Curved TVs are, for better or worse, all the rage at the moment. The curve, which hypothetically makes all parts of the screen equidistant to the eye — or at least closer to equidistant from the eye — in theory makes for a more immersive viewing experience. Curved screens have been around in movie theaters for decades, because on a giant 50 foot screen, it makes a big difference. Sony’s new 65″ KDL-65S990A claims to replicate that cinematic experience. What’s most interesting about the KDL-65S990A, though, is that unlike other curved displays, this one isn’t OLED — it’s LED/LCD.
While the curve absolutely makes sense for movie theaters, and even large in-home projection installations, the reason it makes sense is because the curvature puts the entire surface of the screen equidistant from the projector, which helps with geometry issues. Even if there were a real benefit for flat panel displays, you have to ask yourself if that benefit would really reveal itself at 65 inches. The difference between the center and edge of the screen isn’t really enough to visibly matter. If you want to know more, check out this cool piece by our own Dennis Burger on the LG curved OLED sets. Of course, looking at the images of the TV, I’d call it a conversation piece as much as a TV. It looks pretty cool in the middle of the room. I’ve always found wall-mounted televisions unsatisfying, a compromise for viewer and placement. If this brings back the floor-stander in a major way, then hey, in my mind it may be worth it. The KDL-65S990A will be being shown at the IFA show in Berlin next week, so everyone in Germany at least can suck up a good eyeful and make their own decision.
Interestingly, at IFA, Samsung — one of the two companies, along with LG, to kickstart the whole Curved OLED revolution — also introduced two new curved TVs of the LED variety according to CNET. These displays also have the distinction of being the first 4K curved TVs:
Samsung also revealed the world’s first curved TV with UHD resolution. Shown in 55- and 65-inch sizes, the TV uses standard LED LCD panel technology, not OLED. Unlike Sony’s KDL-65S990A, a 1080p curved LED LCD on sale in the US next month, Samsung didn’t promise any availability for its curved UHD TV.