Glossy vs. Matte for movie watching/video games.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Sweenona, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. Sweenona macrumors member

    Jan 18, 2008
    I was wondering if there's a significant difference in display quality between the matte display of the old white iMacs and the new glossy Alum iMac when it comes to watching movies or other multimedia.

    So far all I've heard is that the Alum iMac is better at producing truer black tones. Is this true? Are there any other significant differences?

    I'd appreciate any input.
  2. icecone macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2007
    Unless you're in complete darkness, the matte one is better
  3. vtprinz macrumors 6502

    Nov 30, 2004
    Glossy displays produce more vivid, contrasty tones and should make most multimedia things look great. The only downside (aside from reflections) is that the same glossiness that makes some things really pop, also makes the colors and gradations inaccurate. Not really a big deal if you're watching movies or playing games, but potentially a big deal if you're a photographer/graphic designer
  4. jasonbuzz macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2007
    To me, the glossy iMac is very iPhone like. Colors do pop way more. We bought the new one for Christmas and looked at the glossy and matte side by side. The glossy seemed much clearer and the contrast was indeed much better. Reflection and glare can be a bummer, but I find I really don't notice it that much even in broad daylight. The brightness and clarity of the screen seem to compensate for any glare. Not sure about the color correctness...
  5. sk8r527 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2007
  6. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    If you're watching movies and playing games, i'd definitely vote for the glossy imac. The glossy screen produces a much higher contrast and makes everything look very.. vivid. The matt screen is supposedly better for true colors, though, so I guess it depends on what you're using it for.
  7. Techguy172 macrumors 68000

    Feb 2, 2007
    Ontario Canada
    As i Have said before Glossy is nice looking Matte is accurate!
  8. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    Glossy lies to your eyes :p it does look better when viewing video
  9. markm macrumors newbie

    Sep 23, 2003
    A matte surface introduces Total Internal Reflection. Which means some of the light is reflected back into the masking of the display and absorbed. Almost certainly, some of this reflected light will be guided across the front laminate of the panel and contaminate neighboring sub-pixels.

    A matte surface will also diffuse the light on exiting the panel. This can soften the edges at the mask boundaries when a matte bump extends over that boundary relative to the viewer.

    A matte surface attempts to diffuse reflected light from the room over as wide a viewing area as possible. This reduces the number of resolved reflected light waves impacting your eye as compared to a specular surface. This is the only advantage to a matte display in terms of image quality. As far as I know. But typical anti-reflective displays (Glossy) make use of surface treatments to reduce reflections. These treatments work by pushing the phase of the reflected light into roughly the opposite phase of that same wave entering which cancels out on return. I don't think the glass of the iMac makes use of these treatments, however.

    My guess is that people claim better colors with a matte display because the diffusive display will drop out some of the punch in the colors. A good thing or not seems debatable. Could be more of an issue of what we are used to. I am curious what the theory is here.

    In this case, the same physics behind the improvement in black levels, also improves all colors and intensities. This is not always the case with black level technologies. Anti-reflective screens should, in terms of the physics, be a much cleaner image. The matte surface has always been a known trade off with manufacturers. I think apple may have fumbled by not explaining that placing glass over a glossy display negates what is actually possible in terms of reflection reduction. May have confused consumers into believing that glossy means reflective like glass. When it should mean much higher image quality with a slight compromise on resolved reflections (not reflections overall). That is to say, a glossy screen can actually be less disturbed by environmental light pollution than a matted display. This is because a matte display will diffuse reflected light that would have never been an issue toward your eye.

    Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to share that there is a clear benefit to glossy displays in terms of the physics involved. When implemented properly, it shouldn't even be a matter of taste.


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