Cinephiles who crave nothing more than a large, flat, gimmick-free screen on which to watch sports, TV shows, and movies can rejoice in the end of the curved screen era. One of the more notable things about CES 2017 was that every flagship TV from a major manufacturer was flat. It doesn’t mean that curved screens pulled the complete disappearing act that 3D did, but they were far fewer and nobody was talking about them.
Notably, LG eliminated curved screens from its TV lineup altogether. This is interesting because it was the advent of consumer OLED that brought the curved form factor to the marketplace.
Samsung went with a flat screen for its Q9 flagship and while the company continues to offer some curved screen models, the focus is on flat. Meanwhile, Sony never really got into curved screen to begin with (although the company introduced the first curved LCD a few years back). Vizio is another big player that never got into the curve, in addition to spearheading the demise of 3D in favor of HDR.
One area where curved screens appear to still have appeal is for gaming monitors. This makes sense because of the way people used computer monitors, typically centered and at a very specific distance. This precise positioning is necessary to get any visual benefit from a curved screen.
While there are fewer curved TVs at CES as compared to the past couple years, when it came to 3D capable flat panel displays from major TV makers, there was nothing at all to see at CES. Last year I said that 3D for TV is dead and some commenters thought I was being a bit hasty. Well, in 2017 it’s a fact: Nobody in the TV industry is supporting 3D now that the focus is on HDR.
So, if you happen to be the owner of a curved screen 3D capable TV, take good care of it. For all you know, in a few decades it’s possible it’ll be considered a priceless historical artifact. Especially if it comes with a working Blu-ray player and a copy of Pacific Rim 3D.
When it comes to sentiment, a vocal contingent of AV enthusiasts will miss 3D. But best I can tell, there’s nobody complaining about the decline of the curve. It already has me wondering if we will see any curved options—at all—at CES next year.