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Curved vs. Flat TVs

Learn the differences between curved and flat screen TVs

What's the difference between curved and flat TVs?

We get this question all the time: will I be better off with a curved TV, or a flat one? To help you make this important decision, we set up a side-by-side comparison and asked our Advisors to stop by and see for themselves. In this short video, our lab manager Jordan lets you know what you can expect from curved screen and flat screen TVs.

Curved and flat screen TVs | Video Transcript

We get lots of questions on curved and flat TVs. So Jordan, manager of our Crutchfield Labs, set up two similar 65" Samsung TVs for our advisors to check out and compare.

So we unboxed the two TVs, got everything connected in terms of power, and then we basically hooked up an Oppo 105 Blu-ray player, which has two HDMI outputs, fed one to each set, and started playing a movie. Aside from the curvature on the televisions, they were identical from a performance standpoint.

Movie-like viewing
I would say the biggest thing that we noticed when we were looking at the TVs is that when you're sitting directly in front of the curved screen, your eyes get drawn to the middle of the set. And I found that that actually was pretty nice when we were watching a movie. I mean, it was just more relaxing. I thought it was a little bit more like actually being in a movie theater.

Off-axis viewing
On the flat screen set, it was just what I'm used to seeing. It's more like looking through a window pane. However, when you get off-axis, if you got to the three or four feet to either side of the TV, I thought that I actually preferred the flat-screen set because I didn't notice the corners as much.

It would depend on where you were sitting, but generally speaking the curved screen TV did a much better job handling reflections.

Picture quality
The one thing that was funny is that people were like, well there's no difference in picture quality. Well, yeah, there isn't because the TVs really are virtually the same from a processing standpoint. I think I would really say well let's focus on the features that you need on the TV. Let's focus on connectivity. Let's focus on Smart TV features. Let's focus on picture quality, you know, differences in these sets and as you go with certain brands into their upper echelon flagship models, they're only making curved TVs. So at some point, you know it's not really a decision between curved and flat, it's really just a decision between what level of performance you want to pay for.

If you want help deciding which TV is right for your room just give us a call.

  • Bob

    Posted on 6/21/2018

    I must admit that I thought that the curve in a tv screen was just a gimmick, although my wife preferred the picture from the start when we selected our new television. I reluctantly went with her selection, primarily because the cost was the same between the flat panel Sony and curved Samsung that we were deciding between, and she genuinely thought the curved screen looked better. I simply didn't think that it would matter. We now have two curved tv screens, one a 55-inch screen, the other a 65-inch screen, both Samsungs. After a year with the curved screens I have been won over. They just look better, and certainly have less of a glare problem, and a fine viewing angle. Our next television will also be curved. At this point in time I could not go back to a flat panel television screen if given the choice of having a curved screen.

  • surf salterpath from wilson

    Posted on 1/11/2018

    My $.02 worth. Samsung 65 Inch Curved 4K Ultra HD Smart TV - UN65KS9500 UHD TV Purchased Nov 2016 Love it!

  • Tracy from Lavonia

    Posted on 10/31/2017

    I can give you a real comparison from experience. I bought an LG 65" OLED flat and was told it was 3D, that model was not. So I ordered another LG OLED 65" that is 3D and curved. I kept the flat screen until the new one arrived. Set it up next to the other. Pulled a 4k player from my bedroom where I have a 55" LG OLED to do a side by side. I chose a movie that I have two 4k copies. In my situation the curved tv looks better. People keep saying that a flat looks better from the side, but no! It doesn't! If you get so far to one side they both look bad. The same goes for ppl say that you lose some screen from the side of a curved, bs! If you get that far to the side it looks like crap before you lose screen.

  • Mike A from New York

    Posted on 9/25/2017

    It's about time someone gave an honest opinion of curved TVs. When I set out to buy my latest television, I did all the research and was convinced that curved TVs were only a gimmick. As a result, I spec'd out the Vizio P series as my best option and value for a 65". That was until I went to pick it up and came across a Samsung UHD curved 65" TV. I was blown away by the picture and the aesthetics of the TV in general. In fact, the picture put to shame every other TV in the showroom (including the OLEDs). Truthfully, I still believed the hype and bought the TV for the aesthetics alone. When I got the TV home and started watching it, I quickly came to the conclusion that all the articles I read were simply a hit job on curved TVs. Here's what I found: 1. The naysayers say they look horrible when mounted to a wall. I found the opposite. Being the owner for two other flat screens, the Samsung curved TV looks like a work of art on the wall when compared to the others. 2. The naysayers say that the curved TVs have more glare. I found the opposite to be true. 3. I found a truly immersive experience regardless of angle or distance with no single sweet spot.

  • john from westport, wa.

    Posted on 4/27/2017

    chose the curved model over the flat 4k model for a little more money. couldn't be happier. not only for my viewing habits, but the comments from my friends. personal taste would be the obvious choice. make sure you mount it on the wall, and don't cheap out on the wall mount. viewing angles make all the difference no matter which model you choose

  • Michael

    Posted on 3/13/2017

    I too was unsure about the curve but I will tell you it was the right choice. I bought the lg c6 2016 model oled and it's on a stand and the curve is ever so slight, I sit 8ft away and it disappears! It brings me into the movie I feel, I also thought 3D was a disappointment but I just wasn't watching it on right tv,this lg will change your mind it is unreal the experience ! It's the best bang for the buck! Too bad it's the last of its kind soon,Curved plus 3D oled I need not say more!

  • Dennis from Atlanta

    Posted on 2/21/2017

    3d may be dead to you, but I happen to love 3d TV. To each his own. As for curved TV no thanks.

  • Dennis from Atlanta

    Posted on 2/21/2017

    3d may be dead to you, but I happen to love 3d TV. To each his own.

  • Harv

    Posted on 2/12/2017

    Curved makes no sense to me. When watching sporting events, you don't want to be "drawn to the center" and it seems that most of the guests at the super bowl party wouldn't be very happy watching a curved screen because they didn't get the seat in front of the center of the tv.

  • Geoff from North Richland Hills

    Posted on 12/7/2016

    Luddites - the earth is not flat and neither should be your TV. I also have the Samsung 65" curved and your eyes are definitely drawn to the center of the screen. This in turn provides less strain on the eyes as you are not looking around the screen to view the complete picture. There is a significant increase in the depth of picture you are viewing almost creating a 3D perspective.

  • Bradley from Meaux

    Posted on 12/3/2016

    I have a 65 4K Samsung Curved, wonderful picture. It's in our bedroom, wife leaves her lamp on the her side and the glare bothered me, not so with the curved, we are about 12 ft from the screen, the detail is amazing.

  • Strybos from Houston Texas

    Posted on 8/24/2016

    Flat is best and matches the walls. Bill Strybos Houston, Texas

  • alan from new orleans

    Posted on 8/3/2016

    I find that with a curved screen you have to sit much closer to the tv than with a flat screen.

  • Lee from Sebastian

    Posted on 7/10/2016

    Remember when they hailed 3D TV....the same bloody scheme, today

  • Dan Cervantes from Geneva, Illinois

    Posted on 7/25/2015

    Unless you have no lights on in a room the curve might have a edge on the center portion of the screen. On my 79,5 LG I do not have any glare with my set. Not true with the curve screen. At the ends of my set I do not have any issues with the screen, or any loss of vividness. The screen is picture perfect. The curve has issues with the glare and if the screen is unstable. LG has there flat-screen as good as my Panasonic plasma on the sides. In prefer the flat-screen over the curve in the family room. The curve has too many reflections from sun-lite and and the screen itself. In a showroom setting most people can notice the difference with distractions from lite's reflecting from the screen itself. I am not a fan of the curve for that reason. I have no issues with the LG. They have rectified the screen issues with regards to the visibility on the sides.

  • Sagebrush6 from nunyo

    Posted on 7/21/2015

    I would say it totally depends on two things. !. Price. It has to be cost effective. 2. Where is it going to set in your home. Corner or flat wall.

  • Ron from Evergreen

    Posted on 7/20/2015

    Not sure how curved got so popular. My experience is that most of these TV's do their stuff in a home theater setting and if you are off-axis the flat TV gives a superior view of the screen. Won't but a curved set at all. Seems like marketing to me - "We can, so let's". Little advantage and a big disadvantage if you're in an easy chair off to the side of the screen - which happens to be where I sit most of the time. .

  • darris from Tahlequah

    Posted on 7/20/2015

    I think the curve tv's are awesome! But alot of what he said is spot on. You do feel like you're looking through a window plain on flat tv's and with the curved it seems like you're really there. Tha picture quality seems better on curved more vivid colors and your eyes are drawn to the center, plus they look b@da$$!!

  • scott from texas

    Posted on 7/2/2015

    I purchased the Samsung 65 inch curved 4k 3d Tv several months ago and have been happy with the results, yes it was pricey, but considering the length time I'll probably keep it it's well worth it.

  • Alan from Milpitas

    Posted on 6/11/2015

    I think the video speaks for itself... Unless you're sitting right in front of the screen, curved TVs viewing is horrible from a side. For so many years TV makers have been trying to improve viewing from an angle and curved TV just destroy that. I hope this curved marketing gimmick will disappear and we won't see such stupid thing again in the future.

  • David from Virginia

    Posted on 6/8/2015

    Curved is a fad that get buyers to buy more TVs and offers nothing of value despite the made up claims by the manufacturer to help sell these God awful TVs. They will die just as 3-d TVs died. 4K is the next real evolution in TVs and when their prices drop and programming increases, they won't be able to keep them in stock. Some affordable consumer cameras already have 4k video capability.

  • M Callahan

    Posted on 6/7/2015

    You didn't show enough of either screen to see what the picture looks like. I realize my flat screen PC won't duplicate a curved screen but listening to Jordan talk was a waste. You could have showed a scene that is the same on each TV and there will be a difference, I have seen a competitor do exactly that. Very poor way to help anyone see any comparison.

  • Richard Valdez from Dutch Harbor AK..

    Posted on 6/1/2015

    I like the curve tv so nice and advance technology!!!

  • Bill Bass from Athens, Al 35613

    Posted on 5/31/2015

    When i purchased the 60 Inch Samsung a few months ago from you guys. I was intriged with the curved TV, as well. But when I inquired about this in my situation from you tech expert, a flat screen was recommended because i was installing same about 4-5 inches above our fireplace mantel board. We have really been pleased with our choice and setup. But am still intrigued with the curved screen.

  • Don Wingle from United States

    Posted on 5/10/2015

    I can't tell you the reason,but the image on the flat model,looked darker from here.Could just be the room lighting is a bit darker on that side.I did see a difference legitimate or not.

  • Craig Mathias from United States

    Posted on 5/10/2015

    While some may indeed prefer the curved screen, three things: First, mounting a curved TV on a wall looks awful. Second, the original image is flat, so adding a curve introduces a distortion. And, finally, sitting to the side of curved set reduces the ability to see the whole screen. I conclude, then, that curved TVs, like 3D, are a gimmick, but possibly of value to a few.

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