Curved TVs are taking the electronics industry by storm. Everyone from LG to Samsung has debuted their own curved screen this year, closely following the heels of the 3D and 4K trend of 2013. But is it just that- a trend, a fleeting fad that won’t live to see 2015? We came up with a list of pros and cons of the curve phenomenon.
Considering how long movie theater screens have been around, it’s a little bit of a surprise that televisions are just now making the transition to curved screens. Theaters employ curved screens to avoid the pincushion effect, which is the distortion of an image caused by different distances of light from the projector. So if you want your home theater to truly be a home theater, a curved screen is part of the answer.
With this new shape, televisions makes viewers feel like they are surrounded. The curvature lends to a sort of panorama effect so even your peripheral vision will be taken up by what’s on the screen. When the image takes up so much of your vision, you’ll feel like you’re fully immersed in it. A curved screen also aims for “naturalness” by having an image that is equidistant to your eyeballs, from the edges to the center.
Wider Field of View
Curved TVs have a wider view which allows for clearer viewing, even from different viewing positions. According to Samsung, curved displays also give a greater range of viewing angles. However, this point is much disputed. We’ll touch back on this below.
Curved screens can diminish light falloff to a certain extent by bringing the edges inward. They can also lessen image distortion from imperfect lenses.
Since these are gonna be the newest TVs on the market, you can count on them to also feature the latest specs: 4K, ultra-HD, OLED, you name it. Chances are, if you’re getting a curved TV, you’re getting the best and newest on the market.
One Perfect Angle
The roundness of the curve and shape of the TV can change depending on your position. Most people argue that there is really only one perfect viewing angle for a curved screen: right in front of it. If you want to watch something with your friends flanking either side of you, they’re going to have to practically sit in your lap to get the same viewing experience.
Because of the way the screen curves, it’s difficult for it to maintain uniform brightness and color across the surface. So while the color might be better on the edges, it might wash out near the side on the actual curve.
Is a curved screen necessarily better than a flat one? You can easily get a flat screen TV that has the same specs as a curved one, so is it really necessary to achieve viewing pleasure?
As the newest item on the market, a curved TV is going to cost you a pretty penny. According to CNET, Sony’s 65-in KDL-65S990A costs $4,000, while its flat-screen equivalent was a little over half that price.
Though the curve is small, it’s still enough to double reflect the images at the opposite ends of the screen. Images can also be stretched by the curve’s optical properties. So while the curved screen sets out to straighten out old problems, it also creates new ones.
So what do you think? Are curved TVs going to be the next best thing in television or will we forget about it in a couple months?