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View Poll Results: If you can't read for extended periods on LCD, have you adjusted the brightness?
No, I have have never tried adjusting the brightness on my LCD device(s) 2 6.45%
Yes, I have adjusted the brightness on my LCD device(s) 29 93.55%
Voters: 31. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-11-2021, 04:12 PM   #1
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Poll for those who can't read for extended periods on LCD

This is a followup to the LCD vs e-ink thread. There was a lot of speculation in that thread as to whether people who voted that they can't read a whole book on LCD have tried adjusting the brightness on their LCD device(s), so I thought I'd create a new poll about that question.
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Old 05-11-2021, 05:36 PM   #2
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You did leave out something rather important in the poll.

You left out questions asking about adjusting the colors. The wrong colors can cause one to not be able to read with an LCD screen. It's not just the brightness.
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Old 05-11-2021, 06:15 PM   #3
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You did leave out something rather important in the poll.

You left out questions asking about adjusting the colors. The wrong colors can cause one to not be able to read with an LCD screen. It's not just the brightness.

Well, the most-discussed adjustment in the other thread was brightness. Some people in that thread seemed to believe that many people who voted they couldn't read on LCD wouldn't have even tried adjusting the brightness, which is the most obvious and basic setting. I wanted to find out if that is true.
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Old 05-11-2021, 07:01 PM   #4
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
You did leave out something rather important in the poll.

You left out questions asking about adjusting the colors. The wrong colors can cause one to not be able to read with an LCD screen. It's not just the brightness.
How often have you seen an LCD screen arrive with poorly balanced colour settings?

In my experience it seems quite typical for LCD screens to be sent out with brightness higher than necessary (for anyone intending to sit staring at it for long periods, as when reading). Also in my experience, contrast becomes a problem on LCD at very low brightness levels, but adjustment doesn't help much. However, I don't think I've ever had a new LCD screen turn up with equivalently obvious problems in colour balance, the only time they've turned bad is when I've screwed with them.

I'd also add that on the phones I've had brightness control is made really obvious, whereas colour and contrast are things you have to hunt for.
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Old 05-11-2021, 11:56 PM   #6
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Sepia helps, maybe this is what Jon was meaning, but I still don’t like reading on my iPad, except for the internet.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:16 AM   #7
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Using different devices for different jobs works for me. e-reader for reading novels, computer or iPad for surfing and real books for most study purposes. The problems arise when looking to find a single device to do everything. That remains a fool's errand at the current stage of technology.
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Old 05-12-2021, 06:24 AM   #8
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Actually, the goal of this thread was to bury the brightness adjustment issue. So far the numbers are very one-sided.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:09 AM   #9
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How often have you seen an LCD screen arrive with poorly balanced colour settings?

In my experience it seems quite typical for LCD screens to be sent out with brightness higher than necessary (for anyone intending to sit staring at it for long periods, as when reading).
Typically near maximum for monitors and a setting suitable for outdoor use on phones and tablets. The last phone I could use in DIRECT sun was a Nokia E65 with a transreflective screen almost monochrome in sunlight.
I only use the tablet indoors and it's at about 5%. It's too shiny My laptop is at about 8% and I can read it all day as it's totally non-reflective, the room light is to the sides and curtains closed. Actually 2/3rds of the windowsill has bookshelves.

I've never seen automatic brightness that worked properly as none average the light falling on the screen. They first appeared on TVs in late 1950s and the current phone/tablet/TV screen ones are no better.
The screen brightness needs to be adjusted for the average ambient light on the screen.
The eink with front light off and adequate ambient light is most like reading paper as:
View angle has no effect on colour, contrast or brightness.
Screen brightness perfectly tracks ambient light.

An LCD may need readjustment to be perfect as you move it in your hand or your reading position.

Cheaper LCD backlights are too blue or purple/blue under artificial light and adjusting the LCD colour balance has a limited effect. View angle (parallax of filter) is an issue. Some LCDs are better, OLED might help. Most phones & tablets are shiny so reflections cause the eyes to unconciously refocus and you can get a headache if the reflection moves, even if it's just how you hold it.

So I've LCD laptop & monitors nearly as good as eInk, but because shiny is cheap and looks good in showroom and microetched is expensive and cheap matte blurs, you don't see many portable screens (LCD or OLED) that are good other than for casual use.

Last edited by Quoth; 05-12-2021 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 05-12-2021, 08:43 AM   #10
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How often have you seen an LCD screen arrive with poorly balanced colour settings?
It's nothing to do with poorly calibrated colors. It's to do with colors that bother the user when trying to read. Not everyone can read on LCD with white background (for example).
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:18 AM   #11
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It's nothing to do with poorly calibrated colors. It's to do with colors that bother the user when trying to read. Not everyone can read on LCD with white background (for example).
Thanks. It wasn't clear before what you had in mind. I still think the current poll is appropriate: it's simple and clear. Adding LCD colour adjustments into the mix would just muddy the water.
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Old 05-12-2021, 09:32 AM   #12
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Thanks. It wasn't clear before what you had in mind. I still think the current poll is appropriate: it's simple and clear. Adding LCD colour adjustments into the mix would just muddy the water.
But the colors used could be part of the problem. Sure the brightness gets turned down, but if the colors don't work, then they may need to be changed. I'm not a fan of a white background when reading on LCD.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:24 AM   #13
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But the colors used could be part of the problem. Sure the brightness gets turned down, but if the colors don't work, then they may need to be changed. I'm not a fan of a white background when reading on LCD.
It could be my built-in prejudice showing, but for me the distinction (and so the reason why I like the brightness issue polled separately) is that:

* I have never come across an LCD display that did not need its brightness adjusting, sometimes continually with the changing environment. So when someone suggested that 50% of MR participants (as it was at the time the suggestion was made on that other thread), who have such ready access to help if they need it, and who have probably seen this subject discussed many times already, might not adjust their brightness after having problems reading on an LCD, I found this distinctly less believable than that person did. Such a statistic from a wider population might - perhaps - be believable, but is much less so within our rarefied population here.

* Whereas issues with colour seem to me to be much more subjective. Even research regarding warmer colours allowing for better sleep is still up for debate, whereas the choice between sepia, orange, grey or other backgrounds, or perhaps inverted colour schemes and so on, mean you are going to need a complex set of poll questions and I strongly the suspect the result will be ... uninformative. (And it gets even more confusing because choosing a non-white background on LCD is also reducing the effective brightness without adjusting the brightness setting of the display.)
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:29 AM   #14
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But the colors used could be part of the problem. Sure the brightness gets turned down, but if the colors don't work, then they may need to be changed. I'm not a fan of a white background when reading on LCD.
I think the poll indicates that for whatever reason people can’t/won’t read for protracted periods on LCD, it’s not because they don’t adjust the lighting. So given that, I can’t imagine that they don’t adjust the background colors while they’re at it.

Perhaps it would have been interesting to have an option for, “I can’t get the light down low enough on my LCD device.” That can be an issue for me with phones and I remember having to use a Screen Dim app on the first Fire Tablet to make it comfortable to use.
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Old 05-12-2021, 10:32 AM   #15
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None of the apps I've tried for reading library books (my primary reading material) have very good color and font weight options. Sepia is barely tinted. Text is either regular or extra bold, nothing in between.

However, I also end up with eyestrain if I use my phone too long for other things such as online shopping, where text size and colors are varied, in my case at least the problem seems to be with the device.

When I'm using my phone on my couch at home I have to adjust the brightness manually. The auto adjust on my current phone works ok in some conditions but it seems to be confused by the lighting in my living room and will randomly adjust itself too bright or too dim.

Last edited by 4691mls; 05-12-2021 at 10:36 AM.
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