MacBook Pro Yellowish Backlight - with Solution

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jajo, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. jajo macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007

    I have previously reported about my alu iMacs (24", 2.4Ghz) with major display issues (see: After my 3rd replacement with exactly the same problem I decided to return the computer and get a Macbook Pro 17" with 1680x1050 matte display and the same specs (2.4ghz, 2GB ram). It is an excellent machine and the screen looks good - no tint, gradients and with uniform backlight! But... With my critical eyes I see a yellowish "glow" in the backlight. It is only obvious when the screen is displaying pure white. It is not a yellow tint like on the iMac, because gray looks really gray on the Macbook Pro, where the iMac displayed gray as a gray-brownish color. The problem ONLY exist when displaying almost white to pure white.

    At first, this made me really sad. I immediately went to my retailer and compared my machine to their demo Macbooks. It turned out that both their 15" and 17" had the same issue, even the 1920x1200 display. It was even more visible on the glossy screens. This was a great disappointment as I understood that this is nothing that will be fixed. I will have to live with this, after all I am using an ACD 20" at home when I do critical work.

    But... I found out how to almost solve the problem... I noticed that the yellowish backlight color turned pure white while opening dashboard. Dashboard shades the background just like the tool Shades do, get it here:

    1) Calibrate your monitor. Adobe RGB or sRGB is better than Color LCD (which has a very nasty brownish yellow tint).
    2) I set the built in brightness control in OSX to the maximum setting.
    3) Open up a white window (like a Finder window).
    4) Use Shades to dim the screen. I use 5/6 of full power. Dang! White is now white even with critical eyes! Use the computer for a while and then close shades. Watch how the previously white color turns yellow.

    Why not just dim the screen using the builtin brightness control in OSX? Because it will only make the yellow backlight effect darker. It will look brownish instead.

    Why not try to calibrate the yellow glow away? It is not possible. The effect of Shades cannot be achieved by adjusting the white point while calibrating. If I try to compensate the yellow backlight glow with cooler white point the screen turns greenish.

    Maybe this is not a backlight issue but rather a driver issue?

    One big disadvantage of running Shades is (of course) that your screen will loose lots of backlight power. In my case this is not a problem since I rarely need full power. A second note is that I had a look on a couple of refurbished macs. Two older 17-inch models with the 1440x900 screen didn't have this issue, most likely because they don't have as strong backlight as the new ones.

    Would be happy to read your results while trying this and your thoughts about this issue.

    / Jacob
  2. jajo thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    An addition:

    My screen manufacturer and model is:

    Manu: 00000610
    Model: 00009C72

    Maybe there are other 1680x1050 17" matte displays without this issue like with MBP 15". Please report your manu and model and tell if you see the problem on your machine.

    (Go to System preferences -> Displays -> Tab "Color" and then click "Open profile". Scroll down to "Apple display make and model information" and write down manufacturer and model.

    / Jacob
  3. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    Umm, calibrating your monitor is not just picking Adobe RGB. Try making your own profile.
  4. jajo thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2007
    I have made 10 profiles and calibrating does not help unfortunately. Native whitepoint is as white as it gets.

    / Jacob

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