During CES today, LG made headlines for their showcase of a TV that retracts away into a box, rolling up in a relatively small space. While technically impressive, the display aims to solve a problem that you simply don’t have.
LG’s Signature OLED TV R (model number 65R9) can be retracted to hide the TV in a unit known as the Zero View, that is also a 4.2 channel, 100W Dolby Atmos audio system. While this is an elegant brushed aluminum casing, it certainly isn’t small. That’s kind of the point here, to hide the TV when it’s not in use, to presumably see past the TV, to the million dollar ocean views we all have. Love the theory.
The reality is that LG’s solving a problem here that nobody really has. This is the same designer thinking that we see on renovation shows like The Block, that demonise the TV on the wall, yet the first thing home owners do is mount a TV on the wall, because guess what, we all watch TV.
Here’s LG’s version of the problem.
Since the start of the modern era, television screen sizes have steadily increased in size as resolution improved and consumers demanded a more immersive viewing experience. The trade-off came in the form of a large, black rectangle that dominated the room when the TV was not in use. Even more advanced projection TVs have never been able to deliver the contrast or the deep blacks that consumers demanded. In an effort to make large TVs less conspicuous, manufacturers have been racing to create even slimmer screens, focusing on designs that were as unobtrusive as possible.
TVs being in plain sight really isn’t an issue you need to deal with. People expect living rooms (and a few other rooms) of your home to have digital displays, this represents function and as TVs have shrunk in thickness, bezels have all but disappeared, TVs are slim and elegant too. Ask LG about any other TV in their range and they’ll tell you the same story about the TVs design.
So before you overpaid footballers blow your next pay on this, think for a second, do I actually need my TV to disappear? Personally I think after the wow factor of showing your friends wears off, you’ll quickly grow tired waiting for the TV to go up and down before watching it and you’ll leave it up, defeating the whole major selling point.
We’ve waiting a long time for foldable displays and like curved displays, TVs are not the correct implementation for the technology.
Another feature of the TV is to enter audio mode where the screen only comes a partial way out of the enclosure. Ok, but why not have it come all the way out and watch the video clip of a song or have a full-screen equalisation, just because you can do something, does not always make it a great idea.
This TV is sexy in it’s technology, but very ugly in its practicality.