Samsung's S9C curved OLED may not be the only curved television on the market, but it's the first to on sale in with UK with a hefty £7,000 price tag.
's S9C Curved OLED television was on display in the London
Eye today, having gone on sale in the UK for £7,000. (Samsung)
The London Eye is probably not that representative of the typical UK living room, but then again the Samsung S9C curved OLED TV is not representative of your typical TV. Therefore showing the S9C off in "the ultimate living room" created in one of the pods seems reasonable enough.
Samsung and its South Korean counterpart LG are battling for supremecy when it comes to OLEDs, and curved OLEDs in particular, and while both have such TVs on sale elsewhere, Samsung is the first to launch a curved OLED in the UK.
OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) has been touted as the coming technology in flat panel TVs for some years now. However until very recently production yield problems have led to LCD TVs remaining the norm.
Add to this the prohibitively high pricing and you can easily understand why OLED is yet to take off in a big way.
Incredible viewing experience
Samsung's 55in S9C for example will cost you £7,000 - but for that you are getting one of the most incredible viewing experiences you will get in your home.
OLED is known for producing rich, deep colours; true blacks; infinite viewing angles; unbelievable contrast and "virtually" blur-free motion. The reason manufacturers say "virtually" blur free is not down to a problem with OLED, but the fact our eyes and brains still associate fast motion with blur. We'll just have to wait for human evolution to catch up with OLED technology to get truly blur free motion on TV.
Having seen the technology up close, albeit in the bright surroundings of the London Eye, I can confirm the hype. The S9C made my 32in Full HD TV look like a crackling, black-and-white set from the 1950s.
Along with the stunning image quality, Samsung's S9C has built-in technology called Multi View, which allows two people to look at the same screen but watch two completely different channels, both displayed in Full HD.
You could for instance have some people watching TV while another person plays a videogame, all on the same screen at the same time.
You do of course need to be wearing glasses for this to work, and I'm not convinced if people actually will ever use this in their homes, but purely as a display of technical prowess it was very impressive.
There are individual audio streams obviously, with the glasses coming with both bone conduction technology and built-in earbuds.
Curved like your Eye
According to Samsung, the S9C is curved to reflect the curve of your eye, and allows for each part of the screen to be the same distance away from your eye. It is also designed to make the screen look bigger than it actually is.
Along with OLED technology the other current big thing in television technology is the move towards 4K or Ultra HD resolution. While there are now numerous 4K TVs on the market (also extrememly expensive), there is still very little native 4K content available or indeed systems on which it can be delivered.
Samsung today told me that 4K is the "evolution of resolution" while OLED is the "revolution of television." Make of that what you will, but for me OLED is better than anything I have ever seen in terms of picture quality (even the 8K television on show at CES last January - it was unnervingly realistic) and once the price begins to come down, I think we will see its widespread adoption as the TV technology of choice.
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