rotate the screen to portrait, and the image disappears. OK, so back to the old iMac. The disadvantage of reading a screen comfortably with fixed focus glasses is that you can't just glance down at paper documents, then back to the screen. The new iMac Retina screens are polarized horizontally, and so are visible with my multifocal polaroids. Now I have access to the best possible conditions for minimizing glare and being able to read at all distances without changing glasses all the time. Excellent, you'd think; but the Retina's bad press from eye-strain sufferers makes me wonder about updating my iMac, in case there is some other factor at play - e.g. pixel density, or even the horizontal polarization itself! After all, this too is a new feature.

     

    Hope this helps. By the way, the science of polarization of light doesn't matter much in this practical context. Polaroid lenses are just filters that screen out the glare caused by scattering of light. The only light let through has an electric field that oscillates only in one plane, instead of radially in all planes. Gaussfactor.

  • peter_watt Level 2 Level 2 (420 points)

    Polarized lenses reduce reflection, not glare. Reflections of sunlight from horizontal non metallic surfaces (snow, water, automobile dashboard) are naturally polarized on reflection. Quite the opposite of being scattered. Polarized sunglasses are polarized in the opposite direction to cut out reflections from surfaces whilst allowing direct light through normally. Some tint is usually added for general light attenuation.

    The reason "polaroid shades" are becoming unpopular is that some phones and tablets are polarized one way, some  the other, so some phones (or display screens) can be seen normally wearing them, some are almost black and have to be used landscape. The direction is entirely at the whim of the manufacturer.

    There is no question of older screens being intentionally made less or more friendly as a result of a change in polarization direction. It's just manufacturing convenience.

  • spprt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 5, 2014 6:34 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    Did anyone of you experience increased eye strain after having upgraded to iOS 7? I was comfortable with my iPad 4 on iOS 6 until I got iOS 7. Did they introduce new graphic drivers, dithering, anything like that? Now using the iPad (mostly Safari), my eyes hurt like never before.

  • CT Level 6 Level 6 (15,025 points)
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    Jan 5, 2014 9:39 AM (in response to spprt)

    Can't confirm.

  • rpmiller4 Calculating status...
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    Jan 5, 2014 4:00 PM (in response to spprt)

    No. For me it's always been very specific devices and never a result of an upgrade. For example, my iPhone 4 never gives me headaches. I owned it when it was at IOS 5, 6, and now at 7. Never got any headaches. iPhone 5 and 5S however, always give me headaches.

  • ElleAle Calculating status...
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    Jan 5, 2014 4:30 PM (in response to spprt)

    I ve been using iPad 4 retina since April and it is killing my eyes. Changing to iOS 7 did not make things worse for the eyes, BUT i did set the keyboard font to BOLD, because the new thin (and ugly IMHO) font is much more work for the eyes.

  • dmendel Calculating status...
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    Jan 7, 2014 10:59 AM (in response to dmendel)

    Still looking for feedback on the u2410.

     

    I am also looking for opinions on the BenQ flicker-free VA panel monitors. They sound appealing with no PMW, no dithering, low brightness and high contrast. I am just wondering if anyone who had problems with Apple displays tried these out. I specifically interested in the 24" monitors -- I am not comfortable with the higher resolution/smaller text of 27" screens.

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 7, 2014 1:59 PM (in response to dmendel)

    dmendel,

     

    I've mentioned several times that I own and use a Dell U2410 monitor, and it's absolutely awesome!  Very very comfortable to look at for extended periods of time and beautiful colors.  It's a shame Dell doesn't sell it any more.  The replacement model (the U2413), also looks good for an LED-backlit monitor.  It uses current-controlled dimming down to 20% brightness, and below that uses PWM (but at the very high frequency of 8 Khz, which very few people are likely to be able to perceive).  It also uses the new GBr-LEDs instead of traditional "white" LEDs; the GBr-LEDs supposedly have a much better color balance which should translate into more comfort.  I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has seen/bought this monitor.

  • BobbySM Calculating status...
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    Jan 7, 2014 3:56 PM (in response to FNP7)

    I use blue light filters from http://sleepshield.com, they are awesome and fit the MacBook perfectly.

  • dmendel Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 7, 2014 7:17 PM (in response to mvanier)

    mvanier wrote:

     

    dmendel,

     

    I've mentioned several times that I own and use a Dell U2410 monitor, and it's absolutely awesome!  Very very comfortable to look at for extended periods of time and beautiful colors.  It's a shame Dell doesn't sell it any more.  The replacement model (the U2413), also looks good for an LED-backlit monitor.  It uses current-controlled dimming down to 20% brightness, and below that uses PWM (but at the very high frequency of 8 Khz, which very few people are likely to be able to perceive).  It also uses the new GBr-LEDs instead of traditional "white" LEDs; the GBr-LEDs supposedly have a much better color balance which should translate into more comfort.  I would be very interested in hearing from anyone who has seen/bought this monitor.

     

    Yes, I have read your endorsement. Was hoping to get other opinions as well. It looks like I can buy a refurbished U2410, so no return. I like the CCFL backlight, but was just worried about dithering. The Benq is appealing for LED backlight, but I would like to know real world performance from someone who is sensitive to Apple displays. I am really not interested in accurate color reproduction all that. I am a heavy computer user, but mostly just word processing, powerpoint, web browsing. No gaming. I am far more concerned about my comfort than about  intense vivid graphics, etc.

  • mvanier Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 7, 2014 9:03 PM (in response to dmendel)

    If you've read my posts then you know that I'm extremely sensitive to what we've been calling dithering, and the U2410 doesn't bother me at all when used with my older hardware/drivers.  I am of the opinion that dithering is much more due to the graphics driver/card than the monitor, though apparently the monitor needs to be able to do dithering or support dithering coming from the graphics card, as the U2410 certainly can (as can most or all monitors available today).  I too am much more concerned about comfort than about vivid graphics or color reproduction, which is why I use f.lux among other things.

  • luisx Calculating status...
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    Jan 8, 2014 1:57 AM (in response to dmendel)

    hi dmendel,

     

    with regrets I can tell you that I got myself a Dell U2410F with great hopes (after reading carefully this email thread) and it didn't help me at all. I got the monitor in eBay for about USD250 and the specs -pleny of input connectors- and comments here where looking very appealing -i.e. it doesn't do dithering, 8-bit color, etc.

     

    I've tried the following with the unit:

     

    - Connect my macmini via HDMI port  --->  no luck, still same sympthoms, eye strain, diziness, pain...  My conclussion was that the inteln HD4000 graphics card was somehow sending a signal to any monitor that will produce the unconfortable eye effect.

     

    - so, I take my very old desktop PC (the one I'm using for work as last resort, 2007 pentium 4 with NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 and my monitor LG Flatron L1750S) and just hope that by plugging it to the Dell via VGA I'll have at least a big and decent display. To my disappointing, when connecting my known good PC to the Dell U2410, the problems appear!!!  Go and explain this...  It is not the graphic card, it is not the drivers (windows XP btw) and a combination that works well with an old monitor turns out to don't with the Dell. My conclussion, whatever the GPU card signals to the monitor gets interpreted somehow by its hardware & software (calle it dithering or something else) to the dislike of our eyes.

     

    all in all, I'm back to desperation. There goes 250$ and what is worse the hope and ilusion that this time it will work. Perhaps I didn't have the right settings?  I've tried all possible combinations of brigthness, contrast, gamma, color types... with no luck. I must say that aside the non-working-as-expected fiasco, the image quality wasn't that impresive.

     

    Sorry for delivering bad news and by all means keep trying mate!  It might be the case that it works for you.

     

    best regards to all,

     

    luis

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2014 6:06 AM (in response to luisx)

    I think it makes sense to be something in the graphics card, seems like some kind of incorrect synchronization with the monitor? I am not an engineer, but to what else can i say about the experience i describe below.

     

    In my work place i have two monitors: Asus VW193D and Dell P1911. My old Dell desktop was running Win 7, and i had no problem with either monitor for many hours of work. VGA Connection.

     

    Changed the tower with a new HP desktop PC running Win 7, i get terrible headache and eye strain after an hour of work. Specifically with the Dell monitor i get eye strain in just 5 mins. Both displays are CCFL and i use a VGA connection. I wonder if there have been any major changes in the graphics card technology.

     

    Currently I am working only with the Asus display, and only with frequest breaks, which is not convenient especially during periods of job pressure.  

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