Jagged fonts on LCD Monitor

Posted:
in Genius Bar edited January 2014
Hello,

I just bought a new ViewSonic 19 inch LCD monitor and one thing I can't figure out is why the fonts look so jagged when they were so smooth on my CRT monitor. I've played with the Font Smoothing options but it doesn't seem to make much of a difference - it will make bigger fonts smoother but then smaller ones are blurry looking.



I've searched online but can't come up with any answers. Is the monitor just not capable then? I've seen an iMac G5 in action and the fonts don't seem jagged on it.



The monitor is a ViewSonic VA1912wb Widescreen, connected via DVI to my G5 1.8 SP. I've tried the built-in calibration but it doesn't seem to work with this LCD properly, so I found a program call SuperCal that I've been trying... no success yet.



Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    The resolution is set correctly, right?
  • Reply 2 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    The resolution is set correctly, right?



    It's set to 1440x900 which is the highest setting and optimum setting according to ViewSonic:



    http://www.viewsonic.com/products/de...ries/va1912wb/



    Other screen elements such as buttons and icons etc. appear a lot more normal looking.
  • Reply 3 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    In the Appearance pane in System Preferences what is your setting for font smoothing? Have you tried other options? (You might have to relaunch apps for the changes to take effect.
  • Reply 4 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Perhaps this thread should be moved to Genius Bar.
  • Reply 5 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    In the Appearance pane in System Preferences what is your setting for font smoothing? Have you tried other options? (You might have to relaunch apps for the changes to take effect.



    Yes I've tried some different ones. Not sure what the right setting would be. I guess I have to keep fooling around with the setting but it seems like I can smooth out the bigger fonts but it makes tiny fonts blurry (like the text Im typing right now).



    Right now it's set to "Automatic".
  • Reply 6 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    Okay, I changed the Font Smoothing option to "Medium" and quit and restarted Safari. Fonts seem to be a little better - more balanced between large and small fonts. But it is still noticeably less smooth than my CRT which is still hooked up - if I drag a window over from the LCD to the CRT you can really see the difference.



    I wondering if the monitor calibration has anything to do with it... for example, if the contrast is set too high it could make the anti-aliasing so bright that fonts appear jagged... not sure. I will be calibrating tomorrow in the daylight. As a designer I want to make sure I get it as close to right as I can.



    Thanks for your help so far!



    NOTE: Just so you get an idea of what I'm seeing... in this small text there's 2 lowercase L's side-by-side... one of them is black and the other appears dark grey.
  • Reply 7 of 14
    IIRC, any changes to font smoothing requires a relaunch of programs. This includes Finder. Try logging out and back again to restart all applications, including Finder.
  • Reply 8 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    Ok, so it sounds like you don't like sub-pixel rendering used in Font Smoothing's Light, Medium, and Strong settings.



    Try "Standard - Best for CRT" and restart and I bet everything will look fine and be consistent between the CRT and LCD displays.



    I can post more about the technology later if you want. It only works with LCDs. I personally love sub-pixel rendering and think its a handy technology to fake higher resolutions for text.
  • Reply 9 of 14
    lundylundy Posts: 4,466member
    ==>Genius Bar
  • Reply 10 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    Ok, so it sounds like you don't like sub-pixel rendering used in Font Smoothing's Light, Medium, and Strong settings.



    Try "Standard - Best for CRT" and restart and I bet everything will look fine and be consistent between the CRT and LCD displays.




    Unfortunately, I've tried the "Standard" setting and then restarted everything. The different settings only appear to give me varying degrees on smoothness, and it seems to have a different affect of different sizes of fonts.



    I talked to a guy in the local Apple Dealer and he suggested contacting ViewSonic. Perhaps the ViewSonic has a higher pixel pitch than Apple's (can't find that on the ViewSonic site). The fonts look quite smooth on the displays at the Apple Store and our iMac at work. At the store the setting was on "Flat Panel" and at work the iMac was set to "Automatic" and both looked great to me.



    If this issue can't be resolved before my 15-day return is up then I might just bite the bullet and get an Apple 20 inch Cinema even though it's much more and seems to be short in some areas (less brightness and contrast than the ViewSonic and higher response time). But I can get it under the AppleCare warranty with my G5 at least.



    Enough with the essay. Thanks if there's any further assistance.
  • Reply 11 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    What the...



    Just found this on ViewSonic's site under COMPATABILITY:



    Mac®\tPower Mac" G3/G4/G5 up to 1152x870 [adapter may be required]





    1152x870 isn't even listed as an option in Displays.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    xoolxool Posts: 2,460member
    If the native resolution is 1440x900 and you've set that as the resolution for the screen in the Displays preference pane then that's what it should be using.



    Have you tried it with another machine? Perhaps the screen is flakey?



    Regarding Adapters, My guess is that they're talking about G4/G5 machines with Apple Display Connectors or perhaps old G3s that used a special Apple analog video out, before it was standardized on VGA. The fact that they list G3 PowerMacs in there indicates that the info isn't necessarily applicable.



    If you don't get the Apple display have you considered getting a Dell 20"? It uses the same LCD but is cheaper. Not as pretty and no Firewire though.
  • Reply 13 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Xool

    If you don't get the Apple display have you considered getting a Dell 20"? It uses the same LCD but is cheaper. Not as pretty and no Firewire though.



    I looked at the Dell and it seems good. I couldn't find any info on a Warranty though, and since I'll be buying AppleCare for my G5, I'm told I can add in the monitor to it. Plus, the hubs are an added bonus.



    I'm also in Canada so my options are a little more limited to finding these things. I found a good Gateway 21" monitor at Future Shop but it only has a 1 year Warranty so I decided not to get it.



    Do you have experience with the Cinema Display? One of the reason why I didn't get it originally is because it seemed like more money for less - higher response time etc.



    P.S. I sent in a Tech Support email to ViewSonic.
  • Reply 14 of 14
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 530member
    A techie friend of mine has looked at the monitor and thinks the problem may be the cable. He says it doesn't look like a "full DVI" cable - whatever that means.



    Anyway, he's going to get me a loaner to try out from his workplace to see if that one is any better. With no word back from ViewSonic it's probably back to the store. If the loaner doesn't work out I'm going to get the Cinema Display.
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