Samsung warps possibilities with user-bendable TV

January 6, 2014 2:00 PM PST / Updated: January 9, 2014 1:00 PM PST

LAS VEGAS -- Your perceptions of TV are about to get bent.

Samsung is whole-hog into curved TVs at CES 2014, introducing two series of concave TVs this year.

But its new "bendable" TV takes it a step further. Press a button on the remote control and small servos behind the screen spring into action, bending the edges out into that soon-to-be-familiar curved shape. A second button-press and the process reverses, flattening the screen into the same shape as your current HDTV.

Samsung originally announced the TV as a concept, but now says it will ship this year. Amazingly, the bendable TV is a real product now.

Samsung bendable TV
BEFORE: The TV is curved... Sarah Tew/CNET

The demo model I played with was an 85-inch LED LCD with 4K resolution. I was frankly surprised to learn that it wasn't OLED -- I guess the thousands of engineers at Samsung somehow figured out how to make an LCD screen -- and the frame, and parts of the backlight, and the filter and everything else -- bend at will. In its curved form, the TV is said to match the radius of Samsung's nonbendable curved sets.

Even though it's no longer just a concept product, the bendable TV seems like a novelty with little practical application. Maybe to eliminate a certain well-placed pesky reflection, or to suit the whim of other family members. Sleep-by-numbers, the TV version. The housing is larger than a typical TV, and I can't begin to imagine how much it will cost when it hits store shelves later this year (Samsung wasn't talking).

Samsung bendable TV
AFTER: The TV, returned to 'flat' form. Sarah Tew/CNET

That said, when I pressed the button to engage the curve, I felt a rush of power. Now if only I could do that with my mind.

Updated with official model number and confirmation that it will ship this year.

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Samsung 85U9B

Part Number: 85U9B

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Type LED-LCD
    Curved TV
  • Diagonal Size 85 in
About The Author

Section Editor David Katzmaier has reviewed TVs at CNET since 2002. He is an ISF certified, NIST trained calibrator and developed CNET's TV test procedure himself. Previously David wrote reviews and features for Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com.