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What is a Plasma Anti-Glare Filter?

Updated Feb 17, 2014 By Cedric Demers

A plasma anti-glare filter is worth it if you have a window in your room. It will reduce the reflection of the light on it. If you are watching your TV in a dark room, you do not need it.

The following pictures compare a plasma with an anti-glare filter, one without and an LED television. As you can see, a normal plasma is almost as reflective as a mirror. The filter does a good job at both diffusing the light and reducing it.

Plasma with anti glare filter
The Samsung F8500, a plasma with an anti-glare filter
Plasma with no anti glare filter
The Samsung F5300, a plasma without an anti-glare filter
LED
The LG Samsung F6300, an LED TV
We take these pictures for every TVs that we review. Check all of them here.

A plasma anti-reflection filter is a thin film applied on top of a plasma screen to reduce the reflection of the ambient light. Compared to an LCD which can have either a glossy or matte finish, plasma absolutely needs a glass panel to contain each gas cell. A glass is a very good reflector of light, so if your room contains a window you will most likely see the reflection of it on your television.

Learn how a plasma works here.

Is a Plasma Anti-Reflective Filter worth it?

A plasma anti-reflective filter is definitely worth it, except if you do not have any windows or lights when you are watching television. It does reduces considerably the amount of reflections on the television.

However, an anti-glare filter for a plasma television will reduce the brightness of the picture at a vertical viewing angle. To further reduce the reflection, manufacturers assume you will only watch your television at relatively the same height of it. This assumption is useful for them, because they can block more the lights coming in and out at a vertical angle of the television, like most reflections of lights and windows would. Therefore, if you are watching your television at a big vertical angle (like if it is hang on top of the fireplace and you are on the ground with your kids), a plasma anti-glare filter might actually be worse for you.

On the plasma TVs with an anti glare filter that we tested, the vertical viewing angle is on average 30°.

How do you fix glare on a plasma TV?

If you already own a plasma TV with a lot of glare and reflections, you can still fix it by buying a third party anti-glare filter and applying it on your television. For example, ViewGuard makes filters that goes up to 65" in size. It is not cheap though, depending on the size of your television.

Of course, the best solution is to adapt your room accordingly. Installing curtains on your windows or moving your television in a better spot is a very effective way to reduce the glare and the reflections on your television.

What is Panasonic Infinite Black Panel with Louver Filter?

The Panasonic Infinite Black Panel with Louver Filter is the anti-glare filter of the top of the line Panasonic plasmas. It is available on the following 2013 models:

The ZT60 has the Ultimate Black version, the VT60 has the Infinite Black Ultra and the ST60 the Infinite Black Pro.

What is Samsung Real Black Panel and Real Black Panel Pro?

Samsung Real Black Panel is Samsung's anti-reflective filter as described above. There is only one model in 2013 with it:

What is LG TruBlack Filter?

LG's TruBlack Filter is LG's term for its anti-glare filter that comes with its higher end plasmas models. There is no 2013 models with it.

Conclusion

Unless you have a complete dark room when you are watching television, an anti-glare filter for a plasma television is worth the upgrade. It does not remove all reflections, but it is a noticeable improvement.

The best plasma that we tested with a filter is the Panasonic ST60. Unfortunately, like most Panasonic plasmas, it is out of stock everywhere. We suggest the Samsung F8500 instead.