Positive & Negative Display and Viewing Direction of LCD Display

Positive Negative Display and Viewing Direction of LCD Display

Table of Contents

As we know, LCD screen is a negative display which can’t emit light on its own. It either relies on ambient light or uses LED backlight in the back as a light source. We divide LCD screen into transmissive LCD, reflective LCD, and transflective LCD according to the employing mode of light. Also, we divide LCD screen into the positive display and negative display according to the light of the background part.

Item Background Graphic / Character Application
positive display on


reflective LCD / transflective LCD
negative display off


transmissive LCD

1. Positive and Negative Display

Take TN LCD display for example:

Positive: dark characters on bright backgroundNegative: bright characters on dark background

2. View direction

It is very simple, but most people can’t fully understand the meaning. We already introduced the difference between TN, HTN, STN and FSTN LCD in my previous post. The offset angle of liquid crystal in TN LCD is 90 degrees. What is that? If we see TN, HTN, STN and FSTN LCD in the perspective of view angle, it is much easier for us to understand.

2.1 TN LCD only has one view direction.

Normally, it would be 6:00 o’clock direction or 12:00 o’clock direction. 6:00 o’clock direction means that we can see it clearly from the frontage and 6:00 o’clock direction. We can still see it clear from 3:00 or 9:00 o’clock direction if we make it well enough even it is 6:00 o’clock direction. The digital clock display in a car is installed on the right-hand side of the driver, which is usually 9:00 o’clock direction.

2.2 The view angle range of HTN LCD is a little better than TN LCD’s.

For example: if the view direction of TN LCD is 6:00 o’clock direction, you will see the graphic very blurred at any angle of 3:00 o’clock or 9:00 o’clock direction. We can still see it clearly within 20 degrees of 3:00 o’clock or 9:00 o’clock direction if it is 6:00 o’clock direction HTN LCD.

2.3 Only when it comes to STN LCD, we can see it clearly in all the 4 directions

2.4 The view angle of FSTN LCD is much better than STN LCD’s

But it is much more expensive, which is usually adopted by high-class electronic products, like laptop computers and cellphones.

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Hi, I'm Greg, sales manager of touchscreenman.com. I've been working in the display & touch industry for more than 10 years, and the purpose of this article is to share the knowledge from a Chinese supplier's perspective.

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