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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I like LCDs.


But, today I was with my son in a store getting his hockey skates sharpened. The store had a Samsung LCD upon a shelf, just above my head height. My son said, in a very frustrated voice: "Dad, why can't I see the picture? Why is it so dark?"


I bent down to his height and sure enough the picture practically vanished, barely illuminated at all. Even from my head height, slightly below the display, and even though the display was angled downward somewhat on it's stand, the picture was annoyingly darkened (unless I went on my tippy toes).


It just reminded me of the limitations it seems consumers and businesses face with the current viewing angles in LCD. You can't just mount an LCD up high on the wall, like a plasma or direct view set, and realize the same image quality from wide viewing angles.


It also makes me wonder about the popularity of plasmas being placed up high over fire-places, and how LCD displays would fare with such a viewing angle.


Or how much restriction one faces when placing an LCD display for family viewing. I know my kids watch TV half the time from the floor, way below the display. (And in my situation I could not lower the height of our TV).

I've not seen an LCD that didn't suffer obvious image problems while viewing above or below the display.


Just some thoughts.


I'd be interested to hear from some LCD owners what kind of challenges they found, if any, for positioning their LCD.


Thanks.
 

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Good observation and question Rich. My father-in-law is in the market (has been for a while now) to upgrade his family room TV to either an LCD or plasma. When we watch TV at his place, the family is all over the place, on chairs, couches, floor, and at odd angles. I've been to local B&Ms and seen a pretty decent angle to the Sharp LCD he has been leaning towards, but then again, it's always at eye level.


I'm interested to see feedback on this thread.


-JR
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by R Harkness
First, I like LCDs.
Rich, that was a good beginning ...



Jokes aside, everyone understands that plasmas basically do not have a viewing angle issue. LCDs on the other hand differ in that regard - depending on the generation / technology used - they have a widely varying normal viewing angles. Some (especially older and cheaper panels integrated in the laptops) were awful in that regard. Others are a lot more advanced in that sense and basically do not distort colors and only slightly lose brightness at narrow angles. Compared to RPTVs though I find that most if not all modern LCD panels have significantly better viewing angles. Under normal conditions, there should not be any issue placing an LCD panel (either as a PC monitor or LCD TV) at home or in the office. I do not think there would be major problems using LCD panels in airports or other public places either, in fact I have seen LCD panels used there along with plasmas.

Very rarely you would see a flat panel display mounted flush on the wall - most of them including plasmas are usually tilted down towards the passengers anyway.


A long while ago I posted a couple of photos of the LCD TV taken at narrow angles. I am not sure if you had a chance to see them, therefore I will attach a couple again. The first one is taken at a basically "normal" viewing angle (showing a frame from "Kill Bill"). In the second post I will allow you to see the same frame at a very narrow angle taken from the second floor.
 

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Here's the second shot. Keep in mind this picture suffered some minor degradation in color and resolution compared to the first shot since I had to crop the photo and zoom it a little to delete some unneeded things from it

 

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Another snapshot at a narrow angle - this time when the panel was connected to a PC.
 

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Having seen these photos, you would probably agree that there should not be any issue placing your LCD panel at home. Just my humble opinion. YMMV.
 

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Good quality LCD's are, for the most part, even pretty good for extreme angle viewing. There are still some slight color shifts and decrease in contrast, but, IMHO, the issue is much, much less than it was.


Still, plasma and CRT have the edge.
 

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Agreed. While there are still some dogs out there when it comes to vertical viewing angle, the newer LCDs are remarkably good in this regard. I *always* check the viewing angle by sitting low or looking down before buying an LCD display. Ditto for side-to-side although most are excellent these days in this respect.


Amir
 

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When looking at some smaller LCDs late last year I was shocked at how wide a range of quality, or rather lack thereof, there was as regards viewing angle. I think folks who are looking at 17" or smaller LCDs need to be particularly careful in this regard as I suspect many manufacturers are cutting corners in the smaller units. And unfortunately most people don't even consider the potential problem of limited VERTICAL viewing angle.


I was quite pleased to see some wide viewing angle models in smaller sizes and what I thought were reasonable prices. Apparently the technology really is capable of doing a reasonable job here. But they were sitting right next to some pretty awful units at basically the same price.

--Bob
 

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Sorry if I'm going to rain on this LCD parade BUT..


From your pictures it seems that while some image can be seen at higher angles the quality of that image is less than stellar.


I looked at the 37" sony and a sharp at the local store it seemed like every 10 degree slice of viewing angle had its own different color spectrum. As the angles get more oblique the image seems to turn more green. Blues seem to to get piched offthe most.


The side by side comparison with a plasma was really striking.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dusty144
I looked at the 37" sony and a sharp at the local store it seemed like every 10 degree slice of viewing angle had its own different color spectrum. As the angles get more oblique the image seems to turn more green. Blues seem to to get piched offthe most.
I can't speak for the Sony, but this is NOT the case with my Sharp 37G4U. It holds its brightness, contrast and color intensity (all colors) very well until you are well off-axis (more than 60 degrees off). I don't notice any significant change to the color spectrum within that wide viewing angle...certainly no more so than the Sony xbr direct-view crt that used to sit in its place. Maybe some other Sharp G series owners can also check this out on their own sets...
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dusty144
Sorry if I'm going to rain on this LCD parade BUT..
This was not a parade, dusty, but a direct response to Rich''s questions. He is concerned about off-axis viewability of the LCD panels. So I offered him some photos I took at home when I used to own an LCD panel. The second shot shows not only horizontal but vertical angles as well. There is no color distortion, save for some minimal loss of brightness due to well lit family room. To give a better idea of how bright the room was here's another photo taken the same day from a slightly different angle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys, and thanks TauRus for the pictures.


Yes, there is obviously variability in the viewing angle department among LCDs. It was a fairly small LCD I was looking at (maybe 24" or something).


I do notice horizontal/vertical viewing angle changes in some of the bigger LCDs as well, but it's been a while since I specifically checked (most of them are displayed eye-height).


I certainly notice the horizontal/vertical changes in DLP and LCD RPTVs I still wouldn't buy one due in part to such a problem.
 

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With at least one generation prior LCDs, we definitely have color shift on our 30" Sharp LCDs, and the REAL viewing angle is more like +/- 50 degrees. Their specs seem to more relate to "I can still see a picture", than "I can see the same quality picture".
 
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