curved monitor
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Curved monitors have been around for a while now and  prices have fallen to a reasonable consumer level and a number of big time manufacturers, including Samsung and LG, have thrown their substantial weight behind the technology. The manufactures are pretty adamant that curved TV screens are the next generation, but what’s holding them back?samsung curved screen pro

Well, they say there’s no smoke without fire and concerns about curved screens have yet to be really answered. So, what are the potential issues with curved TVs and monitors for would-be users, and what benefits do you they actually bring?

Here’s a quick guide to the pros and cons of curved monitors.

 

Pros

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Immersion – By slightly bending the edges of the screen toward you, curved monitors and TVs try to replicate the sense of ‘real world’ vision. This wrap effect attempts to fill your peripheral vision as well as focusing the image in front of your eyes. Curved screens attempt to make you feel more immersed in what you’re watching, therefore theoretically enhancing the enjoyment.

This immersion is particularly effective for gamers, as anyone sitting in the curved screen sweet spot gets a real sense of immersion in their game.

Wider Viewing Angle – This one also appears in the cons section…but more on that later. When viewing a standard flat LCD screen from any angle other than head on, the viewer will often lose out on contrast and colour saturation due to the way the way the light projected from the screen. The slight bend in a curved screen actually compensates for the normal distortion giving you a wider viewing angle than your standard flat LCD…to a point.

Reduced Reflection – A flat monitor or TV inherently catches more surrounding reflections or stray light than a curved screen. This means if you’re in a room with an annoyingly placed window or mirror, a curved monitor might be good choice to avoid the distracting glare. Having said that, if the screen does happen to hit the glare sweet spot, it will actually amplify the annoyance causing a distorted blob of glare. Swings and roundabouts, ey?

Depth – Due to the nature of the screen, curved monitors produce an almost 3D-like picture without the annoyances and headaches of actual 3D viewing. Although the image is not technically 3D, the curvature of the screen enhances your perception of depth. It’s pretty subtle, but it does make a difference next to a flat screen.

Aesthetics – Alright, this one is a bit subjective, but you have to admit curved screens just look cooler than their regular counterparts. In the same way that LCDs were an advancement on CRT, curved screens just look straight up slick.

 

Conscurved TV bow tie

Distortion – You’ve probably never noticed, but some people believe there are slight geometric distortions with a curved screen. Most notably, there can be  a ‘bow tie’ effect where the edges are marginally stretched compared to the centre. This con is a bit contentious as many people simply don’t notice any distortion from standard viewing angles. It’s only when you’re viewing from off-centre that the issue comes into play.

Viewing Angle – This one is all about the angles. Although they technically present a wider viewing angle for distortion, curved screens also naturally restrict your viewing range. Most manufacturers believe this to be around the 35-degree mark, where the corners of the image become distorted simply due to the curve in the screen.

Wall Hanging – Although manufacturers do offer wall mounts, only a handful of cheaper third-party manufacturers have made the step to wall mounts. The other issue is that curved screens just look a little odd hanging on the wall. After the strikingly cool look of a curved TV on a unit, a hanging curved screen just looks a bit out of place.

You can see the full range of curved monitors available from Ebuyer by clicking here.

* Prices correct at time of posting.

12 COMMENTS

  1. This caught my eye as its title suggested is was going to be about monitors not TVs. I have yet to see a curved monitor that would fit on my desk but the idea is interesting.
    PRO There is no doubt that one person one screen is the ideal set up for a curved screen and I can see the appeal.
    CON It would fall down if you use two screens side by side for either work or gaming.
    I will watch this develop with interest.

  2. I expect once the novelty of concave curved screen tellys starts to wear off, cash converters will be full them…

  3. The Pros are reduced because aesthetically the look crap and they are only cool to people that are so uncool that other people have to tell them what is cool.

    The viewing angle pro (and the immersion one for that matter) only apply if you are one of the antisocial fits whose only friends are on face book. If you try to watch TV in the average UK living room with the average UK family, somebody is going to have a really hard time seeing all the action.

    If you sit in the sweet spot all light incident on the screen will be reflected back at you. This would not be true of a flat screen.

    Aesthetically a flat is better as it can blend in to the wall, almost as if it’s not there at all.

    Buy 4k instead.

  4. I have a 55inch samsung UHD curved screen tv and it is on my wall with my bracket from my 42 inch panasonic plasma which is approx 8 years old. ( Which is now gracing my daughters wall.) It looks great and really shows the wrinkles on all the news presenters it looks a little greyer from the side but if you are in front or slightly to one side the picture is fantastic and it really draws you in. Also a lot cheaper to run than my old plasma. The one connect is great as you only have the connect lead and the power cable going to the screen . The one connect has 4 hdmi inputs 2 sat or cable connections one terrestrial connector 2 usb 3 a connector for the uhd video pack an optical connector, headphone skt ,scart and composite connectors, ethernet and a ir remote extender for sky, freeview and freesat boxes.

  5. C’mon you marketing guys, think!

    I know. We’ll sell the public curved TVs and tell them that they’re in for an ‘IMAX-like immersive experience’. But hold on – won’t some of them remember the CRT days when we were selling them the idea that curved screens (admittedly convex rather than today’s concave) were giving them distorted images? Er – hopefully not. And anyway, why curved now? Simple, because we can, at no extra cost to ourselves. How good is that?

    So here we are good people. LG and Samsung want you to ditch your very old-fashioned flat-panel TV and invest in a curved screen – just as the screen is at your local IMAX. Let me speak plainly. TV is entering the age of stupid, and even the Gadget Show has been hoodwinked, recommending the curved screen over the flat screen alternative. I slap my forehead in slack-jawed amazement. Next they’ll be wanting the bigger pictures in London’s Portrait Gallery to be peeled off the wall and bent into a curve. 15th century tapestries will be curved away from the walls upon which they hang because after all – it’s obvious that the public will want to have the best immersive experience on offer.

    On top of it all the curved screen mathematics and geometry are all wrong. If you, the remote-control holder, is able to sit at the centre of the radius of the curved screen then that’s all well and good. Other viewers further down the food chain obviously can’t occupy this sweet spot, they all have to sit some distance away. As such, the curved screen will mean that they will see the image horizontally compressed, and if taken to extremes they will see a large chunk of the image all compressed into a single pixel vertical line.

    This is exactly the situation viewers experienced in the curved glass CRT days, a situation manufacturers were only to keen to exploit with their talk of Utopia’s flat screen. So right now you can buy a 55’’ LG LED Full HD TV for £999, or you can opt for their curved version at a cool £2999. It is fashion gone mad; do not be sucked in.

  6. I have a curved Samsung 27″ & I am seeing no issues with it at all! No distortion here! The picture is as good as a flat screen monitor, colours are too. It may be gimmicky, just like having a camera on your phone! If you were told you can have a phone, cameras, sat-nav, etc on 1 piece of plastic with no buttons & the size of a ciggy packet you would be laughed at and maybe stoned to death, but here we are 20 years from then with it all & more on 1 device! Oh! we pay through the teeth for these phones with a lot of c**p on it we don’t need, so there you have it, curved screens are not that far out there, all things considered.

  7. I have a Curved Samsung 55″ and it is great from all angles, I have no problems with it and everyone who has seen it has all said how good it is ???

  8. I have a Samsung 55″ 4K curved screen tv which I bought just under 2 years ago and its great!
    I have noticed none of the (imagined?) problems some of you are pointing out, wherever I sit. It makes me think some of you may be just a little bitter because you can’t afford one?
    A big 4K panel plus the curve, when you are sat in front of it, really does add to the depth and immersion you feel while watching something like a wildlife program, or playing a pc game on it.
    As I said I have had mine for a while now, but while still expensive it had come down by about a grand to the £2000 point, with a high street shop deal, from a fairly well known outlet in Blackpool, through their site online. It was actually not THAT much more than a flat screen similarly specked model at the time. As with any major purchase of this nature, you read up on what’s available and then look around for the best price.
    If there is a con with my Samsung, despite it being the the now fairly standardized LED LCD screen, it is that it gets really quite warm in use for some reason?
    Not as warm as Plasma’s, but warm enough to feel it radiate heat if your very near to it?
    The earlier 55″ flat screen Samsung it replaced stayed cool however long it was on, which for me was a selling point of that model, over the permanent heating which was a mark 1 Plasma screen. I don’t know why basically the same technology should be so different in this way, I’m not an engineer, it’s NOT a fault I had it checked by the Samsung agents in my area. I would have thought someone would have pointed that warmth issue out as a GENUINE con?

    I have to say that for me its a really great picture and even the on board sound is quite good, unusually for flat panels, with all the connections through the One Connect box that I could need. Even to get an approximation of 3D viewing in games or well shot films, without the need for wearing annoying cheap glasses over my normal specs, is actually a much more worthwhile advancement in the tech than the largely underused 3D effect on tv’s that preceded it as a major marketing ploy.
    Jaded as some of you from within the industry seem to be, I doubt you will ever be completely satisfied with the mass market tv’s. But for the majority of the people who CAN afford to splash out and treat yourselves to a really nice, non eye straining tv experience, you should go for it. You won’t be disappointed, not in the Samsung ones anyway!
    Oh and I do have it wall mounted, not flat to the wall but on a reasonably priced solidly constructed, multi-swivelling arm from Amazon. So I can easily turn it with one finger to watch from the kitchen, or to allow a room full of friends or family to watch it in all it’s good, non compressed, brightly coloured glory!

  9. anyone ever tried having the curved monitor stand on portrait display mode? wonder how odd does that feel watching & working…

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