Can someone explain monitor coatings please?

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Nov 5, 2011
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Hi,

I've looked a lot on google and nobody seems to care about monitor coatings as much as you guys, so could someone explain the different types and pros + cons please?

Specifically, I'm wondering whether "Anti-Glare,3H" is better than "Hard coating(3H), Anti-glare treatment of the front polarizer" and whether both are any good as far as coatings go.

Also general information regarding coatings would be much appreciated to lengthen my neckbeard.

Thanks a lot!
 

Whoisthisreally

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The typical lcd monitor uses an Anti-Glare film which is an acid-etched plastic sheet. The rough surface breaks up reflectance from any given position while also protecting the front polariser from damage. The haze level of the treatment determines the level of reduction and the visibility (sparkle, grain) of the film. It varies from less to more visible based on the panel manufacturer. I've used "heavy" and lightly treated monitors and there is no issue I can find. An important note is that the texture visibility performance of the coating must improve as pixel density increases, but this is an issue we must confront in six months or so.

The alternative is an Anti-Reflective treatment to glass. Several chemical films are applied to the display's front glass which break up the reflection. This is used on some mobiles, high end PDPs and video monitors.

I think that "3H" refers to hardness for the purpose of scratch resistance. "Better" is obviously "less visible", but it's low on my list of priorities.
 
Joined
Nov 5, 2011
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The typical lcd monitor uses an Anti-Glare film which is an acid-etched plastic sheet. The rough surface breaks up reflectance from any given position while also protecting the front polariser from damage. The haze level of the treatment determines the level of reduction and the visibility (sparkle, grain) of the film. It varies from less to more visible based on the panel manufacturer. I've used "heavy" and lightly treated monitors and there is no issue I can find. An important note is that the texture visibility performance of the coating must improve as pixel density increases, but this is an issue we must confront in six months or so.

The alternative is an Anti-Reflective treatment to glass. Several chemical films are applied to the display's front glass which break up the reflection. This is used on some mobiles, high end PDPs and video monitors.

Wonderful, thanks for the reply!

Why is it that people complain about coatings then and even go so far as to remove them?
 

Whoisthisreally

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Wonderful, thanks for the reply!

Why is it that people complain about coatings then and even go so far as to remove them?

It gives the display a sharper look but it isn't something I can really understand as it then becomes trivial to scratch the front polariser and permanently damage the display. Other people will comment on why they chose to. You can see the glossy look on apple displays and mobile phones. I've just ordered a display which has a glossy finish so I'll have owned all four (heavy IPS, light C-PVA, AR treated plasma and untreated or lightly treated glass)
 
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It gives the display a sharper look but it isn't something I can really understand as it then becomes trivial to scratch the front polariser and permanently damage the display. Other people will comment on why they chose to. You can see the glossy look on apple displays and mobile phones. I've just ordered a display which has a glossy finish so I'll have owned all four (heavy IPS, light C-PVA, AR treated plasma and untreated or lightly treated glass)

Ahhh okay, thanks :)
 

Ashok0

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There are varying degrees of opinions around here on anti-glare coatings, but for me AG coating is my #1 priority on buying a display. I bought a DELL U3011 and had to return it. For me, the heavy AG coating was completely visible to the naked eye and rendered the display completely unusable. It's hard to explain but when I looked at the monitor, due to the coating it looked like I was looking through "something" when looking at the screen (kind of like watching a TV from through a window outside your house). I felt like I was looking at my monitor from behind a very fine pitch mosquito net. On light backgrounds, I would actually see a sparkle-like "rainbow" effect. Anyways, I read a few posts online stating that "Anti-Glare,3H" wasn't a noticeable issue but for me it was a complete deal breaker, just my .02.

This dude wrote a really good blog post on the whole AG debacle here: http://peterhallam.com.au/dell-u2711-anti-glare-review/
 

Mr.Pixel

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Be careful when reading about anti-glare versus anti-reflection since these terms are often used interchangeably but are actually very different. All an anti-glare coating does (besides protecting the polarizer) is diffuse the light reflected off it and passing through it. It does not reduce the amount of light reflected.

An anti-reflection coating does reduce the amount of light reflected, but without diffusing it. The ideal display surface would be a perfect anti-reflection coating, or one that reflects no light off the surface. A monitor using this coating would never need anti-glare because there is no reflected light that needs diffusing.

A glossy display should reflect about 8% of the light shining on it when viewed straight on because of the glass used. Using the same coatings available for camera lenses it should not be difficult to get this down to 1-2%, but it gets expensive because of the large surface area of monitors. In contrast, an anti-glare coating is just rough plastic and very cheap to add. Hopefully someone will soon find a way to add anti-reflection to displays without being prohibitively expensive, but based on how often other important aspects are ignored I am not holding by breath.

On a more personal note, I used to think a glossy display would drive me nuts. However, after buying and using one of the Korean Catleap monitors there is no way I'd ever go back to using one with anti-glare coating (laptops excepted). It really is that much clearer than the medium anti-glare of the PVA monitor I was using, and I can read much smaller text easily. After seeing the heavier anti-glare on other 27-inch IPS displays I'll take the reflections.
 

Outbreaker

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For me a heavy AG coating display is like using a condom from 1820, it just feels weird. :)

600x450px-LL-eb9efa0e_T3OJbl.jpeg
 
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Outbreaker

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You don't see yourself in a glossy displays if you have set up your room lights correctly. Back in the good old days all CRT's where 100% glossy and people didn't cry about it and people in an office with shity room lights bought simply a qualitative anti reflection for their Monitor and not this crap anti reflection that most LCD have this days that only blurs the reflection.
No one even this days would buy a TV in a shop if they had AG coating like the Monitors.
 
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Ashok0

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You don't see yourself in a glossy displays if have set up your room lights correctly

Exactly. I bought a glossy 27" display and put a curtain on my window. If I wave my hand in front of my monitor, I can't see it.
 

Elledan

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You don't see yourself in a glossy displays if you have set up your room lights correctly. Back in the old good days all CRT's where 100% glossy [..].

CRTs all have anti-glare coating and thus can be called 'semi-glossy' at best. People sometimes removed this AG coating by accident by using ammonia-based cleaners or similar, which completely made them unusable except in a darkened room.

I'm using two CRTs right now. With them turned off I can at most make out an outline of myself and bright items in the room. It's a far cry from what I see with for example the glossy iMacs I see at their demo setup in the store where you can barely see the display due to the excessive reflections.
 

Outbreaker

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I have also a CRT if i put any AG coating LCD in front of i see the difference immediately same with LCD glossy TV's vs.AG coating Monitors
 

alike

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Do we consider that all CRTs have the same coating? Mine (Dell P991) can be said to have a semi-glossy coating (as Elledan explained).
I am not really a fan of heavy AG coating (most LG panels), but some of todays LCDs are like mirrors, which is even worse (IMO).
 

Elledan

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Do we consider that all CRTs have the same coating? Mine (Dell P991) can be said to have a semi-glossy coating (as Elledan explained).
I am not really a fan of heavy AG coating (most LG panels), but some of todays LCDs are like mirrors, which is even worse (IMO).

All CRTs I have seen seem to have the same AG coating. Not the chemically treated sheet of plastic like LCDs generally have, but the thin coating on the glass front which results in a slightly purple-ish tint when you try to actually look at reflections on the CRT front.
 

Blazestorm

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For me a heavy AG coating display is like using a condom from 1820, it just feels weird. :)

http://cdn.overclock.net/e/eb/600x450px-LL-eb9efa0e_T3OJbl.jpeg[IMG][/QUOTE]

That image is ridiculously deceptive... AG coating is not that bad. I ran 6-8pt font while programming with my 3007WFP-HC (which some claim to have really bad AG coating...) and it was just as readable as these new glossy Crossover 27"'s I have.

The only difference if you looked close was whites had a "sparkly" effect, which you got used to after a few weeks and never noticed it again.
 

Teenyman45

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I like the anti-glare coating on my ZR30W. Yes I can see the rainbow effect (but no skittles), however the rainbow issue is nowhere near as bad as the reflection issues. For me the lack of an AG coating (like on my monitor at work or any other light source that is not filtered through something that diffuses it) can cause me to see halos around things.
 

Blazestorm

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The only reason I can tolerate these glossy Crossovers is because I can cut out all the other light in the room so it's just the screens emitting light. Means the reflections are pretty much non-existent.
 

Elledan

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I can't see this on my iiyama Vision Master Pro 21" CRT.

Heh, I have two Iiyama Vision Master CRTs and I can confirm that this AG coating is present :)

If you doubt me, go get an ammonium-based cleaner (Glassex, etc.) and clean the CRT's front with it. You'll see stripes where the AG coating comes off until you're left with a hideously shiny, reflective surface. It'll also render the CRT unusable as it'll be an awesome mirror.
 

Outbreaker

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I never notice this AG coating on my CRT but on the LCD's i tested i had immediately a feeling that something is wrong. :) I think it's because they use cheap plastic on the LCD's to remove some reflection or should i say to blur the reflection. :D
 
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Elledan

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I never notice this AG coating on my CRT but on the LCD's i tested i had immediately a feeling that something is wrong. :) I think it's because they use cheap plastic on the LCD's to remove some reflection or should i say to blur the reflection. :D

Yeah, as described before, they generally use a chemically treated layer of plastic which both protects the LCD and diffuses any external light as to prevent reflections.

CRTs use an AG coating which is essentially sprayed on and gives a result we call 'semi-glossy' today.
 
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