Earlier in the week, we reported that the LG UltraFine 5K Display can be effectively unusable if placed near a Wi-Fi router with some kind of radio interference causing the monitor to regularly black out and hang the connected MacBook Pro.
LG has now said that it has identified the hardware problem in which Wi-Fi routers within 2 feet of the display resulted in signal interference issues. All new UltraFine units produced after February will not be affected as they will be fitted with ‘enhanced shielding’. Existing owners of the UltraFine 5K Display, recommended by Apple as the best companion to the 2016 MacBook Pro, will need to contact LG support for assistance.
The need to add ‘enhanced shielding’ affirms speculative theories about the LG UltraFine 5K Display’s flaws that the hardware’s electrics had not been sufficiently isolated.
Initially, LG customer support’s only advice was to move the router 2 meters away from the display, so it’s encouraging to see them roll out a real fix for the issue. Until these newly shielded units are available, LG advises customers to move the router and display further from each other.
Here’s the full statement from the company:
We have been made aware that the LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K display (model 27MD5K) may experience performance issues caused by signal interference when a Wi-Fi access point is positioned behind the display within a distance 2 feet (0.6 meter). Changing the location or positioning of either the router or the display should resolve the issue. Customers continuing to experience issues with their UltraFine displays are advised to contact their nearest LG customer center for prompt service. LG apologizes for this inconvenience and is committed to delivering the best quality products possible so all LG UltraFine 27-inch 5K displays manufactured after February 2017 will be fitted with enhanced shielding.
Assuming LG has fixed the issue effectively, all new UltraFine 5K Displays sold should work as a reasonable person would expect, just like any other computer display. Existing owners of the LG UltraFine 5K Display should contact LG support for ‘prompt service’. It is worth noting that whilst LG’s latest statement says the range of interference was only 2 feet, our testing saw the display experience issues at significantly longer distances from the router.
The UltraFine 5K Display is currently being sold at a 25% discount on Apple’s website, as part of the company’s USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 sale to help Mac users transition to the new standards.
This sale runs through March 31st, after being extended, so if you have been hesitating to buy one of these screens because of the problems with the initial manufactured units, you’ll have approximately one month to buy a new UltraFine 5K Display at a discount that may include the ‘enhanced shielding’ out of the box.