Monday, January 05, 2015

The View to a TV: Making the Display Part of Your Home’s Decor

People spend a lot of time talking about how good a picture their TV has and how much better they want the picture of their next TV to be. But not a lot of time is spent talking about what the TV itself should look like. Considering that a television becomes the focal point of any room it's placed into, discussing what it will look like and how it will affect the room's decor should be a no-brainer. But it's not.

The reason for this is very 20th Century -- after all, it wasn't until the appearance of the flat panel that there was any choice in having a TV NOT be big and cumbersome. But once "thin" became "in" for TVs (i.e., losing the TV's chunky cathode tube), everybody decided that having a flat panel meant every TV you could purchase would at least look, if not perform, the same. And that the room the TV got placed in would have to adapt to the TV and that was it.

That kind of thinking was wrong and still is. TVs don't all look the same and that's a good thing -- because not every room is the same as every other room. But differences in the TV's physical appearance is more subtle today. So that's why it's time to revisit the choices that can be made.


Flat panel TVs look imposing when on, but once turned off they become black from end to end. Unless, that is, the outside edges arent black also just because the screen goes dark doesn't mean that the TV has to mirror that look all the way around. Having a silver trim changes the look of the TV and, as a result, how it interacts with the room's appearance (as an example, there's Sony's 65 4K UHD 3D Smart LED TV featuring brushed silver). A color change might seem like a simple thing, but having the choice allows for more freedom of expression when placing the TV into its new environment.


Ever notice how round shapes are more enticing than squares? Psychology aside, there's something to be said for breaking out from the standard "flat" view of a TV, especially when it's not turned on. So say hello to curved TVs. These televisions have a subtle "bending" at their extremes which is designed to create a more immersive viewing experience. That's when the TV is on. But when it's off, the curved shape attracts and intrigues the eye in a way that "flat" does not. And through placement in a room, a curved TV can extend this welcoming view to those entering a room, even if the effect does not "shout" out what it's doing. The TV ceases to be a "wall" and can become a positive element of the room's total "look."


A TV can become the visual equivalent of "background music" in that it and its images playing across the screen become ignored. While some might think that the best menus are those that remain totally unobtrusive and unmemorable, an argument could be made for menus that are striking and stand out increasing the visual appeal of the TV in a room. Many types of menu-based operating systems for TVs have been employed over the years -- from plain text overlaid on images to Las Vegas neon-types -- but the best menus will retain the intensity of the TVs display by calling attention to itself without being obnoxious. This type of menu will retain ease of use as well. But its strongest suit will be to take the TV out of its doldrums and make it stand out amidst the other furniture.

A television is an investment in visual technology that must perform up to your standards each and every day. But it also should join in being one of the household and contributing to the overall ambience of the home. Today's televisions can answer that call. 


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