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Sony won't wait for OLED, launches S990a curved LED TV at IFA

Tom Morgan
5 Sep 2013
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It's a lot thicker than the OLED competition, but traditional LEDs should make Sony's curved S990a significantly cheaper

It might not have been deemed worthy enough to get a mention during Sony's IFA press conference, but the S990a curved TV is definitely still worth your attention. Unlike the OLED competition from LG and Samsung it uses traditional LEDs to create an angled picture.

S900a curved LED TV

The curved design certainly catches your eye, even if it's a lot thicker than the more expensive OLED alternatives from the sides. It's designed to fill your field of vision more than a standard flat TV, and it had the desired effect during our brief time in front of a demo unit on Sony's stand - from the right sitting position directly in front of the TV, pictures definitely have a greater sense of depth.

However, like all curved TVs, there's a real sweet spot to look out for, as sitting anywhere else dampens the overall effect. Even at 65in, it doesn't have the same impact as the cinema screens Sony is trying to emulate.

S900a curved LED TV

The design incorporates speakers into the stand, giving the set a welcome audio boost over standard flat TVs, although we weren't able to give them a fair test on the show floor. It doesn't look like you can remove them, but wall-mounting is out of the question so this shouldn't be a major problem - after all, you barely notice them when you're engrossed in the on-screen action.

Triluminos display technology is on-board, creating more vibrant colours than would otherwise be possible using standard LED lighting rather than OLED, as is X-Reality image processing.

S900a curved LED TV

The S990a is expected to go on sale in the UK for around £2,500, and is already available to pre-order in the US for $3,999. We have yet to be convinced that curved TVs are the future, be they LED or OLED, but we'll have to wait until launch to see how it goes down with consumers.

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