Should I buy a Curved or Flat 4K TV?

​Just when we were getting used to the thinnest, flattest tv screens ever, the latest innovation in TV design is the adoption by major manufacturers of curved screen tvs.

These curved tvs are most notable in the new 4K UHD televisions with higher resolution displays - particularly Samsung whose premium SUHD range is all curved.

Some might suggest that this is a way for the 4K models to be more visually differentiated by consumers but this is not always the case. For example, Vizio have made all their 4K 2015 models with flat screens - not a curve amongst them - so not all 4K TVs are curved!

Are Curved TVs Better?

And, of course, all curved screen tvs are not created equal. The overall appearance of the TV includes the stand, the depth, the design, the color etc.

Your screen will still be present in your room when the set is switched off and so the aesthetics should be considered too. Maybe you have a traditional decor and a modern curved screen would just look out of place.

These are more personal subjective decisions but, nevertheless, do need to be taken into account for such a major household purchase when you are weighing up the pros and cons of Curved vs Flatscreen.

Samsung JS9500 Curved or Flat 4K TV

To curve or not to curve?

Perhaps the most important consideration is where the television wil be located in your home. If viewing will be mostly from in front of the TV, with your eyeline level with the centre of the display, then you'll probably find that you enjoy a more immersive experience with a curved screen. From this position - the "sweet spot" you'll see the best picture from your screen. However, if you are viewing from the side, you will not get such a good picture and parts of the picture near the edge may even appear distorted.

Placement of a Curved TV Screen

Most TV's are either wall mounted or placed on a tv stand or unit. If you plan to wall mount, then you'll need to check that the curved TV includes the necessary design features to facilitate this. Certainly, some of the earlier curved models were table mount only and, even where newer curved displays can be wall mounted, you may need to purchase a bespoke mounting kit for your model so don't forget to check this out and factor in this additional cost in your buying decision. If you decide to wall mount, then check that your eye height will be aproximately in the centre of the screen. If the screen is too high then you'll lose the benefit of the curve.

How many people will be watching ?

If there will be just one or two people watching together and they are sitting in front of the screen, then curved is great. But if you have several people watching together, then it's more likely that some will be viewing from the side and will not get such a great experience. So you may need to bag your seat early to get the best position!

better viewing angle Curved vs flatscreen tv

Do Curved Screens minimise reflections?

The short answer is - it depends. If you have windows or othe light sources eith side of the screen then the curve may help. But if light is coming from in front of the screen - sides, above or behind, then the reflections may be worse than with a flat panel.

Is a Curved screen smaller than a Flat screen?

You might wonder how a Curved screen is measured. Whether it is measured corner to corner on a straight line (imagine a large wooden ruler held across the diagonal) or corner to corner along the curve of the screen (imagine a cloth tape measure held close to the curve across the diagonal).

Clearly the method used will result in a difference depending on the size of the television and the amount of curvature. The standard measurement is the "cloth tape" method which means that a 65 inch curved screen will look a little smaller than a 65" flatscreen.

Curved or Flat 4K TV - Our Conclusion

In my own experience, moving from a 58" Panasonic plasma flatscreen to a 55" curved LG OLED, you get used to a curved screen pretty quickly and don't really give it a great deal of thought when watching day to day.

My screen is standing on a TV unit so wall mounting was not an issue in my decision. There is no doubt that the slim curved screen is very attractive and aesthetically pleasing and I am convinced that I made the right decision to go curved!

Should I buy a Curved or Flat 4K TV?
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Should I buy a Curved or Flat 4K TV?
Confused about whether you should buy a Curved or Flat 4K TV? Before you decide, read our straightforward guide to making the right choice