If you want an ultra-high-definition TV but can't decide on a flat or curved screen, the Samsung UN78S9B might be just the thing.
And that's because its 78-inch screen goes from flat to concave curve, on command. Demonstrated for the first time at the 2014 International CES in January, the TV has gone from prototype party piece to actual product and will be going on sale in the company's native South Korea on Aug. 1.
The logic goes that curved-display TV screens, especially ones that boast four times the resolution of High Definition, offer a more immersive, cinematic experience -- so great for watching movies and for gaming. However, some things, like using smart TV apps or checking the weather or watching the news might be better on a flat screen.
The past several weeks have been very busy for Samsung's TV business. At the end of June it launched three new ranges of flat UHD TVs, including its first sub-$1000 model -- the 40-inch HU6950, then followed that up with the frankly gigantic 105-inch curved screen UN105S9 UHD TV with its equally colossal US$120,000 price tag.
And while the new bendable TV is the first to market, it won't be the last. Samsung's closest direct rival LG has been equally busy launching new TVs. Earlier this week it launched its own 105-inch curved screen UHD TV and just like Samsung, demonstrated a flat screen TV that converts to a curved screen on command at CES this year.
There is currently no word as to how much Samsung's bendable television will cost, or when it will be offered for sale beyond South Korea. However, there is little doubt that momentum is beginning to build in the 4K UHD TV market and that consumers are getting ready to take a chance on what is still, technically speaking, an emerging technology.
The latest consumer confidence report from the Consumer Electronics Association (published on July 22) shows that in the U.S., optimism, and therefore desire to spend big on tech devices, is back at levels not seen since 2012 and that companies that make UHDTVs could be beneficiaries of this newly rediscovered optimism.
UHD TVs are not expected to become mainstream consumer devices until the end of the decade, however shipment data and polls reveal that adoption rate is growing and at a faster rate than uptake of HDTV sets when the technology was new and exciting.