Flat Screen vs Curved TV

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Updated September 16, 2022

Curved TVs first appeared on the consumer market in 2013, promising a more immersive viewing experience with superior fidelity, starting a long-standing debate over whether a flat-screen vs. curved TV is better.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Flat screen TVs are widely available at a wide range of price points and high-end models boast next-gen fidelity competitive with curved TVs.
  • Curved TVs offer the most benefits to gamers due to the fact that the increase in image fidelity is only significant at very close viewing distances.
  • The high starting price point of curved TVs won’t necessarily be justified for many users based on what is often a very minor upgrade to the viewing experience.

Both have their advantages, especially when it comes to cost and performance, so if you’re looking for the best TV on the market for your needs, you’ll want to understand what each offers. Here you can learn about other technologies in modern TVs, like full LED vs edge LED.

Are Curved TVs Better than Flat Screens

Curved TVs were a popular high-end option throughout the 2010s for the immersive viewing experience they promised but have since become far less common on the market. If you would like, you can also compare curved 4K Tv vs a flat 4K to see which is best for your setup. Alternatively, if you know you do not want a flat TV, check out the top-rated curved TVs offered. Lastly, if you aren’t sure what to choose, you can check out the differences between a projector screen and a TV to see if it will give you any benefits the others won’t.

Insider Tip

Gamers will enjoy the benefits of curved TVs more than most because of closer viewing angles.

The biggest difference between flat screen and curved TVs is obviously the curvature of the display itself, but significant differences in price and often less significant differences in performances are possibly why they’re a less common option commercially now.

Viewing Experience

The claim that curved TV manufacturers make is that their models provide a superior viewing experience compared to standard flat-screen models. In theory, a curved display means far less glare, greater immersion, and the elimination of certain kinds of image distortion. While glare is indeed reduced significantly, the difference in immersion will generally only feel significant at very close viewing distances, which is why gamers will experience the benefits the most. Also, remember you need to keep your TV clean to have a good viewing experience as well. You should periodically wipe your TV down with a microfiber cloth.

Cost and Value for Money

Here the differences between curved and flat-screen models become self-evident. A curved model will cost $100 to 300 more than the closest flat screen equivalent. There also aren’t any entry-level curved models on the market, partially because their market share has shrunk so significantly in the past few years. That difference in price point may be more justifiable for non-budget-minded gamers, who will benefit the most from a curved screen.

Image Fidelity

The differences here are nominal. Curved TVs don’t have higher resolutions or other technologies that aren’t available in flat screen models, so differences in image fidelity are more perceptive than actual.

Reduced screen glare and reduced or eliminated image distortions of certain kinds translate into a better image on a curved TV, even if the color depth and resolutions are the same. However, once again, the difference is negligible at normal viewing differences.

Warning

Many users won’t notice an improvement in viewing experience that is significant enough to justify the substantial increase in price with curved TVs.

F.A.Q.S

Can you install a curved TV on a wall?

Yes. For the most part, curved TVs use the same mounting brackets that flat screen models do. You should be able to put most models on a wall without any extra trouble. Keep in mind that viewing distance makes the biggest difference in getting the most out of a curved display.


How does the curve affect viewing angles?

It may seem counterintuitive, but a curved screen doesn’t generally have that much of an effect, adverse or otherwise, on the viewing angle. This means that you won’t really have to adjust for that when setting up and installing a curved TV vs a flat screen.


Does the curve affect picture quality?

It depends on how you define “picture quality.” In a technical sense, the only improvement in picture quality with curved displays would be in the elimination of certain kinds of image distortions. However, the difference isn’t often that noticeable. The reduction of glare is probably the biggest overall improvement to picture quality since resolutions and color depth aren’t any different in curved displays.



STAT: Curved TVs can come at up to a 50% higher price point than equivalent flat screen models. (source)

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