Curved TV: whether it’s a new category or just a gimmick that will end up in the bin with 3D, the public will be able to decide when Samsung’s screens hit British shops on Monday.
More importantly, the Samsung HU8500 is a 4K Ultra HD display with four times the pixels of a Full HD 1080p TV.
The new TVs, unveiled to the world at Las Vegas CES in January, start from £2,700 in the 55in flavour and a cool £4,000 at 65in, with a 78in model on the way if you have £6,500 to spare.
Andy Griffiths, managing director at Samsung Electronics UK and Ireland, said: “The innovative curved design makes for a deeper, wider and clearer picture, and combined with revolutionary 4K, it creates a completely different viewing experience.”
Launched at London’s towering phallic money-obelisk The Gherkin, the HU8500 is curved to match a circle 8.4m across, which is supposed to create a more realistic sense of depth by bringing the edges closer to your eyes.
There’s no denying it looks good, and Samsung even goes so far as to claim that gamers using a curved screen will be faster and more responsive in multiplayer than rivals with flat screen.
Whatever the reality of curved viewing, it’s hard to argue with the added detail of a 4K UHD image, and the 60Hz refresh rate coped reasonably well with even the eye-bending movement in clips from from Michael Bay’s Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.
The 4K screen comes with a four-stage Ultra HD up-scaling for dull old Full HD content, a double-speed Quad Core Plus chipset, and a socket for the UHD Evolution Kit so you can boost its processing power to keep up with developments.
Picture enhancement features include UHD Dimming, which adjusts colour contrast and detail to bring out deeper blacks and brighter whites, and PurColour to enhance the colour range of Full HD content to make use of 4K’s greater range.
There’s also a complete range of smart TV features, including Netflix’s 4K-ready player, and control via motion recognition, smartphone app, voice, and a new touch pad handset.
Samsung’s arch-rival Korean sibling LG, also has curved ultra HD TVs in the pipeline, although they’re yet to arrive with UK retailers. Their Japanese neighbours, Sony, Panasonic and Toshiba, have so far refused to jump on the curvy screen bandwagon, concentrating on thinner, lighter UHD flat screens.