One of the most dividing technological upgrades regarding television screens in 2014 is coming to computer monitors in 2015.
The curved television screen, despite some buzz being generated, received a lukewarm and largely disinterested reception by the mainstream consumer upon its release. Meanwhile, technology experts and fans were quick to criticise the realities of the device.
These criticisms stemmed from the ineffectiveness of the curvature of the screen from the majority of viewing positions, lack of products being created specifically for the format and a generally low level of notable difference to most experiences when viewed on the screen.
The latter of those could also be a problem which will extend to the curved computer screen. This is because many popular and everyday web activities -like Facebook, search engine research, eBay browsing or online gambling, such as Cheltenham festival betting – will not benefit from being viewed on a curved screen and will therefore make the product seem needlessly extravagant.
However, it could argued that the larger and more perceptively encompassing display could allow viewers to combine these popular web activities with others related pursuits. For example, users could access a betting website whilst, simultaneously, watching live-streams of the sport itself, mixing both interlinked activities together for a richer overall experience. This concept can also be applied to watching popular reality shows, whilst users are Skyping their friends, which would enhance both activities through this communal bonding.
It is perhaps these possibilities which have meant that the potential risk has not worried hardware companies – with everyone from Samsung to HP planning to release curved monitors in 2015. Whilst the respectability of the curved screen has been damaged by it being tested through TVs first, the notion of it being used within a computer monitor is considerably more logical.
This is due to the closeness of the average user to a computer monitor, which means that the curvature will be much more noticeable and thereby effective. This will especially be the case when compared against the neutralising impact of the six or seven feet that separates the viewer from a television on average.
Moreover, as demonstrated at a recent exhibition, curved monitors work exceptionally well in multi-screen arrangements. For example, by combining four curved screens together, one can create a display perfectly reflecting the natural angles of the human eye. This particular set-up is perfect for avid gamers, an audience who are more likely to invest in such an expensive piece of technological equipment.
This is due to the advantages of a truly panoramic display being more useful in the realm of video-gaming, where the additional perspective could give a distinct competitive edge, than within the watching of television.
Samsung is the hardware manufacturer seemingly most keen to get curved screens into the computer market. The company revealed the SE790C – a Window’s All-in-One computer with a curved display – at the International Consumer Electronics Show. This is unsurprising considering Samsung’s love of this type of display, having also developed curved smartphones and smartwatches in the past year.
Samsung will doubtlessly be hoping that this transfer from TV screen to computer monitor will correct some of the issues previously found with curved screens. One such problem that will be resolved is the need for a specific layout in order for the screen to function correctly for the viewer.
Many of the manufacturers of curved screen TVs, including Samsung itself, promoted its more immersive viewing environment, likening it to an almost IMAX-like viewing experience. The problem was that to make it work you needed an equally theatre-like layout to your living room. If you did not, the curving of the screen distorted the image for any viewer not perfectly positioned. Therefore, the natural, more uniform position of the general computer user, directly in front of the screen, will mean that the curved screen will always be viewed from the optimal position.
However, other issues – such as the curvature of the screen creating excessive reflection – will still need to be corrected if the PC monitor variation of the curved screen is not to suffer the same fate as its TV predecessor.