Curved Screen TVs: The Next Big Thing?
CES 2014 has come to a close and now everyone’s talking about the new gadgets and gizmos that were shown off at the trade show. While we’re all eagerly waiting the next generation of cameras, cell phones, and tablets, televisions made another big splash this year. Now that 3D seems to be out since it’s too difficult to record and too unwieldy for the average TV watcher, the TV manufacturers need another gimmick beyond their “bigger and badder” push (after all, there is an upper bound on how large a television screen can be). So, following in the footsteps of cell phone and tablet makers who want to make their devices a little more flexible and a little easier for long-term use, now television manufacturers are getting in on the “curved screen” game.
However, while there are some benefits to having a curved screen on a hand-held device, is there really that much benefit to having a large television with a curved screen? Hard-core computer gamers often have several monitors positioned in an arc around them — isn’t a curved television screen largely the same thing?
No, it’s not. This excellent article from our friends at Ars Technica does a great job of explaining the circumstances under which a curved screen might be useful (hint: there are very few and none of them really apply to the average American home) and showing the problems of image and color distortion caused by curved screens. In short, though our eyes and brains are capable of giving us a faulty view of what we’re seeing, the curved screen is correcting a problem that doesn’t really exist. Very few screens are so large that the edges need to be brought in physically closer to the audience in order to deal with the problems of light-loss or color diffusion.
So, while television manufacturers would definitely love to sell more large TVs with curved screens, we doubt this is a trend that is going to catch on.