Matte Vs. Glossy TV Screen

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Updated September 17, 2022

When searching for the best TVs, one of the most important areas of consideration is the display. There are a few major areas of difference when it comes to matte vs glossy TV screens, and it’s important for any TV shopper to know what they are.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • A matte display is ideal for outdoor use or uncontrolled ambient light areas.
  • A glossy display produces more vibrant colors and clearer images.
  • Each screen has its significant advantages and disadvantages. Choosing a display will depend on your personal need and the location of the TV.

Differences Between Matte and Glossy TV Screens

The main difference between glossy screens and matte screens lies in how each reflects light. Matte surfaces have an anti-glare coating feature built-in, whereas glossy displays don’t. Matte displays, absorbing more sunlight, have duller visuals but remain visible in the presence of intense light. In a controlled environment with little natural or bright light, glare isn’t noticeable in either. It’s when they are put in direct light that the difference is noticed. These differences are extremely noticeable, unlike the comparison of 1080i vs 1080p.

Insider Tip

Certain NanoCell TV models come with full-array local dimming. This dims parts of the backlight in darker sections to give off darker black levels.

Withstanding Reflections and Glares

If the screen in question needs to be used in direct sunlight, it would be a good idea to go with a matte screen. The reason is that a glossy surface in sunlight is nearly unusable, and a matte finish is designed for places with glares, similar to the difference between LED vs LCD TV screens. However, if the screen in question is going to be used outside, in a room with lots of natural light, or somewhere with bright lights, it may be best to go with a TV screen with a matte display. Additionally, when cleaning your matte screen, ensure not to damage the anti-glare coating. Use a microfiber cloth to clean your screen, whether you use high vs low-pile microfiber is up to your preference.

Display, Color Saturation, and Picture Quality

It’s commonly understood that when it comes to a bright display and depth of color, glossy screens are superior to a matte finish. This is why glossy screens remain relevant even though they are hard to use when exposed to bright light. Matte displays, on the other hand, do not produce vivid color or significant color depth. This should be taken into account if you want an HDR display so you can get the full benefit of HDR. Be sure to read our article to learn more about the benefits of HDR vs non-HDR TVs. For those considering a screen for gaming, it’s also essential to understand the differences between a monitor vs LED TV.

Effects on the Eyes

Because of the nature of the finish, matte screens are far better on the eyes whenever a glare is present. It’s better because a matte tv screen absorbs ambient light and doesn’t reflect into the viewer’s eyes. With glossy screens, the light bounces off of the screen and reflects into the retina. For this reason, the matte anti-glare screen is better for the eyes when comparing a glossy vs mirror-like TV. Your field of view will also have an effect on your eyes. If your TV is too large or your sitting too close, you may hurt your eyes trying to keep up with the action on the screen if it’s not directly in front of you. You can read more about this in our article on TV screen size comparison.

Warning

Although OLED TVs have outstanding picture quality, they tend to sell for twice the price as NanoCell TVs.

F.A.Q.S

Are matte screens better on the eyes?

The effect a screen has on the eyes depends on the location of the screen. There won’t be much of a difference if it’s in an indoor room with little ambient light and bright light. However, if there is a glare, then matte screens are better because they don’t reflect any light into the viewer’s eyes.


Matte vs Glossy: How to know which you should choose?

Choosing a screen depends mainly on where you plan on using the screen and for what. For example, many recommend glossy screens for anything that involves bright displays, such as gaming, film, and anything with vibrant color. But if you plan to use the screen outdoors or with heavy light, matte screens are superior.


How to reduce the amount of glare?

If you have a glossy screen and need to reduce the amount of glare, matte covers are available for purchase. However, this will affect the brightness of the display.



STAT: The level of brightness you should keep your screen at to keep eye strain to a minimum depends on the amount of ambient light in the room. (source)

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