Updated: Oct 28, 2019: Despite all the advances in LCD display technology viewing angle is still an important topic, panel viewing angles are still poor, good, better and best, but none are 100% perfect.
The viewing angle of an LCD panel is typical given based on the normal aspect ratio which is generally landscape for the types of LCD panels we work with. It is quoted for both horizontal and vertical in degrees from perpendicular to the display or as a total of left & right and up & down. So for example the newer IPS panels now claim up to 89 degree viewing angle from perpendicular for both horizontal and vertical.
A few points to note regarding an LCD panel’s viewing angle:
- Specifications are no replacement for actually seeing and evaluating an LCD panel, the reason is that there can be characteristics that the specifications don’t mention. For example I have seen an LCD panel with excellent viewing angle specifications but when testing it I could see a color shift at around 45 degrees from perpendicular.
- Further to the previous point, even though LCD panel specification may quote H (horizontal) & V (vertical) viewing angles the performance in portrait model may be quite different to landscape mode.
I realize not every application needs or even suits having a wide viewing angle. Digital signage displays clearly benefit from a wide viewing angle if used in a poster or menu board but some overhead information displays need a good 6 o’clock viewing angle, ie when viewed from below, but the 12 o’clock viewing angle may not be critical.
IPS panels have had quite a few years of being a leading technology for excellent viewing angle with not only impressive specifications but genuinely excellent results. More recently companies like AUO have been showing panels with a new technology that appears to provide not only equivalent viewing angles but also excellent color fidelity over the range of viewing angles.
For companies wanting to limit the viewing angle for reasons of privacy or to enhance brightness for direct view there are custom filters.
At this time the viewing angle of a LCD panel is not a tunable setting, it is a fixed part of the LCD panel design. Filters can be added by reworking the panel or adding to the front but these will typically limit rather than extend the viewing angle.