ROZSNYO | digital cinema devices
presents:
MacBook Pro Retina LCD interface board
Perfect? Almost.
Scroll to the end for the catch ;-)
The final interface board:
Currently this board is in production and we have units IN STOCK !
- pricing $149 (USD, per board) - includes free shipping by your choice (registered post, FedEx)
- payments (and/or donations) are expected via PayPal: paypal@rozsnyo.com (please include a phone number!)
- please state in the comment that you want a MBP interface, or send me a separate email
- got questions? feel free to ask - dp2mbpr@rozsnyo.com
Differences from iPad3 LCD interface:
- source signal detection so you do not need to actually use the power button anymore
- integrated ambient light sensor, RGB status diode, 2.1mm barrel plug DC input, different buttons
- mounting holes in corners
LINKS
 
How we did it?
With our new modular development hardware - currently wired here and there to be able to run this new screen:
We got a DP PLUG module, which is usable as sink or source:
For easier manipulation we put the module sideways and flipped it over:
We are not lazy to do a breakout board, rather impatient. So we hand-soldered 12 wires to the 0.4mm pitch IPEX plug on the broken LCD's board (which has its coupling capacitors removed so it does not interfere with the working screen and we accidentally rip a pad off which renderd this piece of PCB unpowered):
Wiring-in the backlit using the disassembled strip from the broken screen (from each of six LED strings a diode is removed so this piece is off, while the working screen is on):
The control unit - hard to explain that it is not an overkill :-)
Here comes the power. While the separate piece of PCB from a broken screen did work from 3.3V, the complete new LCD assembly did not and exhibited a full white image. So we trimmed the PSU's voltage setup divider and now it runs at 3.8V. It is highly probable, that the panel itself is designed to be powered from a 5V or even higher power supply, as the consumption is over 1.5W:
The backlight controller needed a little modification too - change of the overvoltage protection to 50V as the Retina screen got 16 while LED diodes in each strip:
This fruit goes for 9 watts (the backlit set at 18.5mA per string alone consumes 7 watts):
Comparison to a regular, TN based FullHD screen
(with a HP 8540w laptop, driving both screen simultaneously)
Black levels at two ISO settings:
White levels at two ISO settings:
Grayscale test:
- the HP laptop's regular TN based screen has a blue tint (it does have FRC so the fade looks continuous)
- the Apple retina LCD has no tint and the gray is very natural and neutral
Color test (synthetic):
- front view: of course the IPS screen has a little wider gamut than a TN screen:
- view from top: the saturation on the TN screen is fading away even at small angle
Color test (ordinary use):
- the IPS screen is color rich and the 8 bit depth excels here
- the regular TN screen is just 6 bit and it can not recover the details - FRC generates just noise
- view from angle: the TN screen looses saturation and contrast, on the fingers a starting inversion is noticable:
- view from top: the TN screen exhibits strong color inversion:
All high PPI displays must have glossy finish as the matte film's grain size is similar to the size of the tiny pixels. If such a film would be used, the scattering light can be observed as a noise - actually very color saturated noise which totally ruins all the advantages of the screen (high bit depth, accurate colors, high resolution).

The glossy finish is.. well.. not so perfect:
dp2mbpr@rozsnyo.com
(we have also an interface for the 2048x1536 iPad3/4 retina LCD)