THROWBACK THURSDAY: That time I was right about curved TVs

Last week I brought you a look back at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show, which seems like it was a lot more than just three years ago. I got all nostalgic and just couldn’t quite let it go.

So, I found this article about curved TVs. You remember curved TVs right? You thought they were cool in the store but too expensive so you didn’t buy them? Yeah, that’s how I felt at the time too. Curved TVs, I said, were nothing more than an excuse for TV manufacturers to make their sets thicker after years of pursuing the thinnest possible options. They also tried thick wedge-shaped TVs too but those didn’t fly either.

Thick TVs, curved TVs, back in ’14 the major manufacturers were trying just about anything to get you to spend $2,000 on a TV like you did in the naughty aughties. They’d grown accustomed to the income and when big TVs stopped working as a motivator, they tried 3D. When that didn’t work they tried 4K, which wasn’t ready in ’14 and is barely ready now. After that they tried HDR, which is a great feature but still isn’t ready since there is pretty much –zero– content for it.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Putting on my 2014 hat, the big buzz was around curved TVs, and how they were going to revolutionize TV viewing by… uh… being curved. I pointed out back then that you would need to be pretty close to see the curved effect, and if you were sitting at a normal distance you wouldn’t see much difference except maybe reduced glare. These big old TVs should have come with a sticker on them that said “waste of money” because that’s basically what they were, and basically why you can barely find curved TVs of any size in stores today.

Jumping forward to 2017 and beyond, TV makers seem to have finally realized that most folks aren’t going to spend thousands of dollars on any TV no matter what kind of trick it does. The marketplace has changed and you can get a very passable, very large TV with 4K and HDR10 for about $1,200. If all you’re trying to do is replace a TV that’s gotten a little long in the tooth, opt for a 32-40″ model for under $500 and you’ll still love it. And smart TV features? I say don’t pay extra for them. You can get smart features in almost any TV now and more importantly, the manufacturer will probably stop updating the TV in 18 months or so and you’ll be forced to get a streaming box anyway.

At least that’s what I’m saying now. Ask me again in another 3 1/2 years.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.