Televisions have definitely come a long way since they were first made commercially available in the late 1920s. Back then, a big-screen TV was 12-inches (30cm) and sold for almost R4000.00. Of course, users had to settle for black and white, because colour TVs would only come much later, says Justin Shaw, business leader for Visual Display at Samsung South Africa.
Fast forward to 2013 and users have TVs available that are in excess of 80-inches (203cm) and cost the equivalent of a small car or house. While that is on the extreme side, people cannot dispute the fact that large-screen TVs provide consumers with a superior viewing experience.
But what is the right size to buy and is there even such a thing? Do users really need anything bigger than 46-inches (117cm)? Well, the short answer is arguably, yes.
In the past, there were various formulas for working out how big a TV needed to be, based on the size of a lounge or bedroom. If users lived in a tiny apartment or had a house with small rooms then it meant that they only needed a small-screen TV. The recommended safe viewing distance for these TVs was over three metres, with anything closer leading to potential eyestrain or discomfort.
However, this has changed. Nowadays, even people with smaller rooms want to have a big-screen experience and this has become the global trend.
Thanks to the advent of HD resolution as a signal source, the recommended minimum viewing distance has been reduced to 2,5 times the diameter of the size of their TV away from the screen – ensuring that consumers can now have bigger screens in smaller spaces, maximising their enjoyment.
And, just because they are bigger, it doesn’t mean they are bulkier. TVs today are much slimmer than before – offering a strong aesthetic appeal and of course, space saving – ideal for those smaller spaces.
In fact, TVs have not only become bigger to provide a holistic entertainment experience, but they have also become smarter. WiFi connectivity, application streaming, motion sensors and built-in cameras are just some of the additional features that people have come to expect from their television sets.
With convergence dominating many innovation-themed conferences both locally and globally, smart TVs have really turned into the gateway to the connected home. Families are more engaged with their TVs and the experience is more collaborative than ever.
Naturally, for the TV experience to be truly immersive, a TV larger than 46-inches (117cm) is optimal. Can users imagine trying to play a game of choice featuring the latest graphics and their screen is too small to really appreciate it? The latest Hollywood blockbusters are released in full HD and 3D formats, with the level of detail in those movies disappearing on smaller screens.
Consumers can benefit even with applications such as the likes of Skype on a large-screen, with more users being able to connect and chat to loved ones anywhere in the world, in a better way.
The best point of all is that these TVs are more affordable than ever, so they do not have to break the bank to enjoy an entertainment experience that is reflective of the new digital age.