Samsung Curved Displays - the subjective review

Curved televisions, gimmick, the real deal, or somewhere in between? Here is my assessment.

Here in our lab I was comparing the same YouTube video on the 4k (close) and HD Samsung tvs

For cnet's review, click HERE

For my review, keep reading.

Our team has been infatuated with curved displays since we created this back in 2000:
This is the Polycom RPX that was envisioned and created by former Telesuite President Herold Williams and designed by Herold and Bryan Hellard (that's me)

Immersive Telepresence is the best application for curved displays and after we abandoned the use of projectors, we waited and waited for curved tvs to arrive. We even went as far as attempting to make our own curved display out of a flat 55" LCD tv. After shattering a panel in my hand, it was apparent that we couldn't get the curve we wanted out of it. So we continued to wait.

In April of this year, I was lucky enough to be one of the first end users in the states to get his hands on the HD model (4k was running a couple weeks later). While the curve isn't as dramatic as I would like, it still is pretty cool. Pairing two of them side by side and even cheating the curve a little makes for a great wrap around effect for dual screen, life size telepresence - which by the way is what our company does.

At the Infocomm trade show in June 2014, we demonstrated our product using the curved HD displays. Personally, I think we had quite a bit of interest in our booth due to the curved screens. Our actual product wasn't apparent just by peering into our booth, but the curved tvs were. It surprised me that Samsung, who had a huge booth at the show, did not have any curved displays. Just us and LG, who had a 105" model.

That's the business use case, but what about for home? Honestly, the HD version wouldn't be that great for home use and neither would be great in a large living room. The curve loses it's curve (I hope that makes sense) when you get about 10 feet away from it. This tv is meant to be close to, and that's why the HD isn't really appropriate. Like any HD tv, the closer you get the more apparent the pixel become. With the 4k tv showing upscaled 1080p content the pixels aren't apparent even close up (4-5 feet away). The end result is that the 4k model would be absolutely wonderful in small living room situations where you want a big tv but will be forced to sit close to it. Sitting close is where the curve shines. Not only does the curve help to reduce window/light glare, at up to roughly 6 feet away you get the benefit of a nice wrap around effect.

Hopefully before too long we'll get the 78" display to play around with and of course, I intend to blather about it on my blog.


Bryan Hellard, President of True View Video LLC, is an industry expert in video conferencing product development. With over 14 years' experience in video conferencing and telepresence, his duties have included product management, product design, testing and prototyping. Bryan is also a consultant for end users and video conferencing product vendors.

Bryan currently serves as Director of Product Engineering and is a member of the Advisory Board for Array Telepresence.

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