Samsung warps possibilities with user-bendable TV

/ 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