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Why are Monitor Screens Now Shiny?

Last Modified: 2020-05-04
I'm having difficulty positioning my monitor so that I can see the material on the screen instead of the back of my office cubicle.

It seems that shiny monitor screens are now the norm.  How the heck did this happen?
Makes no sense whatsoever.  Now I have to purchase a cover for my monitor.
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Paul MacDonaldDirector, Information Systems

Most modern LCD displays have a matte (and polarized) finish on their screen.  Some don't.  Ambient light - especially light behind you - will have a bigger role to play here.  

Turn down/off the lights behind you and that will probably help.  If that's not possible - you're in a cubicle after all - let your management know you're having difficulty and they may be able to arrange for some different displays.  Or at the very least, the screen filters you're talking about.
retired saggar maker
Distinguished Expert 2019
This one is on us!
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KimputerIT Manager

When buying screens or laptops, you really have to dig deep to find out if it's shiny/glossy or matte. If it's not specified, you'll have to find the product in real life (in a store) and see it for yourself. It started quite a few years ago, and I too didn't understand it AT ALL. It's only for capacitive touchscreens that you need the glass finish. But somehow, the shiny gloss seemed to appeal to some people, also suggesting the picture is more clear, seemingly the light passing through glass gives the brains the impression is a crystal clear picture as opposed to the "blurry" matte finish. In all those years though, HP has consistently kept their Probook series on matte finish, and that was always a good alternative throughout the years.

My theory:

It became glossy because of the designers catering to the wealthy jerks that have maids to clean it for them.   They were first glossy on the Macs, and I suspect the Steve Jobs is also obsessive compulsive about cleaning his machine.  Glossy screens need to be cleaned more often.  Matte screens don't really show as much.
It's a stupid fad that I wish would stop.
andyalderretired saggar maker
Distinguished Expert 2019

They have always been shiny as were CRTs back in the old days, it's just that an anti-glare film is added to the matt ones which bumps the price up a bit.  When I worked for a CRT manufacturer the price difference between the coated and non-coated tubes was about £20.

CRTs were always much brighter.  You could see them in the day, unless you had direct sunlight on them.  Modern LCD screens are still not as bright as CRTs were.  You have to close the curtains or shades a bit to make them viewable in a windowed room in the daytime.  They partly went glossy to make the view brighter.
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