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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please keep in mind when looking at the pictures in this post, that due to the way cameras work, the scene as captured is not how it actually appeared to the human eye. In the night pictures, shadows are exagerated, making it look like the room was completey dark, and in the day time pictures, the windows look much brighter than they actually were. I exposed the pictures such that the image on the TV looks fairly close to what I was actually seeing, but as a result the rest of the image is thrown off.


My 7 year old Sony Wega 51" CRT 1080i rear projector TV finally died, so my wife and I started shopping for a fancy new flat panel TV.


I've read about the differences between LCD and plasma in the past, but looking at TVs at the store, the biggest determination of picture quality seemed to be the price, not the type of technology. Whether LCD or plasma, the cheaper sets had faded blacks and overall less contrast.


My wife wanted to stay under $1000, but I couldn't stomach "upgrading" to a TV that didn't look AT LEAST as good as my old Sony CRT. I found that the Sharp 52" Quattron LC52LE830U looked very good, with solid blacks, bright whites, vibrant colors, and a razor sharp image. Best Buy had it on sale for $1349 from $1599, but I went across the street to H.H. Gregg and was able to get it knocked down to $1279 (with a free Sharp Blu-ray player).


Got it home and overall it looked great, however, it has an annoying problem with glare. My old Sony CRT had a glossy screen, so it would glare, but it never seemed to be a problem and did not bother me.


The salesman at H.H. Gregg said that with a matte screen, the Sharp LCD would better deal with glare than a glossy screen plasma, so I'm surprised to find otherwise. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a matte screen will deal with glare differently. Maybe it's a personal preference, but I'd rather have a smaller area of solid reflection, rather than a large, washed out area.


Here is what I saw last night while sitting on the couch directly in front of the TV with all the lights off except for a desk lamp off to the right. The lamp has one of those curly-Q 60-watt equivalent light bulbs, and is not very bright.




So obviously the lamp is reflected in the screen. But instead of just seeing the lamp, the matte surface seems to spread and smear the glare to a large portion of the screen. This lamp was in the same place with my old TV, and the TV was in the exact same place at almost the exact same height. But the lamp never bothered me.


Here's an image showing the position of the lamp relative to the TV:




And here's an image of the room during the day:




And here's a view from the front of the TV:




And the other glare problem I have is a reflection from the window on the front door hitting the screen when I'm sitting at my place at the kitchen table. Here's how this reflection looks:




So basically, the two main places I usually sit to watch TV (in the middle of the couch and at kitchen table) are compromised by the way this TV handles glare. Now when nothing is glaring on the TV, the picture looks great, even during the day, as seen in this picture:




So I'm left trying to decide whether to keep the Sharp, or return it and buy a plasma (or LCD with glossy screen, if they exist).


So my question is, is this type of performance typical for a large LCD screen with a matte surface? Do most people find that matte screens take a relatively confined reflection, and spread it to a large portion of the screen, reducing contrast in that whole area?


Also, I'm wondering what to expect from a glossy plasma screen. Would it perform similarly to my old Sony CRT in regards to glare? Or would it be worse? Here's a picture of my old Sony sitting in the entryway awaiting heavy trash pickup day, so you can see how glossy that screen is:




Thanks for any input!
 

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I can only say that I've had both and the Panny plasma that I could not tolerate more than a week as I could not stand it's glossy screen that was reflective 24/7 and it's whites were dirty gray and urinated on yellow compared to my LCD's and SXRD.


I have much taller arched windows in my HT than yours with a southern exposure and my matte screen Sharp shows no reflections whatsoever but if the sun hits it directly it will get some glare which is unavoidable for about 15% difference whereas the plasma would be all washed out by about 80% and trying to watch a dark movie or gaming was impossible during daytime. The other thing was I had an SXRD before the plasma that was loaded with WoW factor and when I placed the plasma in it's place I viewed the same HD content and it had zero Wow factor that the SXRD had and found that annoying, disappointing.


If you had that lamp like you do next to the plasma I had you'd have much more than that glare - you'd have a reflection of the lamp plus a reflection of the rooms inventory and your ugly puss staring back at you making you want to take out your razor and shave or cut your throat after a mistaken purchase.



The good news is get rid of the lamp or reposition it. I don't know if you bought the 2011 or 2010 Sharp. The 2011 has switched back to more of a semi-matte panel whereas 2010 had glass glossy surface. The last thing I'd place next to those wide windows IMO is a Plasma based upon the mistake I made and it was far worse than your pictures present.
 

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I can only say that nearly every LCD has a glossy screen, the only different is "how glossy". Many Sharps are somewhat less reflective/glossy than most. Many of the new Samsungs are akin to having a mirror in the middle of your living room.
 

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Our viewing environment has more, longer windows than yours. That's the reason I gave my son a plasma I made the mistake of purchasing, a few years ago. I now have a 60" Sony EX700 with zero problems.


After several years of enjoying the plasma's excellent pq, it finally died last week. My daughter-in-law replaced it with a local dimming 47" Vizio and they love it. The Vizio has a semi-matte screen and they have it repositioned in a, to them, better place in the living room. They don't have to worry anymore about avoiding reflections and it's much brighter than the plasma.
 

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That is in fact glare/reflection, but let me assure you, it could be much worse. On some plasmas and even LCDs, that light coming in through the door's window could show the entire room on the screen. Your couch, your kitchen cabinets, etc. In fact, I would dare to say your entire couch would most likely be visible due to those 3 bright windows shining light on the couch/room.


That set seems to be doing a very good job....that room is extremely bright. I have no advice on the lamp. I do see what you mean however.


My advice: I would buy a nice rod and curtain for the front door, and never keep that lamp on thats behind the screen. Done deal. The set looks rather glare free except for the front door reflection, which looks to be direct sunlight. I don't think any set would stop that.
 

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Glossy screen=reflections

Semi matte screen=glare


Pick your poison. You could always try a plasma with a good AR filter, but it wouldn't get as bright as an LCD during daylight hours. I tried to replace my Kuro with a LG LH90 in our brightly lit living room but I actually found the glare of the semi-matte screen more annoying than the muted reflections on the Kuro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaller /forum/post/20809876


Glossy screen=reflections

Semi matte screen=glare


Pick your poison.

That's an excellent way to put it. If the salesman at H.H. Gregg had put it that way, I would have known what to expect and probably would not have posted here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm still kind of on the fence, but I'm leaning towards keeping the TV. If this set was the centerpiece of my home theater, then I would probably be more concerned about the glare issue. But fortunately I have a dedicated home theater in the basement with an Epson 7500UB Pro projector and a 110" screen.


Several of you have mentioned that a plasma would not be as bright as the LCD, and would therefore appear dim in bright light. This Sharp LCD definitively does NOT have that problem. It's easy to see even when the room is bathed in sunlight. And another thing I like is the ambient light sensor. It automatically senses the amount of ambient light, and adjusts brightness accordingly. This feature works great, and saves me the trouble of always switching between "Vivid" and "Normal" modes like I did with my old Sony CRT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 /forum/post/20809724


If you had that lamp like you do next to the plasma I had you'd have much more than that glare

Actually, the lamp in question is not the one next to the TV (which I never turn on), but is the lamp off to the right of the sitting area about 25 feet from the TV. But the lamps are identical, so I can see where the confusion comes from. Funny that I never noticed it with my old, glossy, TV though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westa6969 /forum/post/20809724

and your ugly puss staring back at you

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!
 

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If you need a soft bias light, why not use the floor lamp to the left of the windows?


I'm surprised you thought you somehow would not see evidence of a lamp essentially directly in line with the television.
 

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First I'd like to compliment you on your first post. Rarely, if ever, have I seen such a concise illustrated example of what the poster is concerned with and the various room lighting conditions the set has to deal with.


The glossy=reflections, matte=glare thing is spot-on.


If you had a glossy screen that first picture would show a sharply defined reflection of that lamp, along with somewhat dimmer but still very visible reflections of any thing else in the room that lamp is illuminating--i.e. the table the lamp is sitting on and all the figurines on top of the table, etc. This would be primarily during dark scenes, an overall bright image would still show a defined reflection of that light source but the other reflections would be less.


I usually prefer plasma for color accuracy and many have a decent anti-reflective coating that would cope nearly as well as the matte screen. Your third picture shows an ambient light level that a good plasma could cope with and you'd probably be ok with, provided you hadn't already seen the brightness capability of your Sharp. As things are you probably would not be happy with the plasma after seeing the Sharp in bright daylight.


I honestly believe that without changing anything else there isn't a tv around that will not have either a sharply defined reflection during dark scenes or the more amorphous diffused "glare".


At night, I'd try using the floor lamp to the left of those big windows next to the set, perhaps with a low wattage bulb or the low setting on a 3 way bulb instead of the table lamp on the side table with the figurines on it. If that doesn't work a bias light behind the set would--that's how I overcame the problem in my previous corner setup and it worked very well. As for the daytime glare from the decorative windows in the door about the only solution would be to either live with it or find some way of covering those windows in a way that is aesthetically acceptable--maybe a small roll-up near-opaque window shade with an interesting pattern or color?


You may hear from some naysayers regarding the ambient light sensor, my take is that if you like it leave it on. I use it on my Sony matte screen led and though I don't have as wide a variance in room illumination it does help make black levels look better at night.


In short, a new tv isn't likely to improve things but a little light treatment will.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgar_in_Indy /forum/post/20809987


I'm still kind of on the fence, but I'm leaning towards keeping the TV. If this set was the centerpiece of my home theater, then I would probably be more concerned about the glare issue. But fortunately I have a dedicated home theater in the basement with an Epson 7500UB Pro projector and a 110" screen.


Several of you have mentioned that a plasma would not be as bright as the LCD, and would therefore appear dim in bright light. This Sharp LCD definitively does NOT have that problem. It's easy to see even when the room is bathed in sunlight. And another thing I like is the ambient light sensor. It automatically senses the amount of ambient light, and adjusts brightness accordingly. This feature works great, and saves me the trouble of always switching between "Vivid" and "Normal" modes like I did with my old Sony CRT.

Looks like a nice TV. If you have no screen uniformity issues, I'd hold onto it without a second thought.


Signed,

BoilerJim (Jim_in_Indy
)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S /forum/post/20810220


If that doesn't work a bias light behind the set would--that's how I overcame the problem in my previous corner setup and it worked very well.

Thank you for your very helpful post. All of the suggestions were great, and I especially like the idea of some kind of lighting behind the set. Unlike when watching a movie in my home theater, I don't like to watch TV in total darkness. Should I find a way to stick a lamp behind the set, or could you point me to a more elegant solution?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgar_in_Indy /forum/post/20809126

Please keep in mind when looking at the pictures in this post, that due to the way cameras work, the scene as captured is not how it actually appeared to the human eye. In the night pictures, shadows are exagerated, making it look like the room was completey dark, and in the day time pictures, the windows look much brighter than they actually were. I exposed the pictures such that the image on the TV looks fairly close to what I was actually seeing, but as a result the rest of the image is thrown off.


My 7 year old Sony Wega 51" CRT 1080i rear projector TV finally died, so my wife and I started shopping for a fancy new flat panel TV.


I've read about the differences between LCD and plasma in the past, but looking at TVs at the store, the biggest determination of picture quality seemed to be the price, not the type of technology. Whether LCD or plasma, the cheaper sets had faded blacks and overall less contrast.


My wife wanted to stay under $1000, but I couldn't stomach "upgrading" to a TV that didn't look AT LEAST as good as my old Sony CRT. I found that the Sharp 52" Quattron LC52LE830U looked very good, with solid blacks, bright whites, vibrant colors, and a razor sharp image. Best Buy had it on sale for $1349 from $1599, but I went across the street to H.H. Gregg and was able to get it knocked down to $1279 (with a free Sharp Blu-ray player).


Got it home and overall it looked great, however, it has an annoying problem with glare. My old Sony CRT had a glossy screen, so it would glare, but it never seemed to be a problem and did not bother me.


The salesman at H.H. Gregg said that with a matte screen, the Sharp LCD would better deal with glare than a glossy screen plasma, so I'm surprised to find otherwise. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that a matte screen will deal with glare differently. Maybe it's a personal preference, but I'd rather have a smaller area of solid reflection, rather than a large, washed out area.


Here is what I saw last night while sitting on the couch directly in front of the TV with all the lights off except for a desk lamp off to the right. The lamp has one of those curly-Q 60-watt equivalent light bulbs, and is not very bright.




So obviously the lamp is reflected in the screen. But instead of just seeing the lamp, the matte surface seems to spread and smear the glare to a large portion of the screen. This lamp was in the same place with my old TV, and the TV was in the exact same place at almost the exact same height. But the lamp never bothered me.


Here's an image showing the position of the lamp relative to the TV:




And here's an image of the room during the day:




And here's a view from the front of the TV:




And the other glare problem I have is a reflection from the window on the front door hitting the screen when I'm sitting at my place at the kitchen table. Here's how this reflection looks:




So basically, the two main places I usually sit to watch TV (in the middle of the couch and at kitchen table) are compromised by the way this TV handles glare. Now when nothing is glaring on the TV, the picture looks great, even during the day, as seen in this picture:




So I'm left trying to decide whether to keep the Sharp, or return it and buy a plasma (or LCD with glossy screen, if they exist).


So my question is, is this type of performance typical for a large LCD screen with a matte surface? Do most people find that matte screens take a relatively confined reflection, and spread it to a large portion of the screen, reducing contrast in that whole area?


Also, I'm wondering what to expect from a glossy plasma screen. Would it perform similarly to my old Sony CRT in regards to glare? Or would it be worse? Here's a picture of my old Sony sitting in the entryway awaiting heavy trash pickup day, so you can see how glossy that screen is:




Thanks for any input!

If you want a glossy screen, the best I have seen in on the Samsung models that have the "ultra clear panel". Those screens are mirror-like but preserve black levels perfectly in any lighting whatsoever. My old B650 had this feature and my new D550 doesn't, which is a bit disappointing. I agree with your stance on matte and semi-matte LCD screens.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgar_in_Indy /forum/post/20810509


Thank you for your very helpful post. All of the suggestions were great, and I especially like the idea of some kind of lighting behind the set. Unlike when watching a movie in my home theater, I don't like to watch TV in total darkness. Should I find a way to stick a lamp behind the set, or could you point me to a more elegant solution?

This thread should tell you more than you ever wanted to know about bias lighting:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1343528


A true videophile can make this an extremely complex proposition what with arguments about color temp and such. My setup was more "on the cheap" involving a simple sort of small bucket lamp with a d65 flourescent "bulb" placed on the floor in the corner (concealed behind my subwoofer which was in the corner behind the set's stand) and pointed upwards and slightly rearward so the light bounced off the wall corner. My flourescent was equivalent to a 40 watt incandescent bulb, you might want to go with one a bit brighter.


I'd be the last to say my setup would be ideal for your situation--I had no spousal acceptance factor to deal with and my own decorating sense is non-existent. From what I've seen of what the pro decorators do with tvs on HGTV the latter is a significant advantage as far as pq goes.


Chances are you already have most of what's needed to do a quick and dirty test-run of the concept without any major investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was visiting with my in-laws last night, and was checking out their 52" Samsung LCD from a two or three years back. I think they paid around $2200 for it. I've always loved the picture on that TV, and that was part of the reason I decided to go for an LCD over a plasma.


Anyway, I noticed that the screen on their TV is glossy. Their room has just as many windows and light sources as my room (if not more), but reflections seemed to be handled in a much more pleasing and less obtrusive ways. Yeah, I could see reflections, but unless I was looking for them I didn't really notice them. And overall I preferred the look of the glossy screen, with the blacks appearing darker.


So can anybody recommend a good 50"-52" Samsung (or other brand) LCD with a glossy screen under $1500?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve S /forum/post/20810780


This thread should tell you more than you ever wanted to know about bias lighting:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1343528


A true videophile can make this an extremely complex proposition what with arguments about color temp and such. My setup was more "on the cheap" involving a simple sort of small bucket lamp with a d65 flourescent "bulb" placed on the floor in the corner (concealed behind my subwoofer which was in the corner behind the set's stand) and pointed upwards and slightly rearward so the light bounced off the wall corner. My flourescent was equivalent to a 40 watt incandescent bulb, you might want to go with one a bit brighter.

I did what you did. I put a round bottom uplight (bucket light) behind my tv and used a 15W CFL with a temp at 5000k (I alternate between that and a 5500k cause I haven't quite decided yet). It reflects off of an off-white wall that ends in a cathedral ceiling. The effect is very noticeable at night when watching tv/movies. Enought light so that you're not stumbling around in a dark room but without the need of turning on any lamps, unless someone wants to read, and then, there is little to none reflection on out matte screen LCD.
 

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Most manufacturers are going with 55" nowadays. You could try the Sony NX720 (which should be reviewed by CNet soon) or maybe wait a bit and try to snag one of the new Vizio LED's. Not sure if they are matte or glossy, but they should be pretty good at an affordable price.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by hhaller /forum/post/20813242


Most manufacturers are going with 55" nowadays.

Yeah, I've noticed that the 52" is getting kind of hard to find. I was actually planning on getting a 60", but the WAF in my situation is off the charts. My wife says that since I have the home theater downstairs with a projector and a giant screen, we don't need a hugeTV upstairs. She thinks that anything larger than 52" would be "disproportional", so that's my limit.



Of course, any type of external speakers are also off limits since I have a 7.2 sound system downstairs. So it's too bad that the sound is so weak on these flat panels.
 
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