2018 MBA Backlight Flickering, Automatic Brightnes

weezerr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
189
91
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?
 

lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
428
184
Ohio
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.
 

lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
428
184
Ohio
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.
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).
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
2,863
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
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
2,863
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.
Netflix flickering maybe Safari or Netflix related. Turning off subtitle should resolve the issue.
 
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Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
3,936
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.
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.
 

lpolarityl

macrumors 6502
Dec 1, 2009
428
184
Ohio
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.
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.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
2,863
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?
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.
 

Ghost31

macrumors 68030
Jun 9, 2015
2,813
3,936
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.
So is this confirmed to be a screen defect or software fixable or what?
 

weezerr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
189
91
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.
Define repair? What are they planning on doing? I would have thought they would just swap it out
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
2,863
Define repair? What are they planning on doing? I would have thought they would just swap it out
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.
 

weezerr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
189
91
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.
cool keep us posted. I turned off my auto back light for now
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
4,608
2,863
cool keep us posted. I turned off my auto back light for now
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.
 
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weezerr

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 7, 2006
189
91
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.
Interesting! I also am not using the stock color profile, perhaps the key link here.
 

Ploki

macrumors 601
Jan 21, 2008
4,105
1,398
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).
[doublepost=1547813546][/doublepost]
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.
It suffers the issue alright. :(
 
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jdraymond

macrumors newbie
Apr 25, 2015
3
2
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
Does not happen for me
 

FuriousMike91

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2020
2
0
I'm having this issue with my MBA 2020. Apparently the issue comes back with Catalina? Does someone have a confirmation if this is a software issue or hardware issue?
Is there a solution?
 
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