South Korea's tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. launched the world's first curved Ultra HD TV, enabled with panorama view and split screen, in its home turf Thursday.
The release in Seoul came roughly a month after the company showcased the curved display models at the U.S. Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Samsung said its curved UHD TVs are sold in various sizes, including the world's largest 105-inch model, and smaller versions at 78, 65 and 55 inches. The firm added it will continue to expand product choices to feature 100-inch models in the future.
The official sale of the TVs is slated to commence in mid-March, with the products being released around the globe at almost same time. The company has not yet provided details on prices.
UHD TVs, one of the highly anticipated sectors in the global display business this year, come with a resolution of 3840×2160, four times higher than the 1920×1080 in previous full HD models.
"The curved screen is the most suitable screen that matches the structure of human eyes with no image distortions, unlike traditional cathode ray tube or flat TVs," said Sung Il-kyung, a company official from the display division.
The tech giant emphasized the model's panorama views, which make the screen seem larger and enable the same quality display at different angles. Users can also turn on the product in one second, compared with traditional TVs that take a few seconds.
Samsung said it has deals with a number of Hollywood firms such as Fox and Paramount, which will provide various contents in UHD quality through the TVs. Users can also divide the screen into four sections to access social networking services or browse the Internet at the same time.
Another prominent feature of the TVs is "soccer mode," which optimizes the screen for watching sports by allowing users to split the screen into nine sections and zoom in on each one to catch details. The TV also automatically captures highlights of the match.
Kim Hyun-suk, the vice president of Samsung's display business, said the firm aims to keep its No. 1 spot in the TV market for the ninth year on the back of its curved TVs in 2014.
"Despite challenges, Samsung retained its top spot in the global TV market for the eighth consecutive year," Kim said. "(The premium UHD TV lineup) is an iconic innovation that will change the paradigm of TVs."
Also the world's No. 1 smartphone maker, Samsung is estimated to have sold some 49 million units of flat-panel TVs in 2013, industry sources said. The firm does not officially disclose annual sales figures.
Global tech players have been vying intensely to gain a technological lead in the display sector, with a handful of other firms also featuring curved displays at last month's CES, including Samsung's home rival, LG Electronics Inc.
During Thursday's release event, Samsung expressed strong confidence that it will maintain the lead in the industry, dismissing concerns over the firm's dominance.
Samsung said despite Chinese players quickly catching up to narrow the technological gap, the company is about a year ahead of its rivals from the world's No. 2 economy in terms of technology in curved screens.
"While Japanese rivals will also roll out competitive products this year, such trend should be welcomed as the moves will stimulate the market for UHD TVs," Kim added. (Yonhap)