Every year we see bigger and brighter TVs and they get closer and closer to production. Where once we saw 84″ TVs that never looked like they would see the light of day, 110″ models are now trickling into the marketplace with regularity. They’re a sight to behold whether you’re in a big box store or a high-end home theatre retailer. There’s only one question, and it’s the one I thought I’d never ask: Who cares?
Big televisions are part of a communal experience. They are meant to be shared with friends and family. Since the 1950s, television has always meant people watching the same program at the same time. It’s just that now, in 2013, people don’t do that. Even if they are in the same room, they are on their own mobile devices and only occasionally sharing the TV viewing experience. At least young people see it that way.
If you’re part of the underappreciated over-35 demographic, there’s a chance you sit in a semi-darkened room with your spouse or pet watching a show together and even possibly interacting about it. But are you, over-35er, going to drop that serious coin on a 110″ TV? Big toys, as the saying goes, are for big boys, not grownups.
So the almost-unthinkable question becomes, who really cares about the gigantic TV? If you want 4K resolution you can get it today on a tablet. If you want an immersive experience, it seems to be more about audio these days than video. There just does not seem to be a real reason for people to have the gigantic TV. It’s true that there’s an underappreciated group of folks who will want a truly home-theater worthy experience at home whether for themselves or for a group, but are there enough of these folks to warrant the design and manufacturing costs of a large TV?
It’s just so odd to be thinking this way. For half a century, the dream of a room-sized screen has loomed large over techies and regular folks, and just as it becomes reasonable, it turns out that we don’t want it. How odd.