The number of 32-inch TVs being released by leading manufacturers – LG, Samsung, Panasonic and Sony – has dwindled in recent years. Why have small TVs fallen so epically out of favour?
I have a 43-inch TV at home and even that would be considered small by today’s standards – though not when I bought it five years ago. I’m planning on upgrading to a Full HDTV this year and I won’t get one smaller than 49 inches. Budget permitting, I’d prefer one somewhere between 55 and 60 inches.
My reasons for abandoning small TVs are similar to the reasons why the top brands aren’t making them anymore. Big screen TVs are now cheaper to manufacture and buy and smart design and shrinking bezels means they aren’t such a dominating fixture of a living room. That means higher resolution content is wasted on small screens – and the quality of smaller screens is declining as a result.
Three reasons you need a bigger television
Everyone wants a bargain and getting a bargain TV used to mean buying a small one. That’s not the case anymore. By the time Black Friday and Christmas roll around, 49-inch and 55-inch TVs can be bought for around the £400 mark. And we’re not talking Polaroid and Blaupunkt either – the sales stretch to Samsung and LG, too.
While TVs have been getting cheaper, they’ve been getting better looking, too. Chunky black plastic bezels have been replaced by sleek brushed metal that are barely visible. This helps big TVs blend in with your room, meaning they aren’t the eyesore they used to be.
It also means they take up less space than you might expect. Look at the 49-inch Samsung QE49Q7F, its screen is 17 inches bigger than the 32-inch Samsung UE32J4000, but the entire TV is only 12 inches wider.
The final reason I’ll be choosing a bigger TV is also the most important. You don’t see the benefit of higher resolution content on small TVs. All that extra detail is lost. I watch most of my TV through streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Video, and most of their original content is available in 4K.
The Ultra HD Blu-ray catalogue is constantly growing too. So you can’t really get away with saying there’s no 4K content anymore. I can understand if your viewing is mainly broadcast TV, but it’s only a matter of time before the BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have 4K channels and catch up services.
In defence of small TVs
Do I think 32-inch TVs should go away? No. People will always need smaller sets for bedrooms and the like, but for your living room you owe it to yourself to get a bigger TV that can display 4K content in all its glory. Want to know how big a TV your living room can accommodate? Use our free tool to see what size you should buy.
What size TV do you own? Perhaps you still have an analogue black and white set…? Will you be upgrading after reading this – or have TVs become just too big?