Love ’em or hate ’em, it seems that curved displays are here to stay. What seemed to originate as a sort of “because we can” gimmick with OLED screens has morphed into the new shape of high-end television. The evidence for that? The fact that Sony (who previously only flirted with concave curvature, and only in high-definition) has announced its first curved Ultra HD TV: the S90.
The new display, which seems to be headed for the European market only for now, will be available in 65- and 75-inch models, and features a “precisely-calculated curve,” although there’s no word on exactly what the radius of that curve is. It looks from the pictures to be slightly larger (hence flatter) than the radii employed by Samsung and LG (4.2 and 4.6 meters, respectively), but Sony hasn’t released the exact numbers on its curves just yet, as far as I can tell.
In terms of specs, of course, the curve isn’t everything, and the new BRAVIA S90 has a lot of other goodies that set it apart from its competition, namely a 4.2 channel Multi-angle Live Speaker system that creates a convincing surround sound effect by directing left, right, and surround left and right channel information into the room at precise angles. The display’s sound system also relies on something called ClearAudio+ Discrete Processing to enhanced clarity and channel separation. And if the bass generated by the TV itself isn’t enough (and it almost certainly isn’t), the BRAVIA S90 is also compatible with Sony’s optional wireless subwoofer, available in either white (SWF-BR100) or black (SW-BR100/B) finishes for $299.99. In either finish, the little sub boasts impressive low frequency extension of 30Hz. Not shabby at all.
In terms of picture processing, the BRAVIA S90 of course features Sony’s TRILUMINOS Display technology, along with X-tended Dynamic Range for enhanced contrast range. It also features 4K X-Reality PRO processing, which is Sony’s unique form of upscaling for less-than-UHD video content. The company promises that the resulting picture quality is exactly the same as you’ll find on its critically acclaimed BRAVIA X9 Series UHD displays. Just, you know, with a bit of a curve.
If you’re still not sold on (or don’t understand) the benefits of curvature, check out the editorial I posted a few months back titled Why Curved TVs Might Not Be So Stupid After All.
For more information about the BRAVIA S90 specifically—well, you’ll have to wait. As I said, Sony has only announced the displays in Europe so far, and we don’t have an official quote on the pricing there, much less US pricing, should the displays ever make it these shores (which seems like a pretty safe bet). Beyond the info above, we do know that the displays feature active 3D and come with two pairs of glasses, and that there’s a built-in camera and microphone for Skype videoconferencing.
For more information as it becomes available, though, check out Sony’s TV page on the web.