Curved Screens

NOVO - - TV BUYER GUIDE -

of their monthly broad­band traf­fic al­lot­ments if they do not have an un­lim­ited plan. For those that pre­fer phys­i­cal me­dia, new triple-lay­ered Blu-ray discs with a 100 GB ca­pac­ity to support 4K con­tent will ar­rive in 2015, al­low­ing users to pur­chase 4K con­tent in­stead of hav­ing to use their In­ter­net con­nec­tions.

As a stop­gap mea­sure un­til more na­tive 4K con­tent is avail­able, all Ul­traHD TVs fea­ture 4K up­con­ver­sion, which in­ter­po­lates lower res­o­lu­tion con­tent for dis­play on the Ul­traHD sets. This is done with vary­ing de­grees of qual­ity but over­all, the main­stream man­u­fac­tur­ers (LG, Sam­sung, and Sony) do a de­cent job thanks to their ex­pe­ri­ence with dig­i­tal imag­ing and pro­cess­ing. On the other hand, Ul­traHD sets from off-brand man­u­fac­tur­ers such as Seiki don’t do as well, of­ten re­sult­ing in block­ing, aliased images. Curved screens are a new change to TVs and at­tempt to mimic the view­ing ex­pe­ri­ence in a movie the­atre by adding in a slight curve to the TV. The curve tries to min­i­mize the slight dif­fer­ence in view­ing dis­tance of view­ers in the “sweet spot” from the cen­tre of the TV to the edges, re­sult­ing in a more uni­form and im­mer­sive pic­ture. The con­se­quence of this is that view­ers sit­ting off-cen­tre ex­pe­ri­ence more dis­tor­tion and re­duced pic­ture qual­ity. While video pan­ning across the screen is in­deed more sub­jec­tively uni­form with a curved TV, the de­crease in view­ing area due to the re­duc­tion in op­ti­mal seat­ing po­si­tion can be a trade-off that many view­ers are not will­ing to make – es­pe­cially if their TV is of­ten host to large groups. The de­crease in hor­i­zon­tal width, com­pared to a flat TV of the same di­ag­o­nal size, also de­creases the ap­peal. Like 3D (which didn’t catch on and is only sub­jec­tively ap­peal­ing for spe­cific types of con­tent), I sus­pect that curved TVs will not be­come main­stream and are not worth the pre­mium.

Wand Re­motes, Smart TVs, NFC, and Front-Fac­ing Speak­ers

As pic­ture qual­ity in­creases and sub­se­quently be­comes more dif­fi­cult to im­prove, rel­a­tively, other fea­tures are in­creas­ingly be­ing added to en­sure an­nual prod­uct

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