So, like a man obsessed he does too much interweb research on the topic. We recently purchased a 51" Samsung F5300 series plasma, but returned it after a week...the reflections (even when placed so as not to directly reflect our back patio french doors) were ridiculously distracting. Our current plasma has a “matte” screen and as everyone knows everything now has a full glossy, semi glossy or “glossy but with an anti-reflective coating or filter” screen. Indeed, it is the Panasonic 77U series from 2007 which offered a one year only matte screen (before they went with variations of "glossy") - it was also an UPCHARGE item over the otherwise identical 75U series that. year. Here is sits in our current environment...also showing pics of the various walls opposite and to the side of it (sorry for the over-exposed camera phone pics):
Our room is NOT what I would call bright. Our windows are north/south facing and we have shade trees, etc. In addition, two of our walls are dark, etc.
Anyway, this website got me looking at our current TVs and displays more closely :
On that page you will see they offer a number of different films for LCDs with varying levels
of optical clarity and glare, reflection reduction.
My work laptop and my external monitor are definitely what I would describe as full-on matte displays. Any light source is fully diffused and it is virtually impossible to tell what you are looking at. I even walked around the room holding up my work laptop (screen off) to various light source to observe the diffusion. We’ll call this “best case scenario” for attenuating both reflections and general glare.
My TV, however, is definitely NOT a “full matte” display.
Here are a few pics of my TV up close and my (ridiculously dirt) laptop along with descriptions:
TV, but from an angle to show the rear patio French door. The glossy bezel clearly shows the windows and you see it diffuse as it gets onto the screen itself. The glossy bezel is also a very accurate representation of what my wife's new laptop looks like across the whole screen, an iPad looks like, and what that Plasma screen we returned looked like. As an aside, we don’t actually watch the TV from this angle in the room normally unless guests are over.
From this angle, no direct reflections of a window, lamp, etc. You can see muted versions of the couch, a section of the white wall (vertical white strip in left half of pic) and even me on the far left taking the pic. Note my checkered shirt showing up well in the glossy frame.
This is me holding up my work laptop against the TV to see what a full matte screen really looks like when reflecting my patio doors. As you can see, I keep it very dirty to diffuse….um, never mind. You can clearly see a.) the full gloss reflection in the bezel, b.) the diffused reflection on the TV screen itself, and c.) a dirty matte laptop screen with, well, basically nothing but a slightly brighter hotspot in the top half. Man...why does my hand look so weird?
Anyway, here are some big takeaways for me:
1. Full matte (like my laptop) is just that…MATTE
– there is no comparison to anything else when it comes to glare, reflections, etc.
2. I may not need FULL Matte on my TV
– I originally assumed my TV was a little more matte than it really is. We have been perfectly happy with this semi-matte plasma. We just have zero complaints about the reflections/glare which definitely has something to do with the way it is positioned and its size (note: a larger screen opens the door for just that many more “reflective” items to show up. If you look at that Photodon web page. My TV seems to be something akin to their MXT or MXH films (as opposed to their MXG film).
3. General “reflectivity” bothers me
– My wife really hated watching that one-week plasma when she could see the French doors, etc. (which was only from viewing angles we don’t normally view it at). I, on the other hand, found myself bothered by what I’ll call a general “reflectivity” across the screen all the time from any angle…even in a darkened room. I notice this with her laptop and even when I am holding an ipad. I can move the laptop screen or ipad to avoid a specific bright reflection but there just seems to be a general glare/reflectivity/gloss that just bugs me.
4. Summary – Still no answer for me yet.
The high dollar Samsung F8500 plasma has an “anti-reflection” filter. That is not the same as a matte screen (which simply do not exist any more), but it MIGHT do the trick for us.
Check this link out: http://www.rtings.com/info/reflectio...nd-glossy/2013
If you scroll down to the Plasmas, you will see the Samsung F5300 which we bought (and returned) with a bad 4.3% reflection rating, and the F8500 (which costs 3X) with a much better 0.9% reflection rating (note: ignore the numbers and let your eyes be the judge). In each TV shown, LEDs and Plasmas, the reflections are more crisp than any matte display and even more crisp than our semi-matte Panasonic. I may try to order one of the anti-glare films and try it out on my wife's laptop. Note, there is a 2014 TVs link as well and the reflections on some of the Samsung LEDs are better this year (still not matte).
Honestly, I would probably go ahead and try the Samsung F8500 out if it were cheaper…can’t quite stomach $1800+ for it even though we watch more than our fair share of TV. Hoping for a big price reduction before they disappear especially since: http://www.cnet.com/news/why-samsung...eat-plasma-tv/
As I said…a man obsessed!