Apple corporation engineers provided a signal system to inform the user about possible faults and errors which can occur to their Cinema Displays. Apple Cinema Displays use their power LED (lower right corner) to inform a user about faults and errors. If any of them occurs, the LED will blink in a certain Morse-style pattern.
Apple Cinema Display Error Codes
The Apple Cinema Display is a line of flat panel computer monitors developed and marketed by Apple Inc. The first Apple Cinema Display was released in September 1999. The early display and its newer models were available in different sizes. The Apple Thunderbolt Display was introduced in July 2011. This 27-inch flat panel monitor is the only display currently marketed by Apple Inc.
short, short, short – The display is detecting wrong video format or an unsupported resolution. Verify that your equipment is compatible and restart the computer. If the issue continues, reset the PRAM. After resetting the PRAM, if you still see this error, shut down the computer, power cycle the Cinema Display, and turn on the computer.
short, long, short – Make sure you are using the correct power adapter with the display. This alert will only appear on displays built in 2004 or later which require an external power adapter.
short, short, long – The display is detecting a backlight error. Check your display’s power connections and restart the computer. If the problem continues, contact Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider.
A Few Words about Apple Cinema Displays
Apple Inc. introduced Apple Cinema Display line of flat panel computer monitors in September 1999. The monitor was initially sold alongside the older line of Studio Displays. Eventually the new line replaced them. In July 2011, Apple introduced its successor, the Thunderbolt Display. Since that moment on, the Cinema Display was considered an old model. It was no longer offered on the Apple Store website from August 2014.
Apple offered 20-, 22-, 23-, 24-, 27- and 30-inch sizes, with the last model being a 27-inch size with LED backlighting. There have been three designs for the Cinema Display, one featuring polycarbonate plastic and two featuring anodized aluminum. The first monitors were designed to match the colorful plastic of the Power Mac G3 and later the Power Mac G4. The second revisions were designed to match the more professional aesthetics of the Power Mac G5 and PowerBook G4. The last available design matched the unibody laptops released in October 2008. (The Thunderbolt Display uses the same design as the 27-inch size Cinema LED Display)
The first model—the 22-inch Apple Cinema Display—was introduced in September 1999 alongside the Power Mac G4 and used DVI for video input. It was enclosed in a high-density plastic frame with an easel-style stand and had a display resolution of 1600×1024. This model was upgraded in July 2000 with the Apple Display Connector (ADC), which ran DVI, USB, and 25V power through a single connector. It was eventually replaced by a 20-inch model on January 28, 2003, that sported a widescreen display with up to 1680×1050 resolution.
The 23-inch model, dubbed the “Cinema HD Display,” was introduced on March 20, 2002, and supported full 1080p resolution. On June 28, 2004, Apple introduced a redesigned line of Cinema Displays, along with a new 30-inch model that, like the 23-inch model, carried the “Cinema HD Display” name. The new models had an anodized aluminum enclosure that matched Apple’s high-end lines of professional products. An alternative stand or a wall mount could be used with a VESA mount adapter kit that was sold separately. Though the display enclosures had not been redesigned for a long period of time, several “silent” improvements were made to the brightness levels and contrast ratios.
With the introduction of the 24-inch LED Cinema Display in October 2008, the 23-inch Cinema HD Display was discontinued. The 20-inch model was also discontinued in February 2009, leaving the 30-inch display as the only model left. Due to the high resolution (2560×1600), the 30-inch model requires a graphics card that supports dual-link DVI. Currently, no Macintosh is sold with a dual-link DVI port.
All Power Mac G5, PowerBook G4 and Mac Pro models since the release of the said display are capable of supporting it without the use of any adapters. Discrete MacBook Pros are also capable of driving the 30-inch display, while all Macs released after October 2008 require an additional adapter.
The 30-inch Cinema Display was introduced together with the GeForce 6800, which supports two DVI-DL ports. ATI’s aftermarket AGP X800 Mac Edition also supports dual-link DVI, but has only one port. The Radeon 9600 Mac/PC was another aftermarket graphics card that supported dual-link DVI and was also compatible with older AGP-based Power Macs.
If a computer with a single-link DVI port (such as a Mac laptop with a mini-DVI connector) is connected to the 30-inch display, it will only run at 1280×800, even if the computer is capable of supporting 1920×1200 over a single-link connection.
Since the aluminum and glass models were launched on October 14, 2008, Apple removed the matte, anti-glare screen panels in its Cinema Display lineup, except for the 30-inch model. Apple moved away from matte screens in its line of iMac desktop computers on August 7, 2007. Apple no longer offers any equipment with a matte, anti-glare screen after the 15″ non-Retina MacBook Pro was discontinued in October 2013. This has caused concern among users who want matte screens for their particular area of work, particularly graphic designers, photographers and users who extensively view their screens.
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