$15K Samsung Curved OLED TVs Invade America

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Samsung KN55S9 OLED TV (image courtesy of Value Electronics)CNET’s David Katzmaier delivers the news that Samsung’s KN55S9 55-inch curved OLED TV will be available at select U.S. retailers this week:

The news comes via Value Electronics, a high-end dealer based in Scarsdale, N.Y. CNET spoke with the owner, Robert Zohn, who says his first shipment of two of the new TVs is on its way. He believes he’ll be the first U.S. dealer to be able to sell the product.

The store is charging $14,999 for the TV, a price that includes calibration and delivery. Selling prices at other retailers may vary, but they’re unlikely to dip below the $13K mark charged in Korea.

The Value Electronics home page notes that each KN55S9 it sells will be “Properly aged for 200 hours” and comes complete with the “best possible professional Cal Day, Cal Night & 3D calibration by Kevin Miller or D-Nice.”

One interesting tidbit from the announcement page is the way that Value Electronics (or possibly Samsung?) is positioning the value of the curved screen:

Some of the benefits of a gently curved OLED screen are the natural way we see with our peripheral vision. We see much wider than we do vertically and by slightly wrapping the display inward the viewers will enjoy a more natural match to our peripheral angle of view.  The image slightly wraps around enabling us to see a much larger percentage of the viewer’s field of vision.

With this considered, the best seating distance from these new OLED 55″ diagonal screens would be somewhere between 72″ (6′) to 120″ (10′) away from the screen. And by limiting the users from one to two at the closer recommended viewing distances and a max of four viewers at the 10′ distance ensures that everyone will enjoy the benefits of the curved screen.

That’s a far cry from the verbiage I took issue with in LG’s marketing materials for its curved OLED screens, which claimed that “the entire screen is equidistant from the viewer’s eyes,” and I think in the end it’s less likely to lead to consumer confusion. I’m also jazzed to see Value Electronics (or, again, maybe this is coming from Samsung?) talking so much about viewing distances and the reality of the fact that curving the screen does limit the number of viewers who will receive the viewing benefit.

Read: [CNET: Samsung ships $15K curved OLED TV to U.S. this week]

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