Sony Continues the Curved HDTV Trend with 1080p LED
Where's this curved TV trend going?
September 05, 2013 by Grant Clauser

The curved TV madness continues. Sony this week announced a curved LED, LCD TV to be shown at the Berlin IFA expo. The most striking thing about it, other than the fact that it’s curved, is that it’s not an OLED TV.

Both LG and Samsung introduced 55-inch, very expensive, curved OLED TVs (What’s an OLED TV?) this summer.  Now Sony follows, sort of, with a more affordable (and bigger) 65-inch curved TV, but the KDL-65S990A sticks with the relatively conventional LED display technology. At $3,999 it’s also considerably more affordable.

Just because this 1080p TV doesn’t use cutting-edge OLED technology doesn’t mean it’s going to be a slouch in terms of picture quality. The TV uses Sony’s Triluminos display system whcih produces deep, rich colors.

So why the curve? I’ve argued in the past (here) that the curves on Samsung and LG’s OLED TVs were for marketing and style impact more than image enjoyment, and I stick with that assessment. Sony’s Mike Lucas says the curve on this TV “borrows from the screen technology found in movie theaters, and provides an immersive experience that makes viewers feel as if they are truly part of the action and in the moment of the scene they are watching.”

No way. On a 65-inch TV you won’t be more immersed in your movie because of the curve. At best you can hope to at least not be distracted by the curve.  Sony says it allows for a wider viewing angle, and in some situations I can see that being true because you can move farther to the side of the TV and still see the far edge clearly, yet it could also create a viewing problem for the close edge. But I digress.

In addition to the Triluminos system, the TV includes Sony’s X-Realty Pro video processor plus a four-channel “Live Speaker” system that includes 8 total built-in speakers (two dedicated to surround) and a full selection of smart TV features for streaming audio and video.

Like the soundbar introduced earlier this summer, the KDL-65S990A includes NFC technology, which allows easy wireless communication with compatible smart phones and tablets (all Android at this point).

All-told, this sounds like a pretty cool television, but the curve seems like a gimmick. It may appeal to people’s sense of design or style, and if it does, great. If the high-prices of OLED TVs scare you, then check out this one. You can pre-order it now here.  I’m just wondering how far manufacturers are going to take this trend.

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Grant Clauser - Technology and Web Editor, Electronic House
Grant Clauser has been covering home electronics for more than 10 years with editorial roles in several consumer and trade magazines. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had training from THX, the Home Acoustics Alliance, Control4 and Sencore. His latest book is Necessary Myths. Follow him on Twitter @geclauser.

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