Displayed on over 2 million square feet of exhibition floor space, CES is the biggest technology show in the world. It is also Las Vegas’s biggest event of the year with an additional 155,000 people flooding into the party town. Many companies hold products back in order to release them at this show. There is plenty of media coverage highlighting the headline products and while these reports will touch on the more interesting releases, the benefit of attending this show is really to stand back a little and look at the overall trends rather than the details.
Giant, curved, UHD (4K), OLED, Smart TV’s were on display from all the major players and LG and Samsung really dominated this show. Not only did they match each other product for product – they were joined by Konka, HiSense, Haier and other less known manufacturers.
There is no good technical reason for a curved screen on a 55” TV as they really only benefit very large projection formats. The curve handles the distortions created by anamorphic lenses and help to fill the field of view. LG, Samsung and others were demonstrating motorized OLED screens that could motor between flat and curved states. However, these gently curved TV’s really solve no problems. TV’s always used to be curved (out rather than in) and everyone’s ambition was to have a “flat screen” TV. So why the sudden interest in curved?
I suspect that the ability to make them curved (because we can) using OLED is the driver for this trend. Having seen the trend for ever flatter/thinner screens fixed to the wall; curved screens now expose the brackets and inevitable tangle of wires behind the screen and massively increase the depth of the installation. While I doubt this is an important new trend; maybe the 105/110” screens will see the most benefit of this feature. Having said there is no good reason for doing this, all those who saw them came away wanting their TV curved, including me!