Curved TV: A Gimmick Or A Must-Have?

We may love curves on women, but how about on our TV? Curved TVs are in trend in new homes today, boasting an intimate viewing experience on your favourite TV programmes. But are they really as good as they claim to be? We headed down to the major department stores in Singapore to find out what the hype is all about.
The Good
Curved TV offers a more immersive viewing experience
Just like watching a programme with the 3D effect but without the need for the 3D glasses, the curved interface adds depth to your typical flat TV. Its curved edge makes viewing more intimate as the visuals ‘wrap around’ you, which means you will be immersed in the world of Game of Thrones.
This is one of the main benefits of a curved TV. However, this only stands true when your TV is large enough. The recommended size is to go with at least the more affordable 55-inch, or the ideal 65-inch TV for your living room. The bigger the TV, the better the visual experience. Otherwise, the experience would not differ much from a flat-screen TV.
Curved TV reduces reflection
Another main benefit is the reduced reflection. However when light falls on a curved surface, the reflections will be slightly distorted and exaggerated, like a fun house mirror. To prevent such distortions, introduce some light control elements to your room.
Curved TV offers better contrast
Curved screens focus the light directly onto your eyes rather than dispersing it over a wide area.
We are not exactly sure to what extent the curvature helps since the colour contrast is likely to be influenced by colour accuracy and screen resolution (correct us if we are wrong!).
Curved TV works better than a flat TV if you have a small space
If you like to enjoy the visual pleasure of watching from a big-screen in a small space, then a curved TV is a better option. Its curved surface means you can have a shorter viewing distance than your typical flat-screen TV, and it is less tiring on your eyes as your eyes need not ‘stretch’ too much when you are sitting near to a flat-screen TV.
The Bad
You will need to be at the best seat to enjoy the curved TV
Those sitting at the sides will notice slight distortions due to the screen curvature, and this has reportedly caused headaches and fatigues in viewers as the brain tries to compensate for the distortion.
In the typical home, the ‘sweet spot’ (of sitting in the middle) can only accommodate just one or two viewers. Thus, it is recommended to opt for a wider screen if you are taking the curved TV; which means, you will have to spend more. Not a wise choice if you like to invite friends or loved ones for a good movie or a game of Halo.
This was also in line with what was recommended by the sales staff; go for at least 65-inch for curved TVs.
How much more would a curved TV costs?
It was a unanimous choice among the sales staff at three department stores to go with Samsung as they are the first to produce the curved TV, and the curvature is wider than other brands.
Comparing the models across Samsung, the price difference between curved and flat-screen TV ranges around $300-$600, not much of a difference we say.
So are curved TVs a marketing gimmick?
Feedback from homeowners who owned a curved TV was that the differences were not significant, but wouldn’t mind paying for the slight difference for a higher perceived value and better quality. Its curves are aesthetically modern and futuristic and curved TV is in trend.
Our take? There isn’t a notable difference between the curved and a flat-screen TV, unless you can afford at least a 65-inch in order to enjoy the full benefits of a curved TV. Pixel density, colour contrast and price would probably be more compelling considerations.  
But before you go, here are some quick pointers to note before you purchase your TV.
What to look out for when purchasing a TV
•   TV are getting SMART-er; get this if you are one who likes to stream videos from the Internet
•   Pixel density; it is a choice between Ultra HD (UHD) which boasts 8.3 million megapixels, versus a Full HD (2.3 million megapixels). The pixel density is a main determinant in the price
•   All TVs in stores are adjusted to the maximum brightness. For a more accurate feel on how your TV programme will look like at home, tone down the brightness settings
•   Understand the amount of space you have and the viewing distance, and then choose the appropriate TV size
Have you bought a curved TV or are looking to buy one? Tell us what you think about curved TVs below.
Note: All images here are sourced from Samsung and LG.