Despite the increase in popularity of small, portable devices, the television set is getting even bigger – and showing no sign of shrinking down.
According to research carried out across Europe by Sony as part of its Evolution of the Living Room report, over a third of people (35 per cent) now want a TV that is over 55 inches, with 16 per cent desiring a massive 65+ inch set.
The desire for an extra-large TV set is strongest in France, with over a quarter of people (26 per cent) stating that a 65+ inch set would be their preference, Belgium appreciates the value of going bigger too – with one in five preferring 65+ inches.
Having a big TV is so important, in fact, that one in ten people see it as a key status symbol, more so than smartphones and tablets (7 per cent) designer clothes (7 per cent) or expensive watches (6 per cent). Leading almost half (48 per cent) of people to want a bigger TV than the one they have now.
Out of the European countries surveyed, Italians are the most in need of an upgrade, with 57 per cent wanting a bigger TV – they’re also the most likely to overestimate their space – with 18 per cent of those who have bought a TV admitting to getting on that was too big for their space, along with the UK.
Although men are typically thought to be obsessed with size, large televisions are important to women too, with 43 per cent desiring a larger TV set. Despite this, men definitely buy into the ‘bigger is better’ philosophy, being 10 per cent more likely to want something bigger than they have.
As technology has provided more and more ways and places to watch TV, viewers have increasingly appreciated the quality provided by watching on a larger screen over a smaller device – with a massive 80 per cent still choosing TV as the place to watch for the best experience. Reasons given for this include it being more comfortable to watch (72 per cent), better viewing quality (60 per cent) and looking impressive in the home (18 per cent).
Gavin McCarron, Sony’s TV expert, commentsed “We’re always keen for our incredible entertainment to look good, bigger screen sizes with high-end picture quality standards such as the XG95 television from Sony are perfect to enjoy the best entertainment. Sony’s latest XG95 TV offers the X-Wide Angle† ensuring that even in smaller living spaces you get the same view from wherever you’re sitting. Plus, with Netflix Calibrated Mode and IMAX Enhanced, the big screen experience is perfectly situated within the comfort of your own four walls.”
Leading UK TV psychological expert Emma Kenny explained why people prefer big tellys, and see them as a status symbol: “Like it or otherwise, we associate owning items that really ‘stand out’ as a marker of success. The market for large TV’s has grown, and this has made it a competitive environment. If you want your home to appear modern and your lifestyle to seem successful, then status symbols are important. This bigger is better belief system has never been so prominent than in the world of TV.”
“Living rooms are transported into home cinemas, making the viewing experience the best that it has ever been. Whilst for many of us affording a season ticket to watch your favourite football team is out of reach, yet you can feel as if you are at the match when you have a large, quality TV screen in front of you.”
“Whilst this may simply seem to be about increasing egos, another likely reason is that television is often a shared experience. As opposed to a very expensive watch, or car, which is owned in a singular fashion, television is something that everyone who lives, or visits the home benefits from. So, whilst on one hand it could be considered peacocking, it could also have certain altruistic elements. This is why a common feature of watching sport on TV can also involve invites to friends and family, ensuring those you care for benefit from your technology choices,” she concluded
Takayuki Miyama, Sony’s head of TV product planning and marketing in Europe said: ‘We’ve noticed a continued growth in popularity for bigger TVs over the years; factors such as the growing desire for a great home-cinema experience, possibly as an antidote to the emerging culture of watching things on the go, combined with the TVs becoming more and more affordable, have contributed to this. Now, with sets like the Sony XG95, viewers can pick a TV up to 75” in size for a fraction of the cost they would have paid in the past.’