Year ends 2014

We have had an interesting year in the home audio / consumer TV business. There has been the introduction of 4K resolution sets as well as curved screen versions. These interesting looking units (curved) have yet to impress me to the point of telling anyone I think they should buy one. And judging by the way the price has fallen, I believe this is an industry norm.

Good vs. Bad

On the good side, a curved screen like we used 30 years ago with first generation projection TV offers a general reduction of the reflection of ambient light, which sounds like a good idea except that the modern TV can generate an abundance of light so as long as the TV can produce good blacks- basically the color of the screen when off. There is no perceived lack of illumination caused by ambient light. This was the purpose 30 years ago and was a big help in getting a 78 inch  Kloss Nova beam in the early 80’s to look pretty good.

On the bad side, it seems that in making these curved screen units, they managed to come up with the most reflective surface ever for a panel face. These new sets seem to have a mirror like reflection never seen before in any panel TV. Plasma sets with their glass surface was the industry standard for high reflectivity. Old LCD sets which were at that time illuminated with a florescent like light were the best. These rough matt finish surfaces were very non-reflective and still today make very good outdoor patio televisions.

Back to curved models, it would seem that these curved sets would be good at one location, basically straight on and perhaps a couple feet back from the radius center. Now you can enjoy the picture there by yourself, because only one head will fit into that sweet spot.

Want a new TV with the best picture overall? Buy a Sony. Their 600 and 800 series sets are easily the best pictures I have seen lately. Well, except for the 8 year old Pioneer plasma I saw yesterday!

Will there be any such thing as curved screen in 2 years? I surely do not know but I can tell you that from my perspective I have yet to see – or think of a good reason to purchase one. The good and the bad.