Curved TVs seem to be all the rage at the moment. But are they better than flat screen TVs?
There are plenty of comparison websites out there on this very subject and we have attempted here to condense the arguments in one short article.
Ultimately there are some differences, benefits, and disadvantages of curved screens over flat, but their price tag might be too uncomfortable for most consumers right now.
Is curved TV better than flat?
The short answer is, it really does depend. Both have their pros and cons but ultimately any deciding factor will come down to cost and personal choice.
The generally accepted pros and cons of curved TVs are as follows. Of course, this is not intended to be exhaustive and is merely an overview.
Curved TVs offer a slight improvement in immersive-ness. But this completely depends on how far away you are from the screen.
Despite the hype, they will never replicate theatre-quality immersion.
Despite this, the extra fraction of a degree and slightly larger screen will increase your viewing immersion by default.
Reflections can be exaggerated on curved TVs. Their shape can create a 'funhouse' mirror effect from reflections on the screen.
Depth is enhanced. The depth created by the curve of the screen, especially in larger screens, with OLED technology does improve viewing depth.
Some manufacturers, like Samsung, also include depth enhancement technology to improve the 3D effect of their curved TVs.
Viewing angle can be limited on curved TVs. The curve narrows the quality viewing angle of these TVs considerably, particularly for smaller models which are less than 65 inches.
Curved TVs provide a greater field of view. Whilst this effect is not as pronounced as some might claim, it is very slightly improved on curved TVs.
Ideal picture quality can only be seen dead-center. When viewing any 4K tv off-center tends to begin to spoil the quality of the picture.
The "sweet spot" for best viewing quality is much narrower than for flat TVs.
Curved TVs have a superior contrast. Most reviews of curved TVs reveal that this is more to do with additional technology in the devices rather than the curved screen itself, per se.
They are less easy to hang on a wall. Unlike their flat contemporaries, curved TVs are inherently harder to hang on a wall by virtue of their shape.
Curved TVs look the business. Whilst this is merely a matter of taste, curved TVs are undoubtedly interesting things, in and of themselves, aesthetically.
You need to buy bigger TVs to get any real benefit. As most of the benefits from curved TVs are seen in larger models, the price to benefit for you might force your hand.
Curved TVs tend to be very expensive. Equally sized flat TVs tend to be much cheaper.
Why is a curved TV better?
Put simply they aren't that much better than flat screen TVs. Most reviewers don't believe the premium price tag of a curved TV is really worth it.
For any real benefits of curved TVs, you either need to sit pretty close to the screen or view from extreme angles. If you do like the aesthetics of them and don't mind paying a premium, then curved TVs might just be for you.
But, if you are looking for a massive improvement to your overall viewing experience, you might be disappointed with curved screens. The price-to-benefit, to belabor the point. of them isn't really worth it.
Because of their shape, they also introduce some new issues you won't find with flat screen TVs.
Other commentators also point out that some of the best TV manufacturers are currently enamored with them, for consumers to benefit from 4K technology, they have little choice but to buy one at present. This has led to many believing that curved TVs are the way to go when in reality all they really need is a 4K quality flat screen TV.
At the end of the day, curved TVs tend to offer very little benefit over their equivalent flat screen competitors. Any real benefits from the technology come with the larger models, and even then it's not that impressive.
If you like the look of a curved TV, go ahead but don’t expect amazing results from the curve alone.
Are curved TVs a fad?
Are curved TVs just a fad? Only time will really tell.
If, and hopefully when, curved TVs begin to fall in price to be more in line with flat-screen TVs then arguments about cost-to-benefit will begin to gain some ground.
This conclusion from rtings.com pretty much sums up the state of the technology in the eyes of consumers and tech experts.
"While there is a bit of a difference to the picture you get with curved TVs compared to flat TVs, it’s not a big one, and it’s only really noticeable at extreme angles or if viewed from up close. If you like the aesthetics of a curved TV and don’t mind paying for the look, you should go ahead and get one. If you’re looking for an improvement over flatscreen TVs, though, you’ll likely be disappointed."
But we'll let you decide for yourself.