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Curved TV Technology: Buy Now or Hold Tight?

Submitted by on August 26, 2015 – 8:22 pmNo Comment

When I first heard about the availability of curved TVs I got excited. I’m definitely a gadget girl and love movies, so the idea of a more immersive at-home entertainment experience similar to a movie theater intrigued me. And, curved TVs did get some buzz at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show. Now that a lot of the big manufacturers are developing curved TVs, sales are skyrocketing. However, I feel there are various problems with them.

Copyright California Life HD

Copyright California Life HD

First, the curve is too subtle. While the curve is obvious when handling the TV at the store or viewing it from the side, when sitting directly in front of the TV the optics of that particular vantage point render the curve difficult to identify. This means most people will have to sit very close to the TV and, even so, you still will not get an IMAX-type experience. Plus, sitting that close certainly can’t be beneficial for your eyes.

Second, there are obvious geometric distortions. Clearly TV operating systems and programming have not adapted to the curved shape, so slight geometric irregularities can be visible.

Another problem is the price point. The price of a curved TV is significantly higher than a typical flat screen. Is the picture quality better? Sure. But is it really 300% better as the price point suggests? I just don’t see it.

With this, it’s no wonder leading tech review blogs remain divided about the lasting appeal of the curve. Reviews vary greatly, with some praising the new immersive experience and others dismissing it as simply a “cosmetic gimmick.” This, of course, will drive consumer perceptions. But, with major manufacturers already ramping up production amid escalating sales, and with millions of units predicted to ship in the next few years, it’s a good bet that curved is here to stay. With that said, I do think that demand will taper off in the short term. However, I think curved TVs have a bright long-term future. I agree with what a lot of consumers are doing—they seem to be waiting out this latest TV tech trend, seeing if the prices will drop further as they typically do.

After the time I’ve spent reading various tech blogs and understanding trends in this marketplace, my personal recommendation is for consumers who are interested in curved TVs to wait two to three more years to purchase when the technology is more sophisticated and the market is well developed. I believe in two to three years’ time there will be solutions that will be more cost effective, better quality, and the marketplace will be more mature.

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***Some or all of the accommodations(s), experience(s), item(s) and/or service(s)
detailed above were provided at no cost and/or sponsored to accommodate this review, but all opinions
expressed are entirely those of Merilee Kern and have not been influenced in any
way as per the disclosure policy on our “Legal” page***

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