17" MBP Faint Grey Horizonal Lines in Display

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Kevenly, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. Kevenly macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
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    The wrong planet.
    #1
    I have had four MBP 17" of the 2009 variety this year so far. The first two had screens that identified as 9C98 in the display profile. They were nice screens, both of them, but the computers had other issues. The two most recent units have had 9C99 displays, and both have had faint grey lines across the screen, horizontally, with a one pixel distance between each line.

    For a time, I had both a 9C98 and 9C99 screen next to each other and the difference was clear.

    I have been unable to find anyone else reporting this issue, but I did find some reports of people with Macbook Airs that report this exact same issue. Photos of this screen anomaly are identical to what I've got on these glossy 17" MBPs. The latest MBP is the new 3.06 GHz, and was manufactured two months after the previous one. The one thing in common is the 9C99 screen.

    The first MBP with this issue, it was exceedingly obvious, but with this second one it is far more subtle, and may only become noticeable to someone doing very critical work graphically. I find it most easily seen in the upper left quadrant of the display, with slightly darkened grey colors. The iPhoto window with the background set a little to the right of center between black and white is a good color for seeing the effect. It is quite evident in the default Aurora desktop image as well. Because the pixel density is high with these displays, the distance between every other line of pixels horizontally is not large so you need to be looking closely enough to differentiate.

    This issue may be easily overlooked by many people, but I can't imagine how anyone working seriously with graphics could handle this.

    I feel confident that all the 9C99 displays are going to have this, although there is clearly a variance in the visibility of this anomaly among the affected screens. I wish there was a way to get the 9C98 display, but as usual it's a crap shoot when you buy one of these computers. For each display, hard drive, and optical drive they seem to always have two models they use - one better and one cheaper.

    I'd like to know if anyone else has noticed this in their unibody MBP 17"s, and what model of display you have. To find it, open System Preferences, choose Displays, click on the Color tab, click on the "Open Profile" button, scroll down to #13 'mmod', click on it, and in the lower portion of that window you should see Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number and Manufacture Date. Do you have model 9C99 or 9C98, and can you see the faint grey or whitish horizontal lines?

    Thanks
     
  2. taphil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #2
    When I opened this thread, I thought you were going to say that the 9C98 (Samsung glossy) and 9CAC (Samsung matte) have the issue because I know what you are refering to. I have had both displays and can see the thin horizonal lines when viewing only gray things, such as dpreview.com. However the problem isn't visible to me at more than 4 inches away so I never thought much of it.

    However, now that you mention that the 9C99 (LG glossy) has the problem more so than the Samsung displays, I'll check the display models the next time I'm at the Apple Store and be glad I have a Samsung display.
     
  3. Kevenly thread starter macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
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    #3
    Hi taphil,

    You mention that the 9C98 and 9C99 are Samsung and LG, respectively. I'm glad to know the manufacturers of these displays. Where was that information published?

    The first 9C99 had the lines so badly that you could see them from even a few feet away. They marred everything on the screen and overall caused it to look washed out. The screen was also noticeably less bright at the highest setting than the 9C98 sitting next to it.

    Now this second 9C99 screen is noticeably brighter than the previous 9C99. The lines are also significantly less visible, although there is a strange vertical discoloration on the upper left. It extends from just below the menu bar and continues about one vertical inch. Close inspection shows that the horizontal lines are beginning past the right edge of this vertical discoloration. Strangely, I cannot see the horizontal lines on the right side of the screen. The upper left quadrant of the display, and to a much lesser degree the lower left, are the only areas it's visible. Why only parts of the screen?

    I do suspect the 9C98 is superior in this regard, because I had two of those units and never noticed it at all until the 9C99 came along. Considering the difference between two different 9C99's and the unevenness of the visibility of these lines, I'm not sure the screen model is the problem so much as perhaps how they are manufactured or put together.

    I can tell you that the 9C98 models also had a better contrast to my eyes. On the 9C98 for example, I could clear see the dark purplish nebulae in the lower right of the Aurora desktop picture, whereas on the 9C99 it is a a faint blueish mist with no definition.

    Of course I can only speculate, all I know for sure is it is that these lines are quite disturbing to my eyes and seems rather unsuited on a premium computer that is specifically sold under the auspice of having a superior display.
     
  4. WilliamG macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #4
    I have a 9C98 early 2009 17", and aside from the obvious resolution increase over my 15.4" unibody MBP, I don't much like the screen. Contrast is kinda crappy, and the brightness doesn't go as high compared to my 15" unibody. Different strokes, eh?
     
  5. Kevenly thread starter macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
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    #5
    The first 9C98 was the best, the second had light bleed and the colors didn't pop in the same way. I had them right next to each other, same profiles. The 9C99's have both been junk, but the second one is definitely an improvement in terms of brightness and the lines being less visible - but they are still there. I would take either of the 9C98's over these lines, that's for sure.

    Can you see any of these horizontal lines in your display?
     
  6. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #6
    I have a 17" Matte, 9CAC. No horizontal lines. I have the lines on my MBA, so if its the same thing you are talking about, no sign of them on the matte display. On the MBA, i kinda learned to accept them, on the 17" I would be pissed.
     
  7. Kevenly thread starter macrumors regular

    Kevenly

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
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    #7
    Thanks MH01.

    Apparently they are putting a completely different model in the matte version. The 9C98 didn't have the lines, as I keep saying, but both these 9C99 models do. Looking at pictures of the MBA lines, it is exactly like that. Due to the density of pixels, it's harder to see without looking for it, but it looks exactly the same as the MBA issue.
     
  8. Hannify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #8
    I have this exact same problem on my 17" unibody macbook pro (new 2.8). Terminal outputs the LP171WU6-TLA1 as the LCD model, but I'm not sure what that is in Apple code. Previous machine, which was line-free but had other problems, was using a LTN170CT10 panel.
     
  9. hotness123 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    #9
    is this mainly a problem with the glossy 17 mbp? i have matte but if you could direct me to which backgrounds you see the lines i could try to verify on mine too.
     
  10. taphil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #10
    The LTN panel is Samsung, adn the LP is LG. Your finding is consistent with the OP's.
     
  11. Hannify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #11
    sorry to resurrect and old thread, but I've a notice a new problem with my display that I think may be related to the line issue. I'm experiencing heavy crosstalk (looks like a kind of ghosting). I wonder if the OP could use the included image as a background and see if his machine manifests a similar problem. The image should generate rows of faint grey bands on either side of the central white lines. There is text in the image and arrows indicating the defect, should the defect appear.
     

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  12. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    #12
    ive got a macbook air with a 9C90 screen with lines and i can see that crosstalk on it, so maybe that is a possible indicator for bad MBP screens as well, as i know my airs screen is garbage
     
  13. anthony8400 macrumors newbie

    anthony8400

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    Location:
    Belgium
    #13
    I bought the 17" UMBP as soon as it was available (February, I guess?).

    I have the 00009C98 display. What I can derive from the previous postst, I also have the first gen of this display?

    I never noticed anything unusual, nor now after having done some check-ups.

    But what I do have is a gap between my cover and the bottom when the lid is closed.
    I once read that it's a confirmed issue.
    I already thought about going to the shop but now I've read this thread, I might be scared of getting a crappy LG (00009C99)?
     
  14. taphil macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #14
    No problems here on my 17" MBP with the 9CAC Samsung LCD panel.
     
  15. Dingle777 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2008
    #15
    9c98

    Hi, I have the 9C98 (MBP 17 2.8GHz Mid 09) and I see the thin gray lines on the top half of the screen. I'll ring apple on Monday and see what they can do. :( They arn't that bad though and you can only notice them if you look closely and are looking at a dark image. I'm scard of getting a 9C99 now...I'll try get apple to send me another one so I can see if it's better lol and then return the worst one.

    Is Tadphil wrong??? Note: http://forums.mactalk.com.au/24/67487-macbook-pro-owners-unite.html
    Glossy: LG/Philips LP171WU6-TLA1 (Apple code 9C98)
    Matte: Samsung LTN170CT10 (Apple code 9CAC)
     
  16. Hannify macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2007
    #16
    Sadly I have very grim news about this issue. I sent my machine in for repairs due to the line/cross-talk problem. The genius I brought the machine to had no trouble seeing the issue and ordered an LCD swap. The machine came back from the repair depot and -surprise- exhibited the same problem as before even though it had a new display. The new display, which still exhibits the lines/crosstalk, is the LP171WU6-TLA1 model, same as before. I also inspected their display model, also using the LP171WU6-TLA1, and showed the same problem. Therefore a total of three LP171WU6-TLA1 displays I have personally seen exhibit this problem. I would be willing to bet that the entire batch is simply defective.

    So if you are ordering a 17", pray you get the samsung display because these lg/philips ones are seriously flawed. At this point (I have been through many repairs and replacements for various problems over the last 2 years) I am simply going to ask for my money back and try my luck with a 15-inch.
     
  17. Wolf103FM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    #17
    I have this issue with my new 2.8 17", Display model LP171WU6-TLB1. I think i might wait a while before i take it in to be serviced, in hopes of not getting another defective display.
     
  18. Wolf103FM macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Huntsville AL
    #18
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    took my mbp in friday and they agreed they'd replace the display, but it has to be shipped off, so i decided to come back later, though i might also try the local 3rd party dealer since i know they do repairs in house.
     

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