Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Dreaming of a 48" TV

On Saturday I found myself at a home occupied by Young Professionals. This was evident by the size (48") and quality (HD) of the television in the living room. It occupied prime position, pretty much as proper hi-fi might have done thirty years earlier, defying everything else to make the best of whatever space remained.

My parents' generation preferred TVs that could be pushed into a corner, preferably disguised as traditional items of furniture. In my flat-renting days TVs were distressed portables, the signal often delivered by an arrangement of wire coat hangers. New ones were too expensive to buy and so they were rented.

Whenever I catch "lifestyle" programmes on television I am left with the impression that the majority of the nation now live in a converted terrace house with a living room knocked through to the kitchen. The floors have been stripped and polished and the fireplace is occupied by a big flat screen TV. What was previously a source of actual warmth is now replaced by a flickering digital version of the same thing.

This is not to say I wouldn't like the 48" HD. I would. I have, however, been married long enough to know that I would be left to enjoy it on my own.


  1. I'm a strict believer in the TV belongs in a corner way of thinking.

    Though it is a right royal pain in the arse wheeling the table out, with the 32" TV and the various boxes that are plugged into it these days, whenever the gas meter needs reading.

    I probably could be able to fit a 40" or 42" in that corner, but instead I bought a projector (720p not 1080p though) and put it in an attic room instead.

  2. Ditto - a Sony portable in the corner, out of sight, out of mind (apart from watching specific programmes) for me.

    One friend goes even further - a cotton drape over telly when not in use. Makes the room feel nice and 'whole' again.

  3. In our house the soaps get watched on a regular basis by the other half, that's a huge chunk of our tv viewing. A 48" HD tv would be a complete waste of money just to see Barbara Windsor in HD.


  4. Until 2 years ago we had a 14" portable that sat in the corner of the room.
    However it got to the point where, if any text appeared on the screen, we had to lunge forward in order to read it. I'm sure on-screen text has diminished in relative point size over the years - taking account of bigger screens.
    Anyway, we upgraded to a 26" LCD, which was the smallest that we could find. This suits us perfectly, but buying a new stand for it was really difficult - again they're all built for a minimum 32" screen.

  5. In our house it is MRsB who is keenest to upgrade to something flat and HD that would go further into the same corner currently occupied by a lunking great widescreen CRT jobby. Ideally I'd like it better positioned to make more effective use of surround sound, but the layout of windows, fires and radiators makes that impossible.

    The hi-fi ia in a different room where it gets the attention it deserves.

    A different Simon to the one up there!

  6. We had a 42" telly in the prime location but it was visible from the street and attracted burglars. First time they nicked it, second time they smashed it whilst attempting to nick it.

    There wasn't a third time as I got a smaller TV and stuck it out of the way.

  7. I wonder if they will ever make TVs in wooden boxes ever again?

    We have a flat screen HD thingy too but it sits on a cabinet in the corner with the stereo like any old telly would. Not putting a bloody television on my wall.

  8. My theory for what it's worth: televisions are (subconsciously) a big brother style, one way eye on the room, which gets set-dressed accordingly by what appears on screen.

    In the 'radio age' interiors stayed pretty much unchanged for decades. Box-shaped TV sets appear in the fifties and rooms get a jet-age pep-up of angular patterns, prints furniture.

    Come the seventies, and the exploding tube of over-saturated colours in the corner gets reflected with the wallpaper and paint seemingly from Elvis's 'Jungle Room' line

    It's sort of reached a balance now where front rooms look like TV sets, and TV sets look like front rooms.