Large TV for Well-Lit Room

I would like to buy a TV with a 65-inch or larger screen. My budget is $3000 to $4000. Unfortunately, the room it will be in is very bright with a 15-foot floor-to-ceiling glass window behind the set facing east. I watch a few DVDs, but mostly just cable TV in HD when available; 3D is not important to me. Obviously, I am concerned about light reflection off the screen. What do you suggest?


Yours is a tough situation for any video display! My first suggestion is to get motorized blackout shades for the window behind the TV. That much light coming from the same area as the TV will seriously bias your vision, causing you to perceive much less low-level detail and contrast in the video image.

These days, most LCD TVs—including those illuminated with LEDs—have shiny screens, just like virtually all plasmas. This helps create deeper blacks, but it also reflects light from objects in a well-lit room, which is especially evident in dark scenes. The only type of display with a matte, non-reflective screen that produces enough light to stand up to strong ambient light is a rear-projection TV, and the only manufacturer making such sets today is Mitsubishi, which offers RPTVs with screens measuring 73, 82, and 92 inches diagonally. This is what I recommend for you.

It sounds like you probably have a big enough room to accommodate a large RPTV, even though it's quite a bit bulkier than any flat panel. And RPTVs are relatively inexpensive for large screen sizes—for example, the top-of-the-line, 92-inch WD-92840 (seen in the photo above) lists for $7000, but I've seen it online for $3000 to $4000, which is right in your budget range. The step-down WD-92742 lists for $4500 with online prices in the $3000 range. If you don't want one that big, the 82- and 73-inch models are much less expensive.

You might also consider the 75-inch L75-A94 and L75-A91 LaserVue models, which use lasers instead of conventional lamps, so you won't need to replace the expensive lamp after a few thousand hours of use. Both models list for $6000, but I've seen them online for $2300 to $4500.

I can't say how well any of these models perform, since we haven't reviewed any of them. The last RPTV we reviewed was the 73-inch WD-73837 back in 2009 (see review here), and it received very high marks, so I would expect the current models—at least those with a conventional lamp—to perform very well. I don't know about the LaserVue sets, since we have never reviewed one.

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Speakerphile's picture

What about the Sharp 80LE632 80" LED TV? Reg price on this is $4500, but you may be able to get it closer to $4000 if you look around. Also, I believe it is a matte screen.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
That might work. We haven't reviewed any Sharps in a while (other than the Elite), so I don't know if this one has a matte screen or how well it performs. I wasn't impressed with the last Sharp LCD I reviewed some years ago.
instybob's picture

Yes. I've heard a lot about their ability to handle large, bright rooms. They also have them at Costco and Sam's Club.

dnoonie's picture

Yes I just set up 5 of these for a show and they do have a matte screen. We're using these instead of large screen projection because the room we're using is an atrium (all glass roof), they certainly pop even in a bright room and even through they're not on the non maxed out (Demo) setting, they were set to "PC" setting. I didn't get a critical look at them but I'd be interested in reading a good review.

notabadname's picture

I thought the RPTV's were deeper than that. That image makes it appear they are less than a foot deep.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I think it's just the angle. The TV is actually 32 inches deep.
mailiang's picture

Hmmm....haven't I seen that picture Scott posted, before?


Scott Wilkinson's picture
Yeah, I used it about six months ago, but it was appropriate here, too. Hey, if you can't steal from yourself, who can you steal from? ;-)
Poci's picture

Maybe a good quality window tint would lessen the effect of the window without darkening the room too much?
What do the experts think?

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Tinting the big window would help, but not enough unless it was a very dark tint, which might defeat the purpose of that window when not watching TV. Who knows, maybe there's a great view out that window. I think a motorized shade would be better.
pointfdr's picture

i have the sharp 80" and it has a matt screen also is in your price range i paid $4100 for mine and i love is in a very very bright room and it really stands out.

Scott Wilkinson's picture
Good to know; glad it's working well for you!
icepik1234's picture

youre better off spending $2000 on curtains and buying a nice 60-65" plasma for around $2000 and staying in your budget. You can get the samsungs 64" e550 model for $2200, panasonics 60" st50 model for $2100, or samsungs flagship 60" e8000 for $2300. I work retail and see the 80" sharp every day and its crap just like all the other sharps besides the elite brand. it has bad viewing angle, is overly saturated, terrible black levels, and on the stock picture modes is overly red. if you want to get a massive tv to impress your friends its great. if you want to get the best picture quality then get a solid tv and fix your actual problem, having giant windows in your main tv room.

carlinod's picture


Why haven't you guys reviewed any of the LaserVue models? I've had mine for about a year and a half and love it, but I want to see how well it compares to everything else HT is testing. I think it's a shame that 2009 was the last time a rear projection was reviewed, especially since this is new/different technology. I've sent a couple emails to the general HT email addy regarding this and have never received a response.

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