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Eye strain from LED backlighting in MacBook Pro

434744 Views 1,985 Replies Latest reply: Apr 19, 2014 11:34 AM by Kxtr73 RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • StefanD13 Calculating status...
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    Feb 2, 2014 11:26 PM (in response to OQ3)

    @OQ3, mvanier: agree as well, high quality, high speed camera could give us some new insights.


    As I reported some days ago, I have tried as well intel graphics on Linux with spatial or disabled dithering and it didn't help...


    But, I have still kept the computer. It is a Vaio Pro 13 with the so called triluminos display. If you watch the Sony commercial you may think it is an 8 bit display, but it is not (Linux reports it as 6 bit), it seems the triluminos technology only relates to the backlight.


    However I can use it  under Win8.1 for hours without issues, BUT only if I don't plug it in. It turned out the difference is when the Intel display power saving technology (DPST) is activated, and Intel disables it automatically when pluged in. I also disabled DPST when on battery and the eye strain came back, so I'm quite sure now that DPST makes a difference. I'm also quite sure dynamic dithering is still used with DPST, since spatial dithering is easy to recognize by just checking the image with a magnifying glass. (No dithering at all results in terrible banding, I didn't think that dithering makes so much difference in the image quality perception)


    (As a note, I must say I have the feeling that even on DPST it is not so comfortable anymore if I increase the brightness too much or use colder colour settings)


    If you read about DPST, you'll find out that it works by reducing backlight and compensating it by contrast improving image processing. Needless to say, I have tried to mimic this with DPST off without result, so it may be some other settings are changed as well.


    Could maybe also other people here try the DPST? Unfortunatelly seems to be enabled only under Windows. Sometimes it is also quite bothering, when you change from a dark to a light image, you can see the gradual adjustment of the backlight/contrast, so many people just turn it off.

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 3, 2014 4:14 AM (in response to StefanD13)

    Stefan, are you saying that this laptop is usable on its own? It does not create eye strain, etc?

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 3, 2014 4:45 AM (in response to Exandas)

    Uh... I'm even afraid to say it... yes...


    If I don't plug it in and if DPST is enabled and if brigthness is just one step above minimum and if colours are set to "Text" mode, I used it daily for hours during the past 2 weeks. Sometimes after some hours I feel my eyes burning/tired (but not tensed) and if I stop there are no remaining symptoms. I would say it is... normal...


    It still bothers me a lot that I don't know why is that and what will happen at the next driver update... (The Win8.1 is already notifying me I should download the latest driver version)


    As a side note, the device itself is not bad, although especially the keyboard and the touchpad are miles away from the feeling and precision of a Mac (touchpad reacts much better under Linux though)

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 3, 2014 5:08 AM (in response to StefanD13)

    Stefan, I can only use laptops due to my profession, so this is a pleasent surprise for me if i can use it like you do without issues!

    I thought only external displays could be the solution to our sensitivity.

    What is the exact model so i can give it a try?



  • tfouto Calculating status...
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    Feb 3, 2014 8:15 AM (in response to tight_eye)



    That's good news for you.


    Will you keep using Windows 7? I wonder if Windows 8 will make the same effect.


    What about using Windows 7 on a VM inside OSX? I am curious.

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 3, 2014 11:20 AM (in response to Exandas)

    Hi Exandas,

    The exact model is:

    Sony VAIO Pro SVP1321J1EBI 33,8 cm (13,3 Zoll matt) Ultrabook (Intel Core i3 4010U, 1,7Ghz, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Intel HD 4400, NFC, Win 8)

    It may be the model number is only Germany relevant.



  • mvanier Calculating status...
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    Feb 3, 2014 2:10 PM (in response to StefanD13)

    Stefan, that's good news!  I wonder, what happens when you plug the laptop in to an external CCFL-backlit display?  Can you still use it?  With or without plugging it in?

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 3, 2014 11:07 PM (in response to mvanier)

    Hi mvanier,

    Haven't tried yet, according to Intel, DPST is active only when on batery and with no connected external display.

    But I'll try and report.


  • tfouto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 4, 2014 2:54 AM (in response to StefanD13)



    maybe you could try on a old monitor or maybe a tv that doesn't cause you any trouble. Plug the laptop to ensure that DPST is enable. That way you might check if the tv/old monitor also gives eye strain.


    Altough the software might help, it could help to understand if the monitor also plays a role.

  • tight_eye Calculating status...
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    Feb 5, 2014 8:57 AM (in response to RMartin111)

    I actually only have a very short question: Is anyone else here experiencing the same effect with the macbook as being out in the sun on a summer day and then returning into the house. As you probably know, in this case everything needs to adjust for a while and seems a bit "snowy". This is what I experience atm. Eye strain is a bit less though.

  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 6, 2014 12:37 AM (in response to Exandas)

    I want to report another experience that i had with an Android media player connected to my main TV set.


    I have a 2-3 year old LG TV (not LED) and up to now everything seemed to work perfectly. I could watch TV, connect my laptop via HDMI and watch movies, connect Wii, PS2, and DVD player to play games and watch DVDs.


    Last Saturday i purchased an android media player and connected the device via HDMI. Half an hour later after watching a movie, 3 out of 4 people in the room experienced headaches and sore eyes.


    I returned the media player to the store in exchange to another brand android media player. The second android media player caused the same symptoms with the original device. 


    I have now exchanged the second device with an non android media player (dedicated to play movies and music and does nothing else) to see how it goes.

  • tfouto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 6, 2014 1:14 AM (in response to Exandas)

    Interesting. Anyone ever tried a raspberry pi? I bought one and i am using, i will report later.


    Can you say please the model of the box?



  • Exandas Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 6, 2014 2:05 AM (in response to tfouto)

    Both are local brands, they are not known internationally

  • tfouto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Feb 6, 2014 2:37 AM (in response to Exandas)

    but do you remember their names? I would search on Internet. I want to find Android version. Check if there are differences...

  • StefanD13 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2014 3:21 AM (in response to Exandas)

    @Exandas: same problems, I cannot use Apple TV 3 (2 was OK), I couldn't use a new Samsung home cinema, I cannot use the new STB sent by my cable provider.


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