Curved tv vs flat: Curved vs Flat TVs: Is the Curve Worth It?

Curved vs Flat TVs: Is the Curve Worth It?

  1. Table of Contents
  2. Top
  3. Flat TV
  4. Curved TV
  5. Viewing Angle
  6. Size and Immersiveness
  7. Reflections
  8. Aesthetics and Thickness
  9. Availability
  10. Conclusion
  11. Discussions

Updated Mar 11, 2021 at 12:08 pm

By Cedric Demers and Nicholas Di Giovanni

Curved TVs are almost extinct in the TV world as of 2021. Although they were easily available in the mid-2010s and Samsung offered a healthy selection, only a handful of models have curved screens now. They were introduced to help offer a more immersive viewing experience, as manufacturers claimed the curved edges allowed the screen to occupy a wider area in your field of vision. However, a curved TV is only beneficial if you’re sitting close to the screen and you’re the only one watching it, as those watching from the side may see a distorted image.

This article explains the differences between flat and curved screen TVs and their advantages and disadvantages.

Test results

For the purposes of this article, we’re going to compare a flat screen TV, the Samsung TU8000, and its curved screen variant, the Samsung TU8300. The TU8300 was the only curved screen model Samsung released in 2020.

Flat TV

Flat TV (Samsung TU8000)

What it is: Traditional style TV with a flat panel.

Curved TV

Curved TV (Samsung TU8300)

What it is: Style of TV that features a slightly curved panel to help improve immersion.

  Which wins?
Viewing angle Flat
Immersiveness Curved
Reflections Flat
Cost Flat (not by much)
Availability Flat

There’s an argument to be made for curved TVs on the basis of aesthetics – some people like the look of a curved TV. However, there’s no dramatic difference in the viewing experience when comparing curved and flat TVs for everyday use, and some people may simply prefer traditional flat TVs.

Viewing Angle

Both flat and curved screen TVs have their own advantages and disadvantages regarding viewing angles. However, the panel type affects the viewing angles more than the curvature, so that means two TVs with the same panel type, regardless of their shape, should have the same viewing angles.

Below you can see the viewing angle videos from the Samsung TU7000, which we included instead of the TU8000 due to embedding limitations, and the TU8300. As you can see, they each have narrow viewing angles due to their VA panels, so the image quickly looks inaccurate regardless. However, the flat screen loses its image accuracy uniformly across the screen; this means that if you’re watching from the left side, the left edge looks as inaccurate as the right edge. You don’t get the same effect on a curved screen as if you’re watching from the left side, the left edge will look different from the right edge, and the left side may even be hard to see at very wide angles.

A curved screen can be advantageous if you sit really close, especially if you use it as a PC monitor. On a flat screen TV with narrow viewing angles, the left and right edges appear darker and washed out if you sit too close. However, the curved screen helps bring the edges within your field of vision, so they may not appear as inaccurate.

Winner: Flat screens, but not by much. If you’re choosing between a flat and curved screen with the same panel type, and you’re going to watch TV with a few people, it’s probably better to get a flat screen.

Flat TV – Samsung TU7000

Curved TV – Samsung TU8300

Learn about viewing angles

Size and Immersiveness

One of the main selling points of a curved screen was that they could fill more of your field of vision, making them appear bigger. Therefore, a 55 inch curved TV would actually look bigger than a 55 inch flat screen. This is true, but only to an extremely small degree. We calculated the difference by comparing two similar TVs: the Samsung UN55MU8000, and the Samsung UN55MU8500. Apart from the curved screen, the two share a similar design, and pretty much identical picture quality. We measured the screens and calculated the field of view for both TVs, assuming a seated position of eight feet away from the TVs. The larger the field of view (FOV), the more the screen fills your vision.

The result was that the flat screen had a FOV of 28 degrees, and the curved screen had a FOV of 28.42 degrees. At that distance of eight feet, that means the MU8500’s curved 55 inch screen looks like a 55.8 inch screen – a very small difference. If you sit closer, then a curved screen may appear bigger, and this is why many curved monitors are still around, but for most people watching TV, there isn’t any perceivable difference.

Winner: Curved.  The difference is very minor, though, so it’s not worth the extra cost.

Learn about our size and distance calculator


Flat screen TV

Curved screen T

Due to their shape, flat and curved TVs handle reflections differently. As you can see above, light on the curved TV is ‘stretched’ across the screen, covering more space. However, reflections are harsher on the flat screen because of how it reflects directly back and doesn’t stretch across the screen. Some people may simply prefer the reflection handling on curved screens more, but choosing one over the other really comes down to personal preference.

Winner: Draw.

Learn more about reflection handling

Aesthetics and Thickness

Thickness: 2.28″ (5.8cm)

Thickness: 4.06″ (10.3cm)

The biggest reason to get a curved TV would be because you enjoy the look of it. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that curved TVs are a bit bulkier in the back. Combined with the difference in shape, this can make mounting a TV to a wall a bit trickier.

Winner: Draw. As aesthetics are mostly subjective, there’s no real winner here, but if you want the thinnest TV, go for a flat screen.


As of the start of the 2020s, curved screens are practically a thing of the past. Samsung was the only major retailer to release a curved TV in 2020, and even at that, they only released one model. Their last premium curved TV was the Samsung Q7CN/Q7C QLED 2018, and since then, all of Samsung’s QLED models are flat. Curved TVs used to cost a premium over their flat equivalent, but the Samsung TU8300 only costs a bit more than the Samsung TU8000, so there’s no real difference between them. If you’re buying a TV in 2021, it’s more than likely that you’re going to get a flat screen.


TV manufacturers once jumped on the hype train of curved screen TVs, but they’ve since booked a one-way ticket back to the flat screen world. Having a curved screen over a flat screen doesn’t offer any real advantage in terms of picture quality, and curved screens are actually a worse choice if you have a wide seating arrangement because you can’t see the edges properly from the side. There are a few advantages of a curved screen over a flat, like the screen appearing bigger if you sit close, and reflections not being as strong, but they’re minor differences. There are only a handful of curved TVs being released as of 2021, so it’s likely your next TV is going to be flat anyways.

Flat Screen Vs. Curved TV

Best →

Written by:

Jed Smith

Updated January 25, 2023

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Table of Contents_

  • Are Curved TVs Better than Flat Screens
  • Viewing Experience
  • Cost and Value for Money
  • Image Fidelity

Curved TVs first appeared on the consumer market in 2013, promising a more immersive viewing experience with superior fidelity, starting a long-standing debate over whether a flat-screen vs. curved TV is better.


  • Flat screen TVs are widely available at a wide range of price points, and high-end models boast next-gen fidelity competitive with curved TVs.
  • Curved TVs offer the most benefits to gamers due to the fact that the increase in image fidelity is only significant at very close viewing distances.
  • The high starting price point of curved TVs won’t necessarily be justified for many users based on what is often a very minor upgrade to the viewing experience.

Both have their advantages, especially when it comes to cost and performance, so if you’re looking for the best TV on the market for your needs, you’ll want to understand what each offers. Here you can learn about other technologies in modern TVs, like full LED vs edge LED.

Curved TVs were a popular high-end option throughout the 2010s for the immersive viewing experience they promised, but they have since become far less common on the market. If you would like, you can also compare curved 4K Tv vs a flat 4K to see which is best for your setup. Alternatively, if you know you do not want a flat TV, check out the top-rated curved TVs offered.

Lastly, if you aren’t sure what to choose, you can check out the differences between a projector screen and a TV to see if it will give you any benefits the others won’t.

Moreover, if you want to mount your TV correctly, you’ll want to learn the optimal TV height.

Insider Tip

Gamers will enjoy the benefits of curved TVs more than most because of closer viewing angles.

The biggest difference between flat screen and curved TVs is obviously the curvature of the display itself, but significant differences in price and often less significant differences in performance are possibly why they’re a less common option commercially now.

Viewing Experience

The claim that curved TV manufacturers make is that their models provide a superior viewing experience compared to standard flat-screen models. In theory, a curved display means far less glare, greater immersion, and the elimination of certain kinds of image distortion. While glare is indeed reduced significantly, the difference in immersion will generally only feel significant at very close viewing distances, which is why gamers will experience the benefits the most. Also, remember you need to keep your TV clean to have a good viewing experience as well. You should periodically wipe your TV down with a microfiber cloth.

Cost and Value for Money

Here the differences between curved and flat-screen models become self-evident. A curved model will cost $100 to 300 more than the closest flat screen equivalent. There also aren’t any entry-level curved models on the market, partially because their market share has shrunk so significantly in the past few years. That difference in price point may be more justifiable for non-budget-minded gamers, who will benefit the most from a curved screen.

Image Fidelity

The differences here are nominal. Curved TVs don’t have higher resolutions or other technologies that aren’t available in flat-screen models, so differences in image fidelity are more perceptive than actual.

Reduced screen glare and reduced or eliminated image distortions of certain kinds translate into a better image on a curved TV, even if the color depth and resolutions are the same. However, once again, the difference is negligible at normal viewing differences. If you want to check out a curved TV, you can read our Samsung RU7300 review. Or you can compare it to a flat-screen model with our Samsung UN65RU7100FXZA review.


Many users won’t notice an improvement in viewing experience that is significant enough to justify the substantial increase in price with curved TVs.


Can you install a curved TV on a wall?

Yes. For the most part, curved TVs use the same mounting brackets that flat screen models do. You should be able to put most models on a wall without any extra trouble. Keep in mind that viewing distance makes the biggest difference in getting the most out of a curved display.

How does the curve affect viewing angles?

It may seem counterintuitive, but a curved screen doesn’t generally have that much of an effect, adverse or otherwise, on the viewing angle. This means that you won’t really have to adjust for that when setting up and installing a curved TV vs a flat screen.

Does the curve affect picture quality?

It depends on how you define “picture quality.” In a technical sense, the only improvement in picture quality with curved displays would be in the elimination of certain kinds of image distortions. However, the difference isn’t often that noticeable. The reduction of glare is probably the biggest overall improvement to picture quality since resolutions and color depth aren’t any different in curved displays.

STAT: Curved TVs can come at up to a 50% higher price point than equivalent flat screen models. (source)



Jed Smith

I’m a musician and recording engineer and live in Queens. I have a cat. Her name is Elsa. I love to write about consumer tech and musical instruments.

curved or flat, comparison

Curved screens are highly competitive in the flat market, claiming to be the champion in realism and immersion, but are more expensive and not quite familiar to most viewers. Let’s compare and analyze in which cases it is worth buying a curved, and in which flat TV.