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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > External LCD monitor hooked up to MacBook Pro slightly blurry

External LCD monitor hooked up to MacBook Pro slightly blurry
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Sep 14, 2013, 09:26 AM
 
External LCD monitor hooked up to MacBook Pro is slightly blurry

I have hooked up an external LCD monitor (non apple) to my MacBook Pro but the external monitor is blurry.

My MacBook Pro screen is fine, it is just the external monitor that is blurry or fuzzy.


I have googled and one suggestion was to turn video mirroring off, however when I do so, it makes no difference.

Also I have hooked up via vga (mini display port to vga adaptor from mac then vga to vga cable to monitor), but one suggestion I found googling was that I should hook up via DVI instead.

Can anyone make any suggestions please as to how I fix the blurriness of my external monitor. If DVI hookup would fix the problem I will go out and buy these cables, but I don't want to spend money on this if it won't fix the problem.

Also one other issue is that I have to keep the MacBook Pro lid open because if I close it the external monitor goes to sleep too, this isn't a huge problem, as i guess i will just have to keep it open, but it seems strange to me.
     
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Sep 14, 2013, 04:30 PM
 
LCD monitors have an ideal resolution- it seems here, that the external isn't set to that resolution.

Check your user manual, see what the panel "Native Resolution" is, and use the "Displays" control panel to set that resolution.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 08:10 AM
 
Thanks for the reply, the resolution may well be the problem, but I tried it at what I believe is it's native resolution (well I don't have the user manual so I am guessing but I tried the highest one available which was 1366 x 768) I think it looked a better but I feel it's still not as sharp as my macbook pro.

also one other issue is I am using FCP so FCP tells me I need to drop the display resolution down to 1280 x 800. So whenever I am using FCP i have been dropping it down.

Anyway I think you are probably right about the resolution but it still isn't completely sharp to me even at the higher resolution.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 08:18 AM
 
Originally Posted by bonniescotland View Post
Thanks for the reply, the resolution may well be the problem, but I tried it at what I believe is it's native resolution (well I don't have the user manual so I am guessing but I tried the highest one available which was 1366 x 768) I think it looked a better but I feel it's still not as sharp as my macbook pro.

also one other issue is I am using FCP so FCP tells me I need to drop the display resolution down to 1280 x 800. So whenever I am using FCP i have been dropping it down.

Anyway I think you are probably right about the resolution but it still isn't completely sharp to me even at the higher resolution.
I would first go with mini display port to DVI and then take EstaNightshift's advice -- get your hands on the specs for that monitor. This won't solve your FCP problem (I know nothing about Final Cut Pro, but it seems odd to me that a video-editing application would first have you drop the resolution of your external display, unless the app / OS knows something we don't.).

For example, what is the exact make and model of the monitor you're using including screen size? There are online manuals for many things and we might be able to find those specs.
ebuddy
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 08:43 AM
 
Thanks for your help.
I just measured it and it appears to be 18.5 inches.
It's an Acer X193HQL.

In actual fact it's borrowed, which is why I don't have too much info, but I'm trying it out because I am thinking of buying an external monitor, so it may just be this isn't a great monitor perhaps?

But I think your suggestion of trying to hook up via DVI cables is a good idea too, tried without success to buy some today (store out of stock) but no doubt will be able to pick them up somewhere else. I really need to try that to rule out whether that is the issue.

Mind you if this is the best I can do with this monitor I can live with it, considering it is borrowed, and the clarity is ok, but it would really put me off buying an external monitor if I can't get a perfectly clear display.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 08:46 AM
 
actually just occurred to me, that when I originally checked this monitor out it was hooked up to a pc windows 8 display and looked fine, it was hooked up via vga also. No idea what resolution it was on though.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 10:47 AM
 
A 19" display is not going to have 1366*768 native resolution. Most likely it has a 1920*1080 native resolution if it is a widescreen display. When you have more than one display enabled, the Mac will only show resolutions that both displays can show. What you likely have to do is disable mirroring and then look at the possible resolutions again to see if you can find something better. Note that if you have more than one display active, you have a resolution setting for each active display, so make sure you select the right one.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 01:15 PM
 
1366x768 is in fact the native resolution for that display. (source, Acer)
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 01:53 PM
 
The display might need to be auto-adjusted. This sometimes happens if the video signal changes. According to the manual for your model, there's a button on the front of the monitor near the power button marked "Auto". Hit that and see if it helps. The manual says to press it for two seconds.
     
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Sep 15, 2013, 06:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by EstaNightshift View Post
1366x768 is in fact the native resolution for that display. (source, Acer)
**HEADS UP -- bonniescotland: from Acer, that's @ 75Hz which to me seems odd.

Make sure your resolution is set @ 1366x768 in your Display System Preferences and also @ 75 Hz Refresh Rate. Can you verify if that's the case before you move on to other suggestions?
ebuddy
     
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Sep 16, 2013, 04:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by EstaNightshift View Post
1366x768 is in fact the native resolution for that display. (source, Acer)
Seriously? Well, then it's going to be blurry no matter what. 82 dpi is a resolution from the mid-eighties.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 16, 2013, 11:04 AM
 
Also, the user manual indicates that 1366x768 runs at 60Hz, not 75Hz.
     
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Sep 17, 2013, 07:22 AM
 
Granted, I found the information on an Aussie shopping site, but I would've thought the info was provided by Acer.

ebuddy
     
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Sep 17, 2013, 11:28 AM
 
Here's the manual, with the specs and other info:

http://shifuimam.com/misc/UM_ACER_1.0_eng_X193HQL.pdf
     
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Sep 22, 2013, 07:52 AM
 
Hi All,
thank you all very much for your help.

In answer to your various questions and suggestions, the highest the display will let me go is 1366 x 768, so as Shifumam has suggested then I gather that is the best resolution I can get from this. Also ebuddy at that resolution it only allows me to do 60hz, I can't select anything else.
P I have mirroring turned off, I gather that is what you mean by disabling mirroring.

However the good news is, problem is solved! I got some DVI cables and got rid of the VGA ones. With DVI it is instantly fixed! Looks perfect now to me. So I am happy now with this. I am really surprised that there is such a difference between VGA and DVI.

I will still need to drop the resolution down to 1280 x 800 when using FCP, which means it goes back to looking a bit bad, but I can live with that.

But thanks also Shifumam for mentioning the auto button on the monitor, of course now that the monitor is perfect though I am too scared to touch it! But it's good to know that I can hit that if I have any other problems with the screen.

Thanks everyone
     
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Sep 22, 2013, 09:38 AM
 
From the description, it sounds like that VGA cable has gone bad. Anyway, I'm glad that it's been solved.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 23, 2013, 05:23 AM
 
Hi P, the VGA cables were brand new, only just purchased from a reputable shop, so I would be surprised if they were bad, but I guess that's possible. I exchanged thrm for the DVI cables. Anyway like you say problem solved
     
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Sep 23, 2013, 04:51 PM
 
At higher resolutions, a true digital connection will always look better than analog.

Steve
Celebrating 10 years and 4000 posts on MacNN!
     
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Oct 29, 2013, 05:53 AM
 
Hi Steve, I haven't been here for a while, sorry for late reply, but thanks for that info about digital being better.
     
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Oct 29, 2013, 12:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by bonniescotland View Post
Hi P, the VGA cables were brand new, only just purchased from a reputable shop, so I would be surprised if they were bad, but I guess that's possible. I exchanged thrm for the DVI cables. Anyway like you say problem solved
For the record, buying from a reputable shop doesn't mean a cable will be high quality. Any cable from China (and most small places are going to be sourcing from China because of the significant cost savings in doing so, and brand-name cables are manufactured in China anyhow) is going to have a chance of being bad right off the assembly line.
     
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Oct 31, 2013, 04:30 AM
 
Thanks shifuimam,I think in this instance it seems to be that the digital setup was better than the analog, but that's interesting to know about cable quality.
     
   
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