General Question

Buttonstc's avatar

Is there any type of aftermarket solution for a shiny screen TV?

Asked by Buttonstc (27597points) January 12th, 2016

I don’t even know if this would be a realistic possibility. But if so, how expensive would it be?

Not recently, but in the past, I’ve seen something for computer monitors which is similar to a screen cover for a phone.

Obviously it’s much larger but it was like a thin film of plastic and something to make it adhere to the screen.

I really really hate shiny screens. They’re annoying and hurt my eyes. But apparently most modern day tvs no longer come with matte screens. At least not the ones ive found on sale. I absolute HATE shiny ones.

It’s bad enough that my ipad has a shiny screen but I really can’t tolerate it for a large screen TV.

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24 Answers

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t know why they stopped using anti-glare filters. I’M IN THE SAME BOAT. My current TV I simply use a mount that allows me to adjust the vertical angle. That removed the glare completely.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Proper viewing takes place in a media room with no light sources behind the viewer.

For best results the room should have some sort of acoustic treatment on the walls and ceiling. Full carpet is also recommended.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Thank you Are.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Apparently there are Anti-Glare Films for TVs but I have no experience with them.
I read some reviews and the general consensus was that they were a PIA to apply and left bubbles .
Is there any way you can eliminate or reduce the source of the reflections? Can you change the position of any offending lights? Can you tilt the TV downward slightly to avoid reflections from ceiling lights?
I’m guessing the local Best Buy would be apply to sell you something, and likely has an example for you to see in action.

Buttonstc's avatar


I just checked the prices given on the link you posted. Yikes. Over $100.00

That negates any savings from buying a sale. I guess I’ll just have to keep looking for matte screen or get my old one fixed.

Do you have any idea how much over $125 getting the old one repaired could be if it is the power supply?

Buttonstc's avatar

Does anyone know whether the decision to make predominantly shiny screens was consumer driven or not?

I have yet to encounter anybody who actually likes the shiny screens.

So why are matte screens so hard to come by?

LuckyGuy's avatar

I do know know what they will charge to fix a TV but I will make an engineering estimate for you. The power supply might be $20 but the labor and overhead effort of logging in the TV, picking it up, keeping track while being repaired, getting the parts, storing it until you pick it up, waiting for you to pay for it, bank charges for credit card, recording taxes, etc. It has to cost you $100 or else they would go out of business.

I have an answer for your matte vs shiny question. As the number of pixels goes up the dot to dot spacing goes down. If you have a small TV the spacing is very small indeed – grab your magnifying glass and look!. A matte finish is on the same size order as the display pixels so it will smear the image from one pixel to the other. It will not look crisp. The shiny surface will give you the highest resolution.
Let me get my soapbox. Here’s where I have a problem with all this.
If you have a TV smaller than ~39” only the most finicky folks, with sober, young eyes will see the difference between 720p and 1080p. Do we take that into account? No. We get sucked in and demand the 1080p because we think it is better. Turn on a football game (usually broadcast in 1080p) and switch from 720p to 1080p . See a difference? I didn’t think so! Sure, there will be 2 jellies under 30 reading my comment who will protest and say it makes a “huge” difference. I call BS! It is a freaking football game! It doesn’t matter! Do you really need to see everyone in the stands? Your brain can’t absorb it all. And if you drink one beer your eyes will no longer see the difference. Watch the game and the graphics and relax with your friends.

I’m starting to sound like an old curmudgeon so I’d better stop. Besides, the Andy Griffith show is coming on in a few minutes, in B&W, 480i, and I want to see what trouble Barney gets into.

Buttonstc's avatar


OMG I so agree with you on that. I’ve been well aware for a long time that in order for 1080 vs. 720 to make any appreciable difference you have to be at least XX number of feet away from it and it has to be a huge screen. (I forget the exact no. of feet. I think it’s ten)

My current one is 32 inches and the only reason I was hoping for a larger size is so I don’t have to use a pair of cheapo binoculars to be able to read subtitles.

So, I’m definitely not hung up on all the hype. As a matter of fact I saw some deals for the new 4K and I don’t even want to deal with it.

Plain old 720 P is just fine by me.

Thanks for the repair info. Compared to paying over a hundred to make a shiny screen matte, just paying $100 to get it repaired all of a sudden doesn’t look that bad.

I may also try looking around on Craigs list to see if anyone is selling a used larger size with a matte screen.

I just don’t understand why they are no longer making matte screen TVS. Does anyone know?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

@Buttonstc I have to admit, once you angle the tv so the glare goes away it does look better and clearer than one with the anti-glare film.

ibstubro's avatar

If you have enough population to have Craig’s list, you might also check eBay, local pick-up only. Or, if you can find what you want on eBay within driving distance, ask if you can pick it up, @Buttonstc. Shipping on large items is prohibitive. I once spent $20 in gas picking up a $300 set of dishes I bought for $30 because they listed $100+ shipping costs.

Buttonstc's avatar


How do I find eBay local? I didn’t even know it existed :)

BTW I’m in a pretty small town which is nice. However, we are considered Detroit Metro so the Craigslist is alive and flourishing.

It just depends upon how far I want to drive for any particular purchase.

I’ve just been perusing over at cl. Haven’t been there in a while.

ibstubro's avatar

When you do an eBay search, there are customizable options on the left side of the screen. You can put in how many miles you’re willing to drive and a zip code.

If there’s an auction for a TV that interests you, you can send the seller a message through eBay asking about pick-up.

I think you used to be able to search by local pick-up only, but (surprise, surprise) they seem to have eliminated that.

ibstubro's avatar

Did anyone open @LuckyGuy‘s link? What’s wrong with this picture??

Buttonstc's avatar

I opened it with no problem. It’s basically for a screen protector like the ones for phones except TV screen sized and costing over $100 for most. Can you imagine trying to get rid of the air bubbles in that monstrosity?

Not for me. Ha ha.

Does the type of seaech you describe require being on computer or can it be done on Mobile ?

ibstubro's avatar

Look at the before and after in the link.

I don’t know, @Buttonstc. I’m not mobile.

ragingloli's avatar

maybe really fine sandpaper.

Buttonstc's avatar


After all my wandering around Craigslist and sending inquiries to about a dozen or so people selling used TVS I found an easier way.

There’s a pawn shop fairly locally who has made quite a little enterprise out of selling not used TVS but rather “open box”

These are mostly returns to major retailers (for whatever reason) and subsequently checked over to make sure everything is fine.

And a fair amount of them are matte screens. His prices are pretty damn reasonable considering.

So I’m going down to the shop tomorrow to see what he currently has. He also said that if I didn’t find what I wanted he can contact his wholesaler and see what they have.

Oh, and these are all name brands like Sharp, Sony, LG, Vizio etc. Not the typical low end stuff like Hi Sense that Walmart sells.

This sounds so much easier and affordable than buying someone else’s problems. People are selling their used TVS for some reason after all.

Major stores like Best Buy sell open box items as well but they usually have less available.

If anyone has advice on specific brands I should especially consider, let me know.

ibstubro's avatar

BUYER BEWARE, @Buttonstc.

I know a guy that was going to ‘get rich quick’ last year by stocking a store with pallets of “over runs”. Some of the stuff was store returns, and some was NOS.
What a fiasco. Yeah, some was just unwanted, ‘open box’, but a lot was returned ‘defective’. IMO “factory reconditioned” is a scam. I used to get a catalog of that crap and after getting 3 electric typewriters (through the mail) that didn’t work, I gave up.

Similar experience with reconditioned at Big Lots.

A local auctioneer was buying the store returns and selling them at auction. He’d plug a deep fat fryer in and sell it as “works”. Yeah, except it wouldn’t heat to a temperature hot enough to fry.

If someone has a quantity of “open box items” there’s likely a skunk in the woodpile somewhere. Otherwise, why wouldn’t Best Buy have more? Why would Sam’s Club deeply discount their floor models?

Show me an honest pawn dealer, and I’ll show you a newbie that won’t be in business a year. IMO


Buttonstc's avatar

Is someone selling their used TV any more trustworthy?

I’m going to quiz him about just how and who checks them out.

The main problem I’ve had with the major stores is th at its impossible to find a matte screen TV and I just refuse to deal with that glossy cap.

Even as I’m typing this I’m trying to keep the glare from my phone screen out of my eyes. But at least I can get this phone screen something and be reasonably certain I can apply it properly.

I have no such feelings about trying to do that to a 50 ft. Screen. And there’s $100 or more down the drain.

I haven’t bought anything from him yet. Besides, with modern tvs, if there’s a problem it will be obvious. It either works well or it doesn’t.

I’m not going to buy anything unless he plugs it in and runs a full demo.

ibstubro's avatar

Yes, as fast as people are upgrading TVs these days, I would trust someone selling a used matte screen TV over a pawn broker, @Buttonstc. Sorry. I’ve had bad luck.

Buttonstc's avatar


Thanks for that link and it’s helpful in that it makes me more convinced that I definitely do not want a glossy screen under any circumstances.

The TV is in a room with daylight and sits at right angles to a window. With my current matte screen, it is still watchable during daylight hours. Obviously it’s better at night but it’s still OK.

Even if a glossy screen gave off less reflection according to their ratings it is still a gloss screen and glare is inevitable. I just don’t want to deal with it. But thanks for the info.

Buttonstc's avatar


I appreciate your efforts to keep me from making a costly mistake.

However, I’m not trusting the pawnshop guy at all. I’m trusting the manufacturer of the TV.

In addition to my teaching years I’ve also worked in sales and had really good sales training so I recognize when someone is trying TOO hard to “close ” me and I’ll tell them that straight to their face.

Even over the phone this guy comes across that way and when I actually go there I’m expecting more of the same. And if he keeps getting unbearable about it I’ll just walk out.

I’ve done so before and I know better than to fall in love with a particular make or model (or to show it on my face) if I walk away from that deal, it’s like waiting for the bus. Another will be coming along soon :)

This guy is the same as any car salesman. Same tactics, same paternalistic attitude toward “the little lady” all that typical stuff.

There’s a good article from Consumer Reports about this. They also point out that nowadays, the rate of getting a lemon with TVS is around 5%.

That’s a level of risk I can live with. It’s also the reason that they advise against the extended service contracts for electronics that major stores try desperately to sell.

The ONLY exception they make is for laptops.

Most faulty electronics will fail in the first 30 days. You bet I’ll be asking this guy about his return policy. If it’s not at least that he better come down more on price.

I originally planned on going today but realized I have a conflicting Dr. App.

If this were a smaller item ID likely go with Amazon Warehouse deals or New Egg but for something this big, even tho they guarantee it for 30 days the hassle of shipping it back is just too much to consider.

That’s the main reason this guy’s place appeals to me. It’s a 20 minute ride. And there’s the obvious hands on factor. This is just not something I’m willing to buy over the Internet.

If the TV is working just fine in his shop then chances are it will continue to do so. It either works or it doesn’t.

I understand your skepticism about the pawnshop guy. Considering the experiences you’ve had I sure understand.

But it’s not him I’m trusting.

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