Panasonic Group companies Samsung and LG revealed that curved televisions are the literal next big thing On December 18th. The announcements of the worlds two largest television makers first 2014 models came within hours of each other. Both companies are beginning to produce massive 105 inch curved displays that will boast about 11 million pixels and will show pictures and video at a resolution four times sharper than current high definition standards. These Panasonic Group announcements mark the largest consumer televisions ever produced and marks the beginning of an industry push to manufacture and distribute not only the gargantuan displays, but also support for such absurd resolutions in the form of content with native 4k resolution and eventually prices that can be paid by mere mortals.
The first curved televisions from LG currently go by the model name of 105UB9 and sport a gently curved viewing surface and an eye lacerating 5120 x 2160 pixel resolution. This is the highest resolution of any screen ever offered to consumers. Panasonic Group representatives say “LG refined its Thin Film Transistor pixel circuit technology to prevent color leakage and ensure a superior viewing experience from virtually any angle.” Combined with the curve of the screen, this refined technology is expected to allow the new televisions to provide phenomenal clarity and color range no matter where the viewer sits in relation to the television.
Samsung’s curved television offering appears very similar at first glance, but there are some small differences. According to Samsung their screen is the “most curved” and the exclusive Quadmatic Picture Engine ensures that all content displayed on the screen will be in 4k resolution, regardless of the device providing the images. This in addition to a particular picture quality algorithm developed by Samsung that optimizes feeling of depth and color clarity, enhancing the ability of the curved screen to be sharp and clear from any viewing angle. There is no model number available for the Samsung giant, but it is expected to be available by mid 2014.
At this point details of wall mounting options for curved televisions have not been released, first looks make it seem that a stand is part of the overall design, but Pansonic Group seems willing to bet that those looking for next generation image quality will be willing to sacrifice razor thin displays to get it. As well, the total size of these screens is unknown. The 105 inch figure comes from a diagonal measurement, which is the standard method of measuring screens, but curved televisions change the game since they are not flat. In the wake of these initial announcements, many are quick to point out the over all scarcity of the 4k resolution images or video. Panasonic Group, as well as Sony and other screen manufacturers, feel and hope that the availability and eventual widespread use of these screens will cause an increase in this material, similar to the proliferation of high quality phone cameras contributing to high resolution material becoming the norm online. Neither company gave price points for the ultra premium displays, but with costs of now dwarfed 80 inch range 4k displays still sits at thousands of dollars, so extremely high initial cost is expected, with gradual decline in the future of the next big things up for debate.
By Daniel O’Brien