LG UltraFine 5K monitors experiencing errors within two meters of wireless routers

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Date: Friday, February 3rd, 2017, 05:49
Category: Hardware, MacBook Pro, News, wireless

Well, this is kind of a mess.

LG’s UltraFine 5K monitor, which has become something of a spiritual successor to Apple’s Thunderbolt display and began shipping out from the Apple online store this week, appears to be suffering from a major fault wherein it will begin flickering when places within two meters (6.5 feet) of a wireless router. Once the flickering has begun, the monitor will go black and become unusable.

An LG Electronics support person confirmed the issue, saying it “only happens for the 5K monitors we have, not other LG monitors.”

It’s also been noted that, if plugged into a MacBook Pro, the failure can lead to being forced to reboot the notebook to bring it back. The failure does not occur when the monitor is out of a two meter range of a wireless router.


Following the release of the monitor, a few positive reviews came in, while a number of negative reviews have piled up. Some of them explicitly call out the router-proximity issue, but many other major issues are also described: kernel panics on the host machine, random flickering even when there are apparently no nearby sources of wireless radiation, and USB devices not being reliably detected when plugged into the monitor.

It’s thought that the reason for this is due to a component within the monitor not having been correctly shielded from electromagnetic radiation or that part of the monitor is probably oscillating at a harmonic of Wi-Fi (2.4GHz or 5GHz) radiation. Other guesses as to the failure include a faulty Thunderbolt 3/USB-C cable. The more likely victim is the clock generator on the LCD panel controller or USB controller.

With luck, some additional shielding can help fix the errors. Judging by how many negative reviews the monitor has accrued in just a few days, and the myriad other reported issues, perhaps there’s a major quality control problem, or the design of the monitor is inherently flawed.

Stay tuned for additional details as they become available.

Via Ars Technica and 9to5Mac

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