The ratings are in

Bigger is better with TVs
Thursday, September 6, 2012
By Mike Ohman

Televisions keep getting bigger. About a year ago, an 80-inch TV came on the market. Now there is a 90-inch TV available with larger sizes coming.

As prices continue to drop and sizes increase, designers need to rethink room design for a variety of reasons. Anyone wanting a large television typically also wants a matching audio system, requiring a large number of speakers and more. For years, in-ceiling speakers have been used because they disappear somewhat, blending in with pot lights and other ceiling elements. With surround sound speaker systems now requiring seven or eight speakers, it becomes very difficult to hide them all.

One solution is a speaker bar. A single wide thin cabinet that houses the left, centre and right speakers can be built to match the width and finish of the television. This essentially hides the speakers in plain view without compromising sound quality.

Televisions are also getting smarter; that is, they are connected to the Internet. Now, people can easily plan a family vacation using online maps, chat on Facebook, check e-mail and with a built-in camera, make video phone calls. More like a personal computer than a TV.

With products like Apple TV, people can easily showcase photographs or artwork on the big screen when it is not being used as a TV. It does not have to always look like a big black rectangle when not in use.

Motion sensor technology will soon allow for control of the TV, as will touch-screen technology.

For all these advancements, the way TV rooms are designed needs to change. No longer is it appropriate to put the screen way up high above the fireplace. The TV must be within reach and centrally located, not in a corner. And with the trend moving away from standard TV broadcast to “information portal,” combined with larger sizes, there is little choice but to put them front and centre.

Mike Ohman is CEO of Beyond Audio Inc., a custom electronics systems contractor based in Kelowna, B.C. Trained as a power engineer, he has more than 25 years experience in the audio- video industry. Mike can be reached at

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