Throughout the next year or so, you will start to see a lot of curved TVs hit the market. The claim behind these televisions is that a curved shape makes for better overall viewing.
Just how accurate is that claim? And, should you shell out top dollar for a curved TV?
A Closer Look
The marketing claim you'll hear in upcoming months is that curved TVs bring home viewers closer to a theatre experience. Theatre screens are slightly curved in order to provide viewers with a clear image. Back when curved cinema screens were first created, a single projected image onto a flat screen caused some distortion, and that didn't make for happy viewers.
In addition, very large screens (like the size of a cinema screen) have to have a slight curve in order to provide viewers at any level with a good image. If your'e sitting to the far right of a theatre, for example, and you're all the way at the front of the theatre, you may see a really warped image on a flat screen. So, in the case of theatre images, curved screens make sense.
What about in your own home?
The Closer You Sit
If you sit really close to a very large TV, you may, indeed, feel cocooned inside of an image, which is exactly what manufacturers want you to believe. But, that TV would have to be very large (otherwise, the curvature of the screen wouldn't really wrap around you because it simply wouldn't be big enough!). As far as distortion goes, well, there isn't any to consider when not using a projector to project an image onto a screen.
So, why buy a curved TV at all? My recommendation is that people with massive cinema setups may like the cinema-feel of a curved TV. However, very few people will actually purchase TVs of this size (we're talking cinema screen size here). There's another factor to consider too: curved TVs aren't going to be cheap.
What you'll have when curved TV start appearing is something of a 3D TV effect. Remember when 3D TVs started to pop up in stores? Can you recall just how excited some consumers were about buying these TVs plus the goggles that went with them? You can still find some 3D options out there, but most of these TVs have been discontinued (good luck finding goggle replacements!).
Curved TVs may look fun, but don't believe the hype. As far as viewing advantage goes, there's nothing mind-blowing about the curved shape. Unless, of course, you plan to set up a massive theatre-like screen and spend bundles of money. At that point, though, you may was well grab some blankets to wrap around you and skip the wrapping of a TV.
Are curved TVs recommended? Not by this writer.
Will you see a ton of them? No doubt.
Should you believe the hype? Not so much.
What do you think about the new TV shape? Can you think of any reason why it would be superior to other shapes?