Sony Bravia S990A HDTV is the first curved LED LCD set.
As if shopping for a new HDTV wasn't complicated enough, Sony added another option for HDTV purchasers on Wednesday. The latest choice: Would you prefer your screen to be flat or curved?
Yes, the curved screen era is officially upon us. It kicked off in late July when LG introduced the first 55-inch OLED HDTV, at a cost of $15,000. The following month, Samsung counterpunched with its own 55-inch curved OLED at $9,000. Now Sony is offering curved technology in the Bravia S990A, an edge-lit 65-inch LED LCD at a more down to earth price of $4,000.
The Bravia S990A's curvature is supposed to offer more immersive viewing, but could also mean visual distortion.
So why the rounded look? "The gentle curve of this television borrows from screen technology found in movie theaters, and provides an immersive experience that makes viewers feel as they are truly part of the action and in the moment," says Mike Lucas, senior vice president of Sony Electronics Home Entertainment & Sound division.
Our take is a bit less rosy: While the curve brings a unique and striking design to the living room, it creates a visual distortion for viewers. The top of the screen appears upwardly bent — what we call a "smiley face." The curve also limits the off-axis viewing of people sitting too far to the right or left of the TV.
The KDL-65S990A sits at the top of Sony’s HDTV product line with its expanded color palette via Sony’s Triluminos color technology for deeper reds, greens and blues. It also includes its most sophisticated signal processing, 3-D capability, Smart TV Internet functions and a total of eight front facing speakers angled for a surround-sound experience.
The KDL-65S990A will be available at national retailers and at Sony Style website and stores. Sony also announced today a similar 65-inch edge-lit LED LCD HDTV with Triluminous color technology, 3-D, Internet movie streaming but in a conventional flat screen configuration as the KDL-65W850A. Priced at $3,000, it will also be available in October. (Read HD Guru's review of the 55-inch version here.)
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First published September 4 2013, 9:10 AM