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Curved TVs were designed primarily by Samsung to change the way people viewed TV. Unfortunately, there are problems with these TVs that contributed to their gradual disappearance from the shelves.
Here are the most common issues experienced with curved TVs.
1. Size of the Display
When curved TVs were developed, the designers had the IMAX cinemas in mind. Since IMAX Theaters were designed to simulate peripheral vision, makers of curved TVs and displays tried to deliver the same impact in a smaller form meant for the home.
Unfortunately, it did not work out as expected.
Curved TVs failed to capture this effect due to the size of the smaller screens compared to the giant IMAX theater screen. IMAX screens are massive, and home TVs just can’t deliver that size.
This is an obvious design flaw that cannot be corrected.
2. Sensitivity to Reflections
Reflections on TVs happen because of the glossy screens that TVs use, and curved TVs are particularly susceptible to issues with reflections.
There are some fixes you can try:
- Try adjusting the screen’s angle to ward off any reflections that may happen. Remember that you are trying to move the screen away from light sources that may cause reflections!
- You can try putting a matte screen layer on the display to reduce reflections, but it might be a challenge to find a matte screen protector that fits your TV exactly. Plus, installing a matte layer that big and remove bubbles that get trapped under the matte film protector will be a challenge.
- You can turn off the lights, but this may not completely solve the issue.
- Some people put LED strips behind their TV to serve as bias lights. Bias lights provide ambient lighting around your TV screen and improve contrast ratio by using balanced white accent lighting while reducing eye strain.
- You can also add a lamp behind the TV to reduce or counteract other light sources that cause reflections.
Lamps are easier to set up than Bias Lights, although LED strips can be more efficient since you can easily direct the light to surround the back of the TV.
3. Prone to Glare
Glare is similar in nature to reflection issues. It is caused by the light that hits the screen of your TV, often due to screens being glossy.
The best way to remove glare is by turning off or removing all light sources in the room. But not everyone is comfortable watching in the dark, which is why you should look into other fixes.
- You can adjust screen settings and increase the brightness. When doing so, adjust the contrast, color intensity, and other relevant settings as well until glare is minimized.
- Find the right spot for your curved TV. Keep the TV away from windows or where the sun shines directly on the TV. Not only can glare be annoying, but direct sunlight on your TV can damage it.
- Try adjusting the angles of the curved TV. Tilt the TV up and down or pan it left or right to get a good angle that prevents glare from reaching the screen.
- Reduce the amount of lighting surrounding your curved TV. Leave only those that you need.
- Look for anti-glare protectors that are compatible. Although you might find it a challenge to get anti-glare filters for a curved TV, it does not hurt to try. These protectors sometimes come bundled with some smart TVs.
4. Limited Viewing Angles
Viewing angles on curved TVs are a weakness.
While curved TVs attempt to provide peripheral vision emulation when viewed straight-on, the viewing angles deteriorate when watching off-center or at an angle.
The sweet viewing spot for any curved TV is at the front and center of the TV since you are within the arc of the screen. Watching at an angle puts you outside that arc, which reduces picture quality.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do about viewing angles on a curved TV.
5. Positioning the Curved TV
From an aesthetic point of view, Curved TVs are harder to position.
They look awkward when placed on a wall mount, although doing so may resolve some issues like glare.
They can look a little odd in a room.
6. In-store Availability
While this is not a technical issue, the general availability of curved TVs can be an issue, especially if you need technical support or repairs.
As curved TVs were taken off the market a while ago, you might find it challenging to even find one, and you may struggle to find third-party support in case something goes wrong.
There might not be many parts available should you need to replace anything.
Should you have any issues with your curved TV and need to have it physically checked, the best option is to look for a service center authorized by the manufacturer. However, since curved TVs are not that common, your local repairman may not be very familiar with them.
General Pros and Cons of Curved TVs
While there are issues that may arise when using curved TVs, it still has some benefits worth looking into.
One of the goals of TV manufacturers is to make content onscreen as lifelike as possible. And curved TVs are no exception to this goal.
Curved TVs were designed to emulate the movement of your eyes and mimic peripheral vision. Since your eyes track the curve of the screen, the images become more realistic and three-dimensional. It feels like that you’re almost part of the movie.
Wider Field of View
The gently curved design of the TV gives you more coverage in your field of view.
However, this is only applicable when seated in the sweet spot, directly front-and-center.
Better Image Sharpness on the Edges
As curved TVs follow the shape of the eyes, images regain sharpness at the edge.
This improved image sharpness is the reason why large-scale movie theaters use curved screens.
But be advised, the enhanced image clarity is much more noticeable on curved TVs with larger screens when compared to TVs with smaller display sizes.
Better Image Depth
One thing people notice when using a curved TV for the first time is that it feels three-dimensional. That can be attributed to curved screens’ use of different depth planes on images.
Enhanced Contrast on screen
With curved TVs being able to focus light toward the sweet spot, you can expect better contrast onscreen when viewing head-on.
Wider Viewing Angles
Viewing angles on a curved TV is both a strength and a weakness.
What makes it a strength is its ability to mitigate the effects of color and contrast reduction when viewed from a central position. It becomes a weakness, though, when watching from an angle, as it warps the images.
Disadvantages of Curved TVs
Here is an overview of the biggest issues of owning a curved TV.
- There is only one central spot that offers the best viewing without warping.
- You may encounter more reflections on the screen.
- Curved TVs cost more.
- Curved TVs have limited aesthetic placements.
- The benefits of curved TVs are only obvious when the screen is very large.
- Repairing and finding replacement parts for curved TVs can be difficult, as they are no longer manufactured and were not very popular to begin with.
Curved TVs, or curved displays in general, are not for everyone.
Curved TVs are best for solo use or leisure watching with a small group, as their viewing angles are very limiting.
If you’re considering a curved TV for gaming, check out our article Are Curved TVs Good For Gaming? (Explained).