In mid-2016, Apple set off a chain of events that leads us to the current situation when it comes to Thunderbolt-enabled displays targeted at Mac users. The company discontinued its 27-inch Thunderbolt Display in June, leaving Mac users without a first-party monitor to connect to their machines. Later in the year, Apple announced that it had partnered with LG to launch the LG-branded UltraFine 5K and UltraFine 4K Displays.
However, users of the former have discovered that having a Wi-Fi router nearby can cause some undesirable behavior for both the UltraFine 5K and a connected Mac. A report earlier this week confirmed that users have been experiencing flickering screens, unexpected disconnections from a host Mac, and even caused certain Macs to crash, requiring a reboot.
9to5Mac’s Zac Hall ran into the issues with his own UltraFine 5K and contacted LG about the issue. A support representative gave the following advice:
The issue that you are having only happens for the 5K monitors we have, not to other LG monitors. We recommend to have the router placed at least 2 meter away from the monitor. If the same issue persists, please let us know so we can assist you accordingly.
Needless to say, many users have their router in close proximity (within 2 meters) of their monitors, so the issue has the potential to affect many users (as witnessed by reviews for the UltraFine 5K). Thankfully, LG has identified the problem and indicated that future revisions of the monitor will not have interference issues with Wi-Fi routers. The company said in a statement:
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.
The company further added that UltraFine 5K Displays that have already been sold will be retrofitted with the upgraded shielding to eliminate the problem. No further details were given on the process required to upgrade these existing monitors, but we’d imagine that LG will provide a shipping box and a prepaid label to customers, after which they will ship it to a service center to have the modifications performed.