Apple LED Cinema Display defected?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by gwihannom, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. gwihannom macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Frustrated. To my excitement, I purchased this display last week. In my previous thread, I posted that it looks stunning and works as it should.

    Well, last night I was using the display, then I noticed a color change on screen. Overall tone of the display turns "greenish" and turns back to normal. A few moments later it turns "cooler" then back to normal. The "discoloration" is for five seconds or so. And it's very irregular. I might be over-stating when I say discoloration, but the overall color changes back and forth. BUT not all the time.

    I thought my eyes were wrong. But the problem is, it's not a constant issue. If my screen was flickering or had distorted images I could understand that it's defective. The symptom that I just explained doesn't even happen unless I use it for hours.

    So these might be issues with this:

    1. Running it too long. I've had the display on and was working on it for hours. But then, why won't I be able to use it for hours? Even if I had decided to keep the display at full blast for hours and days, this shouldn't happen.

    2. 10.5.6 update. I have no conclusive evidence that the recent OS X update had to do anything to my mini display port and external monitor capabilities, but since some have reported issues with it, it could be the cause.

    I would hate to drag it down to a local Apple store to meet with one of the genius guys or ship it in for a repair/replacement. I already know what's going to happen at the Apple Store; one genius guy would ask what the problem is and after I explain it to him, he won't see the problem in front.

    And repair/replacement takes too long...

    Hope this is a fluke. Just some thaw out process for the display... Am I hoping too much? Damn.
  2. juststranded macrumors regular

    Oct 6, 2006
    I would suggest keeping a camcorder, or digital camera with video on it nearby. This is how I got the LCD on my MacBook Pro replaced. I called it into AppleCare. Honestly, going to the Apple Store never helps (for me at least). I always call it in and send them evidence by e-mail after talking to a specialist.

    It doesn't matter if it happens after hours. It shouldn't happen.
  3. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    I have this same problem and posted it in another thread.

    Also it is being discussed on Apple's support forum.

    Mine is doing it from the moment it turns on. It doesn't matter how long it has been used. It first started after I had been using it for a few hours, but now it is happening all day long non stop. I may have a break of a few minutes but it is pretty constant. However I'm not seeing green but rather red and then blue (or cooler as you wrote). I bought it from the Apple Store so I'm going to take it back to exchange it when I get the chance. I wonder how many others have the issue but just aren't noticing it?
  4. jjahshik32 macrumors 603

    Sep 4, 2006
    so basically the color profile switches back and forth for you guys? It seems like a software glitch but I've never experienced this issue and I am a little worried for my 24" cd's future.
  5. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    My guess is this is related to heat. For the last couple of days, I have not worked extensively on the display and used for couple of hours tops. I don't see it. Like I said, it's very irregular and I can't call it in as a defective.

    I'm narrowing it down to what's causing the issue. My girlfriend owns a MacBook and I don't know if she's not paying attention or something, but she says she's never seen the discoloration when using the display. So it might be my MacBook Pro.

    I'm not convinced yet though. I'm gonna let the display run all day tomorrow and see if I run into any problems.
  6. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    I replaced the display and the replacement is doing the same thing. I set my MBP so that it wouldn't go to sleep today to test the replacement, and sure enough it started after a few hours. Like you said it only seems to happen after continuous use.

    Someone at the AppleStore said it could be an issue with the MBP. I don't know if it is worth the hassle of exchanging the MBP or not. I'm hearing reports of it happening with both MBs and MBPs.

    The Apple Store girl said they'd not had any returns or heard anything about this problem. I really find it hard to believe that.

    Additionally I have two specs of dust under the new screen. So this one is going back tomorrow. I should have just kept the first one.
  7. umgoblue2008 macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2008
    I have the macbook air, and it's happening to my LED as well. I think it's definitely the LED at fault here.
  8. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    I went back to the store and swapped back for my first display. At least now the dust specs are gone.

    I've decided not to replace my MBP. I kind of doubt that replacing the MBP will fix the problem. I'm going to call AppleCare and see what they have to say. I'll report back here what I find out.

    Edit: Here is another post about it on the Apple support forum.
  9. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    When LED display is at 100% of brightness, the display is at full force. This results a hot display at the bottom left on the speakers.

    Here's the solution or something to that extent.

    Put the display level to even 99% and you'll notice less heat. I'm not talking from an expert stand point, but when the display is at 100% level, it's "pushing" the monitor.

    Maybe it's the way it's built. Try lowering the display brightness a little bit and see if you notice the same issue. I tried it for the last couple of days at about 85%~90% and don't see this issue anymore. I know it's a dumb solution, but unless you would want to get it replaced and hope for the best, then try this. Then again, it's not a long term solution I would imagine.

    It's too early for Apple to have any known issues about the LED Cinema Display. And even if they knew about it, they won't admit it. Maybe there will be a firmware upgrade or something. I don't know displays CAN get firmware upgrades. Since the integrated USB cable is existence, maybe it's in the near future. BUT I'm not talking with any kind of proof or firm information.

    I'll keep you all updated.
  10. Rmafive macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2008
    Richmond, Virginia
    I also just got a display for Christmas! Apple is very generous, since mine came with one dead pixel they replaced it!! By the way a dead pixel is very noticeable on these new LED displays, more-so than the original displays. I believe if you record the issue they will definitely replace it in store, hopefully if they are in stock. Good luck! :D
  11. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    First of all, despite all the creative marketing they're LED-backlit LCD displays, but that's a point for another time.

    You should check your DisplayPort connection. I've found that any shift in colors from most displays is due to a loose or damaged connection cable rather than the display itself.

    If your DisplayPort cable has a short in it — it could be causing shifting problems.

    Unfortunately, you can't change out the cable on the Apple displays.
  12. humming macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2008
    I have color shifting too....

    I have had my LED display now for 4 days. Just yesterday, for the first time, I experienced the color shift (from normal to red tint then back to normal, and repeating). I was bummed out to say the least. I had the display on full brightness for about 8 hours before it happened. I am using a 2.8 Ghz Macbook Pro and I was using the GT (discreet graphics) option - better performance. The display was a Christmas gift - it was purchased on 11/19/08 (so it's one of the first few out of production I guess). Ugh.
  13. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    My final conclusion is that this issue is definitely caused by heat. I don't know if it's the way that it's designed or manufactured, but running the display at full brightness causes this issue. Lowering the display brightness reduces or eliminates this issue. I have been running the display at around 90% for the last couple of days with heavy uses, I don't see this issue anymore.

    Probably not the solution that you are looking for, but even running at 99% of the brightness, you will notice much less heat.

    If you opt for an exchange, the chances are, you might see this issue again. A lot of people are not seeing or noticing this issue because they don't run the display for long duration. It's designed as a display for notebook, so the primary should be your MacBook or Pro. BUT to contradict myself, the APPLE stores run the display for 24 hours (in case of Manhattan store), and they don't see this issue...

    A friend of mine who bought the display about two weeks earlier than I did, had never seen this problem. He said I was too picky and noticing every little flaw. I said well, for $900 it damn well should run without a flaw. So I told him to run the display for long duration and let me know if he notices anything. He called three in the morning, freaked out. He was running Video files and working on some graphic work, then suddenly he noticed it. He returned it and didn't get a new one.

    Until Apple release a firm update, running it at a lower brightness level should be your solution. If you don't like it, just return it. Don't try to get it exchanged around the holidays and at the top or end of the year.
  14. humming macrumors newbie

    Dec 29, 2008
    Turning brightness down...

    Thanks gwihannom, for the input. I have turned my brightness down to about 90%. We'll see if that helps. I very much hope that you are correct - that it's related to heat. I wonder, are you using the standard LED Cinema Display colorsync profile (default)? I am using a custom RGB profile. I am wondering if I should use the default profile and erase all others - someone had thought that the color shifting was actually the display changing between the profiles.
  15. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    I don't think the issue is with the display shifting color profiles. Don't erase anything and just try it at a lower brightness. Like I said, even at 99% of brightness and not full brightness, will lower the heat. I just use the default. Since I tried this, I haven't noticed the color issue for over a week.

    Less heat and hopefully you won't see the color shifting issue. I know it's a dumb solution and maybe you should get it exchanged if you feel uncomfortable.

    Anyone looking to get it exchanged, wait until Macworld is over and get it exchanged with the new update. Turning down the brightness method is for people like me, who rather keep the display and make it work.
  16. umgoblue2008 macrumors regular


    Dec 6, 2008
    there's going to be an update after macworld? sux, think my 2 weeks are up.
  17. driblette macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2006
    I got my 24" LED cinema display yesterday. Four dead pixels, two smack dab in the middle. Called Apple and set up a replacement. Told them I was sick of display errors (this is my FOURTH! in 14 months - got TWO DOA displays on macbook pro, and one started showing the classic white glue spots after 10 months). And now, while waiting for my new display, I realise this one also has small subtle changes in color profile now and then. Come on Apple, you can do better than this! I thought LED was supposed to be error-free?

    How do you know there will be an update? I got my replacement notice just now. Macworld is over - does that mean I am home free?
  18. chilipie macrumors 6502a


    May 8, 2006
    The backlighting is LED, and has no effect on the pixels on the TFT.
  19. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Oh well, Keynote turned out to be really dull with no upgrades. So any rumors and recommendations of waiting until Macworld is all out the window.
  20. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816


    Nov 18, 2007
    What's the policy on replacements for dead pix? I'm pretty happy with mine. I have one dead pixel that I've noticed so far -- but it's in the bottom left about .5" x .25" up and in... So, not in the field of view.

  21. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    I exchanged my MBP for MB since I plan to buy an iMac to be my main system once their updated. I still have a few days left to return my 24" LED (when I exchanged last time it bumped out my return period by another 14 days). The LED is still doing the color shift even with this new MB. So, I've been through two displays and two computers. I can honestly say this is an across the board problem. I no longer believe Apple when they tell me I'm the only one to ever report this issue.
  22. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Wow, 90%? I guess it depends on ambient lighting but I have a floor lamp in my office with a 75W bulb and the most I can use is around 40-50% brightness on my 24" ACD. I think 90% would blind me.

    I think I'll slap Applecare on mine and be done with it. It's a beautiful display.

    I thought for sure I had a dead pixel near center, as it really looked like a single pixel. Lucky for me it wiped off. Something was stuck on the glass pretty good.
  23. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Jun 1, 2006
    I tried running at a lower brightness but anything less than 100% is too dim for me. I guess everyone is different but honestly if you like this display at 40 to 50% brightness you could save $100s of dollars and get a cheaper display. The incredible brightness and beautiful colors was what sold me on it. At 50% it looked just like my old dim Samsung display from 2003.

    Well, I've officially washed my hands of this. I took my display back tonight and got a full refund. I explained in detail the problem to the Apple Store guy and asked him to please reproduce it and report to Apple. Of course he reiterated that he had not had a single 24" returned and had never heard of this issue. I reiterated that I've gone through two MacBooks and two displays and all have the issue at 100% brightness.

    Hopefully they get it figured out soon. I fear this will unfortunately require a recall as I don't see how a heat issue could be fixed by firmware.
  24. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Again, it's all relative... My 24" essentially lives in a cave... so 100% brightness would be like looking at the sun. In fact I just checked and my 2004 Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB is still running at 50% brightness as well.

    At any rate, I strongly disagree that the ability to be "bright" is what people are paying for with the 24" ACD. Bright is bright, regardless of whether it's CCFL or LED.
  25. gwihannom thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2008
    Like Lava did, if you don't like your display to be running at anything less than 100%, return it and get a refund.

    That's smart and probably a good case in the long term.

    However, run it at lower display settings (even at 90-95%) you won't notice the color shift. If anyone is having the same issue, try that before returning.

    I'm keeping mine, because I'm very happy with my LED Cinema Display even after the color problem.

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