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ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (QR) - Removal of Matte Coating

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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ASUS ROG Swift PG278Q (QR) - Removal of Matte Coating



Hi!

Edit: The Coating has been removed and the scratch is completely gone, see this post.

I’ve got myself an essentially brand new ASUS ROG Swift PG278QR (27” 1440p TN 165Hz G-Sync) monitor here with a long scratch on it, been tasked to see if anything can be done about it and I do believe the scratch may have only grazed the anti-glare coating which would be great, so it still has a fighting chance!

A user named itsgreekpete over at reddit mentioned he successfully removed the anti-glare coating on his Acer XB1 XB271 which uses the same panel I believe (27” 1440p TN 165Hz G-Sync).

Before attempting it myself, I thought I’d ask for any tips or tricks here first, and I intend to document the entire process with high quality pictures for anyone interested.

Quote: Originally Posted by itsgreekpete
I've successfully done this on the ACER XB271HU which has the same panel as this monitor.
Take the monitor apart. Get the panel. Get some really wet paper towels (just before the point they are dripping). Lay them across the entire panel. Leave it on for about 5-6 hours. Peel the corner up and remove slowly.
Pictures http://imgur.com/gallery/ydO7y

Here’s a few close-up pictures of the scratch (from different angles).

1 of 3 (From the Front) This is close to what it looks like with your own eyes



2 of 3 (From the Side) Colors altered and enhanced to highlight the scratch

Spoiler!


3 of 3 (From Below) Looks like the pixels are fine

Spoiler!


Appreciate any insight, information or suggestions!
 

Build Log: Vector Qlimax

X APEX, 9900K @ 5200MHz, Trident Z 16GB @ 4400MHz CL18, RTX 2080 Ti, 970 M.2 SSD, RM1000x, EK A240 Water Cooling



Last edited by zhrooms; 12-08-2018 at 06:08 AM. Reason: Added Link
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-04-2018, 11:59 PM
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Disassembly may be different, but the process is pretty much the same and hasn't changed in years:

[Guide] How to remove the anti-glare(AG) coating from a Dell U2312HM LCD

Before you proceed though, you might want to read this other thread (if you haven't already):

I removed the anti-glare matte coating from two of my monitors.

Quote:
MagnaMagicBtu
edited 2 months ago
I've done this to 8 monitors with different results.. TN and PLS panels can have the AG removed without the polarizer getting an issue called "Graining" where the polarizing film starts cracking or splitting in fine strands from merely cleaning it with a damp rag. Every TN and PLS panel I did worked out perfectly, however, every IPS panel such as AH-VA, the polarizer would start cracking and splitting after gently cleaning it. This is strange because why do high-end IPS panels grain up but lower end PLS and TN don't grain at all? Luckily HP released a 32 inch glossy IPS 4K called the HP Spectre 32. It is an amazing monitor. I got mine on sale for $500. It uses the same panel as the BenQ 3201PT. Any IPS panel I did would grain almost instantly after removing the film but TN and PLS, no issues, even after very aggressive cleaning. So I settled on the Spectre 32 and have a 1440p 144hz TN strictly for gaming that I dematted without any issues.



Last edited by iamjanco; 12-05-2018 at 12:05 AM.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 01:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Removed the Back Cover & Bezel Frame!

Way easier than I thought it would be, first the bezel is attached to the screen itself, then there's the cover (back of the monitor), simply pried up the back cover with a knife, unlatching it over several points around it, then the bezel, done. Pics will be shown at re-assembly.



Close-up below, it's thicker than I thought it would be, but I've also read a lot of people complaining about the TN panels having way thicker AG coating than the AHVA variants (278-279), but this thick..

Quote: Originally Posted by cre3d
Make sure you don't peel up the polarizer! You'll be able to tell the difference if you look at it for a moment as there are two different layers; The dark bottom-most layer is the polarizer which you want to leave intact.
 
Does anyone know how thick the polarizer is? And where is it located? (Layer-wise)



I'm assuming the next step is just to wet the entire screen, let it sit for maybe 5 hours, then try to peel the entire blue layer off?

Edit: After removing the matte coating, I've learned the coating is actually only about 1/5 of the blue layer in the image above, it's very thin! The polarizer film is just under it, it's also thin, having a very sharp knife helped to lift up just the coating layer (not the polarizer).

Quote: Originally Posted by cre3d
You want to cover the entire screen surface with a couple layers of these wet paper towels. Leave them on for 4-5 hours, making sure they are always wet throughout. If they begin to dry, just take a single soaked paper towel and lay it on top of the existing layers, allowing the water to diffuse down.

After 4-5 hours, pull up a corner of the wet paper towels and using your nail or a blade, very carefully peel up on the AG coating. Make sure you don't peel up the polarizer! You'll be able to tell the difference if you look at it for a moment as there are two different layers; The dark bottom-most layer is the polarizer which you want to leave intact. The AG coating should come up very easily at this point, like a very very weak sticker. If you notice any residue being left behind or it's overly difficult to pull up, you need to let it sit under the wet paper towels a little longer. After 5 hours mine came up completely effortlessly.

Build Log: Vector Qlimax

X APEX, 9900K @ 5200MHz, Trident Z 16GB @ 4400MHz CL18, RTX 2080 Ti, 970 M.2 SSD, RM1000x, EK A240 Water Cooling



Last edited by zhrooms; 12-08-2018 at 06:21 AM. Reason: Added Important Information
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 05:39 AM
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Let us know how it turns out.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-05-2018, 12:16 PM
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Quote: Originally Posted by zhrooms View Post
Spoiler!


Close-up below, it's thicker than I thought it would be, but I've also read a lot of people complaining about the TN panels having way thicker AG coating than the AHVA variants (278-279), but this thick..
 
Does anyone know how thick the polarizer is? And where is it located? (Layer-wise)

Spoiler!


I'm assuming the next step is just to wet the entire screen, let it sit for maybe 5 hours, then try to peel the entire blue layer off?
The top most polarizer (there are two of them) is the one you need to be especially careful with. As for its thickness, can't help you with that; and yep to the letting it sit for five hours then trying to carefully pull the outermost layer off.

The following image is an example for reference purposes:

Click image for larger version

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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-06-2018, 05:12 PM
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Does soaking the anti-glare filter even do anything? Is the filter not waterproof?
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by CallsignVega View Post
Let us know how it turns out.




The Result!



The removed matte coating.



Peeled it up with a sharp knife carefully, it was very very thin, even though this specific monitor is known for having a heavy matte coating.



Soaked a few sheets (regular paper towel) and placed em right on the screen, then a second layer, every hour for 5 hours I soaked my hand in water and placed my hand on each sheet to keep them wet, not dripping just wet, it was very easy to peel the coating off after that, I've read you can usually do it after just 2 hours, but just to be safe I kept going the full 5 hours. I also waited about 16 hours before re-assembly of the monitor (left it to dry over night as I was in no rush).



The latches on the screen.



The latches on the screen frame (attaches to the screen above).



The latches on the plastic back cover (attaches to the screen frame above).



The frame attached to the screen, now both the screen and frame will latch on to the back cover.



Four of these had to be removed, two at the top and one each side, to allow for a tool to fit in between the screen and frame (to separate them from each other).



This was the first and last step, a simple screw at the bottom that goes into the screen frame. The only other tool used was a knife, it left no marks what so ever on the frame or back cover, very easy to disassemble!



These horizontal lines are NOT caused by the camera! I believe (a guess) it is the polarizer film, looks like waves, they are only visible when viewing the pixels (screen) from an angle (Look at the bottom right corner, there are no visible lines), they are also mostly just visible during bright and smooth scenes (Look at the top left corner, very visible in the blurry background), difficult to notice in games where it's displaying a texture (Look at the character, his clothes and armor, pretty much can't see any lines) and that goes for movies as well, for example displaying a smooth bright sky they are visible, but again, only from an angle (they show up in all 4 corners as you're sitting in front of the monitor looking at the center of it, as the edges will be at an angle, personally I'm not really bothered by them, maybe don't do professional work on the monitor (it's a gaming monitor after all).

So that is the obvious downside to removing the coating. Upside is that without the coating it looks amazing, super sharp and clear! Also not had any issues with the monitor being very reflective, in a dimly lit room there's no reflection at all, I expected it to be much worse, as long as it's not a bright room I feel like there's no difference from the coating being on, which surprised me.

And something I was worried about was cleaning it after (polarizer film instead of anti-glare coating), wiped a few times on it with a microfiber cloth and it seems to work exactly the same as on the coating, no scratches and gets the dust off and so on.

Rating
Difficulty: 1/5 (Very Easy, Two Tools)
Risk: 3/5 (Patience is Key!)
Time: 2/5 (Fast, Few Hours)

Pros
Looks very sharp and clear.

Cons
Horizontal lines (Waves) in all corners of the screen when sitting straight in front of it (~65cm).

Would I do it if I bought this monitor new today? Probably not, because it is a serious gaming monitor with G-Sync and 165Hz, if you own one today and is tempted to do this I'd recommend you sell it to a gamer who don't care about crystal clear image quality, and buy yourself a VA panel with light coating instead!



Search Words: ASUS ROG Swift 90LM00U3-B01370 PG278 Q PG278Q PG278QR QR 27" 27 Inch TN 2560x1440 2560 x 1440 144Hz 165Hz 144 165 Hz NVIDIA G-Sync G Sync Anti-Glare Coating Anti Glare AG Removal Remove Matte Light Heavy Thick Thin Non-Glare Glare Mirror Dematte ACER XB1 XB271HUAbmiprz XB271 UM.HX1EE.A01

Build Log: Vector Qlimax

X APEX, 9900K @ 5200MHz, Trident Z 16GB @ 4400MHz CL18, RTX 2080 Ti, 970 M.2 SSD, RM1000x, EK A240 Water Cooling


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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018, 03:56 PM
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I also have an ASUS PG278Q and I have already read and read some reports on this topic regarding removal of the AG Coating. But I have no experience in this field and therefore I just do not dare to take this step and remove the coating! Is there actually another way, except with wet towels or towels, to remove this AG foil? What exactly is actually caused by the water, so that a kind of glue between the polarizing film and the AG film is solved, or what exactly should the moisture cause?


Is this AG film actually water permeable? Seems to be so, if this film can be peeled off after hours, if you keep this damp, I actually thought that this AG foil should prevent exactly that to protect the monitor from any external influences? Sorry for my maybe stupid questions, but I'm just trying to understand what exactly happens when you keep the display wet.



What really worries me about the removal of the AG film is that it damages the polarizing film and in the worst case the monitor is no longer useful! Do you think that it is possible to remove the AG Coating so that you can not see these waves you described after the removal, perhaps by keeping the monitor wet longer with the towels?


greetings starmann65
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-18-2018, 11:20 AM
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The glue on *some* AR film is water soluble. You have to leave the paper towels on the AR film for 5-6 hours so that the water can seep through the microscopic pores of the film and dissolve the glue. I have de-matted about 30 displays. On more recent TN panels (like the Asus PG27VQ), they are no longer using water soluble glue. I've never damaged a polarizer. The biggest issue I have seen is that there is always residual glue left, which can smear/make the screen sticky and harder to clean.

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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2018, 12:24 PM
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Is there actually another way to remove the AG coating without watering the display? Could it be that the waves that the user zhrooms describes, perhaps caused by the moisture / humidity? What is the best way to use tools to open the monitor, ie separate the shuttering from the panel?


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