We know already that TN (twisted nematic) displays, suffer from grayscale inversion, which means the display has one viewing side, where the image color suddenly changes. It is tricky, and you need to be careful. On the picture above there is a part of the LCD TFT specification of a TN (twisted nematic) display, that has grayscale inversion, and if we go to this table, we can see the viewing angles. They are defined at 70, 70, 60 and 70 degrees, that is the maximum viewing angle, at which the user can see the image. Normally we may think that 70 degrees is better, so we will choose left and right side to be 70 degrees, and then up and down, and if we do not know the grayscale inversion phenomena, we may put our user on the bottom side which is also 70 degrees. The viewing direction will be then like a 6 o’clock direction, so we call it a 6 o’clock display. But you need to be careful! Looking at the specification, we can see that this display was defined as a 12 o’clock display, so it is best for it to be seen from a 12 o’clock direction. But we can find that the 12 o’clock has a lower viewing angle – 60 degrees. What does it mean? It means that on this side there will be no grayscale inversion. If we go to 40, 50, 60 degrees and even a little bit more, probably we will still see the image properly. Maybe with lower contrast, but the colors will not change. If we go from the bottom, from a 6 o’clock direction where we have the grayscale inversion, after 70 degrees or lower we will see a sudden color change, and of course this is something we want to avoid.
To summarize, when you buy older technology like TN and displays, which are still very popular, and Riverdi is selling them as well, you need to be careful where you put your display. If it is a handheld device, you will see the display from the bottom, but if you put it on a wall, you will see the display from the top, so you need to define it during the design phase, because later it is usually impossible or expensive to change the direction.