Originally Posted by jowie74
That's interesting to know. And a little disappointing!
I still find that quite a hard argument to swallow. Practically all CRT monitors in the past, pro or consumer, had glossy screens. I used to own the AppleVision 1710 which was considered a high-end monitor. It had a glossy screen and was one of the best colour reproducing monitors on the market. I never had any problems with reflection then, and I still don't have any problems with reflection on glossy LCD screens now.
Hehehe, the AppleVision 1710, now that's going back a bit! They were beautiful monitors. I had a Apple Colour Display 20, and a ColorSync 20 display around the same time.
CRTs generally have some sort of anti-reflective coating on them. The majority have a matte etching either on the inside or outside face of the glass. You can sometimes see this etching if the monitor is switched off and an external light source is reflected on the screen.
Reflections were a problem at the time, but the main reason that people didn't consider it an issue was because we simply didn't know any better. Back in the day printers would often have a darkroom set up for colour accurate work, or you would get monitors (like Eizos and LaCies) that had hoods. I still remember one occasion where a designer left, and my fellow designers were arguing over who should get their desk because it offered minimal reflections.
Whilst CRT monitors were glossy by their very nature (even although the manufacturers tried everything to tone down the glossiness), Apple go out of their way to make the screens as glossy as possible.
Why have so many designers become so anti-gloss?
Well like I say, a lot of it has to do with every gloss panel to date being 6-bit. Also, the gloss panels are configured to artificially accentuate the colours and contrast, so you're getting a false impression of what's there. You're then (in the case of the new iMac) viewing that image through a piece of highly polished, polarized glass. It's kind of like a professional sound engineer using Super Twin Turbo Bass Boosting headphones in a recording studio...
...like the speaker system in a recording studio, a professional computer monitor should produce as neutral an image as possible – you don't want to see colours that aren't actually there or likewise tone-down colours that are present. You need to know that what you are working with is as accurate a representation as possible.
This presents a problem for Apple, because the majority of the panel manufacturers are now catering for the PC gaming market and that means a shift away from accurate panels to panels that offer faster refresh rates (6-bit) and accentuated colours and contrast. This may go some way to explaining the relatively high price of the current Cinema Displays and the delays in bringing an updated Cinema Display family to market – Apple will have their work cut out sourcing suitable panels when the whole of the industry is forging full steam ahead in the opposite direction.
A lot of it has to do with ergonomics and usability as well – a glossy display on a laptop isn't just as bad because the laptop tends to be quite low in comparison to your head, and as a result you mostly tend to see the uppermost part of the wall behind you or the ceiling. With an iMac, and with the 24" in particular, it's bang right in front of you at eye level, so you see yourself and everything that's behind you - usually a window.
Reflections have a massive impact on eye-strain, and if you're like me you probably regularly pull 12 hour + days. The most common solution to reflections is to turn the brightness of the display right up, but then you only compound matters because now you're squinting into a very bright object for long periods of time. The current glass iMac will give me a migraine aura within a couple of hours – since switching back to a proper Cinema Display I haven't had a single migraine.
Take it from me, the new MacBooks and iMacs are great if you're playing around with iPhoto or surfing the net in your spare time, but if you're parked in front of one at your work for hours on end (and you're stressed up to your tits as it is), it's a horrible, horrible, place to be.