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pooka
Jul 29, 2004, 10:09 PM
Hi all,

I purchased a spanking new 23" aluminum cinema display today from my local apple store. Upon unpacking everything, and doing the obligatory "Pixel Check" for dead or stuck pixels (which are just fine, thanks god...) However, since then I have noticed something very odd.

This display appears to have areas on the left and right sides of the unit that have saturation or contrast issues. On both sides of the unit, the area about 2-3" from both left and right edges of the display seem to wash out, and color reproduction is not as good as the middle area. If I run the display at 1600x1200 (with black borders on the left and right) the issue disappears. This does *not* appear to be the usual backlighting problem, where there is a 1/2 area along the entire border that has slightly different brightness - this is actually a problem with the color reproduction. I had a discussion with a product specialist tonight, who has given me a case number if I decide to exchange the unit.

I am attaching a shot from my camera just to see if anyone can reproduce this. Please note that I shot this with a 5 megapixel camera, so there are some artifacts where the jpg has chewed up the space between the pixels. The thing to note here is the difference in the color response in the page elements in the 2 browsers. The photo shows a slight difference in hue, but the actual problem only appears to be a saturation issue, and the hue is consistent. This image is of the left side of the display, and the washed out content returns to normal when dragged to the middle are of the screen. Naturally, I have tested this with multiple DVI ports, so it's not any of my gear.

Is anyone else able to reproduce this on their display? I didn't just shell out $2k for a display that I could never possibly calibrate to "normal" working parameters. Think I should take my chances with dead pixels or other issues, and return it to the store?

Thanks,

-pooka

Xenious
Jul 29, 2004, 10:44 PM
I can kind of reproduce on my 23" where it is lighter on the edge and just gets darker towards the center of the monitor. This only really shows up with that light blue. I made a 1920x1200 solid blue image and put it on a full screen display and can see the lightness on the left 3" or so getting darker towards the center of the screen. Tho to me it just seems like some uneven backlighting and shows up easily on light blue...
-jim

FYI I am running on a Windows box with an NVIDIA Geforce 5700 ultra card

pooka
Jul 29, 2004, 11:39 PM
hmm... I don't know about you, but this kind of bothers me. I intend to do design and software development on this setup. And, given the "edge-to-edge" claims on the Apple website, I expect a display with near perfect color response from one side to the other. I can shell out far less for analog monitors that don't have dead pixels and saturation problems. Hell, for several hundred less, I can get a top-end CRT *with* calibration. What gives?

-pooka

Xenious
Jul 30, 2004, 08:15 AM
Not being an expert in color calibration I'm not sure. I know most of the LCD's I have do not have quite an even brightness around the edges and since these are 16x9 it could mean the have an increased affected area horizontally. Only certain colors seem to hilight it. Maybe others will chime in? My bet is all the displays are like this....

MisterMe
Jul 30, 2004, 08:32 AM
Not being an expert in color calibration I'm not sure. I know most of the LCD's I have do not have quite an even brightness around the edges and since these are 16x9 it could mean the have an increased affected area horizontally. Only certain colors seem to hilight it. Maybe others will chime in? My bet is all the displays are like this....I have the previous version of the 23" Cinema Display. For years, certain quarters have complained about this monitor. Last year, I took the leap, bought the monitor with my 2.0 GHz G5, and have not regretted my decision. I love the monitor. This is confirmation of something I learned years ago: Just because people say it on the Internet doesn't make it so.

iGary
Jul 30, 2004, 08:57 AM
I'd reccomend either doing a manual (Color Sync) or Colorvision-Spyder type calibration of the monitor. I had similar issues with my 20" and calibration solved them.

Good luck!

Xenious
Jul 30, 2004, 09:11 AM
I'd reccomend either doing a manual (Color Sync) or Colorvision-Spyder type calibration of the monitor. I had similar issues with my 20" and calibration solved them.

Good luck!

Cool! So color calibration can calibrate within the monitor's regions and not just one setting for the entire display?

iGary
Jul 30, 2004, 09:49 AM
No, it is for the entire monitor, but it would amaze you what an out of calibration monitor looks like.

If either of those two methods don't work, I'd take it back. They are too expensive not to be perfect. ;)

mpopkin
Jul 30, 2004, 10:45 AM
it looks like a color calibration problem to me, but apple says that its monitors ship calibrated, so i would take it to the store ask them to either 1) give me a new one or even better 2) calibrate it for me with an calibrating tool(costs $250 at apple online store)
Good Luck


Hi all,

I purchased a spanking new 23" aluminum cinema display today from my local apple store. Upon unpacking everything, and doing the obligatory "Pixel Check" for dead or stuck pixels (which are just fine, thanks god...) However, since then I have noticed something very odd.

This display appears to have areas on the left and right sides of the unit that have saturation or contrast issues. On both sides of the unit, the area about 2-3" from both left and right edges of the display seem to wash out, and color reproduction is not as good as the middle area. If I run the display at 1600x1200 (with black borders on the left and right) the issue disappears. This does *not* appear to be the usual backlighting problem, where there is a 1/2 area along the entire border that has slightly different brightness - this is actually a problem with the color reproduction. I had a discussion with a product specialist tonight, who has given me a case number if I decide to exchange the unit.

I am attaching a shot from my camera just to see if anyone can reproduce this. Please note that I shot this with a 5 megapixel camera, so there are some artifacts where the jpg has chewed up the space between the pixels. The thing to note here is the difference in the color response in the page elements in the 2 browsers. The photo shows a slight difference in hue, but the actual problem only appears to be a saturation issue, and the hue is consistent. This image is of the left side of the display, and the washed out content returns to normal when dragged to the middle are of the screen. Naturally, I have tested this with multiple DVI ports, so it's not any of my gear.

Is anyone else able to reproduce this on their display? I didn't just shell out $2k for a display that I could never possibly calibrate to "normal" working parameters. Think I should take my chances with dead pixels or other issues, and return it to the store?

Thanks,

-pooka

pooka
Jul 30, 2004, 11:57 AM
No, it is for the entire monitor, but it would amaze you what an out of calibration monitor looks like.

If either of those two methods don't work, I'd take it back. They are too expensive not to be perfect. ;)

Sounds great in theory. The problem is the color response is not uniform across the screen. No amount of software calibration can solve issues where hue, brightness, saturation, etc are not represented similarly from one point to another. Changes in calibration affect the WHOLE screen, not just the affected areas. There's no way to calibrate the whole screen in order to adjust only one area.

wdlove
Jul 30, 2004, 02:01 PM
I also have a local Apple Store. If I purchased a brand new display and it wasn't working properly, then I would take it to the Mac Genius for a checkup. Good Luck

Xenious
Jul 30, 2004, 02:40 PM
well pooka let me know what you end up doing and I may chose to do the same. Tho I didn't notice it until reading your article. eheh darn you ;) If you want I can send you the solid color jpg file I used to look at my monitor. I picked a blue close to the MSN color.
-jim

pooka
Jul 30, 2004, 03:09 PM
well pooka let me know what you end up doing and I may chose to do the same. Tho I didn't notice it until reading your article. eheh darn you ;) If you want I can send you the solid color jpg file I used to look at my monitor. I picked a blue close to the MSN color.
-jim

I just took it back and they gave me a new one, but unfortunately I'm at work and haven't had a chance to test the new one yet. To prove the anomoly, I set up a photoshop layout with alternating colored and white bars. As I rotated the hue, the problem was especially obvious in blue and purple colors (the edges seemed redish, where the middle seemed blueish.) So it's definitely not that particular MSN blue - there are other "bad" colors as well.

Interestingly enough, their displays did much better than mine did. On the old one, I couldn't even make out the stripes on the menu bar as it reached the left and right edges of the screen. On theirs it wasn't quite that bad. I did, however, notice a slight difference in brightness on pretty much all of the cinema displays at the store. Who knows - maybe it's a design flaw.

Hopefully this one will be much better - and free of dead pixels. =)

klaus
Aug 9, 2004, 10:11 AM
@ pooka, did the new monitor have some shifting in brightness as well?

I'd like to know, cause my 23" is waiting in the warehouse for me, and I would sure as hell hate to bring it back the minute I turn it on..

I have applecare on my 2.5 and CD, but it would be better not to use them, cause I would be stuck without a monitor!

pooka
Aug 9, 2004, 01:02 PM
Well, the replacement has the same issue, but nowhere near as bad. It's still less saturated towards the outer edges, particularly noticable with half-saturated blue content. It's still inconsistant though, I may not be able to use those areas for content - and instead, put GUI elements, toolbars, palettes, etc there. Also I was told that these 2 displays were from different batches, and arrived at the store a couple of days apart. Hopefully it will fade with time and not get any worse.

-pooka

Laslo Panaflex
Aug 9, 2004, 01:21 PM
Well, the replacement has the same issue, but nowhere near as bad. It's still less saturated towards the outer edges, particularly noticable with half-saturated blue content. It's still inconsistant though, I may not be able to use those areas for content - and instead, put GUI elements, toolbars, palettes, etc there. Also I was told that these 2 displays were from different batches, and arrived at the store a couple of days apart. Hopefully it will fade with time and not get any worse.

-pooka

That is really weird, becuase my 23" has no problems at all that you speak of. Could it be your video card? Have you ever used the DVI connector for any other monitor besides your 23"? It just seems strange that two displays show the same oddity.

emw
Aug 9, 2004, 01:43 PM
Well, the replacement has the same issue, but nowhere near as bad.

It's not unusual to require a bit of a "burn-in" period. We generally don't calibrate our ACDs until they've run for a few days. That may be overkill, but the lamps aren't perfect.

But it is unsettling to see these issues (sporadic as they may be), since color fidelity is such a big issue to me as well. I'll be interested to see how prevalent this problem seems to be.

yoozer
Sep 7, 2004, 01:35 AM
Just about ordered one of these and then found the problem mentioned here on the display model at the store. Seems like a pretty clear case for avoiding this monitor completely as it is clearly a serious issue that is pervasive; along with the pink shift, a pretty egregious mistake on Apple's part, which hardly fits with their reputation for quality? Yo Apple: I'd trade a pile of your snazzy design dollars for a healthier dose of functionality and q&a!! Has anyone heard official word if Apple is planning to fix the problem and release new versions or will they continue to sell this high-priced desk art?

It would be great to see an official stance from Apple on this, in the meantime I'm making sure everyone I know who was planning to purchase this model is aware of the defect, because at this price you better be able to trust that you are getting something solid, not just something that looks cool.