2018 MBA Backlight Flickering, Automatic Brightnes

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by weezerr, Dec 16, 2018.

  1. weezerr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #1
    10.14.2, 2018 16 GB MBA

    If I leave automatic brightness on, the backlight will intermittent flicker. Anyone else with this? Is this software or hardware problem?
     
  2. auxbuss macrumors regular

    auxbuss

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Sounds like a hardware issue. I've had no flicker.
     
  3. djholman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2013
    #3
    No flicker here.
     
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
  5. lpolarityl macrumors 6502

    lpolarityl

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #5
    I just noticed this issue last night when watching Netflix. Top and Bottom black bars were randomly flickering, only the top and bottom flickered. It eventually went away but it was very annoying while it was happening.
     
  6. lpolarityl macrumors 6502

    lpolarityl

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #6
    Just a recap, I didn't notice the weird flickering last night or early this morning. Hell... maybe it was a issue with the episode I was watching (guessing this might be the case since it wasn't the entire screen, it was just the top and bottom black bars within the browser).
     
  7. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #7
    I am now consistently able to reproduce (not reproduced on MacBook Pro):
    1. System Preferences | Display | Automatically adjust brightness -> on
    2. Open this forum's web page
    3. Turn on the flash light on the iPhone
    4. Move the phone toward the camera on the MacBook Air's screen
    5. Then quickly move away, then point it on the camera
    6. Repeat step 5 and you will eventually see flickering
     
  8. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #8
    Netflix flickering maybe Safari or Netflix related. Turning off subtitle should resolve the issue.
     
  9. lpolarityl macrumors 6502

    lpolarityl

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #9
    We always watch with subtitles (kids room is right next door).
     
  10. Ghost31 macrumors 68020

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #10
    Exactly same case here. Weird though since I notice it with Netflix but not really anything else. Youtube and Hulu don't seem to reproduce this same flickering.

    Was wondering myself if I should exchange it or something.
     
  11. lpolarityl macrumors 6502

    lpolarityl

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
    #11
    Like @nutmac said above, its the subtitles. Every time subtitles came up on the screen the bottom and top black bars would have a very slight flicker as the titles show up and go away. I turned subtitles off and it stopped flickering immediately.
     
  12. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #12
    After reproducing the issue, I took mine to the Apple Store. None of the MBAs at the store had the problem, so we are the unlucky ones.

    Now I have to wait 7-10 days for the repair. Sigh.
     
  13. Ghost31 macrumors 68020

    Ghost31

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #13
    So is this confirmed to be a screen defect or software fixable or what?
     
  14. weezerr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #14
    Define repair? What are they planning on doing? I would have thought they would just swap it out
     
  15. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #15
    I wasn't able to reproduce the issue with Apple Store's display models (nor other Mac models). Apple Store genius thinks it's a defective ambient light sensor and it was sent to Apple for repair.
     
  16. weezerr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #16
    cool keep us posted. I turned off my auto back light for now
     
  17. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #17
    So I got the Mac back, unrepaired citing “could not reproduce the issue”. They wiped my Mac, setting it up as new, and initially, I wasn’t able to reproduce the issue either.

    Then it dawned on me. I had calibrated the display. So I went through Calibration wizard and because I didn’t have my i1Display handy, I just used the default values which sets it to D65 color temperature. And guess what? The flickering is back!

    So it looks like this is a software issue. As soon as I change back to default “Color LCD” display profile, everything looks fine again.

    Since I need my display calibrated to D65, this is not an acceptable workaround. I am debating whether to get the Mac replaced with 13” MBP, which does not suffer from this issue.

    Apple Store immediately contacted Apple engineering, so hopefully they can provide a software fix.
     
  18. weezerr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #18
    Interesting! I also am not using the stock color profile, perhaps the key link here.
     
  19. Ploki macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #19
    Hi, I'm from the MBP forums.
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...cker-unrelated-to-vega.2165490/#post-27008950

    As you guessed, calibration is the culprit.

    I have replicated this on two Macs, 15" i9 and 13" i5, on macOS 10.13.6, 10.14.0-10.14.2.

    I have been on the phone with apple support for 2 months (during one major and one minor OS update) regarding this issue, i sent them a video how the bug can be produced on a clean system without iCloud (Both video and screen capture).
    It's been at an AASP and they said they can't replicate it.

    They refunded me the i9 (partly because they couldn't solve this, as this was my initial case, partly because it had audio issues which is crucial for my work).
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2019 ---
    It suffers the issue alright. :(
     
  20. Dodgeman macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2016
    #20
    Wow it seems this Air 2018 has a host of screen problems.
     
  21. weezerr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #21
    I have no issues with my screen outside of this apparent software bug.
     
  22. jdraymond macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2015
    #22
    Does not happen for me
     
  23. weezerr thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2006
    #23
    its only triggered when you have a non-stock calibration profile
     

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