LG Electronics has officially acknowledged a problem associated with its UltraFine 27-inch 5K display (model 27MD5K) that causes the panel to malfunction. The problem occurs if a network’s wireless access point is positioned behind the display within a distance of 2 feet. The company says the issue can be resolved simply by changing the location or repositioning the router or display.
“Customers continuing to experience issues with their UltraFine displays are advised to contact their nearest LG customer center for prompt service,” the company said. “LG apologizes for this inconvenience and is committed to delivering the best quality products possible.”
Displays typically come packed with special shielding to block radio frequency interference. Without the proper shielding, wiring inside the display can serve as receivers, and because the interference is essentially energy, extra voltages are sent to transistors and other internal components. This will cause both hardware and performance issues as seen with the current crop of 27MD5K displays.
LG Electronics is outfitting the 27MD5K panel with “enhanced shielding” for models manufactured after February 2017. As for customers still experiencing problems with the current model after rearranging the monitor and/or wireless access point, the company doesn’t say if the panel falls under a voluntary recall covered by the device warranty.
Zac Hall of 9to5Mac’s previously reported that he and at least one other person had experienced the same issue with a wireless access point and had posted a similar experience in a review of the display. LG’s support staff confirmed the issue when contacted, saying, “I understand your concern and the frustration you feel right now. In this case, please check if the monitor is near the router. This may affect the performance of the monitor. Kindly keep the monitor away from the router so we can isolate the issue.”
Subsequently, Hall moved the router to a location farther away from LG UltraFine 5K display and MacBook Pro to another room, and everything worked as expected. LG further confirmed that the issue does not affect other LG monitors, and that “2 meters” seems to be the magical distance to avoid interference.
If you are in the market for a high-res display for your MacBook Pro, then, it looks like you’ll want to avoid the LG UltraFine 5K display unless you can ensure that your monitor’s location is at least two meters — and maybe more — from your router or wireless access point.
Updated on 02-03-2017 by Kevin Parrish: Revised to reflect LG Electronics’ official statement.