After recently returning home from CES 2014 in Las Vegas, one thing I can’t seem to shift (apart from the jet lag) is the feeling that the days of flatscreen TVs may be numbered. Are curved TVs the future?
Curved TVs were everywhere at the world’s biggest technology show, but are they just a flash in the pan or a genuine new way for us to enjoy watching television?
Curved TVs actually came out last year in the form of OLED models with eye-watering price tags. We saw various new models – both LED and OLED sets – at the Consumer Electronics Show, all featuring shallow concave curved screens.
These were mostly elaborate and high-tech TVs that may never see shop shelves, including 105-inch monster TVs from Samsung and LG. However, Samsung also threw in an, ahem, curveball by announcing that it’s 8-series high-definition TVs – usually among the most high profile sets to be released each year – are also to be curved in 2014.
So, it seems that curved TVs are here to stay… but is that a good thing?
Curved TVs: what are the benefits?
Well, we’re not 100% sure about the actual benefits, but the big brands – such as Samsung, LG and Panasonic – insist that it’s about getting a ‘more immersive viewing experience’.
The idea is that you sit watching the TV on your sofa and the curved edges of the screen ‘wrap’ the picture around you, similar to a movie at an IMAX theatre.
I’ve seen quite a few curved TVs now and I have to say that, while they do look nice, the difference in viewing experience appears subtle. Sometimes, you hardly even notice that the TV is even curved.
Can you wall mount a curved TV?
It’s doubtful that curved screens will come to small TVs, instead just sticking to the larger models. And at such a large size there’s a good chance you’ll want to mount the set on your wall at some point – on paper, that doesn’t seem straightforward with a curve.
Wall mounts specially designed for curved TVs are on the way, but don’t expect such a solution to look as slick as a mounted flatscreen. We’ve seen wall-mounted curved TVs and they do stick out further, particularly with those curved edges. There’s the option of recessing a curved TV into your wall, but that would be much more disruptive and probably not possible for most people.
To curve or not to curve
I’m 50/50 on the benefits of curved TVs, and we’ll want to get this new breed of sets into our lab for testing before we can make a proper judgement.
But what do you think? Can you see the value of a curved television, or is this just another flashy gimmick from the manufacturers aimed at loosening up our wallets?
Would you buy a curved or bendy TV?
No (65%, 725 Votes)
Don't know (22%, 242 Votes)
Yes (13%, 146 Votes)
Total Voters: 1,113