back to article Telly behemoths: Does size matter?

This month, the fabulously wealthy owners of houses with curved walls will be delighted to know that the world's largest curved TV arrives at the Knightsbridge tat-palace Harrods. With a 105-inch screen, LG's new set, the snappily named 105UC9V boasts a 21:9 aspect ratio, and all the latest technology. LG 105UC9 105-inch 21:9 …

  1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
    Windows

    Old Fart

    I don't have a mansion and the 32" LCD TV I bought a few years ago still seems a bit overkill for my place.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Old Fart

      > the 32" LCD TV I bought a few years ago still seems a bit overkill

      I suspect that many people buy TV's based on their presence in showrooms. In PC World for example, the 32" screen look small and lost against much larger displays. But as you say put them in the context of the typical home and things can look very different.

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Old Fart

        My 50" TV looks ridiculously stupid in my small-ish living room. It's absolutely huge, and sticks out like a sore thumb. Thinking about it now, I can only bring to mind one person I know who has a 50" telly - and they've got a decently huge room to put it in. Most people have gone for the mid 30s-40s range. Even though you can now pick up a decent 50" for £400.

        I sized it very carefully. I wanted to be able to read the TV guide and subtitles from over 6 feet away - which with my rubbish eyesight meant wandering into TV shops with a tape measure. I wonder if the guys in the shop thought I doubted their size labels...

        Because of this, I did very briefly consider trying to hide my over-sized televisual embarrassment. I quite liked the idea of having a large painting on rails, so I could press the remote control to turn on the telly, and the painting would slide aside, with a satisfying motor hum. At which point it should probably activate the DVD player, to show a picture of circling sharks...

  2. corestore

    Back in the mid 1990...

    ...when I was working for a major computer company I won't name (DEC)...

    ...I was visiting a customer and spotted Something Interesting in their skip as I was leaving. A brief and successful negotiation with the security bod followed, and I found myself the proud new owner of a top-end Barco 808 projection system (the three tube variety found hanging from boardroom ceilings).

    After a brief bit of interface hackery, a bit of fresh white paint, and some serious sweat lifting the thing onto its ceiling mount in our living room... well we became very popular; the Corestore residence was the only place in Cambridge you could watch Babylon 5 on a ten foot screen! :D

  3. Dazed and Confused

    Back in 1992 a Philips ...

    Back in 91 or 92 Sony loaned my company a 40" HD CRT (1920x1200 not the low res final format) for the computer graphics show at Ali Pali. I remember it being so heavy and so valuable that they would only lend it to us if we used their own special furniture to stand it on.

    Looked bloody good though and brought no end of people onto the stand.

  4. Pen-y-gors

    You want a bigger picture?

    Sit closer to the screen.

    But having said that, a 152" monitor on my desk would be pretty awesome - not sure if the graphics card could drive it though.

    1. Peter2 Silver badge

      Re: You want a bigger picture?

      It really comes down to how many pixels per inch you want.

      At 1920x a 24" would be 80ppi and 152" would be 12ppi. Even a 4k resolution would only give you 26ppi so it might be a little pixelated.

      So you wouldn't want one. You'd want 3 for a multi monitor setup so large that in a FPS you'd see things in your peripheral vision.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: You want a bigger picture?

      At 16:9 aspect ratio, a 152" screen + bezel just about fits through a standard EU door without tipping it diagonally. If you have a desk that can take the weight, you must either trim the legs, remove the ceiling or tilt the screen to make it fit.

      I have always wanted the screen size to go the other way: a few mm across, with a lens so screens can be a few mm from each eye. So far, I have only seen such screens with low resolutions and high prices.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You want a bigger picture?

        I fear I would have to knock down a wall , put in a concrete plinth going down to foundations, install the 152" TV on the plinth and rebuild.

        Luckily the content is not worth doing that for.

        1. Amorous Cowherder
          Thumb Up

          Re: You want a bigger picture?

          "Luckily the content is not worth doing that for."

          Sums it up for me! I generally only watch BBC comedies filmed last century most of the time, so even my 7 year old, bog standard 40" LCD is probably a bit overkill!

    3. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: You want a bigger picture?

      Resolution can get a mite high though. I remember back in the early noughties I bought a hires (don't remember how much) large screen for the lab graphics workstation. The rationale being you could have your montage open in photoshop and beside it, instead of underneath it you could have the source pictures. We had to install that app with the pair of eyes as when you had the PS crosshairs cursor it was VERY easy to lose it on the screen.

      That was about the only hiccup though. Paired with the dye-sub printer it was the real deal.

  5. flearider

    are you sure ?

    stats say one thing but most people I know have between a 46 - 52inch screen ..

    mines a 5 yr old Panasonic 50" and it's just the right size

    1. Richard Jones 1
      Happy

      Re: are you sure ?

      That is a measure of your friend circle.

      I must admit to being very happy with a 42 inch plasma. LCD is 'OK' but all the LCD sets have artefacts or other limits that the plasma does not appear to have.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: are you sure ?

        LCD is 'OK' but all the LCD sets have artefacts or other limits

        Try a new Led backlit Tosh (make sure it is one of those with the Cell inside to do image processing). You may change your opinion - I did.

        Imho the max size in inches is ~ distance in meters from the telly * 10. Anything above that and no magic image processing will prevent it from pixelating. So a smaller screen will actually look better as a result.

      2. fishman

        Re: are you sure ?

        "I must admit to being very happy with a 42 inch plasma. LCD is 'OK' but all the LCD sets have artefacts or other limits that the plasma does not appear to have."

        It's the dark blacks that the plasmas do so well. And that's why shows like Game of Thrones on BD look so amazing on plasma tvs.

        Hopefully, when my Panasonic plasma tv dies there will be something out there that will be as good.

    2. VinceH

      Re: are you sure ?

      "mines a 5 yr old Panasonic 50" and it's just the right size"

      My parents have a 50" jobbie - also Panasonic, IIRC, and it's just right size for their living room (in fact, they probably could go a little bigger if they wanted, before it gets silly).

      I have a 32" Hitachi here, which is, again, just the right size - and I don't think bigger would be practical. It doubles up as a monitor - and, TBH, it's not very good at that. None of the computers that are connected to it, whether by VGA or HDMI, give a great picture, but instead a bearable one. As a TV, though, it does very well.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Obligatory response from a Scot...

        @VinceH; "My parents have a 50" jobbie"

        That's quite impressive, but I think they'd find a large-screen television more entertaining and less odiferous.

        They could probably fund it by selling the mega-jobbie to the Guinness Book of Records, too.

    3. Nigel Whitfield.
      Joke

      Re: are you sure ?

      maybe you know a lot of vulgar people?

    4. The Axe

      Re: are you sure ?

      Ours is a 15 year old 36" Sony Trinitron CRT. No plans on getting a LCD replacement until the CRT breaks, maybe in 15 years time.

    5. Greg 16

      Re: are you sure ?

      But how many TV's do most people have in their houses now? I'm sure I've read that it's 3 or 4, so presumably people have several smaller TV's in their bedrooms and then one large TV in the living room.

      1. Eddy Ito

        Re: are you sure ?

        A quick search shows the claimed number is between 2.5 and 2.9 depending on source and year but it could easily be over 3. Of course the next question is, what gets counted as a TV? Technically I have two TVs a 42" and a 24". The thing is I have the 24" because when shopping for a new monitor I noticed the TV was on special which made it cheaper than the 24" monitors and since it had the same resolution and equal picture quality I got the "TV". That probably gets counted as a TV even if it isn't used that way. Likewise I'm sure there are also lots of monitors out there that are used as TVs via some HDMI dongle, streaming service or some such are probably aren't counted as TVs. In all counting things used as TVs including various tablets, phones, etc. I'd estimate the average number of TVEs1 per household between sqrt(29) and 2*Pi

        1 TVE = television equivalent

        1. Danny 14

          Re: are you sure ?

          I must be the odd one out here. We have a 32" sharp which is about 5 years old. Its the only "TV" in the house (2+2) we don't have sky but do have Netflix and a bluray player, sound is courtesy of a 14 year old kenwood nv-701 5.1 dts decoder.

          We do have a number of PC screens though, 3x 22ish ones, I forget the exact size) and a pair of dell 27's on my pc.

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: are you sure ?

        We have 2

        46" LCD and a 17" monitor with PAL tuner, only the TV is used as a TV now, the monitor was used in a caravan with an old Freeview box until we sold the van and the FV box was not DSO compliant

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: are you sure ?

        Sounds about right.

        As a young un my we had no TV until the mid 80s. Remember having to go next door to watch stuff like the A-Team and Knight Rider. Well, I was 10. Over the next few years me and my brother acquired a 12" portable each for our bedroom as my Dad's business writing programming books grew.

        Fast-forward 30 years and our three kids each have a 32 in their bedroom, we have a 42 in the lounge and another 42 in the master bedroom. Scarey amount of crap telly watched in this house.

  6. returnmyjedi

    We went from a 1970s Grundig to a circa 1992 JVC that not only had Nicam stereo but Fastext also. Twas the age of enlightenment.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      And fancy things like decent remote controls. I remember some of the first that had just the two buttons - volume and channel, guaranteed to deafen people before you could properly turn it down. Not to mention annoy the pets, because it was ultrasonic.

      Our Rediffusion rental set had all the buttons; I can't remember if it was IR or ultrasonic. I do recall that the remote off made the power switch on the set pop out with a satisfying click. You could only turn it off by remote, not on.

      1. stucs201

        2 Buttons? Luxury! First remote used had a single 'next channel' button.

        1. Captain DaFt

          "First remote used had a single 'next channel' button."

          But you have to admit; For the time it looked all 'Buck Rogerish" futuristic! <pew pew>

          http://www.texarkanagazette.com/content/uploads/pictures/2012/05/Obit-Remote-Control-I_Leml.jpg

      2. bat

        and my Rediffusion Prestel enabled TV, ex rental staff purchase, had a broken power switch cover which periodically flew across the room and had to be extracted from under the sofa.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Four Yorkshire Television Productions

          Black and white? Black and white?! You were lucky. T' set we grew up with only had black, and sometimes not even that!

          Remote control with one button? Luxury! We had a remote with *no* buttons... and we were glad of it.

          And it were uphill both ways, etc. etc.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Four Yorkshire Television Productions

            Our remote control was attached to the telly with a six-foot wire.

      3. lpcollier

        Speaking of annoying the pets, we had the opposite problem. We had a late 70's TV with ultrasonic remote that was brought into the house in the late 80's. We noticed that it kept changing channels on its own, and after a few more weeks noticed that it tended to do so when the dog was in the room. It took a couple of months to figure out that the dog's metal "choke" collar must jangle at the right ultrasonic note whenever the dog scratched and change the channel. We had to chase down the dog and remove her collar before sitting down for the evening.

    2. fruitoftheloon

      @returnmyjedi

      Rmj,

      yay to that brother. I still have an Akai VCR I bought in 1991, which had an inbuilt surround sound decoder AND a power amp for the rear channels, which was pretty blinkin' awesome at the time!

      Regards,

      jay

      1. Danny 14

        Re: @returnmyjedi

        I remember the 12 inch? 14inch? pye black and white with rotary analogue tuning dial. Complete with nail varnish dots for BBC 1 or 2 - ITV was frowned upon we waited till 9AM when BBC2 started transmitting for our kids programmes. I remember when we got a colour TV, it was a Granada in a wooden cabinet complete with top loading manual "huge cassette buttons" VCR just in time to watch the bootleg empire strikes back in 1980

      2. ukaudiophile

        Re: @returnmyjedi

        I am impressed. I remember a friend of mine having one of those, had the rear speakers hooked up to some Jamo 3 way speakers which looked like refugees from a disco, and sounded about the same. I was sufficiently impressed with the Akai VCR to buy it's smaller brother minus the surround sound processor which lasted until I upgraded to a Mitsubishi M1000 S-VHS deck. Good memories!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem with surveys on sales is that to get a true picture, you need to ask which size is in the main room.

    Here we have a number of TV's and all are different sizes! In the living room is a 55" UHD Sony, in the kitchen is a 24" Samsung, bedroom a 32" Samsung & in the gym/office, 46" Samsung.

    Where do we fit in the survey?

    1. Tim J

      The other issue is people knowing what size it is. I wouldn't be sure wthout taking a tape measure to it. (Oo err missus etc...)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surveys

      "Where do we fit in the survey?"

      You fit in pretty well. You appear to be representative of the stats generated all by yourself.

      The survey is about sales, so your household shows that you buy more TVs under 50" than over 50". We could even guess that if you chose to add a new TV somewhere in your house, rather than replace, it would be at the smaller end of the scale.

      You have as many TVs under 30" as you do over 50" and twice as many TVs in the 30 - 50" range. Your average (mean) TV size is 39" only slightly above the GfK average.

      Yes, you have a larger than average main TV but, given the other locations you have TVs, there is probably a significant amount of TV watching on your house on the smaller ones - probably at least half of the TV time.

      Also, if we do a quick survey of UK households which have a gym/office, we'd know if your home was representative enough to be useful or if it was an outlier on the stats chart.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old 1990s class joke....

    Speaking of class..... What's the ugly box on the end of a satellite dish? A council house! When we finally got rid of our big, wide screen, Sony CRT, and replaced it with a shiny 32" Samsung LCD, it took three of us to carry the bloody Sony.

    For me, size is constrained by space. The 40" Samsung LED is about as big as I can fit into the corner of our living room.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: Old 1990s class joke....

      That reminds me of KY TV, the telly spin-off from RadioActive

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWtPEXfQki0

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: 2015 class joke....

        Large flat panel TV = chav wallpaper.

        1. Danny 14

          Re: 2015 class joke....

          old PC monitors were just as bad. Moving the old 22 inch iiyama visionmaster was an art in back pain too. Fantastic resolution for the time though.

          1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

            Re: 2015 class joke....

            old PC monitors were just as bad.

            I do not have fond memories of all the juggling you had to do in order to set up a PC in the late 90s. If the monitor was 19" (or even bigger) then you had to be very careful lifting the thing around. Plus they were very awkward, as the easiest bit to hold was often the front, and all the weight was at the back. Wheeee! Smash! Ooops!

            Then, once you'd heaved the bugger onto the desk, you had to plug it in. As the VGA lead was usually fixed at the back, you had to sort of slide it onto the desk, and on small ones hold it precariously at half over the side, while reaching behind to connect the cables.

            When I upgraded it was funny to heave the enromous 19" lump off the desk, then pick up the 23" LCD easily in one hand, while using the other to connect the cables.

            Similarly I had to go round to help my friend move his Sony widescreen 38" TV as he couldn't lift it. When the LCD he replaced it with weighs bugger-all. And yet I carried my 50" LED easily enough, I'd only need help if I wanted to wall-mount it.

  9. VinceH

    " it seemed the main obsession in the 1980s was to have a small-screen portable TV that could live in the kitchen or the bedroom"

    Any coincidence, do you think, with that being when home computers really took off, and parents might have wanted to watch TV while the monsters wanted to use that Sinclair/Acorn/Commodore/Atari gizmo they'd pestered them into getting for Christmas?

    1. Danny 14

      ironically the 14 inch saisho(?) came with me to uni 12 years after first powering my spectrum (and subsequently my amiga), that thing was bulletproof (the buttons replaced by lacquered blu-tack).

    2. Jim 59

      An old B/W 14 inch was actually okay for a Dragon 32 or the likes. Low res, bit that was fine when the screen is only 32 characters wide.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I remember that my Dad bought our small-screen B&W TV the night before VAT went up to 25% on luxury goods, and we weren't the only ones out shopping! That probably accounted for a spike in sales.

  10. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Got a big thing in the corner for family viewing

    plugged into a hifi to get decent sound if required but if I want to watch something that actually has high quality visual content the laptop or computer is by far the best choice.

  11. Sarah Balfour

    Apparently…

    …the size of a guy's car is inversely proportional to… does the same apply to tellies…?

    Up until just a few years ago (2010/11) my parents still had the B&O telly they bought around the time my sister was born (she's 36 now). If they'd not been forced to ditch it, I'm pretty certain they'd be watching it still. They've a 35" Panasonic Viera in the living room now and a 22" Samsung in the kitchen (which, ironically I've always thought, considering Apple and Sammy ain't exactly bestest buds, supports AirPlay). There's an old-ish Sony CRT in the front room (one of those TV/VHS combis), and it has, semi-successfully, been hooked up to a Freeview box, though it's rarely watched, and my folks have a Hitachi LCD they inherited from Dad's dad, in the bedroom (who, prior to that, had the same B&O model my parents did, as did Dad's bro and family).

    Personally, I don't have one, coz there's feck all on worth watching (even though I do - or at least DID - qualify for a free licence).

  12. h4rm0ny

    They're not TVs anymore.

    I was looking for a new TV recently. It's getting very hard if not impossible, to find one that is just an output device. They all come with web browsers, Skype, microphones (for voice control) sometimes built in cameras, and other such things. Just seeing a TV advertised as "quad-core" makes my skin crawl, tbh.

    Maybe it's old UNIX philosophy I admit, but I like the principle of a thing that does one thing and does it well. I'll break that philosophy when there's a good reason such as convenience (I like my hybrid tablet) but I need a good reason for it. Any TV I buy is going to be hooked up to other devices because these devices will do a better job of their task. I have no need for it to have some old and shortly to be out of date web-browser built in, or the hardware drain and attack surface that goes with it. Just sell me the TV, not all this extra stuff that I can do better myself.

    1. billse10

      Re: They're not TVs anymore.

      "Judging by the comments often made on Reg articles, we suspect It'd have a winner on its hands if it did the same again now."

      h4rm0ny, I'm guessing we might be among the first customers there ...

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: They're not TVs anymore.

        You wouldn't be first... form an orderly queue, please!

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: They're not TVs anymore.

          >"Judging by the comments often made on Reg articles, we suspect It'd have a winner on its hands if it did the same again now."

          Isn't that idea the norm now, separating the panel, sound system and 'tuner'? The tuners and speakers of many LCD sets go unused by many owners. The inclusion of speakers in LCD sets rarely makes the set bigger - instead the compromise is in the sound quality because the expectation is any user who cares audio will use multiple external speakers.

          Satellite and cable receivers, PVRs and streaming video boxes are often used instead of the TV's internal tuner.

    2. MrXavia

      Re: They're not TVs anymore.

      I can't remember the brand, but there was one I saw a while back...Might have been pioneer?

      Although personally, I like having DLNA support in the TV, along with Freeview HD & Freesat HD.

      iPlayer is also quite handy.. the voice control? much easier to use the remote than shout at the tv...

      What I WOULD love to see is a standard slot for replacing the innards.. so buy any panel you want then plug in any 'guts' you want...

      1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: They're not TVs anymore.

        Ah, but on what proportion of your media content does the DLNA support actually work as advertised?

        I've been burned too many times to even investigate the various add-ons in consumer electronics devices from Sony, Samsung and whatever - having to browse 1000 films alphabetically, 8.3 filenames, disks formatted in FAT16, MP3 support meaning "plays MP3 files from root directory of CD only" - the list goes on. Give me a screen or an amplifier with digital in, I'll supply the content thank you.

  13. Richard Ball

    Sony

    Interesting about the Sony modular thing. Two problems with it -

    No product or product line exists for long enough that you would ever get to reconfigure or upgrade it to be different from how it was when you bought it.

    Sony disappeared down the bog long ago. Today's eevblog video # 719 briefly tells the sad story. (Sorry no direct link - I'm working on a device that is making it impossible)

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      Re: Sony

      Indeed; it would only really have worked if the interconnects were standard, but I'm pretty sure they weren't.

      Given things like AV amps to handle source switching and audio, plus receivers for satellite or terrestrial, and fairly decent compatibility via HDMI, we are almost there, I guess. It's just that the makers of the screens insist on putting all the 'smart' stuff in the TV, when really it could pretty much all be done via a Chromecast or Roku, which can be replaced for far less when it finally runs out of oomph.

      Indeed, if people do want to call up some of this stuff while watching TV, given the upscaling and other processing a modern AV amp can do, it's a shame none of them has an HDMI input designated as 'Smart stuff' that allows it to be overlaid on what you're watching in some way.

    2. corestore

      Re: Sony

      What is this 'Sony' of which you speak?

      People make the same mistake with Sony that they make with IBM - more so, even. Sony isn't a monolithic entity, it's a collection of almost separate businesses flying in relatively close formation some of the time.

    3. P. Lee

      Re: Sony

      >Interesting about the Sony modular thing. Two problems with it -

      More problems than that:

      If you buy a dumb screen, you won't have bought integrated friendface. That means no "co-marketing" funds.

      You'll also probably keep it longer because you won't need to upgrade the network port to 802.11ac, so less profit in the future.

      All those "tick-boxes" for marketing features become irrelevant and the value proposition falls.

  14. Treed

    ... and RIP Grace Archer

    When I were a lad we lived in a caravan, me Mam and me, in Iford, in Sussex. We had a telly we rented from Granada, and it were just "the box" and nothing more: it had one only switch -- on-and-off, and when it were turned on, up came the BBC. Then one day some men came and took the telly away and when they brought it back a few days later, well butter-my-wig if there weren't a second switch added: "A" and "B" where A were the Beeb the B were the new ITV. That, I reckon, is when I first invented the expression "let's see what's on the other side" Later that same day we had 740 channels.

  15. Dr Paul Taylor

    Cathode rays

    My father's career in the 1960s and 70s was the design of the analogue oscillators that drove the electomagnets that were around the neck of the screen and dragged the electron beams across the screen. When I first saw a concave screen I thought, how the hell would he have got cathode rays around that?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Cathode rays

      "When I first saw a concave screen "

      Ah what? I've never seen one before. Where were they used? No, seriously, not trolling.

      I remember the optical illusion of a flat screen appearing concave after spending time in front of a standard convex CRT screen because your eyes would compensate for the convex curve.

  16. Tim99 Silver badge

    A bit of Social history

    A woman down the road, who was "on the social", yet had a TV set with doors on.

    As far as the "social" was concerned a TV with doors was "furniture", which the social services could supply to their clients. If it did not have doors it was classified as a TV or an electrical appliance which the social was not able to supply.

  17. DJV Silver badge
    FAIL

    TV Size

    Back in the early 1970s I worked for Rediffusion as an apprentice TV engineer and, due to my lowly status, was often used for delivering the rental TVs to new customers. One day we had to deliver a hulking great (well, it was the 70s) 26" Ferguson colour TV to a couple who were renting and living in a single tiny room in someone else's house. There was only space for a "bed" (a double mattress on the floor) and a small chest of drawers. The TV went on the latter. A 12" portable would have been more appropriate.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Did advise a customer to get...

    a little 22 inch tv for themselves. Was met with "wow, that's massive. No we only want a 19 inch one, that's big enough to replace our old set.

    Wow, I use a monitor about that size for my computer and youtube, and would never think to use it for "TV", whatever that is...

  19. Anna Logg

    Two for joy

    "If you watched Magpie, you probably went to a comprehensive."

    Yes and yes :-) I think Susan Stranks was the first woman I had 'feelings' for :-))

    My late father regarded the BBC as a hotbed of communism (despite the fact he worked on the track at Vauxhall), so obtaining permission to watch anything on the beeb took considerable negotiation.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Two for joy

      I went to a comprehensive school, occasionally watched ITV as a kid (though BBC was generally preferred, I think Magpie was allowed from time to time and, um, was 'How?' an ITV programme?), and worked thirty-odd years for the BBC.

      When I joined, the enrollment paperwork included a long section: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? How about your parents? Your grandparents?"

      Some years later, my grandparents (the posh ones, not the coal mining ones) tried to enroll me in both the Communist Party and the Festival of Light - both organisations for whom I had extreme antipathy.

      1. Wilseus

        Re: Two for joy

        "When I joined [the BBC], the enrollment paperwork included a long section: "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? How about your parents? Your grandparents?"

        That's a prerequisite for working for the BBC, isn't it?

  20. This post has been deleted by its author

  21. iranu

    'ello Tosh....

    ....gotta Toshiba?

    One thing is still prevalent no matter how big or fancy people's TVs are; they often have terrible pictures, because people don't have any idea what a decent picture looks like and they have no clue how to adjust the settings away from the awful factory setting.

    I've seen people with 42"+ £1800 plasmas (last decade) with unwatchable screens because the picture is that bad. They think the picture is perfect because the TV is expensive and big.

    1. corestore

      Re: 'ello Tosh....

      DING, ding a thousand times ding.

      New sets (does anyone still call them 'sets'?) tend to be delivered with brightness and saturation set way too high, on the basis that this will somehow make them stand out and look good in a bright showroom display - but is totally counterproductive in the home.

      As a cinematographer it really pisses me off to know that so often my work won't be seen as intended; first thing you need to do with a new TV is calibrate it properly to your room.

      1. ferg92

        Re: 'ello Tosh....

        This. Worse still when people complain about not being able to tell the difference between SD and HD when a) they're using a Scart cable and b) they're on the SD version of a channel. Of course this looks the same because it IS the same ffs.

        At least chopping off the sides of a widescreen image on a STB then having a widescreen TV set to stretch mode is more or less a thing of the past.

    2. MJI Silver badge

      Re: 'ello Tosh....

      Setting up TVs

      My FD Trinitron took ages to set up, but was ruined in SOME modes by sharpening circuits, I nearly took a soldering iron to it.

      However sharpening was defeated by RGB so all main sources were fine.

      DVD fine

      Broadcast DVB-T fine

      Games fine (Dreamcast & PS2)

      Analogue ropey

      Tapes over sharpened

      PVRs fine.

      Ant the picture from the integral DVB-T tuner was outstanding.

      My current LCD has been through a similar setup.

      I have seen the big fuzzy TV setup!

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: 'ello Tosh....

      Before the demise of my Mum's last TV (dreadful Bush HD Ready ugh!) I went round for dinner. I'd set the Sky box up to tell the telly when the piccie was widescreen and when not, as the TV didn't seem to be able to cope with this itself.

      Something had gone wrong, she was watching a show that should have been in 4:3, but the sky box had decided to stretch it to widescreen, then the TV had for some reason decided that it was only showing 4:3 today. Because it was getting a widescreen signal, it had letterboxed it.

      So she had a 4:3 program that had been stretched to twice its normal width, then had the top and bottom chopped off, and the TV seemed to have squashed the ends as well, so there were smaller black bars at the end. The whole picture was horribly distorted, and probably half the screen space was black.

      I made some sort of comment about her picture looking truly hideous, and she said, "I can't see anything wrong with it". I pressed the buttons to make it go back to normal, and she didn't seem to think it much of an improvement. Even though the picture was twice the size, and the characters' heads were no longer horribly distorted.

      I could understand ignoring it from not knowing how to fix it. The telly was crap, and the Sky box settings in an obscure menu. But not noticing it...

  22. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Magpie and School?

    I went to a Bog Standard Comprehensive thanks to Harold Wilson's Government.

    I hated Magpie. I got my Blue Peter badge so that tell you what camp I was in.

    Forget Chelsea vs {the rest} for rivalry, BP vs Magpie was just as bad.

    As for a TV. Just the one in my house. A 42in LG jobby with FreeView and FreeSat. About 5ys old now.

    I'll research any replacement very carefully. No TV of mine will ever be connected to the Internet. So if it don't work without being able to phone home then I won't buy it,

  23. russell 6

    When I was a kid

    I was 6 or 7 and had recently been given a pretty decent magnet. I can't remember why I did it but decided to run it over the TV screen. My young mind was blown at how I could make the picture warp as I moved the magnet around the screen. Magic Roundabout became even better than usual. Horror then set in when I saw the picture didn't go back to normal after taking the magnet away.

    Parents were not in the room, obviously, so I switched the TV off, ran up to my bedroom and picked up a book, faking innocence when they turned the TV on and saw the psychadelic mess the picture had become and got away with it, I looked innocent when I was young :) Got busted when the engineer came out to look at the TV, he winked at me and said "someone has a magnet" Doh

    1. fearnothing

      Re: When I was a kid

      Speaking of which, that's what the "Degauss" options on old CRT monitors was for wasn't it? I pressed that button many a time by accident but never actually had a need to use it for what it was actually meant to do. Can anyone say whether it was effective?

      1. russell 6

        Re: When I was a kid

        No idea but it could be fun to dig up an old crt monitor and make the experiment :)

      2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: When I was a kid

        It should never have been necessary since it was driven through a temperature sensitive resistor. Lots of current when the set was switched on, decaying gently over a few seconds as the resistor heated up.

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: When I was a kid

        Can anyone say whether it was effective?

        The built-in degauss was really only intended to remove the minor magnetization of the shadowmask caused by moving the TV around in the earth's magnetic field, it wasn't man enough to deal with a small boy + magnet (I also discovered that effect :) ). Service technicians had big beefy degaussing coils that could be used for such cases.

        CRTs are very senstive to such things, so much so that Sony (maybe others too) used to produce different models of hi-res CRT monitors for N. and S. hemispheres.

        1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

          Re: When I was a kid

          This is how we degaussed monitors in the BBC... when we degaussed something, it *stayed* degaussed! http://www.nibroadcast.co.uk/BBC-uni-515-12inch-degaussing-coil-/prod_1805.html

          1. Jess--

            Re: When I was a kid

            best degaussing tool for tubes I ever found was a cheapo soldering gun (not iron)

            hold against screen, pull trigger and move in circles while getting further from screen

            let go of trigger when you are 2 feet from the screen

      4. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: When I was a kid

        Degaussing circuits were not in late '60s and early '70s valve TVs. These would often, over time, acquire a permanent magnetic field around the chassis or the tube itself, leading to psychedelic colours at the edges of the screen. You got a TV engineer out with a magical degauss coil that he waved over the screen to make it work properly.

        To compensate for the earth's magnetic field, these TVs actually had small bar magnets mounted on the chassis around the tube on bendable 'stalks'. These would be painstakingly adjusted until the Test Card showed no distortion.

        My mother was obsessed with keeping a cabinet TV. They used to rent a Baird from Radio Rentals right from when BBC 2 first started transmitting in colour (around 1967 IIRC - That was a bad year for me because of illness, and I was off school for some time, and I got hooked on the Trade test transmissions which were broadcast on the hour for the benefit of TV installers - White Horses, Skycrane, and trout farming come to mind). Towards the end of it's life in the '80s, the tube was so badly magnetized that it would not demagnetize, no matter how many times the degauss coil was passed over the TV. Of course, it could be that Radio Rentals no longer had any working degauss coils in their toolboxes!

        Eventually, Radio Rentals pleaded with my parents to stop calling in faults and let them take it away, because they could no longer fix it. They provided a Ferguson in it's place, which just did not hack it with my mother as it was made from paper covered chipboard, rather than real wood!

        Right up until the end of her life, my mother still complained that the sound and colour(maybe because it was not psychedelic!) of whatever TV they had was poor compared to the Baird TV. I think it was an ideological thing, however, as this was even with the sound passed through external amplification.

      5. Annihilator Silver badge
        Go

        Re: When I was a kid

        "Speaking of which, that's what the "Degauss" options on old CRT monitors was for wasn't it?"

        The degauss button was only ever pressed on other people's machines to enjoy the *boing* sound it made and send them into a panic that you'd somehow broken their monitor.

        1. Pedigree-Pete
          Meh

          Re: When I was a kid @ Annihilator

          If they were that dim, they probably thought you'd broken their computer.

        2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: When I was a kid

          I had a colleague who used to work on TV and monitor design. He said that the automatic degaussing circuit that used a PTC thermistor often drew up to 100A from the mains. The only reason it did not trip the breaker or fuse on the ring main was because it only drew that amount of current for a fraction of a second, less time than it took the breaker (or a fuse) to operate.

          I had no reason to disbelieve him.

          I also know that when I worked for a big bank, if the power went out on the floor I was on, we were told to turn off all the large CRT monitors before they resumed the power because the degauss surge on so many monitors at the same time would throw the breaker again as soon as it was operated. Apparently, although the building was designed with computers in mind, the architects did not expect the large CRTs that support people asked for. As a result, the floor rings were right at the safe limit under normal operation.

          That floor was the first to get flat panel LCD monitors when the refresh happened.

    2. Wilseus

      Re: When I was a kid

      I remember quite a few years ago having some problems with funny colours on a widescreen CRT I owned. The (independent) TV repair man who came round to have a look at it brought a degaussing wand with him. This, he decided, wasn't powerful enough so he went back to his van and brought out a big black toroidal thing which appeared to be wrapped in insulation tape, about the diameter of a frisbee.

      He told me that it was a more powerful one which he'd made himself, and yes, it plugged directly into the mains. He had me man the switch on the mains socket while he waved it in front of the TV because it got rather hot rather quickly when in use! I remember that it visibly affected the screen from about six feet away, and when brought closer you could hear it rattling the shadow mask!

  24. Zog_but_not_the_first
    Windows

    Stop!

    Reminding me that I'm getting old.

    That's me in the corner, that's me in the spotlight...

  25. Little Mouse Silver badge

    grumble grumble

    No widescreen back in the 70's. If you wanted to watch Transformers:Revenge of the Fallen back then you had to push two TVs together.

    Eeee - Try telling kids that these days and they won't believe you.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: grumble grumble

      I didn't want to watch Transformers Revenge of the Fallen thankyourverymuch. I want to watch The Wacky Races. Mum! Mum! It's not fair. Make him turn the telly over to proper programs! Sagafrassin' Rassin' Dick Dastardly!

  26. Spindreams

    Mini projectors

    Just replaced my ageing 32in Sony trinitron CRT behemoth with a tiny little ACER k137 LED projector. The Projector was about £300 and I already had some surround sound speakers and so now we have a huge 120in screen for very little money. It is HD and 3D compatible and leaves a hell of a lot more space where the old Sony used to be. The projector is mounted on the ceiling and so does not get in the way.

    Here in Italy if you have a TV you pay a TV licence no matter if you just watch DVDs (Have you ever experienced Italian broadcast tv? well we don't watch it put it that way), so now we even save €150 a year on that so the thing should pay for itself in a few years.

    Also as it is so portable and as we get really good weather most of the summer, one thing I am really looking forward to is summer nights when I can take the projector outside and have outdoor movie nights. Don't think i'll be going back to a traditional TV set any time soon.

    1. ukaudiophile

      Re: Mini projectors

      Please tell me the first movie you'll be screening outdoors will be Blade Runner? That movie just lends itself to being shown on a summer night on a white wall with a star lit sky overhead.

  27. Diogenes

    an optical delusion

    We were very happy with our old 24" crt, until the magic smoke escaped. We replaced it with a 24" LCD - the screen seemed tiny in comparison, so quickly had to upgrade to a 36" to get a watchable picture

    1. Michael Strorm

      Diagonal size comparisons don't work for old 4:3 sets versus 16:9 widescreens...

      Was it a widescreen 24" LCD?

      The diagonal measurement is only an accurate size comparison so long as the TVs are the same shape. So it worked when all TVs were 4:3 (or if you're only comparing 16:9 widescreens).

      But a 16:9 widescreen television with a given diagonal (e.g. 24") has a significantly smaller area than a 4:3 with the same measurement, somewhere around 12 percent difference AFAIK. So you'd need a widescreen with a diagonal over 27" just to get the same area as your old 24" telly.

      And that's before we consider what makes a TV look big, e.g. for a fixed screen area, a widescreen TV will be wider but less tall than a 4:3 of the same area.

      Of course, modern TVs in general *are* much bigger in general than 4:3 CRTs anyway, but this is just to say that the difference isn't *quite* as big as the diagonal measurements suggest.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can work out your class quite easily, on a scale of not much to an awful lot. Everyone starts with 500 points. Subtract a point for each diagonal inch of each television in your house (multiply each each inch by two if your television spends more than half the day turned on, and two again if it's mounted in a conspicuous place like on a chimney breast). Subtract 40 for each games console that you possess, and 200 for a satellite dish on the side of your house. Now add one point for each physical (as opposed to digital) book that you own, and a point for each hour of the average day that you spend reading. Add fifty points if your TV is stored in a cupboard when not in use, and 500 points if you don't have a TV and don't use a TV substitute (like an iPad or PC)

    Yes, it's snobby - but that's the whole point of the class system. Me? I score more than 1,900 on this scale - so I reckon I can afford to look down my nose at the large TV owning plebs here.

    1. scruncher

      How many points does one get for having recently enjoyed every beautifully filmed and acted moment of Wolf Hall in glorious HD on a properly calibrated large screen? Considerably more than 2000 by my reckoning ;)

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      "Now add one point for each physical (as opposed to digital) book that you own"

      lBooyd 'ell. That starts me at 600 points just glancing around the room.

    3. AceRimmer

      " Me? I score more than 1,900 on this scale -"

      You forgot to subtract 2000 points for giving a shit about class which, like money, only concerns those with none

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Silly

      Well AC so we lose nearly 500 for not selling or throwing away old games consoles. I so I lose 40 points for a Mega drive, a Dreamcast, a Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, multiple Vitas?

      Does the fact I would rather play a game on my PS3 or PS4 than watch TV mean I lose anohter 80?

      I lose 200 so I can watch BBC1 2 4 in HD? Those nature documentries and Top Gear look so much better in HD.

      As to books up yours, we have HUNDREDS, must be getting near a thousand.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Silly

        Currently running at around 5,000 books, two of which I wrote and one of which was written by my grandfather. Not sure if they count as positive or negative...

    5. Annihilator Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "(multiply each each inch by two if your television spends more than half the day turned on, and two again if it's mounted in a conspicuous place like on a chimney breast)"

      Subtract 2000 points for the double 'each' during a condescending post about how you're better than everyone...

  29. harmjschoonhoven
    Meh

    Fact is

    of all the photons (in the visible spectrum) leaving the telly only the ones entering the viewers' eyes are relevant.

    That is 99.9998 % waste (2x2 eyes at 2.5m, pupildiameter 5mm).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Fact is

      So your the first to volunteer for my "new" tv using lasers beamed direct into your eyeballs?

      1. MrXavia

        Re: Fact is

        I would love it! they have been experimenting with that tech... enough emitters and you have the holodeck with no glasses!

    2. harmjschoonhoven

      Re: Fact is

      Correction: 99.99995 % waste.

      BTW stopped using the device years ago. No reget.

  30. Christian Berger

    Hiding your TV in the cabinet...

    ... is still common in Germany where we had such cabinets:

    http://youtu.be/IIljr5qbwrI?t=2m19s

    The cabinets are still there though the TVs are now more modern.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Hiding your TV in the cabinet...

      Apparently there's quite a trade in turning old TV cabinets into something useful. My friend is a furniture designer (hand made bespoke stuff), and he's being asked to do something with the furniture he made for people back in the 80s to hold their TV, video and tapes. Now they've got Sky and a flat screen mounted on the wall.

      He's been turning them into drinks cabinets.

      I think my favourite of his over-priced stuff stories was from the mid-90s. He was doing pretty cabinets for a bathroom. The client was, of course, having gold taps. But the shower cubicle was having hand painted tiles - so they all had to go in the right order, and the guy doing the tiling was having ulcers because he couldn't break any. The cost of these tiles just, for the shower cubicle, was £14,000.

      1. Nigel Whitfield.

        Re: Hiding your TV in the cabinet...

        I did cross my mind that there may be a profitable trade to be had in convincing little old ladies to let you take that old telly with doors off their hands for a few quid, then swap the insides for a modern LCD, and flog the result to retro-loving hipsters.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Hiding your TV in the cabinet...

          Nigel W,

          It would have to be a very long cabinet, or you'd have to use a small TV, given that all modern ones are widescreen.

          In my friend's case, he often built the original cabinet, back when people suddenly had a large TV, VCR and many tapes to hide away neatly. Although some of them are decent quality furniture they bought. And obviously like, or they'd just get rid of it.

          There ought to be money in that. My Mum bought a turntable/CD/radio a few years ago that looks like a 30s radiogram in cherry (or at least cherry veneer on MDF) - which sounds awful but the old look amused her.

          Thinking about it, when I was very young Mum used to play me John Pertwee records (sadly Rolf Harris ones too), on an old humungous thing that was almost the size of one of those steamer cabin trunks. You lifted the lid, and the turntable was less than 1/3rd of the length of it. That was all polished wood and huge cloth covered speakers. That got replaced by an Amstrad HiFi with twin cassette decks, turntable and radio - plus a shelf at the bottom to hold your records. All in a glass case, and that wasn't exactly small either. You certainly got your money's worth in those days...

    2. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      Re: Hiding your TV in the cabinet...

      Such beasts still exist in the US too. Oddly enough, we have always used our own TV armiore as a wardrobe...

      The TV in that room is mounted to the wall.

  31. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    No mention of flat screen CRT technology? That had a bit of an impact in the late 90s. Otherwise an interesting article.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Hmm FD Trinitron

      They were something else, only HD and some tube fade forced me to change.

  32. The Vociferous Time Waster
    Coat

    A friend across the pond

    a friend from across the pond once told me a real man should have a TV the same size as his waist measurement.

    He has a 56 inch tv and type 2 diabetes

  33. MJI Silver badge

    Hmm SLC9

    Nice to see the C9 with the Profeel kit, but that is the first time I had noticed they matched.

    To anyone who has not used a top end Beta VCR, you do not know what you have missed.

  34. MJI Silver badge

    Bulgy tubes

    They don't half look odd now, even the cylindrical Trinitrons now look dated.

    My last tube TV was a FD Trinitron, which to be honest was stunning for SDTV

  35. Lallabalalla

    What's my size?

    There must be a mundane equation to work out the best size TV for a room of a given shape/area. Can't be bothered to work it out, myself.... but as used to be the case with websites of old, you can make them as pretty as you want but if there's no content, there's no lasting traffic.

    Probably our age but we struggle to find more than 90 minutes of TV a night, and that's including re-runs of trivial stuff we've missed (9oo10cats does countdown for example). As far as new content? There's very little, we're kind of picky when it comes to movies and we don't follow sport.

    The only real reason for bigger and bigger TVs is "because we can". The home cinema for the super-rich must be a diminishing market, since more and more wealth is rapidly being concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer people (no citation need, I think)

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: What's my size?

      Bigger is USUALLY better IF you use it properly.

      By this, you are using the TV for nice things

      Home Cinema, decent sound systems need a good and large picture.

      Games - so much easier to see enemies when you are sitting on your settee,

      TV, unless on HD and watching the quality stuff probably better off with a smaller one. But when used properly and not going cheap and large, larger is better.

      Cheap and large is for chavs. Good and large for enthusiasts.

      1. jzlondon

        Re: What's my size?

        A TV should fit the room and function well as furniture. Big screens struggle with that even in big rooms.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: What's my size?

          Why do they need to function as furniture?

          Isn't using a screen for some thing or another one of the main uses of a room?

          I watch TV, not a lot, but I do, I game, I watch films. If I am reading does having a large screen TV stop me?

          No.

      2. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: What's my size?

        > TV, unless on HD and watching the quality stuff probably better off with a smaller one.

        Classic Trek (in it's original and unadulterated form) is fine on a big screen. So is a lot of older stuff that was all filmed in 35mm. It's the stuff from the 90s that was shot on tape that tends to look horrible on any modern television.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: What's my size?

          Now I am going to have to watch my 3 series of Star Trek I have on tape (Beta HiFi of course)!

          Currently going through my Farscape DVDs and they look fine on my 46" HDTV.

          To be honest a good SD image is much better than a poor HD image.

          Das Boot looked excellent.

          And I did pay a lot for a TV with really good upscaling.

  36. jzlondon

    In the UK in particular, there's another force at work. Brits - on average - live in ridiculously small houses.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      I know

      We could have gone bigger but it would have been too large, I reckon low 50s would be our rooms limit.

  37. jason 7

    A few of my thoughts...

    Damn glad I no longer have top lug 21" CRT monitors around. Amazing how office folks could not notice you holding one as they stood chatting in a narrow corridor or doorway.

    I remember the 2006 Stuff show where they proudly showed off a 50" TV for £50000.

    I was looking recently for a decent high end 32" LCD TV on Amazon and the pickings were pretty slim all the way up to 47". Seems if you want 50"+ you are well catered for. As I only sit 12' from my TV I don't really need anything quite that imposing.

    I'm still rocking a 32" 540p TV (PerfectPAL). I have to say downscaling really works a treat. I shall miss this TV when it goes.

  38. jjukfr

    Hold on Young Man

    Valves are electronics, just as much as transistors are.

    Anyway, all colour tellies sold in the UK had at least some transistors in them. Contrast two of the earliest sets; the Thorn (Ferguson) 2000 that was all solid state, apart from the CRT of course, and the Philips G6 that was a hybrid with 21 valves and 17 transistors. Both were introduced in 1967.

    Your neighbours' Philips G8 was all solid state as were many sets introduced in the early '70s. Thorn never made a colour telly with valves.

    The last colour set with valves that I know of that was sold in the UK was the ITT CVC9 of 1975.

  39. myhandler

    Being proper well posh I still get a twinge of guilt when I watch ITV - especially the News.

    We got colour quite early - maybe 1970 - my Dad was in the electrical business but I still went to the loft to watch Monty Python on the vintage Bush black and white 405 line - big thing with doors down to the ground and maybe an 18" tube. Took forever to warm up and I can still smell that lovely aroma of valves heating up.

    [oh weird -- so I then did a web search for the Bush tv and find a Daily Mail article on how some guy has converted the very same model (from 1957) to run on digital... ]

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Colour TV

      My dad also was an early adoptor, we had an early all transistor set not long after either Mendip or Ridge Hill went colour (can't remember which, but remembered we had two UHF aerials replacing a H aerial)

  40. Amorous Cowherder
    Megaphone

    I remember a company I was working for back in 1994 bought a 48" CRT, it took a team of builders a week to prep the setting for it and a team of 6 people to lift the thing into place. It was absolutely stunning, had picture in picture, more sockets than an old style exchange and loads of other gubbins. No doubt it ended up in a skip on it's way to a scrap pile in the third world in the end.

  41. PassiveSmoking

    Eyesight and subtitles

    As someone with a visual disability, I have to say the arrival of the plasma TV was a godsend. They were so expensive back then that I had to resort to renting one, but the 42 inch plasma I rented from Martin Dawes was the first TV I could comfortable watch from about 5 feet away which was as close as I could get my sofa. It was also in the 42 inch plus range that I was first able to read subtitles without having to get up and basically sit right in front of the screen.... until high-def made teeny tiny subtitles fashionable. Now I can't read them any more on my 50 inch plasma.

    So now I'm looking to buy an even bigger telly on a budget, and because 4K is a thing now, buying a 1080p set would be a bit silly because it's probably going to be obsolete in a not very long time frame.

    Bite me, high def.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Eyesight and subtitles

      That's also a problem with all these channels. In the old days, you just pressed 1-4 on the remote, and got your channel. Job done. Now you have to read the onscreen guide thingy. Fortunately the one on my TV is nice and big. Also, if you've got a Sky box, you can use the Sky app on a tablet to remote control it. So long as you're willing to connect it to the network anyway.

      I used to sit right next to the telly. I had a beanbag for the purpose for a while. Now I have a 50" telly and can sit on a comfy sofa. Better yet, I paid £500 for my 50" TV. As I recall the 29" my parents bought in the mid-80s was £400. Although that did come in a rather fetching fake wood cabinet.

  42. Jim 59

    ...the moment anyone loses their job, a snatch squad from the DWP should raid their house and replace it with a black and white portable.

    Binatone. No remote.

    1. Nigel Whitfield.

      I was thinking perhaps one of these classic "Ultra" sets

      http://www.golden-agetv.co.uk/img/equipment/283b.JPG

  43. Matthew 17

    Will always remember our first colour set

    We had a big 13" B&W Hitachi set and in the middle of Dr. Who (Tom Baker), in walks my father with a ginormous 24" colour set from Granada, it was like being at the cinema, you could flip through the 3 channels at a push of a button without having to tune a dial. It would break down almost every month, they eventually swapped it for a 26" model but that had similar reliability problems. We bought a 28" Phillips set that was Nicam Stereo, scarily huge, weighed as much as the moon.

    These days I have an old Pioneer 43" 'Kuro' plasma set, it doesn't have all the nonsense features of modern sets but I like the picture, cost a fortune when I bought it but worth very little now. Never been a fan of the huge sets folk seem to buy, they looks a little bit chav wedged into small living rooms.

  44. mark.james

    curved (and 3d) nonsense

    personally i have less than zero interest in curved tvs (and 3d for that matter) and i will definitely not be buying one. compared them when i got a new 50" last month and found the "benefit" laughable and when sat at an angle it looked very weird.

    higher resolutions and faster refresh rates on the other hand, i AM interested in.

  45. Uncle Slacky
    Happy

    Obligatory Weird Al

    Frank's 2000 inch TV!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vVSulqXwAU

  46. Richard Scratcher

    "You know you're working class when your TV is bigger than your book case."

    - Rob Beckett

    1. MJI Silver badge

      46" diagonal vs 6x2 and 6x5

      Great I can get a bigger TV!

  47. MJI Silver badge

    This will give you a laugh

    I am in my 50s and have had my own TV since the age of 20.

    Apart from a Relisys monitor/TV I have only owned 4 TVs, 3 tube, 1 LCD. 2 cylindrical, 2 flat

    Portable, big 4x3, big 16x9, big HDTV.

    All were expensive for their size, all lasted well, all had excellent picture.

    I bought the 4x3 when I lievd in a bedsit, the 16x9 when DTTV started as it was an IDTV, the HDTV not long after buying a PS3.

    People thought I was mad spending £1200 on a 32" TV, but I bought ONE, not two or three, The picture was sublime, the tube flat fronted, DVD and DVB-T both near the best quality you could get. Ran it for 10 years until the tube started to fade in the corner, so dropped brightness by 1 and sold it for £50.

    People kept telling me that tubes defocus and pictures get bad, but apart from a small amount of fade there was nothing else wrong, focus good.

    I still think that FD Trinitron was the high point of tube TV design.

    So yes I have bought expensive TVs, average of £2 a week, but how much to go to the cinema?

  48. gotes

    TV rental

    My dad rented the same Mitsubishi Blue Diamond set for at least 15 years before buying it off the rental company for £50. He eventually had to stop using it since it was nigh on impossible to get a VCR, DVD player and Sky box to work together to deliver a signal through a single RF connection. He would frequently ask me to sort out the mess of coax cable to "make it work", with me grumbling and insisting he should get a new one.

    I believe it was still working when he got rid of it, though occasionally it would need a few smacks on top to get it to switch on.

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