Curved TVs to See Limited Success This Year

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At this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ultra HD displays were featured at nearly every major tech manufacturer's booth. The technology is predicted to begin taking off this year and should provide a much-need boost to the TV industry following the failure of 3D TV.

TV manufacturer's aren't putting all of their eggs in the ultra HD basket, though. Some of the most well-known TV makers are also developing flexible displays that they say will enhance TV viewing for consumers. Samsung in particular showed off a display that could lie flat but be curved at the touch of a remote button.

Market research firm NPD DisplaySearch this week released a new report predicting that 800,000 curved TVs will ship this year. The market for curved TVs is expected to reach at least 6 million units shipped by 2017.

Despite the claims made by TV manufacturers, even analysts are skeptical that the technology truly brings innovation to the industry. Other features such as ultra HD and OLED displays are expected to become more prominent TV-selling features in the coming years.

Flexible displays have also recently been used in smartphones. Both LG and Samsung have released curved smartphones, both marketing the devices based on this feature but both unable to truly explain why a curved screen is needed or should be desired.

“The novelty of curved screens is expected to wear off with time, leading to shipments peaking and then trailing off,” said Paul Gray, director of European TV at DisplaySearch. “Even so, curved screens will have completed the important task of differentiating new high-end models, thereby helping to boost overall value in the global television market.”

Though DisplaySearch predicts that OLED displays will eventually begin to earn market share in the TV industry, the firm does not see this happening in the near-term. Manufacturing issues are holding back the technology and only 100,000 OLED TVs are expected to ship this year. That number will pickup significantly in the coming years, with DisplaySearch estimating one million OLED TV will ship in 2016.

Image via LG

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