Aside from making some of the worlds most popular smartphones, Samsung is also world-renowned for its expertise in producing some of the best HDTVs ever created. Despite the fact that it leads the TV industry, Joe Stinziano, executive vice president of Samsung Electronics America said the company's "goal is to bring the excitement back to TV." (He was probably referring to how unexciting 3DTVs have been). How does Samsung plan to make HDTVs (not 4K-resolution UHD TVs) lustworthy again? By selling curved OLED HDTVs, silly.
First revealed at CES and then priced for Korea at a sky-high $15,000, Samsung announced its plans to sell the KN55S9C 55-inch curved OLED 3D TV for a penny shy of $9,000. Unless you're rolling in a boatload of cash, that's a lot of money to drop on an 1080p resolution HDTV that isn't even wall-mountable (it comes with a custom "Timeless Arena" frame" that accentuates the gentle TV's curve even more).
We had a some close-up time to ogle Sammy's curved display, and it's every bit as drool-worthy as we remembered. Colors, while slightly saturated, "pop" with absolute clarity and blacks are so dark, Darth Vader would approve. The curved TV's metal construction is also impossibly thin at 4.3mm (0.17-inches for you non-metric peeps).
In addition to all of the standard Samsung Smart TV features such as Smart Hub, S-Recommendation and the Evolution Kit expansion, one new feature is MultiView. We've covered a handful of displays and TVs with this feature, which allows two viewers to wear active-shutter 3D glasses and see two completely different video feeds at the same time. Compared to the tech in other displays, Samsung's implementation does MultiView the best because the curved OLED allows for faster response times, which translates to virtually no motion blur or crosstalk (aka "ghosting"). We were genuinely blown away by MultiView on the curved OLED TV. If there's a killer feature to drop nine grand on this Samsung HDTV, MultiView is it.
The future of TV is still somewhat uncertain, though. Will 4K TVs proliferate or will OLED HDTVs become stopgaps until 4K content is actually ready for distribution? Nobody — not even Samsung — can predict the future, but one thing is for sure: it has its feet dipped in both curved OLED TVs and 4K TVs. Both of Samsung's TV types are a-m-a-z-i-n-g, as you'd expect from a premium product. Now, if only we could afford to buy one on our wages.
(All photos and video by Raymond Wong for DVICE)