Shielding on updated LG UltraFine 5K Thunderbolt 3 displays fixes RF interference, crashes...

Posted:
in General Discussion edited February 7
The shielding applied to LG's UltraFine 5K display is effective in eliminating the radio frequency interference problem induced by Wi-Fi routers, as well as other high-power transmitters like cellular towers "blocking" the same frequency, according to AppleInsider examinations.




"What we believe we're seeing with some reports is similar to 'blocking' of Wi-Fi gear due to proximity of a cell tower, or other strong transmitter," our test lead noted. "Where a router may not function, or be hampered by the cell tower nearby, the proximity [of the tower] is basically mimicking the effect of a too-close router on the LG."

AppleInsider testers got ahold of the LG UltraFine 5K display with additional shielding on Monday, and moved the shielding installed by LG on the new unit to a problematic monitor identified last week. Following installation, the connection problems were rectified, even when exposed to a stronger signal on the troublesome wavelengths.

"We used a 802.11ac router to induce the problems with the two test units, as well as a calibrated source of RF simulating a nearby cell tower," our testers reported. "After we moved the shielding to the afflicted monitors identified last week, we were unable to reproduce the connection problems previously seen."

LG has urged customers that are afflicted by the disconnect problem even after moving Wi-Fi gear 6.6 feet away from the display to contact LG service for assistance. However, the process for repair or replacement of a troublesome monitor currently in-use is still not yet clear and will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

"Talk to LG if you've got a problem," we were told by our test lead. "This isn't going to be fixed with a firmware update."

The LG UltraFine 5K Display is considered a replacement for Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display, offering a 5,120-by-2,880 resolution, a P3 wide color gamut, and the ability to charge a MacBook Pro using the same Thunderbolt 3 cable used for video and data transfer. The monitor is on sale from Apple directly for $974, a discount of 25 percent from the usual $1,299.95 price.
mattcintoshbrosenz

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    emig647emig647 Posts: 2,353member
    Mistakes happen during development, glad they are standing behind their monitors here and making it right. I've had a lot of good luck with LG products in the last few years.
    schlackHodar0watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    kkerstkkerst Posts: 329member
    Makes you wonder how stringent the FCC testing was. It's part of the compliance testing to subject the DUT to external RF interference.
    schlackStrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 20
    kkerst said:
    Makes you wonder how stringent the FCC testing was. It's part of the compliance testing to subject the DUT to external RF interference.

    I would think that the external RF would be in the 2.4 GHz and lower frequency bands, whereas the newer WiFi bands are using 5 GHz - and not too many other devices are in the 5 GHz band range.  The FCC just doesn't seem to upgrade the specs all the quickly, at least when I worked in that field.
  • Reply 4 of 20
    volcanvolcan Posts: 1,219member
    For consumer electronics which have the lowest priority, the FCC usually states that the device must accept all electronic interference. In other words if your device is affected by interference "tough sh*t", it is up to you do something about it. It is not the FCC's problem. On the other hand your consumer device is not allowed to interfere with any higher priority system such as police, first responders, military, public broadcasting, aeronautics, etc.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Also, to be clear the disconnect problems don't exist in every environment, or with every unit. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 1,246member
    emig647 said:
    Mistakes happen during development, glad they are standing behind their monitors here and making it right. I've had a lot of good luck with LG products in the last few years.
    LG is making some really good OLED 4K TV's now. I bought one a few months ago. The picture quality is outstanding. Now their washers and dryers are a different story. Those are complete junk. 
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I just got a new one from Apple today, is there a way to know if mine has the problem already fixed by checking the S/N or some sing on the outside? Thanks
    watto_cobrajagnut
  • Reply 8 of 20
    brosenz said:
    I just got a new one from Apple today, is there a way to know if mine has the problem already fixed by checking the S/N or some sing on the outside? Thanks
    Not that we've discovered.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    Why doesn't anyone ever talk about how this monitor will continuously charge your computer and wear out the battery after months of use?  They need to have a firmware update to make the monitor turn charging ogg when computer hits 100% and come back on when it hits 10% or so
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 20
    nadkavs said:
    Why doesn't anyone ever talk about how this monitor will continuously charge your computer and wear out the battery after months of use?  They need to have a firmware update to make the monitor turn charging ogg when computer hits 100% and come back on when it hits 10% or so
    Mine doesn't charge the battery when it is at 100%
    pulseimages
  • Reply 11 of 20
    LG Test: I called LG today and I asked, how can I know if my monitor has the wifi issue or not, they told me to setup a device as a hotspot and then connect another device to it. I did the test with my iPhone 7 Plus and iPad Pro 12.9 both as hotspots and connecting 2-3 other devices to them, one device as hotspot at a time, the monitor worked without any problem, I run multiple test and accessed the internet for 15min.

    Extreme Test: I moved the Apple Time Capsule router in front of the monitor (almost touching the monitor screen) and run multiple speed test at 2.4 and 5GHZ no issues at all, then I placed the Time Capsule router behind the monitor almost touching the back of it and did the same tests, no issues at all.

    It seems the monitor I got today has the wifi issue fixed.
    pulseimages
  • Reply 12 of 20
    nadkavs said:
    Why doesn't anyone ever talk about how this monitor will continuously charge your computer and wear out the battery after months of use?  They need to have a firmware update to make the monitor turn charging ogg when computer hits 100% and come back on when it hits 10% or so
    Because it won't.
    pulseimageswatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    wlymwlym Posts: 14member
    Great, now shield that ugly black plastic bezel with some space grey aluminum!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    nadkavs said:
    Why doesn't anyone ever talk about how this monitor will continuously charge your computer and wear out the battery after months of use?  They need to have a firmware update to make the monitor turn charging ogg when computer hits 100% and come back on when it hits 10% or so
    Because it won't.
    Good, because if that were the case, the Apple power supply that came with the MacBook has the same "problem." 
  • Reply 15 of 20
    How can you tell if a monitor you buy online will have the shielding or not?
    watto_cobrajagnut
  • Reply 16 of 20
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 1,598member
    wlym said:
    Great, now shield that ugly black plastic bezel with some space grey aluminum!
    Gosh, aren't you the trendy one. 
  • Reply 17 of 20
    josephyli said:
    How can you tell if a monitor you buy online will have the shielding or not?
    Like I said further up in the comments thread, there's no way that we can tell.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Don't waste your time contacting LG. You'll have to contend with rude and obnoxious representatives that have no interest in helping you. Simply return it for a refund.
  • Reply 19 of 20
    wlymwlym Posts: 14member
    Rayz2016 said:
    wlym said:
    Great, now shield that ugly black plastic bezel with some space grey aluminum!
    Gosh, aren't you the trendy one. 
    Gee whiz, yes I am!
  • Reply 20 of 20
    brosenz said:
    I just got a new one from Apple today, is there a way to know if mine has the problem already fixed by checking the S/N or some sing on the outside? Thanks
    Yes, by checking the first two digits of the serial number.  I used LG support chat to check on one that arrived last week.  Unfortunately it was not one with the new shielding, so I never bothered to unbox.  Just returned and ordered another.  If the LG support staff can't help you, ask them to check with their supervisor.  They know by serial number.
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