The viewing angle of a monitor refers to the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance. In other words, it is the angle at which a screen can be viewed from the side without significant degradation in image quality, including color accuracy, brightness, and contrast.
Viewing angles are typically described by two numbers, such as 178°/178°, where the first number represents the horizontal viewing angle and the second represents the vertical viewing angle. These numbers indicate that the viewer can watch the screen from up to 178 degrees to the left or right (horizontal) and from above or below (vertical) without experiencing unacceptable image quality loss.
Viewing angles are particularly important for:
- Multiple viewers: When multiple people are viewing a screen at the same time, such as during a presentation or a collaborative project, wide viewing angles ensure that everyone can see the content clearly.
- Flexible seating or standing positions: If you move around a lot while using your monitor, a wider viewing angle means the picture quality won’t suffer no matter where you are.
- Professional work: In professions where color accuracy and image clarity are critical, such as graphic design and video editing, wide viewing angles are essential to ensure that the content is viewed correctly from various positions.
Different panel technologies have different viewing angles:
- TN (Twisted Nematic) panels typically have the narrowest viewing angles, which can lead to color shifts and contrast changes when viewed off-center.
- IPS (In-Plane Switching) and VA (Vertical Alignment) panels usually offer wider viewing angles, with IPS being particularly known for its superior angle performance.
- OLED screens have extremely wide viewing angles since each pixel generates its own light, resulting in minimal color and contrast shift even at extreme angles.
When choosing a monitor, consider how important viewing angles are for your use case to ensure you select a display that fits your needs.