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Polarizer Surface Treatment: The Nano Structures with Mega Impact

11 Sep 2016

As passionate display engineers, we appreciate the beauty of a bright and clear LCD display. But often the experience is marred by ambient light. Whether from the sun or from interior lighting, this often causes distracting reflections that detract from an enjoyable experience.

Polarized Treatment Comparison

What does this mean for your viewers?

You can have the narrowest bezel, widest viewing angle and the most engaging content, but the customer may only be able to see the harsh store lighting reflected in the screen. Not only does this ruin picture quality—screen reflection is also one of the key reasons for eye fatigue, leading to distractions and an inability to watch the screen for long periods. Essentially, this leads to less engagement, missed opportunities, and ultimately, lost revenue.

What causes this problem?

Almost all PID installations are in well-lit spaces such as store lobbies and outdoors. Ambient or external light is reflected off the smooth surface of the LCD display, as shown in the illustration below. 

Source Inclination Relative to Specular Direction

The issue is that as ambient light illumination increases, the contrast ratio perceived by the user deteriorates:

Contrast & Brightness Comparison

The two types of light reflection and their impact on readability

  • Specular reflection is the mirror-like reflection of light from a surface, in which light from a single incoming direction (a ray) is reflected into a single outgoing direction
  • Lambertian reflectance is when an object has a matte appearance, meaning light is diffusely reflected, resulting in the same level of brightness from every angle

Polarizer Surface Treatment - Light Reflection Comparison

Source

So in order to improve screen’s readability in ambient light, specular reflection needs to be reduced and Lambertian reflectance must be increased.

How can we achieve this solution?

You can use a polarizing anti-glare haze film to increase the readability of your screens. These treatments contain microstructures that help diffuse rather than reflect the light. When applied, they form a hard coating on the surface of the screen with microscopic undulations that disperse light in multiple directions, preventing light from directly entering the eyes and effectively eliminating glare. Often buyers were quoted the total haze, but our research concluded that of the two layers it was the outer layer that was most critical in improving the display experience.

Importance of outer v. inner haze layers

Polarizer Surface Treatment - Outer Haze Comparison

As we can see, it’s the outer haze layer that has the most impact on the optical characteristics of the display.

Samsung Display’s unique solution:

Our products come inbuilt with 7th generation haze polarizers, specially developed for PID products. The haze properties are enhanced by increasing the outer polarizer haze from 12% to 23%, increasing the diffusion portion of the light from 51% to 62%. This not only increases the haze property, but also sharply reduces the “cloudy mura” seen in dark rooms, where areas of the screen can grey out, reducing visibility. Samsung Display panels look great in low and bright light environments. Additionally, this improvement is achieved with an overall reduction in total haze from 44% to 25%.

See below for a list of other fantastic benefits.

Benefits of 7th Generation Haze Polarizers

What SDC PID panels provide versus the competition

Polarizer Surface Treatment - Haze Comparison

Conclusion

The addition of an external high haze polarizing film reduces screen reflection, increases contrast ratio, and enhances color and brightness, helping create as crisp and natural a display as possible.