Are Curved TVs Good For Gaming? (Honest Review)

In short: Curved TVs can be quite good for gaming. As long as you position yourself right in front of the screen and keep the room dark enough, curved TVs can be quite immersive.

There was a time years ago when “curved” televisions were considered the next big thing. However, their popularity has died down and you can hardly find them anymore.

In fact, Samsung and LG are the only manufacturers that still make curved TVs (not to be confused with curved PC monitors, which are becoming increasingly popular for gaming).

So, if you’re considering a curved TV for gaming because you want to try the immersive experience that it offers, you might want to learn about a few things first. Let’s talk about it.

What’s so special about curved TVs?

As the name suggests, a curved TV is a television that isn’t flat and slightly curved. This type of television features a curved screen that is supposed to create an even field of vision.

The trend started after the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, when flexible OLED panels were still new at that time and manufacturers were still figuring out the best way to implement them.

The inspiration behind a curved TV came from IMAX theaters. The idea is to immerse you into the screen via the massive panoramic display that mimics the shape of the human eye.

Basically, curved television manufacturers like LG and Samsung are trying to emulate the same experience of watching an IMAX theater right in your living room.

Sadly, the whole thing didn’t quite work out.

When you sit at an IMAX theater, the large screen consumes your entire field of vision, something a regular 65-inch television could never do in your living room.

As a result of the low sales numbers, Samsung, one of the remaining curved TV manufacturers, decided to shift away from curved TVs and focus more on other profitable things.

Other than Samsung, only LG can be considered as another curved TV manufacturer, but their curved television, the OLED Flex, was never the main focus of the brand.

The problem with curved TVs for gaming

Gamers often prioritize high refresh rates, low response times, and color accuracy. However, I want to talk more about the viewing experience using a curved TV for gaming.

As we’ve discussed earlier in the article, curved televisions are made to emulate the immersive experience of watching a large screen inside an IMAX theater.

The problem is, IMAX screens are not only large enough to place you in the middle of the action, but also surrounded by a darkened theater, creating an immersive viewing experience.

When using a curved TV for gaming, if you don’t sit right in front of the screen and the room is not dark enough, you’re not going to enjoy what you see.

Sit at an angle and the picture will look like it’s bending. Additionally, room lights in the wrong places can ruin your gaming experience, since a curved screen picks up a lot of glare.

Not to mention, it can be hard for gamers to find enough space for a curved television set. You’d often have to sit a curved TV on a stand since earlier models didn’t come with mounting options.

On top of everything else, a curved television will never stand parallel to the wall. 

Benefits of curved TVs for gaming

To be fair, gaming using a curved TV is not all bad. There are some benefits of using a curved screen as long as you set it up correctly and consider the

Immersive experience

Gaming using a curved TV can be quite immersive, as long as you sit directly in front of the screen. The display should fill most of your peripheral vision as if you’re in a movie theater.

Remember, a curved TV follows the curve of your eye as long as you’re in the sweet spot. If you’re watching at an angle, you’re going to have a bad time, it’s as simple as that.

Want to take your gaming experience to the next level? Combine a curved television with a powerful surround-sound system and turn off the lights, and you’re in for a treat.

Reduce eye strain

There’s a claim that a curved screen takes the natural shape of our eyes’ peripheral vision, which means that a curved TV might be better for your eyes compared to a flat screen.

A Harvard Medical School study found that people who used a curved monitor reported less eye strain, difficulty focusing, or blurred vision than people who used a flat monitor.

People spend most of their time watching flat screens, yet the human eye is built for a 3D world. It may not be the most popular option, but a curved screen might be a good thing for gaming.

Better contrast

By curving the edges, the screen of a curved television improves the clarity of the image. It also helps provide the most accurate color recreation possible, creating a better contrast.

On the other hand, flat televisions tend to spread light around, although they have improved substantially in the past few years, so the contest may be closer to a draw.

There are limited options for curved TVs nowadays

If you want a curved TV for gaming, Samsung and LG are your two main options. There hasn’t been a high demand for curved TVs which means you can get one at a cheaper price.

1. Samsung TU8300 Class (55-inch and 65-inch)

The TU8300 is decent for HDR gaming. It has excellent contrast and very low input lag with HDR content. Sadly, it doesn’t support variable refresh rates and only has a 60Hz panel.

The price isn’t too bad either. You’ll get two options – the 55-inch costs less than $500 while the 65-inch would set you back somewhere around $600 or more.

2. LG OLED Flex (42-inch)

The LG 42 OLED Flex is the best curved TV monitor for gaming. It has an ultra-fast response time for smooth motion, low input lag, and variable refresh rate (VRR) to reduce screen tearing.

It’s quite a pricey proposition, but it sure is a versatile OLED display with great connectivity (HDMI 2.1) and smart features that make it suitable for current-gen gaming consoles.

If you’re a PC gamer, consider a curved monitor

If you’re an avid PC gamer, consider a curved monitor (not to be confused with a curved television). It’s actually growing in popularity among gamers right now.

Curved monitors wrap around your field of view since you sit much closer to a monitor than a TV, allowing you to see more at the same focal distance as a standard display.

Ultimately, curved monitors bring you closer to the action. This may not only enhance immersion when playing the best PC games but can also help reduce eye strain.

They can also benefit you by providing fast response times and high refresh rates. When paired with the best gaming PCs, curved monitors are extremely beneficial.

This particular Alienware curved monitor is a beast. Boasting an industry-fast 0.1 ms response time and 175 Hz refresh rate, you’ll be gunning down enemies faster than ever before.

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