[Tig] Monitor Setup Question - glare level standard?

Glenn Chan gchan
Tue Sep 6 07:29:56 BST 2005

Two questions:

1- Question one:  Is there a standard for how low the amount of glare on
your monitor should be?  Should there be?

My observations:
Light reflects off a monitor in two ways.

Specular reflection, where incident angle = reflected angle.  Think of a
laser striking a mirror.  In colorist/real-world terms, this would be
seeing lights reflected into the monitor (very annoying and presumably

Diffuse reflection, where light hits the surface and gets reflected in all
directions.  I notice that broadcast monitors have specular AND diffuse
reflections, so that the florescent light striking the monitor
face/surface does add a certain level of 'base'/ambient light.

The problem is easily solved with some gaffer tape and black matte paper
(build a monitor hood for yourself).  My observation is that this does
lower glare and increase the dynamic range / contrast of the monitor.  All
this for just under a dollar.

The gaffer tape and black matte paper will work unless you want the hood
to look nice for clients.

An alternative to a monitor hood (or other sort of flagging) would be to
light the area behind the monitor from behind, and diffuse the light.

To answer my own question, I think there should be a standard for glare
levels because higher contrast on the monitor would look better to
clients.  Also, you generally want to be monitoring with at least a
slightly higher quality level than your target format.

2- Question two:  Should you angle your broadcast monitor so that you
don't see your reflection?

Suppose you have no light coming from the black walls.  In that case, you
will still have light reflecting from yourself onto the monitor.

Firstly, it'll add to the 'base' light level on your monitor, which means
you have to set black level a little higher (or make some other
Secondly, what if you're wearing a colored shirt?  Does that affect color
accuracy in a meaningful way?

Suppose it's a problem you would like to fix.  How would one go about
fixing this?

The best solution I can think of is to angle the monitor.  Most ergonomics
sources say to keep the monitor at eyeline or lower as to avoid strain on
your neck looking up.  Sony/Trinitron monitors are cylindrical-shaped, so
if you were to place the monitor left/right you would need about a 30
degree angle (which is a little much).  Looking slightly down at the
monitor is probably the best position then, and the angle only needs to be
very mild.

Another possible solution is to wear a black shirt and undergo a
reverse-Michael Jackson process (or paint yourself black).  I suppose this
may be a tad extreme.


**I tried searching the archives and could not seem to find a complete
answer to my question.  The "monitor calibration" discussion talks about
varying ambient light levels, which seems to indicate that there is no

Glenn Chan

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