If you’re tired of arguing with a partner about who gets to watch TV and who’s banished to a spare room or a small-screen device, Samsung has an (expensive) answer.
The company’s new $9,000 TV has a “Multiview” feature that allows two people to watch different programs at the same time. Samsung’s David Das (or at least his public relations team) has described it as a “marriage saver”.
Rather than use a split-screen or picture-in picture, the set modifies the technology more commonly used for 3D. By wearing separate glasses, the two viewers can see a completely different image on the screen. The glasses have built-in earbuds that wirelessly receive the relevant audio feed.
It’s not actually the main selling point of the 55-inch screen, which uses OLED. That means it can be thinner and lighter than an LCD screen but still requires no backlighting. In turn that means it can display “real” black and create much better contrast. It also reduces motion blur.
The main focus of Samsung’s hype for the set is that the screen is slightly concave. The theory is that, in the same way that widescreen pictures are more suited than 4:3 ratios for the position of your two eyes, the curved screen works better with the curves on your eyeballs.
Consumer Reports reviewed the set and noted that this may make the set more immersive, but it reduces the ideal viewing angles and makes it impossible to wall-mount the TV.
It also noted that although the Multiview feature works as advertised and has no interference between the two pictures, the resolution is reduced if either viewer is watching 3D material, and there’s no way to adjust the picture settings while the feature is switched on.