Five best matte-screen TVs for bright rooms

We believe a matte-screen finish offers the best picture quality in rooms where you can't control ambient light. Here are CNET's favorites so far this year.

Updated August 16, 2012: We think a matte-screen finish offers the best picture quality in rooms where you can't control ambient light .

Most TVs are fine in normal lighting situations, and some glossy screens are better than others. But if you watch TV a lot in a very bright room, or have to place the set where its screen can't avoid reflecting a window or other bright light source, you should strongly consider going to the matte.

Unfortunately, most quality TVs have glossy screens. With LG going glossy on its higher-end LED models this year, the pickings are slimmer than in 2011 . Sharp is a standout, Toshiba a pleasant surprise and Samsung uses matte in its lower-end EH lineup.

New in this update is the LG PM9700, the only plasma TV with a matte screen. I also included a sixth *bonus* TV since it's too good to pass up: Vizio's excellent M3D0KD, with its "semi-gloss" screen finish that's more reflective than the others, yet not as mirrorlike as truly glossy sets.

Here they are, arranged in descending order of overall CNET rating.

Sharp LC-LE640U series
With good picture quality and great pricing, the Sharp LC-LE640U series makes a strong case for mainstream TV shoppers who want to go bigger. Read the full review.


Sharp LC-LE745U series
Although priced well for a large 3D TV, the Sharp LC-LE745U series can't muster the 2D picture quality to earn our recommendation as a good value. Read the full review.


Toshiba L5200 series
The bare-bones Toshiba L5200 series offers respectable value for the money with fine picture quality for an edge-lit LED TV. Read the full review.


Bonus "semi-gloss" TV: Vizio M3D0KD series
Very good picture quality and an extremely aggressive price make the Vizio M3D0KD one of the best LED TV values on the market. Read the full review.


Looking for specs and pricing? Compare these TVs head-to-head. Click through to the reviews for additional screen sizes.

Read the full CNET Review

Sharp LC-60LE640U

The Bottom Line: With good picture quality and great pricing, the Sharp LC-LE640U series makes a strong case for mainstream TV shoppers who want to go bigger. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Toshiba 50L5200U

The Bottom Line: The bare-bones Toshiba L5200 series offers respectable value for the money with fine picture quality for an edge-lit LED TV. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Samsung UN32EH4000

The Bottom Line: The Samsung EH4000 is one of the best TVs available at the size and price, with above-average picture quality and a svelte design. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Sharp LC 60LE745U - 60" Class ( 60.03" viewable ) LED-backlit LCD TV

The Bottom Line: Although priced well for a large 3D TV, the Sharp LC-LE745U series can't muster the 2D picture quality to earn our recommendation as a good value. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

LG 50PM9700

The Bottom Line: The LG PM9700 series improves on the company's 2011 plasmas, but it's unable to compete with similarly priced TVs. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Vizio M3D550KD

The Bottom Line: Very good picture quality and an extremely aggressive price make the Vizio M3D0KD one of the best LED TV values on the market. / Read full review

About the author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com.

 

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