Nothing puts a damper on watching TV quite like a humongous glare. Even one small unfortunately placed window can wreak havoc on your entertainment experience. If you’re buying a TV for a bright room, reducing glare should be a top priority, and this article will help you pick perfectly.
The three most important elements of TV performance in bright rooms are:
- Screen Brightness (measured in nits)
- Anti-glare technology
- Window coverings
You can worry about the windows later, for now, let’s pick out the perfect TV for your bright room.
The Brightest TVs
Much like using your phone in direct sunlight, the best way to combat a bright room is with an even brighter screen. For that reason alone it should come as no surprise that the brightest TV is the Samsung Terrace (an Outdoor TV). In this article, however, we’re exploring TVs meant for indoors.
TV brightness is measured in “nits” with a single “nit” defined as 1 candela per square meter (cd/m2). The term candela (Latin for candle) literally refers to the luminous intensity of an average candle sitting on your dinner table. What it all comes down to: more nits means more brightness.
Today’s most popular TVs range from 1,000 nits to over 10,000 nits with the better TVs for bright rooms having more nits. The nit measurements that manufacturers claim in their advertising isn’t always accurate; consult 3rd party reviews that measure actual nits in real-world performance tests.
You may stumble across two other measurements of brightness — Foot-Lamberts and Lumens — both of which can be ignored by TV buyers. The former has been replaced by nits (1 nit = 0.29 foot lamberts) and the latter is used for measuring the light emitted by Projectors.
Every TV has a layer on the outside of the screen that’s meant to filter external light. These exterior films come in three types – Glossy, Semi-Glossy, and Matte – which have a direct impact on their ability to reduce glare and reflections.
The vast majority of today’s top performing TVs are Glossy or Semi-Glossy, using proprietary technology to reduce glare from sunlight and minimize reflections from background light sources such as lamps.
Matte TV screens have fallen out of favor for two primary reasons. First, although they effectively reduce glare when viewed head-on, they perform poorly at angles. And secondly, regardless of where you sit, the resulting picture appears more washed out than their glossy counterparts.
Proprietary technology customized for and across different TV models makes identifying the best performers difficult. The best source of Anti-Glare TV ratings is from tests performed by RTINGS who score screens from 1 to 10 based on percentage of total reflections, indirect reflections, and calculated direct reflections.
The top performing Anti-Glare TVs are consistently and overwhelmingly found in models by produced by Samsung and LG.
Smart TV Features
Most people consider the TV’s operating system to define its level of “smart” but other considerations come into the picture. In the case of reducing glare, it’s worth noting that many TV’s have ambient light sensors that can adjust your TV’s brightness depending on how much light fills the room.
When your room is filled with bright sunlight, TVs with an ambient light sensor can measure this light, and increase your TV’s brightness to combat the elements. When it’s dark, the shades are closed, and you’re watching a movie, it can detect this automatically and turn the brightness down to prevent blinding you.
The option to turn Ambient Light Detection on or off is found in different places for different Smart TVs; look for Picture Adjustments, Energy Saving, Eco Solutions, Ambient Light Detection, or Ambient Light Sensor.
The absolute best method of preventing TV glare and reflections is to use window coverings such as blinds, curtains, or blackout shades.