Black levels related to screen reflection?


Established Member
Hi. First post here although I've lurked on and off for a year or so.

I'm in the market for a 50" HD TV so have been doing a little reading and went to a store yesterday to have a look and make some comparisons between plasma and lcd.

What struck me was that all the TVs which appeared to produce better blacks had glossy reflective screens. I viewed a Samsung which had the best black I've seen on a TV but I could clearly see myself and the rest of the store reflected in the screen so that killed it for me. I quite liked a Philips which had a matt screen but the blacks just didn't look as good despite reviews saying that the blacks were supposed to be good.

So is the ability to produce good black a factor of the glossiness / reflectivity of the screen or is it a trick that is being employed whereby having a reflective screen to reflect most of the external light gives the impression that it's more black?

I need a matt screen due to the large windows in our lounge and also don't want to be able to see reflections of the lounge lighting at night. It seems the choice for matt screens is small in comparison as Samsung and LG seem mostly to make glossy screens.

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