Farewell, Curved TVs (Almost)

If you didn't catch Samsung's TV event and LG's press conference you might have missed it. The curved TV, once considered the whizzbang tech that would save televisions, is dead. Not quite in the ground, but no longer the darling of its makers. The curved TV is being quietly shuffled away from the limelight to make way for newer, and better, fads in televisions.

Image: Mario Aguilar/Gizmodo

At CES this year, Samsung showed off its newest flagship television. The Q9 is gorgeous, compact for its size and traffics all its inputs on a single cord about the width of fishing line. It is also painfully flat. The display does not curve in the slightest. This is very different from years past, where Samsung's high end curved TVs were the star of Samsung's show.

Flagship televisions tend to possess all the features that are most forward-looking for a company. They're intended to be incredible future-proof sets worth their $7000+ price tags. Televisions that will still wow your guests years after newer and better technology has come along.

Samsung reps told Gizmodo that the company still "believes" in curved TVs, and there's a variant available in the more affordable Q7 and Q8 models. But the exclusion of a curved version in the flagship Q9 is a big deal.

Especially when you notice that LG is also leaving its curved sets by the wayside too. Instead, its flagship OLED W7's biggest selling point is that it can be mounted practically flush to the wall. Panasonic is also now on the straight and narrow. It's second ever OLED TV, the EZ1002 is completely flat. Panasonic's first OLED, the now two-year-old TX-65CZ952B, had a distinct curve.

So why are the curved TVs quietly being put to pasture? Sales numbers may be scarce, but practical experience with curved TVs isn't. They have always been a shiny gimmick, despite what some people hoped. A curved set gives a person an incredible and immersive view when they're sitting dead centre, but the TV-watching experience is far less fabulous for anyone else in the room. That makes them practically worthless for big game-watching parties or mighty movie marathons, or anything but one dude, in his underwear, watching TV by himself.

So farewell curved TV. You were only around a few years, and you're not technically dead yet. But you can just mosey on out to pasture now. No one will miss you. We've got sweet TVs with just one cord and giant speakers now, and that's way cooler.

This story originally appeared on Gizmodo


Comments

    ... and sometimes, just sometimes, no underwear at all.

    Never understood why curved TVs were that great to be honest. Always thought they looked silly, and the benefits were overblown by everyone as far as I could see.

      And they always made my eyes feel funny with how reflections of any other light in the environment got squashed and moved in reverse.

      Sales for flat screen TV's started to decline in 2011-2012. Curved tvs were announced around 2013 and hit the market in 2014 as a gimmick to drive up sales in a declining market.

    Curved TV's were silly, as curved TV's suit a small amount of people in the viewing area, and everyone else got boned.

      Unless they were feature-wall sized like my brother's, but even then, it was hard to really appreciate any noticeable improvement in quality.

    Curved monitor? Sure, for a 40" 4k that would be ideal. Curved tv? I don't see the benefit until at least Over 100", and that would be at a short viewing distance and need 8k to be enjoyable.

    We've got sweet TVs with just one cord and giant speakers now, and that's way cooler.Well, except that one cord has to connect to a completely separate device that then has a multitude of cords coming out of it. It also means you get to buy two expensive things instead of one.

    Well that died faster than 3D TVs.

      Also for @fistfullofflour.

      As a marketing term, 3D has run its course. But as a technology it isn't dead.

      It's still around but has become one of those ubiquitous features that are not worth mentioning anymore as many TVs after 40" have 3D as standard.

      So to say 3D is dead is the same as saying print and PC gaming are dead.

        Not really. You get Playstation pillin8g out and saying that they are not overly concerned with supporting 3D gaming and have shifted focus to VR.

        Less and less movies seem to support it and I've found most top tier 4k T.V from Samsung and LG don't have 3d support. I'll say 5 years before it vanishes permanently.

    I bought a 68 inch TV (stupidly, but hey it has been spectacular) and when comparing the curved screen to the flat screen in store of the same size, I liked the curved better. It makes the TV feel smaller, but as a result you're not having to look around or feel like the picture is out of view.

    Have had many movie nights with people all around without problem, but that could be the size helping there (as a smaller curved TV might make the curve too noticeable)

    But yeah, technology comes and goes so quickly

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