Sony jumps curved 4K TV bandwagon with Bravia S90

posted on Thursday, 7th August 2014 by Steve May

4K  Invision UK 

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Sony has announced its first 4K UHD curved TV. The Bravia S90 will be available in 65- and 75-inch screens sizes, KD-65S9005B and KD-75S9005B respectively, and features the same picture engine as that found on its X9005B flat models. The brand's X-tended Dynamic Range processing intelligently boosts contrast, while 4K X-Reality PRO technology upscales Full HD TV and Blu-ray content. For superior motion handling, the set employs Motionflow XR800Hz. The panel itself is Active 3D, two pairs of glasses are supplied.

The difference between this curved set and rival screens is the shallowness of the curve itself. Sony says this counters reflections and distortions while still offering an immersive viewing experience. This apparently builds on research done at the Kyusho university, Japan in 2009 ('Investigation on distance perception in the virtual space and real space'), which concluded that the ideal distance for viewing a curved screen was between 5000 - 1100mm, this being the point that curved lines were perceived as straight.

'We call it the perfect curve," Inside CI was told. "If you're watching news tickers, you will seem some distortion, but it is less than you'll find on our competitors." It also makes the panel a more sensible wall-mounting proposition.

Wall Mount Crop

Inside CI had an exclusive preview hands-on with the panel and was suitably impressed. It's certainly a beautiful looking screen, and the curve is indeed subtle. The KD-65S9005B  lacks the bold forward facing magnetic fluid speakers which have become a trademark of the brand's X9 models. Instead the S90 features a 4.2 channel multi-angle Live Speaker system which uses separate side-facing angle drive units able bounce surround channels to crteate a multichannel-ish listening experience.

Demonstrations with movie content (The Matrix Bullet time sequence was used) entertained; there was certainly a sense of faux surround, provided you sat in the centre sweet spot.

As we've already seen on the X9005B, the S90's image quality is exceptional, both with native content and upscaled 1080p. The shallow curve proves less influential than that seen on rival panels, and as such the set offers better multi-angle viewing. The curvature is mild and subjective distortion is minimal. This does however beg the question 'why bother?' The answer, of course, is fashion. Consumers are starting to ask for curved tellies, and woe betide any brand that doesn't have something bent in their range going forward.  

KD-65S9000B Front CropKD-65S9000B Side Angle CropAlso read:
Sony VPL-HW40ES 1080p projector reviewed

AWE stays ahead of the curve with Samsung 4K UHD

LG confirms UK launch for giant 4K curved OLED TVs

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology journalist, who also writes for T3, TechRadar, Home Cinema Choice and ERT (amongst others).

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