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Reflections of 2014 TVs: Matte and Glossy

Updated May 02, 2014 By Cedric Demers

If your television is in your living room, reflections can really become a curse during day time. Which television has the least amount of reflections and glare? Is a matte screen better than a glossy one?

For reference, here are pictures of the reflections and glare on the 2014 TVs that we tested so far, in a room with a few lights and another in a very bright room with windows, as well as whether it has a matte or glossy screen.

Average Room

Our average room setup simulates a typical room with a few lights on at night or without windows. We set the luminosity of the TV to a white of 100 cd/m2.

The reflection number that we measured is the ratio of the luminance of the light reflected compared to the original light. For example, a 2% reflection means the amount of light reflected is 2% of its original strength.

2014 LED TVs

9.5
Samsung HU8550 Average Room
Reflection: 0.7 %
Surface Type: Glossy
9.5
Samsung H8000 Average Room
Reflection: 0.9 %
Surface Type: Glossy
9.5
Samsung H7150 Average Room
Reflection: 0.7 %
Surface Type: Glossy
9.0
Sony W850B Average Room
Reflection: 1.7 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
9.0
Toshiba L1400U Average Room
Reflection: 1.7 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
9.0
Vizio M Series Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
9.0
Vizio E Series Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
9.0
Toshiba L3400U Average Room
Reflection: 1.7 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
9.0
Sony W800B Average Room
Reflection: 1.7 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Vizio P Series Average Room
Reflection: 2.0 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Sony W600B Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Samsung H6203 Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
LG LB5900 Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Samsung H6350 Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Samsung H6400 Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
8.5
Sony W950B Average Room
Reflection: 1.8 %
Surface Type: Glossy
7.5
Sony R420B Average Room
Reflection: 1.9 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
7.0
LG LB5600 Average Room
Reflection: 2.5 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
7.0
LG LB6300 Average Room
Reflection: 2.6 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss
7.0
LG LB5800 Average Room
Reflection: 2.5 %
Surface Type: Semi-gloss

Bright Room

Our bright room test is equivalent to a room with windows during the day. For this test, we set the luminosity of the TV to the maximum possible, and we measure the resulting white color brightness.

2014 LED TVs

9.5
Vizio P Series Bright Room
Max white: 400.2 cd/m2
9.5
Samsung H8000 Bright Room
Max white: 345.5 cd/m2
9.0
Samsung H6400 Bright Room
Max white: 304.7 cd/m2
9.0
Samsung H7150 Bright Room
Max white: 299.2 cd/m2
9.0
Samsung HU8550 Bright Room
Max white: 340.4 cd/m2
9.0
Vizio M Series Bright Room
Max white: 352.5 cd/m2
9.0
Vizio E Series Bright Room
Max white: 282.9 cd/m2
9.0
Samsung H6350 Bright Room
Max white: 329.1 cd/m2
9.0
Sony W950B Bright Room
Max white: 362.1 cd/m2
9.0
Sony W850B Bright Room
Max white: 305.7 cd/m2
8.5
Toshiba L3400U Bright Room
Max white: 244.2 cd/m2
8.5
Sony W800B Bright Room
Max white: 256.2 cd/m2
8.5
Sony W600B Bright Room
Max white: 233.1 cd/m2
8.5
Samsung H6203 Bright Room
Max white: 235.4 cd/m2
8.0
Toshiba L1400U Bright Room
Max white: 156 cd/m2
7.5
LG LB5900 Bright Room
Max white: 176.3 cd/m2
7.0
LG LB5800 Bright Room
Max white: 328 cd/m2
7.0
LG LB5600 Bright Room
Max white: 237.8 cd/m2
7.0
LG LB6300 Bright Room
Max white: 267.1 cd/m2
7.0
Sony R420B Bright Room
Max white: 138 cd/m2

2013 TVs Reflections

See our results for 2013 TVs.

Why are there very few matte screen TV nowadays?

A pure matte screen has a very big disadvantage compared to a glossy screen: it considerably reduce the picture quality and clearness. To reduce the amount of reflection, a matte screen diffuses the light coming into the screen to all directions. The problem is that it also diffuse the light coming out of the screen, which creates a little blurriness to the picture.

It is hard to classify a TV as matte or glossy. Most TVs nowadays are more semi-matte.

For this reason, manufacturers only put matte screen on their lower end models, where the buyers do not expect the best picture quality anyway. Also, higher end buyers usually have a darker viewing environment.

Does a plasma TV with a matte screen exist?

No. Plasma TVs need a glass panel to contain the gas cell. To compensate for this, higher end plasma models have an anti-glare filter applied on top of the glass.

You can find more information about anti glare filters here.

Questions

Nov 29 2013
Thanks for the comparison! The TV Reflections guide top choice is a plasma TV (ST60). My understanding is that for a bright room with windows like mine, this model be the best choice, better than any LED?
Not really. Yes, it has the least amount of reflections. However, there are 2 things to consider in a bright room: reflections and brightness. Plasmas (with the exception of the Samsung F8500) don't get very bright (82 cd/m2 for the ST60, compared to 300 cd /m2 for some LEDs). In a medium bright room like the ones in our pictures, they are bright enough. However, if you have a lot of windows, you will need a TV which can get at least 150 cd / m2.
12
Jul 07 2014
Is it worth investing in an anti-glare screen?
Check out our pictures of last year 2013 plasma TVs to see what an anti glare filter does. It works well, but it reduces the vertical viewing angle.
6
Nov 19 2013
I find your site to be very informative, so thank you for that. I'm wondering why you don't have a section on vertical/horizontal banding, or the so-called "DSE"? It would be useful to know which sets suffer more from this, and which less (or possibly even none, if such a set exists).
Thanks for the feedback. We will consider it when we update our test bench for next year, if we can come up with a good way of exposing it consistently for all TVs. Let us know if you have other suggestions!
5
Aug 23 2014
I have a Sony SXRD kds-50a 2000 (green screen, therefore looking for a new tv) that does very well in my room facing 4 large windows and 3 more on the side. The only Sony tv I can find that seems to be a matte screen is the KDL60W850B. Do you think this will work in our 20x20 room? Seems like all the 4k models are glossy screens. Am I on the right track? I have been researching this for approximately 2 months and I must say you have the BEST info that I can find (that applies to me) on the web. Thank you for this great site!
The KDL60W850B is semi-gloss, not matte. They don't produce pure matte TVs anymore. Glossier TVs have less ambient reflections, but in your scenario, the more defined reflections will be more of an issue. So go for the KDL60W850B. It is a great TV.
5
Jan 16 2014
My LED TV is placed very near a window and exposed to direct sunlight every day. I was recommended by a friend to always pull down the curtains but it gets tiring to do that every day. Does it really matter? What happens with the screen if it's exposed to the sun?
It doesn't really matter (except for the reflections when you are watching it of course). The direct sunlight will not damage your TV. The TV will likely break by itself long before the sun makes some visible damage to it.
4
Dec 12 2013
We bought a Samsung LED, or LCD instead of a plasma. It is a 60 in screen. Problem is I can't see the picture from the side in the lighted room. Only when we sit right in front. We bought it because we didn't want glare, but now we can't see picture across the room. What do we do?
Samsung LEDs all have a very narrow viewing angle. If you haven't already, check out our viewing angle videos. If you need a wide viewing angle and want an LED, you are better off with an LG TV. Of course, plasma will have an even higher viewing angle, but entry level models have a lot of reflections.
3
Dec 26 2013
I find your site very informative as well but was wondering if you would be able to put a section where you ask to buy the size you are looking for instead of getting all the sizes priced out that you don't want.
Thanks for the feedback. We have this tool to navigate by size, but as you mention it isn't very good. We will create something better.
Update: We decided to manually recommend TVs for each size group, for example.
3
Sep 15 2014
We purchased an LED TV, unfortunately as it faced a large window the screen acted like a mirror and we couldn't see the picture. We took it back and got a full refund, our old TV is a matt finish so much better. Is there anyway around this as we want to purchase a new TV?
Not really. TVs are now only semi-gloss or glossy. Depending on the model though, some are better than others (as you can see in the pictures above).
0
Sep 18 2014
I am interested in the 2014 Samsung pn64f5000 plasma. Have you had a chance to see this model? By the way, your site is #1 in my book. Better than CNET. Great reviews. Unbiased and no fluff. Just great unbiased info. Thank You!
Don't you mean the PN64H5000 instead? If so, we haven't. It looks just like the 2013 F5300/F5500 though. Which are great (except for the reflection problems).
0
Oct 23 2014
The Samsung UN39FH5000 39-Inch 1080p 60Hz LED TV has a glossy finish if I am correct. Is this TV not well suited for a sun room? I am trying to find a quality tv for this room. The room is 15'x12' and windows are on all sides but the west where it would be mounted.
The finish is semi-gloss, like most TVs now. We haven't tested it so we don't know how bright it can get, but it should be fine.
0
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