Several TV manufacturers are showing off curved TV sets at this year’s CES. The notion is that these sets off the viewer a more immersive, theater-like experience in their homes. But after spending some time with these TVs, we can say it’s all a matter of size.
We looked at sets — ranging in size from 55″ to 105″ — on display from LG, Samsung and prototype TVs from Panasonic.
And in all cases, the TVs on the smaller end of that range (which is still pretty substantial) did little to improve the viewing experience. The only way to get the immersive experience with a 55″ set was to get very up close and personal with it.
At some point around the 75″ mark, the curve does seem to slightly enhance the TV-watching experience (though it’s a little difficult to say for sure when you’re looking these TVs in a crowd of 100,000-some folks).
The biggest problem with curved TVs appears to be that the curve may not be friendly for watching by multiple people spread around a room. Trying to watch some of these TVs from an angle really made the curve obvious without providing any improvement in the viewing experience.
So for now the ideal market for this kind of TV is someone with a ridiculous amount of disposable income, who watches TV by herself in a room large enough to fit a mammoth screen. Not exactly mass appeal.