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That is... absurd. No PCs need apply, huh? Or 2013 Mac Pros? Or any computer except the very small list of Thunderbolt 3-equipped Macs running the very latest version of Catalina?
Apple is pointing to whatever runs well and completely in the supported set. They aren't trying to include "happens to work" or "works with these quirks" in the mix. This is a super-expensive display. It isn't meant for "everybody". If you're paying this much money to be a reference monitor, then it should be a "no quirks" reference monitor. Apple is putting this up again reference monitors that have SDI links on the back. How many generic PCs in BestBuy hook up to those? None. They are only trying to sell this to a few people.

There are a couple of things needed to run the XDR at full capacity.

1. A modern GPU that outputs DisplayPort v1.4 (even a pair of v1.2 ports can't drive this at full 10-bit color).​
2. The latest Thunderbolt controller that can pass through DisplayPort v1.4 (need to get ~38Gb/s onto the Thunderbolt network – previous controllers can't).​

#2 is what knocks out the iMac Pro (even though meets #1). The vast majority of PCs are on trailing-edge Thunderbolt controllers (because it is cheaper).

The latest BlackMagic eGPUs work because they do use the latest Thunderbolt controller and can pump their modern GPU's DisplayPort output 'downstream' from the eGPU. (Most other eGPUs are actually just enclosures and don't capture the output streams to route anywhere.)

Pro Display XDR is like the previous Apple Display docking stations in that there are no buttons. So if you don't have [software] controls, then Apple's not going to put it on the "supported" list. (It will 'happen to work" with some PCs.)...
Was Apple afraid they'd sell too many Pro Displays?
Not afraid of that at all. The online store is listing a Feb. 4 - Feb. 10 timeframe for the display, while the Mac Pro arrival times are creeping closer to the present day. Pro Display XDR sales aren't retracting, and Mac Pro sales are. Sales aren't a problem at the moment. (Long-term., it may turn into an issue, but for the next quarter or so it probably won't be.)

I think Apple is winning in the context where they're up against $9-30K alternatives. When they plow mostly through the part of that group that is in the market for a new monitor, then things may shake out. But if they have taken over 20-30% of that mix, they are probably going to be quite happy. (It isn't like they are selling these at a loss.)
 


... along with Apple 27-inch Thunderbolt 2 monitor ...
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something but... was there ever such a beast? It's news to me and Mactracker doesn't seem to know it either. (I've been happily using an Apple Thunderbolt Display since about '12 or '13.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding something but... was there ever such a beast? It's news to me and Mactracker doesn't seem to know it either. (I've been happily using an Apple Thunderbolt Display since about '12 or '13.)
There's apparently just one Thunderbolt Display (27"):
which is 10Gbps Thunderbolt rather than 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 (but they share connectors and compatibility).
 



A simple Thunderbolt Display fix:

Some research shows that lots of Apple Thunderbolt Displays have an internal Thunderbolt cable problem. Mine started with no camera and no working ports on the back of the display. In time, flickering started, and finally no wake from sleep without turning power off and on.

After watching a couple of disassembly videos, I decided to have a new 2-meter Apple certified cable (#MD861LL/A, $39.00) on hand. The videos also revealed that the static cling inside the unit makes it impossible to reassemble without visible particles on the inside of the screen.

Getting ready to open it up, I noticed that there was a Thunderbolt port next to the USB ports on the back of the monitor. I plugged the new cable into that port and the other end into the adaptor I had been using to a Mac Mini. It worked like new. The camera is active, as well as the USB ports.
 


A simple Thunderbolt Display fix:
...Getting ready to open it up, I noticed that there was a Thunderbolt port next to the USB ports on the back of the monitor. I plugged the new cable into that port and the other end into the adaptor I had been using to a Mac Mini. It worked like new. The camera is active, as well as the USB ports.
Our group has two Thunderbolt displays that have expired with similar symptoms to your description. I can't wait to try your method. In retrospect, it's painfully obvious!
 


Earlier this month I ordered a 2019 MacBook Pro 16", very well spec'd. It arrived 5 days ago. Once configured, I plugged it into my external LG 5K display. All seemed well at first, but then as I used it and installed more software, it frequently (not always) changed the Brightness slider in the Display preference pane to 100%! My eyeballs were shocked :) This would happen with either the built-in display, the external LG 5K, or both at the same time.

It did not happen without the external LG plugged in.

I then simplified my environment to ensure that the Mac was connected only to the LG via its supplied Thunderbolt 3 cable. Issue persists.

As I'm a photographer, setting a fairly precise value for brightness is important. Yes, I do have a professional colour accurate monitor, too - and it isn't affected by the issue above - but 100% brightness on your supporting displays in a dark room would annoy anyone!

So, as a bit of a control, I upgraded my MacBook Pro 15" to the same version of Catalina that is installed on the new 16". Again, using just the LG, it was almost rock solid, no changes to display settings after multiple reboots, wake from sleep, power ons, etc.

However, it did exhibit one new issue: when starting it up without an external monitor and then plugging one in, the Brightness shot up to 100% as I watched. So, this is a new behaviour, seemingly related to the Brightness issue on the newer MacBook Pro 16", but with far less impact.

Kind of makes me think that there is an interplay between Catalina and specific Mac hardware - it's not one or the other. My 15" under Mojave with the LG was rock solid.

Apple support had me create a new boot volume, install a fresh Catalina, create an account but not configure anything else. So a clean, clean clean install, and the same problem occurred with the computer setting brightness to 100% most of the time on restart. I've seen other anecdotal reports online of this happening to other Catalina users, not just with 16" MacBook Pros.

Yes, I went through resetting SMC, PRAM and Safe Boot.

Has anyone here experienced this? Or, heard of a solution? Tomorrow, I'm returning my new MacBook, as I'm within the 14-day new product return window. I'll wait for a solution with the money back in my bank account :) Very unfortunate.
 


Earlier this month I ordered a 2019 MacBook Pro 16", very well spec'd. It arrived 5 days ago. Once configured, I plugged it into my external LG 5K display. All seemed well at first, but then as I used it and installed more software, it frequently (not always) changed the Brightness slider in the Display preference pane to 100%!
Interesting. Definitely sounds like some kind of interaction between the LG display and macOS.

I wonder if the display has brightness controls that it is trying to sync with the laptop.

I would immediately check LG's web site to see if maybe there's a firmware update for the display.

Although you've probably already tried it, check to see if macOS is configured for automatic brightness control. If it's on, try turning it off. If it's off, maybe try turning it on.
 


Kind of makes me think that there is an interplay between Catalina and specific Mac hardware - it's not one or the other.
I have the same problem with an iMac Retina 5K 27" 2017 and an LG monitor, running Sierra 10.12.6. Apparently it is a known bug in Sierra that was fixed in either High Sierra or Mojave. Perhaps it has made a comeback with Catalina?
 


The maximum brightness issue happened with the built-in monitor on the iMac Pro, and I've been hearing about it in relation to the LG monitor as well, and maybe even the Cinema Display XDR, at least when connected to systems with dubious compatibility. The iMac Pro was eventually fixed, but it's odd the Apple can't seem to sort this one out.
 


I have the same problem with an iMac Retina 5K 27" 2017 and an LG monitor, running Sierra 10.12.6. Apparently it is a known bug in Sierra that was fixed in either High Sierra or Mojave. Perhaps it has made a comeback with Catalina?
Interesting. Definitely sounds like some kind of interaction between the LG display and macOS. I wonder if the display has brightness controls that it is trying to sync with the laptop. I would immediately check LG's web site to see if maybe there's a firmware update for the display.
I have an LG 5K display that was the display designed by LG and Apple's collaborative effort. I wondered about updating the display firmware as a general check. It turns out that there is an LG app (for macOS, not the phone) in the Apple App Store. It took care of updating the display firmware.
 


Earlier this month I ordered a 2019 MacBook Pro 16", very well spec'd. It arrived 5 days ago. Once configured, I plugged it into my external LG 5K display. All seemed well at first, but then as I used it and installed more software, it frequently (not always) changed the Brightness slider in the Display preference pane to 100%! My eyeballs were shocked :) This would happen with either the built-in display, the external LG 5K, or both at the same time.
It did not happen without the external LG plugged in....
I think this is an ongoing issue with either macOS or the MacBook Pro. My 2018 MacBook Pro 15" regularly dims and changes the display settings unpredictably in macOS 10.15.2. It usually darkens to the point that is goes black. A PRAM, NVRAM or SMC reset, and even a complete macOS reinstall will not fix the issue permanently. Luckily, the issue only comes up about every two to three weeks, and a restart normally stabilizes the display settings. When the screen goes completely black, then a forced restart is required. It's a real pain.
 


I think this is an ongoing issue with either macOS or the MacBook Pro. My 2018 MacBook Pro 15" regularly dims and changes the display settings unpredictably in macOS 10.15.2. It usually darkens to the point that is goes black.
Have you tried disabling automatic brightness control? Also, does your webcam work (try Photo Booth)?

I ask because that feature uses (I think) your webcam for sensing the ambient light levels. If the camera has problems, it might be telling macOS that the room is completely dark, directing the automatic brightness control to dim the display to minimum levels.

Either way, it seems like a hardware repair will be necessary. If you're covered by Apple Care, take it in for warranty service. If not, you may want to take it in anyway to find out how much a repair will cost.
 


Interesting. Definitely sounds like some kind of interaction between the LG display and macOS.
I wonder if the display has brightness controls that it is trying to sync with the laptop.
I would immediately check LG's web site to see if maybe there's a firmware update for the display.
Although you've probably already tried it, check to see if macOS is configured for automatic brightness control. If it's on, try turning it off. If it's off, maybe try turning it on.
Thanks, David. Good suggestions!

Before I posted here, I had disabled auto brightness and checked for monitor firmware updates. Webcam worked fine (it fired up when setting up Apple Pay!)

Apple Level 2 support had me create a new volume on my drive and install a fresh Catalina 10.5.2. Problem persisted. And of course this didn't prove or disprove whether it's a hardware issue or a Catalina issue unfortunately!

My guess is that it's a Catalina-related bug that behaves differently depending on what model of Mac you're running or if there are more individualized differentiators on a user by user basis. There are a number of reports on the internet, and the rep at the Apple Store I spoke with yesterday said the Genius Bar was aware of the issue.

On my 2016 MacBook Pro 15", the problem showed itself on occasion. And never on Mojave, just Catalina.

On the 16" MacBook Pro, which I bought to replace the older one, the problem showed up far, far more frequently - and of course I can't downgrade that machine.
 


The maximum brightness issue happened with the built-in monitor on the iMac Pro, and I've been hearing about it in relation to the LG monitor as well, and maybe even the Cinema Display XDR, at least when connected to systems with dubious compatibility. The iMac Pro was eventually fixed, but it's odd the Apple can't seem to sort this one out.
It is odd. This bit me when I was setting up a brand new 16" MacBook Pro last week.

The problem occurs not only on the new 16", but also on my 3-year-old 2016 MacBook Pro, only after I upgraded it to Catalina to see if the problem would occur on the old setup, too. It did. Just not as bad.

It seems odd that Apple would release Catalina with such an issue evident - after all, this was a design partnership with LG.

I mean, really. You just had to hook up the monitor - no other 3d-party peripherals - and boot or shutdown the thing 4 or 5 times. It was that simple. At least document it.

But, because I don't know how widespread this issue really is (only Apple would know, based on support tickets, it's not fair for me to assume it's a universal problem....
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
More Mac display sleep nightmares are described by Howard Oakley:
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Preventing external displays from sleep can be crucial
An external display can be a good way of adding more USB-C ports to a Mac, but a strange bug can cause a lot of trouble with this otherwise excellent solution.

As I wrote back in November last year, letting an external display sleep can precipitate a kernel panic or other problem when the display goes to sleep, or the Mac tries to wake it up.

Maxwell @mxswd has this week pointed out another more serious problem with external display sleep: if you use that external display as a USB-C hub, when the display goes to sleep, USB hub power is disabled, shutting down and forcibly ejecting all peripherals connected to that display.
#applequality #sleep
 


One problem I’ve had with some external displays is allowing the display to search/auto-switch between inputs (e.g. VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort).

When using a dock with either MacBook Pro (2011 or 2015), it seems to practically cause a lockup, presumably due to the display searching. If I lock the display to a single input that I am using (HDMI in this case), I have no issues, and the Mac wakes up from sleep without issue.

This was, in particular a problem with an OWC Thunderbolt 2 dock.
 


One problem I’ve had with some external displays is allowing the display to search/auto-switch between inputs (e.g. VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort).
Sounds similar to a problem I've seen with some cheap KVM switches. The cheap switches would completely disconnect a computer from the display when switched away. This would cause system software to think the monitor was unplugged, causing the desktop to rearrange (e.g. change from a 2-screen to a 1-screen layout), leaving a mess of all your windows when switching back.

The better switches would make a point of broadcasting the display's DDC data to all ports, whether or not selected. This way, the non-selected computers believe the display is always there, maintaining a stable desktop layout.

I wonder if these monitors are doing the same thing - only broadcasting DDC data on the active port instead of on all of them. That would definitely cause problems, although it still shouldn't cause the OS to crash or hang - that definitely sounds like a software bug somewhere in the OS.

I suppose it would make sense to do some more advanced kind of disconnect on a Thunderbolt dock, so the host won't waste the bandwidth on DisplayPort data for an image nobody will see, but then you're back to figuring out how to do this without the OS trying to reconfigure the desktop as if the screen was actually disconnected.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
PC Magazine just reviewed Apple's pricy Pro Display XDR, even though it's designed very specifically for Mac systems. (They're also reviewing the Asus ProArt PA32UCX, which isn't so narrowly targeted.)
PCMag said:
Apple Pro Display XDR Review

Pros

  • Exceptional color accuracy.
  • DisplayHDR 1600 looks incredible.
  • High contrast ratio.
  • Sturdy build.
  • Beautiful design.
  • Functionality with Windows in Boot Camp, or with specialized broadcast-workflow hardware.
Cons
  • Super-expensive stand.
  • No input alternatives to USB-C.
  • Matte-panel version costs $1,000 more.
The Bottom Line
Apple's Pro Display XDR provides exceptional color accuracy and build quality at a price that's quite competitive with those of reference-grade pro monitors. It's exquisite enough that swallowing the wildly extravagant cost of its Pro Stand is worth it.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
PC Magazine just reviewed Apple's pricy Pro Display XDR, even though it's designed very specifically for Mac systems. (They're also reviewing the Asus ProArt PA32UCX, which isn't so narrowly targeted.)
And here's an informative YouTube review of the Pro Display XDR from Quinn Nelson:
Snazzy Labs said:
The Ultimate ProDisplay XDR Review!
Apple announced the #6K #ProDisplayXDR alongside the new cheese-grater Mac Pro at WWDC 2019 in San Jose, California. After six months of waiting, it finally hit the market in December of 2019. Rather than rush and put a messy review up as soon as we could, we have spent the last 40 days with it putting it through its paces and seeing if it can really compete against the Sony, Eizo, vs Flanders Scientific monitors of the world. We break down the 6K resolution, connectivity issues, GPU limitations, the $1,000 monitor stand's strengths and weaknesses, the display panel's viewing angles, color accuracy, luminance, light rolloff, vignetting issues, HDR capabilities and alleged 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio.
 


Vincent Teoh just posted an in depth review of the ProDisplay XDR on his YouTube channel, HDTVtest. He compared it at length with the Sony BVM-HX310 reference monitor, the reference montor overwhelmingly used by professionals to grade their videos. You may remember that Apple claimed in their presentation that their ProDisplay XDR was every bit as good as the Sony for professional grading; Vincent clearly explains how Apple is delusional. He does not recommend the monitor.

I am hoping to see Vincent review the Asus ProArt PA32UCX. It not only has fully twice as many local dimming LED compared to the Apple montor, it also works with pretty much any video source (not just computers) and costs thousands less (though it's not cheap).
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Vincent Teoh just posted an in depth review of the ProDisplay XDR on his YouTube channel, HDTVtest. He compared it at length with the Sony BVM-HX310 reference monitor, the reference montor overwhelmingly used by professionals to grade their videos. You may remember that Apple claimed in their presentation that their ProDisplay XDR was every bit as good as the Sony for professional grading; Vincent clearly explains how Apple is delusional....
Here's some detailed information about the Sony BVM-HX310 monitor:

And here's Sony's page for it:

The dual-layer (LMCL) panel technology that Sony uses and Apple doesn't:
 


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