ACD Halo Effect?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by THX1139, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. THX1139 macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Hey ya'll

    I just hooked up my new 23" ACD. I'm bad pixels! However, when I put in a DVD I noticed when the screen went dark that there was light leaks around the sides and bottom of the screen. Pretty distracting when the screen is dark. As a test, I loaded a black solid color as a desktop background and the light leak was really prominent. The light is not terribly bright... more like if someone took gray spray paint the sprayed a bit around both sides and bottom of the display if you get my meaning. It's very annoying.

    So, my question is... is this normal for the ACD's? I'd appreciate it if anyone who has an ACD, particularly the 23", would respond with how their screen looks when it's dark. I hate the thought of returning this display, especially because I might wind up with a stuck or dead pixel on a replacement! However, I don't like the idea of accepting an inferior product. For the most part I don't notice the light leak when looking at a neutral screen. But when I do graphic design on dark backgrounds or watch DVD's, I'm sure it will bug me.

    Your comments are appreciated!!
  2. ^squirrel^ macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2006
    Sounds like you got the backlight bleeding issue everyone is on about. There is a site where you can enter your serial number and it will tell you what batch it is. I think the Aug 06 batch is ones with the new spec.

    Someone on here will post you the link to that site, or you can search the other threads.

    I pretty sure you can call Apple and ask for the new model as you're not happy with your current screen. ( Can someone confirm that for me )

    Good luck!


    EDIT: this is the link you need to check your serial number
  3. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I got my ACD yesterday. I have one stuck pixel but that doesn't bother me at all. What really bothers me is the inconsistent backlight. Maybe it is the same backlight bleeding problem.

    I took a photo with a long exposure (around 30 seconds) which clearly shows how the backlight illuminates inconsistently.


    But the colors on the screen in this picture are off a little (because of the long exposure). Just sitting in front of the screen the corners appear yellow and what is dark blue in the picture is black in real life. But this picture shows what the problem is quite well.

    This is only noticed when the screen is dark.
  4. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I've yet to hear of a single 23" ACD that didn't exhibit this problem (backlight bleeding) to some annoying extent. Some are worse than others.
  5. THX1139 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Yep... that's what mine is doing... more or less. I'm off to check my serial number to see if I have a recent one or not as was suggested by <squirrel>.:D

    As I said in my post, I'm reluctant to complain unless I have an older model. I afraid of going from out of the "hot pan" and into the "fire" by trading in the halo for a dead pixel or two. Right now, I'm pixel problem free... just don't know if I can live with the halo effect. Picky picky I am!

    The worst thing... it would cost me a restocking fee to try and get a new one unless I can prove my ACD is defective. Sort of like playing russian roulette without the blood and death.
  6. THX1139 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Wonder if Dell's are doing the same thing? I hate paying such a premium for this Apple product if others have better quality. I love the style of the ACD but I'd give it up if I can get a better LCD from another vendor. I'm a function over form kind of guy.
  7. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    London Town
    Apparantly the Dell's do have a similar problem - though it is only on a few. All I know is that my Dell 2405fpw has no light bleeding at all (as far as I can tell); though I may take a photo of it in long exposure tonight for a more scientific test.
  8. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I actually consider this backlight bleed to be a problem much worse than stuck pixels. Since I am a graphic design student it's crucial that this Display gives me correct colors and contrast. 60% of the screen is way off in this aspect. Totally unacceptable.
  9. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    You don't need the long exposure. It should be visible to the eye when you have black color on the screen (black desktop background, dark scenes in movies etc.). It helps though :eek:
  10. L int. macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
    Amersfoort, NL
    I think ACD users (like me) will have to deal with it to a certain amount - if you want an LCD without that problem you will have to get an EIZO.

    I personally prefer the sleek design of the apple display - the backlight bleeding is acceptable for me.
  11. THX1139 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I was over on the Apple forum reading about the backlight bleed problem. One chap recommended downloading a simple software called LCD checker, it helps you check your display for stuck/dead pixels. I found the program at On the final test, the screen goes quite dark and you can see the "halo" effect.... or light bleed (choose your own term). On my LCD, I have no bad pixels, but I have the bleeding light. According to posters on the Apple forums, it's quite common with the newer displays... not so common on the older ones. Hope I'm not spreading misinformation!

    I'm still not sure what I'm going to do. I guess it's not uncommon to go through 3 or 4 displays until you come across one that has no light bleed and minimum pixel problem. I don't know if I'm chasing a lost cause, if all the current 23's bleed light. So far I've yet to run into anyone who has no light bleed and zero stuck pixels. It might be the holy grail of LCD's. I need to go to the apple store and see if I can find an LCD that works... so I'll know if it's worth pursuing the perfection or not. Is there anyone out there who has a current 23" Apple LCD that is perfect? Do they exist?
  12. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I'm going to talk to Apple today. I will get them to unbox displays on location until I find one I'm satisfied with... No matter how annoying that may be for them :D I will also bring the 'LCD Check' program to locate the light bleed.

    Apple does say that this display should be qualified for graphic designers and photographers. I have read a report on their site where they claim this (this was a huge .pdf filled with numbers, readings and test results). I know that LaCie and EIZO are a little better but I am willing to lose a few percents of correctness by not buying a those display - the difference shouldn't be great.

    But the ACD I received is worse than the display on my PowerBook G4. It is worse than a midrange Toshiba LCD TV I have. It is faulty in my opinion. If this is the case of most 23" ACDs Apple should recall them.
  13. miniConvert macrumors 68040


    Mar 4, 2006
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    My 23" ACD is backlit slightly uneven, but fortunately I'm not using it for anything important. In fact, I don't remember noticing it for a long time, so either it's something that has sorted itself out with age or I've just gotten used to it. Mine's very minor anyway, and only showed when the screen was completely black.

    I take it everyones problems are still prominent after half an hour or so? The backlights benefit from having a while to warm up.

    It's still the best monitor I've ever had... or at least it was until I got a 30" ACD for work.
  14. THX1139 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    Good luck on that and let us know how it turns out. I doubt Apple is going to allow you to open any ACD's unless you buy them first. You would also have to do this at an Apple store as I doubt that you would be able to get anyone to do this online. How would they know if the display was acceptable unless they sent it to you? You would have to go back and forth on the shipping and that could get expensive fast, unless Apple paid for it. They would only do that if they agreed the display was DOA. If you were at an Apple store, I suppose you could buy one, open it, check it on the spot and then return it if it's not to your liking. Be prepared to pay a restocking fee if they don't agree with your accessment. Finding the perfect ACD is a real hassle!
  15. suneohair macrumors 68020


    Aug 27, 2006
    My first one was pretty bad on the backlight.

    My new one isnt so much. But there is a line of stuck pixels, so its going back. I really want to accept this one until I say the line of about 20 stuck pixels.

    Kind of sucks, Apple won't send me one first. I have to get this one to FedEx, once Apple sees that FedEx has it, they send me a new one overnight.
  16. THX1139 thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 4, 2006
    I was at Compusa this evening. The sales guy didn't know anything about the backlight problem or any of the other issues with the 23. I went to show him on one of the floor models but it turned out to be a perfect display. No stuck pixels, no backlighting or ghosting. I wanted to buy that demo unit! I didn't think to ask what the serial number was but I'm thinking it was an older display. I doubt they change the floor models unless there is a major product change. This leads me to think that part of the problem might be due to the increase in brightness and contrast of the newer version. Since it's brighter, perhaps the backlighting shows up more? I tried turning down the brightness of my display and it was better on the backlighting issue... but it was still there somewhat.

    I need to decide if I want to go through the return process hassle. My 14 day return is this Wednesday. I'm afraid of sending it back and getting a worse one in return. I hate the idea of wasting time going back and forth shipping displays until I get lucky with a good one or Apple decides start charging restocking fees.
  17. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    I went to the Apple store today and they opened up a fresh display and hooked it up to a computer. It was totally different. Even though it way way too bright in the store to check it out 100% I could still see it was not a problem. No dead or stuck pixels either - which is a plus.

    One strange thing was that the on-screen brightness meter didn't appear no matter what we tried. I still took this one because the panel wasn't faulty.

    I will check it out better tonight when I get home.

    ... and oh yeah. I took the application I use to check out the screen (pixel check) with me on a usb stick and that really came in handy.
  18. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    The Serial Number is under the foot. Just tilt the display back a little and you can type it in and check online.
  19. cinemafraud macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    It looks like it has about the same problems of my "new" Cinema Display 23".

    I'm interested to know your serial number as well, because you may have bought a old specification model, with inferior and problematic panels.

    If you are affected please let me know asap.
  20. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    The first one I received was one of the 2A6291.

    The second one I got is 2A6292. That one also has backlight bleed but so little that I hardly notice it when really trying my best to see it (brightness at highest setting and Pixel Check program with comlete black). It does in no way bother me like it did on the 2A6291 (and I have really high standards). Most people wouldn't notice a thing.

    But one thing... It looks like all Cinema Displays (old and new) give up 'Late 2005' on the Apple Care search (on Apple's support site). When using Coconut Identity Card or that site listed on this forum (don't remember the name) to check the Serial Number you get much more precise results.

    Both the Displays I have received were made late in July 2006. It is fairly likely if it's made in July it is a new Display. Apple has been known to stock up in advance and even putting the new models up for sale without announcing (I read that this was the case with the 30" last year I think).
  21. cinemafraud macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    I called AppleCare and they told me my ACD serial 2A6291 was assembled in November 2005. To be really sure about which model you have you need to call them. I bet it is a late 2005 model as well and you as a consumer are entitled to claim a mid 2006 one since it is the one advertised at Apple website.
  22. petite macrumors member

    Aug 26, 2006
    When looking up my monitor at Apple Care it says: Late 2005

    When using a more precise method... Like THIS WEBSITE I get: July 2006

    What I am saying here is that Apple Care most likely gives you the MODELS introduction (this model / model number was probably introduced Late 2005 or November 2005 - if someone knows this by fact please confirm)... not when it was manufactured.

    I'd also like to point out that, in my knowledge, older Cinema Displays didn't have this backlight bleed. They had pink hues, yellow hues and such. One good theory I saw was that the newer models might have the backlight bleeds because of the higher brightness. Not that it justifies the problem :)
  23. cinemafraud macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    I asked for assembly date and not model introduction. Since that call was recorded I don't think it was my fault at all. I will put my serial at that website to contrast the information. But this still is a model intoduced starting late 2005 and definitely NOT mid 2006.
  24. cinemafraud macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    Model: M9178 Cinema Display HD 23 inch
    Factory: 2A (China)
    Production year: 2006
    Production week: 29 (July)

    This is my model. Still, it meets late 2005 specifications, which is not what I paid for. Edited because this one have backlight leaking AND pink hue. I had to recalibrate it but I still get pink tones. Brightness is very very bad. My old ACD 20" had good white levels using less than half values. I need to get this model almost full brightess to have a confortable white level.
  25. cinemafraud macrumors member

    Sep 29, 2006
    By the way, thanks for that, I have added that URL to my web site. It will be quite helpful.

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