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A really big telly

This looks like it would swallow up my entire living room wall:

Move out that old armoire and clear off the living room wall – it will soon be time to make room for that new 70-inch LCD television.

With 42-inch flat-panel TVs flying off retailers’ shelves this holiday season as prices dip below $1,000, brokerage house Sanford C. Bernstein said in a research note on Tuesday that 70-inch TVs could be the “right size” in 2009.

“We decided to investigate the optimal screen size for high definition viewing,” wrote analyst Jeff Evenson in the note. “We conclude that 65 inch to 75 inch is the right size for a 10 foot viewing distance.”

Mind you, given my income levels, I am happy to stick to my modestly-sized flatscreen for the forseeable future.

23 comments to A really big telly

  • Clayton

    I’ve never seen the point of spending so much money on a TV. It’s not like there’s much worth watching.

  • Colin

    Surely if they made the screens concave (as we now can, I guess) one could get ‘surround vision’ and a much better experience by sitting closer, obviating the need for huge sizes.

  • Brad

    I would assume that if one can afford such a large television, one can purchase what one wants to watch on DVD (movies and television series). I have many DVD’s at this point, and TV, cable or otherwise, is becoming obsolete. Other than news flashes or live sporting events, I don’t watch much TV.

    Also, I have a Media Center Computer hooked up to my big screen, so it acts as a monitor for it as well. It’s rather nice to sit in the comfort of my living room with a wireless keypad for computing and quickly cut over to (or side by side with) whatever sporting event happens to be on.

  • They already make 100 inch LCD’s and plasmas, just not in mass production. It won’t be long before everyone has a gi-normous television in their house.

  • dearieme

    But they would seem to be tiny houses, if a 10′ viewing distance is the norm.

  • Tiny houses?!?!? I’d kill for a house that gave me the option of viewing my telly from 10′.

  • Robert Sealey

    How long before the “TV Walls” described in Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451 become a reality, I wonder.

  • Petronius

    Well, someboady beat me to the Far. 451 reference, but there are always the Telescreens from 1984.

  • Nick M

    Mind you, given my income levels, I am happy to stick to my modestly-sized flatscreen for the forseeable future.

    Given my income levels, I’ll stick with the 14″ portable!

    I simply can’t get excited over TV. Brad might have his media centre machine and all, but until the net and TV converge (which they will, and when they do the current crop of broadcasting dinosaurs are going to have to evolve or die out) I’m happy with a crappy little TV and two 21″ Trinnys connected to the computer.

    I might go with cable but I can imagine being perfectly happy, when the analogue turn-off happens, to just get everything over a very high speed net connection and let TV and the license fee go hang.

  • Midwesterner

    These widescreens would fit in my house.

  • Ted Schuerzinger


    People are already using TVs as a part of their home theater systems. (By the same token, people also pay ridiculous amonts for the sound systems to go with the video.) If it weren’t for the fact that I prefer old movies that aren’t available in a format for which a big TV makes watching them worth the while, I wouldn’t mind having a home theater system of my own. Until then, the ~30″ Toshiba I’ve got is just fine.

  • Nick M


    Yeah. I know about all that. I didn’t make myself clear, sorry. I’m just not convinced the necessary merging of technologies has happened just yet. Certainly not in a way that is convenient and affordable. I’m playing the waiting game.

  • One of these days you’ll be able to make a single TV screen out of numerous “squares” that you apply to the wall as you apply floor tile. You upgrade to a bigger screen by buying more “squares.”

    Just imagine how big that TV could be if you had vaulted ceilings…

  • Tanuki

    The thing I just don’t get about the ‘large screen TV’ enthusiasts is that – even when driven by a full HD source – the bigger screen just results in obviously-blocky and horribly visible pixels once you go beyond about 20 inches. Drive a 30-inch-or-larger TV from a traditional low-def source [DVD/VCR/off-air/satellite digibox] and the result is – to my eyes – just too gruesomely lumpy to watch for any length of time.

    I’ll not be spending my cash on a big TV for a_long_ time yet.

  • I saw a wall of big panels the other day. What was striking was the appalling quality of some of the ‘unknown’ HD-ready sets§ vs others. These screens seem muddy, dim and fuzzy compared to my old 4:3 cathode. The source was the BBC HD preview, so a genuine test for the devices~.

    What stood out in quality was the Sony 40″ model – it was the “S” grade one too, not the even better “W” and “X” (the latter for sure handles and displays 1080p sources). The glint in the eye was sharp, bright and clear, not a smudge of white+aggregate of surrounding colours. Skin tones, detail were all superior.

    The price of the Sony 40″ X model or equivalent has already come down from £2500 to under £2000 thanks to the competition of the internet.

    § what a quaint term. Bakelite and the smell of burning fluff upon glowing valves.

    ~ modern term. Faux chrome and the smell of acetate.

  • RAB

    Dammit Midwesterner, the bastards beat me to it!
    I had an idea for those a couple of years ago.
    They really are canny robbing buggers at ipod arn’t they? When I bought my ipod a while back, I thought I’d better check that it came with all the right bits.
    “This does come with a charger doesn’t it?”
    “Ah no sir, all you do is plug it into your laptop to charge it”
    “But I dont have a laptop and I’ll be on a boat in the middle of the Nile next week”
    “Sir can buy a charger in that case”
    Ka ching! £20 extra
    “So it connects to any tv?”
    “Yes sir”
    “And the connector is included?”
    Yep you guessed it. 20 quid extra.
    I’ll keep going with 32″ old fashioned one. It’s not even wide screen (god I hate those, they look like fishtanks in pastel colours)
    What is happening in the States vis a vis Analogue by the way?

  • JEM

    They say the best LCDs come from LG. And that’s where most other ‘manufacturers’–even Sony, I think–buy their panels from. Also LG handles software processing of SD much better than I’ve seen elsewhere, making it much easier on the eys. And since about 90% of output is still SP…

    (Go into Curries or similar and try to persuade them to show you what their “HD Ready” screens look like handleing SD. They are not allowed to show you. Gosh, I wonder why?)

    For 720p HD there’s no point in going beyond about 32″ or 37″ for viewing at 8 ft to 10 ft, as the clunky SD pixels will just become easier to see. And for 1080p, about 50″ would be about right for that viewing distance, except for two things: (1) the SD pixels will be all the more obvious and (b) there’s no 1080p output worth mentioning yet, and 1080i is not really any better than 720p.

    I’d forget 70″ screens unless you really are thinking of opening your own cinema.

  • Julian Taylor

    Jonathan, I suspect there’s some unwritten law of door sizes that dictates the exponential growth of televisions, sofas, beds, washing machines and other large household items. I don’t think any LCD TV manufacturer will truly be happy until it is a major chore for us (as it is with washing machines now) to take delivery of one of their products and then to try and shoehorn it in through the front door with but millimetres to spare.

    I do especially recall the effort involved with moving your sofa into your new home, an event that might have been better served by use of a chainsaw 🙂

  • Considering the quality of the stuff spewing out of my existing CRT unit, I’m going to put off buying the new HD technology – in any size – as long as the old one works. As for the “minimum” 100 inch size for viewing at 10 feet, would it not be easier and cheaper to (a) move your chair a little closer, or (b) spring for a new pair of glasses?

  • Mitch, if you have 100″ at 10′, I’ wear SUNglasses!

    p.s. I second the LG statement, though for some reason I thought Sony made their own.

    p.p.s. I also second the “720p better than 1080i”. 1080p is the gold standard.

  • RAB

    Mitch, you are definately on my xmas card list
    for the Zappa quote.
    The missis and I may try a little Dinah Mo Hum
    instead of TV, after supper 🙂

  • No, Sony actually come from Samsung. Sony quite genuinely did have the best CRT televisions, and they became complacent and completely missed the boat on flat panels. The Japanese company that did not miss the boat was Sharp, which has always been a much more innovative and impressive company than it is often given credit for.

  • I have a 20″ Sony telly from about 90-92…and just recently the color went wonky on it. It’s still watchable but the color is odd. So I’ve been looking at tellies…and I like the ol’ box. You can’t put your satellite box and DVD/VCR unit on top of a flatscreen. I’ve not seen a picture I’ve liked on the newer sets. My screen seems bigger and crisper than even the 24″ sets. I spent about $500 back then for this telly, and now I should be able to find this kind of set for around $175-250, if I can find one.

    At other people’s homes, I haven’t seen a large screen that I consider viewable enough to possess.

    My friend just bought a mansion (“Mollywood”) that has a helicopter garage. He doesn’t have a helicopter but the original builder did! He’s remodeling this long garage into a movie theater and dance club. I don’t know what type of projection system he’ll use for the “Sinema” but I’m sure there will be a mirrored disco ball for the dance club.