Menu
IFA's gimmick of the year: Bendable TVs

IFA's gimmick of the year: Bendable TVs

The next big thing, according to consumer electronics makers at IFA? TVs that bend.

A bendable TV on show by Samsung at IFA in Berlin on September 5, 2014

A bendable TV on show by Samsung at IFA in Berlin on September 5, 2014

When you're competing for the attention of almost a quarter of a million visitors, it helps to have a gimmick or two. The big names of the consumer electronics industry know this and each year at Germany's IFA electronics show, they try to outdo each other with the latest and greatest technology they have.

Five years ago, it was all about 3D TV, then OLED TVs with their brilliant images and vibrant colors took the limelight a year later. In 2012 the big thing was 4K television, with screens boasting four times the resolution of today's high-def sets, and last year was all about curved televisions.

At IFA 2014, taking place this week in Berlin, the future has arrived again and this time it's bendable.

Both Samsung and LG have TVs that have been enabled with motors that move the display panel from the conventional flat position into one that's curved toward the viewer.

Last year, companies pushing curved TVs said they offered a more natural viewing environment because all parts of the screen would be an equal distance from the viewer.

What was largely missed was that the radius of the curve was a gentle 4- to 5 meters and few people sit that far from their televisions. And to truly be equidistant at all points from the viewer, the screen would also have to be curved in both the horizontal and vertical axes.

This year's bendable TVs seem to hint at a little indecisiveness: Should the screen be flat or curved? You decide!

From a purely technical viewpoint, the TVs are impressive. Technology has gotten to the point where screens can be fabricated on glass so thin that it can be bent without disastrous consequences.

Samsung proclaimed "the power of the curve" alongside its TV sets and Sony, which had curved but not bendable TVs, pushed "curved for comfort."

But does a curved or bendable TV really bring a better picture?

"Many companies say it's all about the viewing distance being the same," said Tatsuhiro Nishioka, a senior manager at Toshiba's visual solutions business group. "But we think it's just about making the TV look better."

Toshiba was showing a 65-inch curved TV that, like many others on show here, had 4K resolution.

Sets with the high resolution, dubbed "Ultra HD" by the TV makers, are slowly coming to market and consumers seem to agree that more resolution is better, but the price of the TVs is still high and there's little 4K content available.

It's too early to tell the future of curved or bendable TV but one thing's for sure: There'll be something even better at IFA 2015.

Martyn Williams covers mobile telecoms, Silicon Valley and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags samsunglgconsumer electronicsIFAtoshiba

Featured

Slideshows

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

​The New Year brings the usual new round of humdrum technology predictions, glaringly general, unashamedly safe and perpetually predictable. But while the industry no longer sees value in “cloud is now the norm” type projections, value can be found in following developments of the year previous, analysing behaviours and patterns to formulate a plan for the 12 months ahead. Consequently, here’s the top Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017...

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017
Show Comments