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Probable explanation for Ipod Touch LCD deficiencies

27700 Views 89 Replies Latest reply: Apr 2, 2008 10:56 PM by jr20079 RSS
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drvelocity Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Sep 15, 2007 11:39 PM
I'm an engineer with experience in the LCD industry and after seeing enough photos of the Ipod Touch I feel that I can make a pretty accurate assessment of the "black level" situation. It appears to me that it's a problem with the *anti-reflective coating*. The good news is this is most likely a temporary situation due to quality control issues.

(Added explanation: The AR coating is essentially a clear layer that prevents light from reflecting off of that surface. What's happening here is the upper glass layer is reflecting light from the LCD screen back down onto the said screen. Without an AR coating you get exactly what you see - shimmering blacks. The problem isn't noticeable with vibrant colors on screen. Rotating the screen will change the way this light is reflected to your eyes and may minimize the problem, but since the LCD was engineered to give best color output when looking straight on, you're left with a losing battle.)

Apple surely rushed the factory on getting these out (Steve was likely already upset enough that they weren't ready for the announcement along with the other units) and the factory, under undoubtedly ridiculous amounts of pressure, started to skimp on this very expensive - and very important - part of the process. Additionally, AR coating issues would also explain why you see "slight changes" from one unit to the next.

It's the last thing anyone wants to hear, but the best thing to do is wait 2 weeks or even a month for the complaints to filter through Apple HQ into the factory where changes will certainly be made.

Good luck all - and to those who got good units congrats!

Message was edited by: drvelocity

Message was edited by: drvelocity

Message was edited by: drvelocity
Macbook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • ColonelSmith Calculating status...
    Thanks for the great explanation! I still have yet to recieve my pre-rder unit but its past the point where I can cancel it. I had it engraved, do you think Appl would be able to repair it sometime in the future?
    MacBook (2.16GHz White), Self Built Gaming PC, iBook G4 1.33, 16GB iPod Touch,, Mac OS X (10.4.10), AirPort Extreme 802.11n, 30GB Zune, Xbox 360, PC includes NVIDIA 8800 + 3 GB RAM
  • Sammy26.2 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Great explanation. Totally makes sense. Will be interesting to see what happens. Though, I don't know if Apple will let people hang out for a month to exchange their units. Definitely a help to people who are waiting. Just reinforces the notion not to buy first generation products.
    Mac Pro, Powerbook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.9)
  • K3NNY II Calculating status...
    Hmm that sounds like it is the most probable cause, good diagnosis!! Someone send him a Touch ^_^
  • Benny B Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2007 12:00 AM (in response to K3NNY II)
    I am not a scientist on TV, but I do play ony i real life.
    From mine, it seems like a simple contrast slider would fix, or at least make acceptable to the majority of users. It partly depends on the controls and partly on the users. Some will never be satisfied after hearing about the problem and then looking. Some of the rest of us say that it looks like my flat screen TV when the controls are all whack. Hopefully it is more the latter.
    iMac Core Duo, 20" 2GHz, 256 VRAM; iPod Touch 16 Gb (on order), Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Odicon Calculating status...
    So is it a software or a hardware deficiency?
    I mean, no one has had a problem with black on the navigation screen. :o
  • ColonelSmith Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 16, 2007 12:28 AM (in response to Odicon)
    If its not something seen on the navigation screen then it could be a software issue with the video codec on certain models or something... maybe it could be fixed with a firmware update. That would be a really good outcome to this situation
    MacBook (2.16GHz White), Self Built Gaming PC, iBook G4 1.33, 16GB iPod Touch,, Mac OS X (10.4.10), AirPort Extreme 802.11n, 30GB Zune, Xbox 360, PC includes NVIDIA 8800 + 3 GB RAM
  • iMacTom1980 Calculating status...
    Let's hope so, because this 'll cost them if not.
    Imac, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Stephen Lang Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    you can notice it on the home screen, juulst not as much because it's just a black BG. I think OP nailed it. Which would unfortunately be a hardware issue.
    PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.2)
  • LurchNC Calculating status...
    This sounds like a very good explanation to me. If I tilt the iPod back and left I get better results. I don't think its a codec problem, because it happens on photos and web stuff too.

    I'll wait until friday and see if we get any resolutions.

    Macbook, Mac OS X (10.4.10)
  • Stephen Lang Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    I am certain that your explanation is correct, or at least close to the mark.

    The unit is displaying blacks, it's not a display driver or codec problem. When you tilt the screen the image improves in that aspect, but degrades in other aspects (colors fade as normally happens, etc.) And who wants to have to watch all movies on your iPod with the screen tilted away at an angle?

    There's no reason why you should get this problem with looking directly at the screen, that's why I'm certain it's hardware related.
    PowerBook G4, Mac OS X (10.4.2)
  • TJ32 Calculating status...
    So what they need to do is make it so they are one piece pretty much. I would have to say your correct about the coating. That probably would explain why it looks worse in certain lighting also I would Imagine. I checked out the touch today (Apple Store) and I didn't notice anything terrible, not like any of the pictures I've seen.
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