Solution of sorts for the Lines

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by hodgeheg, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. hodgeheg macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008

    I have successfully rendered the lines on my screen invisible. Let me explain how, and YMMV (and some people may not like the trade-off, but it's posted in the hope that it helps someone).

    I previously didn't have lines, or at least I don't think I did, but then I dropped my MBA and had to have the lid replaced, which involved a new screen (9C9A) which sometimes has very visible lines, depending on angle. They are not always visible, but if I tilt the screen around I can see them at some angle at any time, and there are times when I couldn't find any angle they weren't visible at.

    These are basically slight variations on light backgrounds, which a friend who designs and makes low-level hardware suggests is probably simply down to the tolerances in the pulse driver, whatever that means - not my area.

    My solution is this - antiglare film. The Power Support Antiglare Film for MacBook and MacBook Air (£24.95 from Apple Store online, *some* retail stores have it, others don't), which does a nice job of mattifying the screen ALSO reduces contrast slightly. The cost is that white isn't as bright/white, and that if you have max brightness on the backlight it can look a bit sparkly - I certainly wouldn't agree with PowerSupport's marketing claim that it makes no difference to the display but the difference, for me, is livable and outweighed by the benefits, which also include it being far far less prone to showing finger-prints.

    The unexpected benefit is that the loss of contrast appears to be just enough that the lines are no longer visible. To test this I tried attaching a film to part of the screen (this was an ipod touch film so smaller), and while the lines were clearly visible on the uncovered part they were invisible at the exact same time and angle on the covered part.

    There's no doubt it reduces the 'popping colours' a little imo, but I'll take the no-lines and reduced reflections as a trade-off. Of course, not everyone would agree.

    Also, it should be noted, I haven't seen everyone else's lines, some may be worse than others, and some people may have better eye sight than me - I don't know whether this would work for everyone, but it works for me, and appears to be the first sign of a workaround that actually works.

    Please don't go spending loads of money then flaming me if it doesn't work - I'm not trying to tell anyone what to do, just reporting my experience in the hope that it helps.

    I tried taking photos but I can't get the lines to show clearly in a photo, let alone the contrast, besides I now have a film over the entire screen so I can't repeat the experiment without costing myself £25 for a new film, as taking the old one off doesn't seem to work very well (I tried this when I got my new screen with the film from the old one, but I couldn't get it clean enough).

    best wishes to all
  2. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    Any way to take a photo with the film covering half the MBA so we see the difference?

    The white not being a true white is what led me to a rev A instead. The lines cast a grey layer of grime, thus distorting the color, making it a par barely above the amateur macbook display.

    Otherwise a nice suggestion. :eek:
  3. EnderTW macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    I don't agree. The lines do not "Distort" the colors at all.

    The lines are there and are very soft. For me at least, it isn't noticeable till you have a white background and are at a certain angle.

    Thanks for the suggestion, but I do love the "pop" in the MBA, vs the new MBP/MB. It isn't as glarey, but still has that glossy feel.
  4. hodgeheg thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    I also like the "pop" - if I only used it at home and without the lines I'd probably not bother with the film. Even with the lines I gave it a week or so to decide. But unfortunately I also use it in my office, which has overhead lighting that reflects fairly badly (though nothing close to as bad as the glass screens)
  5. hodgeheg thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Unfortunately no way to take photo - firstly, I'd have to take the film off, which would mean buying a new one, and secondly I don't have access to a good enough camera and/or sufficient photography skill to show such a subtle difference.

    My main reason for still preferring the Air display is that the more recent Macbook White displays I've seen show incredibly obvious dithering in window shadows and other grey areas whereas the Air doesn't.

    I was also waiting for the speed bump with the rev B and more particularly the better thermal behaviour. Rev A seems a bit of a lottery on that front, whereas rev B seems a lottery on the screen front!

    Re the white not being true white - I imagine if you're photo editing in a serious way this might be an issue, but I found that I stopped noticing pretty quickly. Also, when you see the film half on, which I tried during installation, and with a spare ipod film as noted in my original post, the covered part looks much darker and greyer than it actually looks when completely on, since you don't have the contrast. This is entirely perceptual (and wouldn't help your whiteness for calibration of course) but it makes a difference to my experience. My use is primarily word processing, however.
  6. justit macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2007
    So a photo on glossy paper is the same as a photo on parchment paper?
  7. SummerBoy macrumors regular


    Dec 19, 2008
    Smart way to advertise product. Funny thing is that screen protector cannot affect nature of screen itself, therefore this method is bs. do not waste your money.
  8. hodgeheg thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Believe me, it's not intended as advertising.

    I don't follow your logic. Let me try to make mine clearer. Contrast = the difference between lighter and darker colours (at an extreme white and black, but it affects everything in between).

    Thus, it seems to my layman's brain (and I'm happy to be shown why I'm wrong - but that is rather different from random flaming) that any two colours already sufficiently close together could be rendered indistinguishable by a reduction in contrast. I would really appreciate it anyone could confirm if they would concur with that logic.

    At no point did I suggest it changed the nature of the screen. What I suggested (and indeed am witnessing as I type this, line-free on my *particular* macbook air, which is all I said anything about) was that it could change the visible appearance. Not of the screen. Of the combination of the screen protector and the screen. Unless you think that the screen protector has a perfectly smooth surface and a perfect zero refractive index, it MUST change the appearance, it just may be (as with the 'crystal' films) that that difference is small enough to be imperceptible by most people.

    I'm sure the lines are still there. My point is that *I can't see them any more*. I also stressed that this is at a cost of losing some contrast and having slightly less white white (which as I pointed out would really bother some people - yeah, I'm such a good advertiser with my post that completely contradicts Power Support's marketing that the protector doesn't affect visual properties - by the way if you think I make this up, read the description on the apple store, then read any one of the other posts about these films, where people say the same)

    Even if I'm completely wrong about everything, I see no need for your tone. Why would you assume I'm advertising a product? Do you think I work for Power Support? Actually I'm a PhD student looking into ways people resist contemporary slavery - as you can guess from that I'm highly motivated by financial gain and always in it for the money </sarcasm>. Having spent quite a lot of my pretty scarce finances on this MacBook Air, and particularly having seen it get far worse when the screen was replaced, I empathise and sympathise with the disappointment of people who've shelled out and got something with a potentially very annoying flaw. I was thus trying to offer help, with as much information as I could to let them make their own minds up whether they thought the trade offs would suit them or not, and with a full disclaimer that I have no idea whether this will work on all cases. If the lines were worse than mine, I imagine it wouldn't. For example, I'd be very surprised if this worked with my old final model G4 powerbook, which had way more visible lines. However I would think it reasonably obvious that I was a) trying to help (something you apparently don't understand) and b) trying to be careful *not* to irresponsibly send people off spending their money.
  9. tubbymac macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2008
    I concur with your logic. Obviously it isn't the desired solution (which is for Apple to just fix the bloody screens) but if you're stuck with the lines and can stand the trade off in contrast, it sounds like an inexpensive "workaround" for the problem.
  10. hodgeheg thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 7, 2008
    Indeed, it would be better if they fixed them! Of course this might not work for everyone either. My lines were annoying, but judging from some of the posts some people either have it worse or may well have better eye-sight than I do (mine isn't great)

    thanks for the reply

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