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Old May 6, 2013, 11:02 PM   #1
bryan85
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Need help! My new iMac has a yellow screen.

I just took delivery of a new, late 2012 27" iMac. The screen seems to be really yellow compared to my early 2011 MBP HR/AG. How can I find out if the iMac is displaying true colors or not?
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:07 PM   #2
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There have been reports of yellowish models, but you're making a very bad comparison. 2011 macbook pros have a colder appearance than both 2011 and 2012 imacs, so you can't make the assumption of the 2011 as a control target unless you successfully profile one to match the other. The imacs have always used better displays. Displays are all unstable devices in general, but if it looks yellow on its own, that could be a problem.
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Old May 7, 2013, 02:20 AM   #3
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Before you do anything try properly calibrating the screen through preferences.
Only takes a few minutes and can really set the screen up to your eyes.

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Originally Posted by bryan85 View Post
I just took delivery of a new, late 2012 27" iMac. The screen seems to be really yellow compared to my early 2011 MBP HR/AG. How can I find out if the iMac is displaying true colors or not?
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Old May 7, 2013, 08:29 AM   #4
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I went through the calibration last night but didn't go into the advanced settings. I'll try that when I get home today.
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Old May 7, 2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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The latest iMac uses a more accurate colour profile than previous models. Stick with the screen and your eyes will get used to the change.
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Old May 8, 2013, 12:37 PM   #6
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I went through the settings manually last night and thought I was going to go permanently cross-eyes. Lol! I ordered a Spyder4Express and it should be here today. I will report back my findings.
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Old May 8, 2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Wow! So much better now that its calibrated. Still a little warm compared to other devices but, grey colors don't appear beige anymore. The factory setting was really off.
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Old May 9, 2013, 03:30 AM   #8
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Glad your happy, if only more people would calibrate their monitors to their eyes it would save a lot of angst with them thinking their investment was sub-standard.
Everyone's eyes/perception of colour is different, even if the factory were to set each monitor to exactly the same calibration, everyone would see that as a different value.
How many times do you see someone else's TV setup and wonder how on earth they could watch it when it's so obviously off...

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Wow! So much better now that its calibrated. Still a little warm compared to other devices but, grey colors don't appear beige anymore. The factory setting was really off.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:47 AM   #9
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Wow! So much better now that its calibrated. Still a little warm compared to other devices but, grey colors don't appear beige anymore. The factory setting was really off.
Eh... it's just tweaking the profile. I would be careful with that utility. It breaks more than it fixes much of the time, but as long as you don't notice any obvious anomalies you're fine.
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Old May 10, 2013, 05:29 PM   #10
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Eh... it's just tweaking the profile. I would be careful with that utility. It breaks more than it fixes much of the time, but as long as you don't notice any obvious anomalies you're fine.
Can you elaborate more? What could it break? What kind of anomalies? All the utility did was create a new color profile that I am now using instead of the factory "iMac" profile.
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Old May 10, 2013, 11:40 PM   #11
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Can you elaborate more? What could it break? What kind of anomalies? All the utility did was create a new color profile that I am now using instead of the factory "iMac" profile.
This is not the most fun topic. First just remember there isn't one standard for everything. The closest possible match to something ubiquitous would be sRGB, and the imac tracks that well enough. What is difficult is that people read the word calibration and assume some low level hardware control is involved. This is not the case. The native hardware response of the display and its uniformity in both chroma and luminance measurements is whatever was delivered from the factory. The calibration assistant attempts to do two things. The first is to determine the nature of the real output at certain pivotal points. The second involves a transformation matrix relative to hit the desired target values. In the end the ICC display profile has to contain a description for color management purposes and output instructions fed to the gpu's framebuffer. It's a very coarse method of control, so it's really imperfect.

If you're going that route, my personal suggestion is not to make the profile stretch things any more than necessary. Give it 30 minutes to warm up. Turn out as many lights as possible. Lighting is generally not consistent throughout the day, and you're better off just analyzing the display itself if you already know the brightness level you want to use. The first screen says determine your display's native response. Position that in the middle of your screen. Do not have any distracting background behind it. It will bias your eyes. Go through the steps. For gamma and white point, I would just choose native. Most applications do have some level of color management and can deal with minimal conversions. All trying to force it to exactly 6500K Gamma 2.2 based on your visual observations will do is potentially limit its gamut, and on some of the notebooks sometimes cause banding wherever alpha values are used. I would just check native as it should account for that in the descriptive portion of the profile. After that I wouldn't overwrite the default profile. I would rename it so that you can compare from system preferences-->displays--> color. I don't use that utility, but I do use other programs. I tend to label profiles by display and date. If you want to maintain a relatively consistent output, redo it every couple months.

Again as I mentioned this is still limited as it is a very primitive method of adjustment. A colorimeter is better, but it's still not perfect. In the end what you get from the factory is what you get, but some people have reported yellow casts clearing up after a few weeks. I mentioned not to compare it to the non retina macbook pros, as the native characteristics are totally different.

Feel free to ask specific questions on any of this. I tried to edit out some of the rambling and include suggestions for how I would go about it if you are going to use that utility. I just don't think people understand the mechanics of it. It's a shiny button that says calibrate, which in my opinion isn't an ideal way to address your customer base.
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Old May 11, 2013, 02:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryan85 View Post
I just took delivery of a new, late 2012 27" iMac. The screen seems to be really yellow compared to my early 2011 MBP HR/AG. How can I find out if the iMac is displaying true colors or not?
I dont know how severe it is but yellow is not a good sign. I would recommend to take it to Apple for further investigation.

Thanks.
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Old May 11, 2013, 01:32 PM   #13
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I just called for a replacement after noticing the right half of the screen has a red tint regardless of the color profile used. Hopefully the new one will be better. This is really frustrating.
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Old May 11, 2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekev View Post

Feel free to ask specific questions on any of this. I tried to edit out some of the rambling and include suggestions for how I would go about it if you are going to use that utility. I just don't think people understand the mechanics of it. It's a shiny button that says calibrate, which in my opinion isn't an ideal way to address your customer base.
Lots of useful advice. As the OP has bought a colorimeter though I'm sure he will be fine when he gets a uniform screen to calibrate. However the Spyder4Express is an entry level Colorimeter, I would go for the Pro or Elite which have a better quality sensor and more functionality in the software. Alternatively the Xrite ColorMunki or better still i1 Pro are good devices to.
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Old May 11, 2013, 04:37 PM   #15
bryan85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekev View Post
This is not the most fun topic. First just remember there isn't one standard for everything. The closest possible match to something ubiquitous would be sRGB, and the imac tracks that well enough. What is difficult is that people read the word calibration and assume some low level hardware control is involved. This is not the case. The native hardware response of the display and its uniformity in both chroma and luminance measurements is whatever was delivered from the factory. The calibration assistant attempts to do two things. The first is to determine the nature of the real output at certain pivotal points. The second involves a transformation matrix relative to hit the desired target values. In the end the ICC display profile has to contain a description for color management purposes and output instructions fed to the gpu's framebuffer. It's a very coarse method of control, so it's really imperfect.

If you're going that route, my personal suggestion is not to make the profile stretch things any more than necessary. Give it 30 minutes to warm up. Turn out as many lights as possible. Lighting is generally not consistent throughout the day, and you're better off just analyzing the display itself if you already know the brightness level you want to use. The first screen says determine your display's native response. Position that in the middle of your screen. Do not have any distracting background behind it. It will bias your eyes. Go through the steps. For gamma and white point, I would just choose native. Most applications do have some level of color management and can deal with minimal conversions. All trying to force it to exactly 6500K Gamma 2.2 based on your visual observations will do is potentially limit its gamut, and on some of the notebooks sometimes cause banding wherever alpha values are used. I would just check native as it should account for that in the descriptive portion of the profile. After that I wouldn't overwrite the default profile. I would rename it so that you can compare from system preferences-->displays--> color. I don't use that utility, but I do use other programs. I tend to label profiles by display and date. If you want to maintain a relatively consistent output, redo it every couple months.

Again as I mentioned this is still limited as it is a very primitive method of adjustment. A colorimeter is better, but it's still not perfect. In the end what you get from the factory is what you get, but some people have reported yellow casts clearing up after a few weeks. I mentioned not to compare it to the non retina macbook pros, as the native characteristics are totally different.

Feel free to ask specific questions on any of this. I tried to edit out some of the rambling and include suggestions for how I would go about it if you are going to use that utility. I just don't think people understand the mechanics of it. It's a shiny button that says calibrate, which in my opinion isn't an ideal way to address your customer base.
Good information! I took me a couple of reads to digest. Thank you for taking the time to reply!

----------

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Lots of useful advice. As the OP has bought a colorimeter though I'm sure he will be fine when he gets a uniform screen to calibrate. However the Spyder4Express is an entry level Colorimeter, I would go for the Pro or Elite which have a better quality sensor and more functionality in the software. Alternatively the Xrite ColorMunki or better still i1 Pro are good devices to.
I am sending the Spyder4Express back in exchange for the Elite. Once the new iMac gets here I will give it a shot.
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Old May 11, 2013, 10:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple fanboy View Post
Lots of useful advice. As the OP has bought a colorimeter though I'm sure he will be fine when he gets a uniform screen to calibrate. However the Spyder4Express is an entry level Colorimeter, I would go for the Pro or Elite which have a better quality sensor and more functionality in the software. Alternatively the Xrite ColorMunki or better still i1 Pro are good devices to.
The X-rite ColorMunki seems like a good choice, but I haven't tried the version of i1 profiler that comes with it. I don't know if it's limited compared to what comes with the i1 display pro. While I don't think it's crucial that everyone use a colorimeter, it can give you that last 10% in terms of cleaning up the look. I just wanted to make the point that you're adjusting around what the hardware will give you. If it's too yellow, the profile has to limit red and green. It's true to some degree with all displays, although those with hardware LUT systems tend to work a little better. I also wanted to point out that what Apple's ODM contractor does in the factory is really calibration, whereas what people call calibration here is just profiling (rewriting software level profile stored on the HDD).



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Good information! I took me a couple of reads to digest. Thank you for taking the time to reply!\
No problem. There are people who can explain it better than me. Even with what I mentioned about how it's designed to work, it isn't an exact science. Saying D65 white point in software doesn't mean it would read that if measured with a laboratory grade device. I often leave certain things like white point or gamma to native unless I have a reason to change them, as it simplifies the calculations.

Also I should mention my suggestion of blocking out light as much as possible and allowing 30 minutes of warmup also applies with the use of a colorimeter. It helps prevent stray light seepage and ensures the display is stable. Colorimeters are unfortunately also affected somewhat by heat, so I usually let them warm up too. I know it all sounds tedious, but the goal is generally repeatability at the same settings.
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Old May 17, 2013, 08:13 PM   #17
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Got the replacement iMac unboxed and setup today. The top half of the screen looks awesome! The bottom half, not so much. It's very yellow. There is also significant backlight bleeding in the bottom left hand corner. Ugh... off for another replacement.
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Old May 18, 2013, 08:35 AM   #18
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Got the replacement iMac unboxed and setup today. The top half of the screen looks awesome! The bottom half, not so much. It's very yellow. There is also significant backlight bleeding in the bottom left hand corner. Ugh... off for another replacement.
I am sorry to hear that. Having suffered through a number of replacements because of a Yellow screen (in the past - 2011 iMacs), I can empathize. All the tenuous excitement building up to the delivery of the Machine, to only open it up and see the same problem manifest again.

Do you have the option of going to an Apple Store? If so, I would recommend having them unbox one for you, and for you to inspect it before you bring it back home. This is what I ended up doing 2 years ago.

Good luck.
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Old May 18, 2013, 11:02 AM   #19
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I am sorry to hear that. Having suffered through a number of replacements because of a Yellow screen (in the past - 2011 iMacs), I can empathize. All the tenuous excitement building up to the delivery of the Machine, to only open it up and see the same problem manifest again.

Do you have the option of going to an Apple Store? If so, I would recommend having them unbox one for you, and for you to inspect it before you bring it back home. This is what I ended up doing 2 years ago.

Good luck.
It's BTO because of the 768GB SSD.
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Old Jun 4, 2013, 08:18 PM   #20
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Just got ANOTHER(#3) replacement today. The screen colors are perfect however, it has a lot of backlight bleeding. I feel like I am never going to get a perfect display. Is there anyone out there that does have one? I am getting majorly disappointed and almost want to just return the whole damn thing.
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Old Jun 5, 2013, 06:48 AM   #21
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Just got ANOTHER(#3) replacement today. The screen colors are perfect however, it has a lot of backlight bleeding. I feel like I am never going to get a perfect display. Is there anyone out there that does have one? I am getting majorly disappointed and almost want to just return the whole damn thing.
I went through a few replacements as well. I ended up returning for a refund, but then relented and placed another order because I couldn't find a non-iMac that I liked so much!

I still haven't got a perfect screen even after all of that, but I am keeping it because the calibration has reduced the yellow effect to almost nothing and I never watch movies or anything that will show up the backlight bleed.

There are undoubtedly perfect screens out there and you should really fight for one on such an expensive machine, but I couldn't keep going through the hassle of returns and deliveries to find one when I did not really need one that is 100%

A few weeks in and I have forgotten about the screen problems as they don't come up in general use, but if my usage pattern was different then I'd be more bothered about it.
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