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10.5.7 and Display refresh rates

I’ve written previously about the setup of my HTPC and LCD TV, and this included setting the HThackintosh to the optimal resolution and refresh rate. Since then I’ve commented on the occasional small jumps in the picture, and after investigation I’ve put this down to differences in media frame rate and display refresh rate. Much HD content is 24 frames per second, which doesn’t go smoothly into 50 or 60 frame per second display refresh.

There are many threads in the Plex forums about using software such as DisplayConfigX to create custom display modes for refresh rate. There are also warnings that Plex has issues with display refresh rate and media frame rate being the same, resulting in audio sync loss. Auto switching display refresh rate to media frame rate is on the todo list for Plex, so hopefully the issues can be fixed.

I recently installed the 10.5.7 update on the HThackintosh and re-installed the required kexts to get the hardware functioning correctly. There haven’t been any issues since this so I had no reason to poke about in the System preferences. A few days ago I had a look at the display settings and was surprised to find the refresh rate options had changed, and a new tab for options had appeared. This new tab only gives the choice of turning overscan on or off, and it’s a setting you definitely want on to remove a 2 inch black border around the picture. The refresh rate drop down menu shows 24,25,30,50 and 60Hz, pretty much all the frequencies you need for smooth media playback. Some of the previous resolutions have gone, and many of those that remain are now listed as interlaced. Not a major problem since the display stays at 1920×1080 most of the time.

10.5.7_Display_Options

I tried out all the new refresh rates, and found the 24Hz setting worked fine with some material but caused audio to go out of sync on a few files. Looks like there’s still a little fixing needed in Plex, but it’s nice to have the settings ready for when the bugs are ironed out. 25/50Hz and 30/60Hz looked fine with my holiday video’s, and 24p material will still play well at 60Hz with just the occasional judder.

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