Did you sit down to watch the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast yesterday? Did it sound a bit tinnier than 10 years ago? That’s probably not her fault, but the flatscreen TV you’ve got…
Whether it may be public transport or pop concerts, it’s easy for older generations to look back with a feeling that standards have gone down since the ‘good old days’.
Sometimes this notion is forged from misty nostalgia, but sometimes it’s based in cold hard facts. We always say in our reviews and advice that TVs don’t sound like they used to – well, we now have the data to back it up.
In our unique snapshot test, we found that a 17-year-old Nokia CRT TV (yes, Nokia) sounded better than any 2013 flatscreen TV. But should we expect a TV as slim as a picture frame to pack audio oomph?
A matter of space
As many modern TVs are less than an inch thick, there just isn’t the space to fit the same quality and size of speakers that would come in a CRT TV, or hi-fi system.
We expect our TVs to be slim, stylish and light so that they fit easily into our homes, whether we mount them on our walls, or place them on a piece of furniture.
By contrast, CRT TVs were a piece of furniture in themselves, and moving them required a military operation and hell of a lot of ‘bending at the knees’.
Go big and go home
The advent of flatscreen TVs has also allowed us to increase our screen size expectations so that now a 50-inch plus TV doesn’t seem all that outlandish – and you don’t need to win the lottery to afford one.
In an ideal world, we’d like modern TVs to have fantastic sound and be super-slim, but speaker technology will have to improve further before that can happen. Sound bars and home cinema systems can give you better TV audio, but that does mean extra expense.
So, are you happy to trade off good sound for a large and slim screen? Or do you think TV manufacturers should do more to improve audio standards?