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MBP Retina: Poor image quality from hdmi output

35390 Views 92 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2014 9:23 AM by acdvorak RSS
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ehartye Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Jul 19, 2012 8:52 AM

Picked up my new MBP Retina yesterday, and as expected, the display is beautiful.

 

Hooking it up to my two 24'' monitors (both Dell ST2420L) was another story. Colors are badly washed out and fonts look jagged.

 

I've run the gammut of display settings, and feel pretty confident that's not the issue. I am however open to suggestions.

 

For a good description of the issue, check out this thread over on the Macbook Air forum: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4080525?start=0&tstart=0 They seem to be experiencing the same thing with the newer MBA's.

 

One monitor is hooked up via the onboard hdmi port, and the other is hooked up via a mini display to hdmi cable. Both are apple brand cables.

 

I had an older 2008 Macbook and used the mini display to hdmi cable without this problem.

 

Headed out to pick up a mini display to dvi adapter to see if that fixes the problem. Will update.

MacBook Pro with Retina display
  • jakewright Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 27, 2012 7:22 AM (in response to ehartye)

    I've had the same problem with my new Retina MacBook Pro. I'm using it with a Dell U2410, which works wonderfully with an iMac, Mac mini and all of the PCs I've ever used it with, but when I plug the MBP into it, everything looks awful.

     

    I've connected the monitor with an HDMI to HDMI cable and I've tried mini displayport to displayport as well. Both have the same results. I'm yet to try a mini displayport to DVI adapter.

     

    I took it into an Apple Store today: of course it worked perfectly with the cinema display the guy tried it on, and the only other monitor they had was a 40" TV, which he said would look bad anyway so he didn't really acknowledge the problem. I was told that Apple 'cannot guarantee compatibility with third-party products' and if I need to use external monitors, the retina MBP is not for me and I should choose a different Mac. So there's no chance of a free mini display port to DVI adapter.

     

    One of the keys on the MBP is also broken so they're prepared to replace the whole laptop because of that. Once I get the replacement, I'll see if the monitor problem exists with that one. If it does, I'll have to get a MDP to DVI adapter. I'll report back.

  • michaelfellis Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 8, 2012 1:42 PM (in response to ehartye)

    I have a Westinghouse EW24T3LW 24" HDTV (LED), and I initially connected my Retina MacBook Pro to it via HDMI.  Despite no end of fiddling, I could not get acceptable image quality via HDMI.

     

    Today I switched over to a VGA connection, and the difference is remarkable.  While I am happy with the improved image, I miss the convenience of having both digital audio and video via a single HDMI cable.  I hope the performance of the HDMI connection can be improved with a software update, because otherwise that port is useless to me.

  • orrsella Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 27, 2012 3:59 PM (in response to ehartye)

    Any update if the mini display to dvi adapter solve this problem? I'm experiencing the exact same thing with the rMBP, Dell U2410 and an hdmi-hdmi connection.

  • GreenAsJade Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Aug 28, 2012 8:48 PM (in response to ehartye)

    I have this problem.

     

    It was bad with the mini DVI adapter.

     

    It is _slightly_ less bad with a VGA adapter.

     

    The previously gorgeous Dell display now looks washed out, fonts are not crisp, they

    are hard to read.

     

    Help!?

     

    GaJ

  • dvdvdv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 10, 2012 12:53 AM (in response to ehartye)

    I have the same problem. I connected a Dell U2312HM monitor (that is a very good monitor) via hdmi, and then via VGA and the image quality is very very bad, blurry text, washed colors, bad focus, simply not acceptable to work with it.

     

    I am VERY disappointed expecially considering that I have just bought one of the most expensive laptop on the market that claim also to be the best one.

     

    If there is an HDMI connector Apple must provide full compatibility with this standard with third party devices too, as I know there is no Apple monitor with an HDMI input, so HDMI out on MBPr must be compatible with third party monitors. Otherwise Apple should cut away this port.

     

    I'm going to contact customer service to solve the problem, otherwise I'll claim my money back.

     

    best regards

  • EugenK90 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 11, 2012 2:23 PM (in response to dvdvdv)

    got the same problem..does anybody found a solution yet?

  • jonthestorm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 12, 2012 1:26 AM (in response to ehartye)

    me too, same problem.

    Apple needs to update its OS asap!

  • orrsella Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2012 2:15 AM (in response to EugenK90)

    I've now tested with the following cables/adapters between my rMBP -> Dell U2410:

     

    mDP -> VGA

    mDP -> DVI

    mDP -> HDMI

    HDMI -> HDMI

    HDMI -> DP

     

    None of them work. Some people are reporting *minor* differences when switching from HDMI to DVI, but I think that's mainly psychological persuasion. In my experience nothing helps - fonts are still blurry, bad image quality. I've taken still photos with a Cannon DSLR to compare the pixels - no difference.

     

    Someone also reported on other threads that lowering the Dell U2410's sharpness "solves" the problem, I find this to be untrue and a "fool's solution". Fonts do look sharper, but everything else looks horrible.

     

    My understanding is that this is related to rMBP and/or Mountain Lion external display drivers. Hopefully this can be addressed with a software update. I really hope Apple is aware of this issue (many have filed bug reports).

     

    More "good" discussion on the matter can be found here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1390034

  • dvdvdv Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2012 1:34 PM (in response to orrsella)

    I have just connected the monitor with a white macbook and it is so irritating to see how gooood could be this display!

     

    I am working at an Indesign brochure in these days and now I understand why I'm going so slow and never happy with the results. this issue is damaging my work.

     

    Absolutely no doubt that there is a problem on the macbook pro retina. The white macbook is driving right now the Dell U2312HM 23" display with no problems and simply using factory settings. Fonts are clear and pleasant, contrast, focus, anything is as it should be (and eve better than the average).

  • jonthestorm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2012 1:56 PM (in response to ehartye)

    I agree with orsella. This problem is not from the cables or the macbook pro itself. It's the mac OS.

    Yesterday, I tried installing windows 7 and 8 via bootcamp. Then I plugged HDMI to my Asus 24'' display. and it looked fantastic. So I believe this is the os problem and apple needs to fix this asap. I need to use final cut pro and photoshop on my external display...!!! in mean time, i use mac os with retina display, and windows 8 RP with my external display..... wth apple!!!

  • GreenAsJade Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 12, 2012 6:55 PM (in response to jonthestorm)

    I just installed Mountain Lion.

     

    It seems to have helped a lot (or maybe I just got accustomed to the washed out look!?)

     

    GaJ

  • EugenK90 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2012 3:02 AM (in response to ehartye)

    seems like the new update improved it. I just compared some pages in safari but my 8 year old computer looks still a little bit better. If u zoom in with ML the resolution seems also better then having the full page on safari opened.

    But like I said...my old computer on windows looks still better on the full HD TV

  • Dpowert2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 1, 2012 1:24 PM (in response to ehartye)

    Same problem with my new MBP (non retina).

    I bought a €500 monitor to use with my MacBook Pro. I'm a designer and the quality is so bad that I can't use it for anything. Greys are completely washed out. Completely inaccurate. Apple- looks like this one is on you.

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