17" LCD Studio Display problems

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Joined: Jul 7 2007
Posts: 1

Hi, My Apple 17" LCD Studio Display has developed a problem, horizontal bands 2" wide of 1/8" horizontal pixel width "interference" lines. These become increased when playing full motion video.

These artifacts are not consistent with the inverter board failure which was subject to class action, my display remains bright & clear and there is no blinking power light. Or perhaps this is another symptom of imminent inverter board failure?

Have any readers had any similar problems?

My setup. Mac mini PPC G4, Apple ADC-DVI adapter & 17" LCD Studio Display.

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cwsmith's picture
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Joined: Oct 13 2005
Posts: 699
Other possible causes

The symptoms you describe sound like a corrupted video signal, either from the source (the graphics processor in the Mac mini), the destination (the LCD panel in the monitor), or at some point along the chain. The likely suspects:

• Failing graphics processor in the Mac mini?
• Bad DVI-ADC adapter?
• Bad or loose connection in the ADC cable attached to the monitor?
• Bad or loose LVDS cable inside the monitor?
• Failing LCD display assembly?

You can check the graphics processor in the Mac mini by hooking it up to a DVI (preferred) or VGA (with adapter) monitor and see whether the symptoms persist. If they do, it spells bad news for the Mac mini. The graphics processor is soldered to the logic board, much like they are in iBooks and PowerBooks. When it goes bad, the whole MLB needs to be replaced. Probably about a $275 part and a couple hours labor. No symptoms? keep checking other possible failure points.

The DVI-ADC adapter cable is trickier to test: you'll need to test with both a known-good, DVI-equipped Mac and a known-good ADC monitor. If the symptoms persist, you know it's the adapter cable. If they don't, the problem is elsewhere. Of course it wouldn't be a bad idea to check the adapter cable over for dust bunnies, foreign matter, bent or damaged pins, et cetera.

You can check the monitor (sans adapter) on another ADC-equipped Mac, like a PowerMac G4, a PowerMac G5, or a Cube. If the symptoms persist, then it's likely to be the monitor's internal or external cable. Check the cable for loose or missing pins, or take it in to an authorized Apple repair place to have the LVDS cable inspected and/or replaced. Not a cheap option, but if this monitor is worth more to you than the sum of its parts, it's an option.

Of course, if the cables are good, then the LCD itself isn't processing the signal properly. The cost of installing a new LCD is quite prohibitive. It's dead, Jim.

Honestly, you'll save a lot of headache and spend the same or less money by just going out and buying a DVI or VGA monitor if the Studio Display turns out to be bad. Maybe they don't look quite as nice, but they will come with a shiny, brand-new factory warranty.

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