09 Jan Evolution Of The TV Room Part 1: How TV Sizes Have Changed How We Live
At the opening of the 20th century, the TV had not even been invented. By the start of the 1950s, however, TVs were taking private households by storm. TVs only solidified their role in our lives, families, and homes throughout the remainder of the century. During the past century, the evolution of the TV room has occurred at an increasingly rapid pace.
The square TV and its impact on the evolution of the TV room
When TVs first entered private homes, they were small. In order to have a comfortable viewing experience, homeowners placed their TVs on cabinets and gathered tightly around them. This kept TV rooms small. As TV screens expanded into the classic 50s square size though, recommend viewing distances increased. This led to the first evolution of the TV room. When building, homeowners dedicated more space to these rooms and added more seating further away from their TVs.
The rectangular TV and its impact on the evolution of the TV room
TVs continued to grow, turning from squares to rectangles. As their size increased, their weight shot up too. By the time large screen TVs were becoming the norm, cabinets could no longer accommodate their size, shape, and weight. Home designers then moved TVs position in rooms, placing them on mantles. This evolution of the TV room lasted for a while – until the explosion of the supersized, flat screens.
When these TVs became affordable, people snapped them up. The screens, however, were too wide for them to remain on mantles. Beyond that, having paid hundreds – if not thousands – of dollars for their TVs, homeowners wanted to make them a centerpiece in their homes. Therefore, home designers began to mount TVs on the wall. In order to do this though, they had to shrink or remove windows, creating additional wall space.
There was another issue with the new supersized, flat screen TVs: the recommended viewing distance for them could not be accommodated by the size of TV rooms up to this point.
This forced the final major evolution of the TV room as homeowners were forced to knock down walls to radically expand their TV rooms or create an open concept space. Many people enjoyed the open concept shift as it allowed them to show off their TVs more, turning them into a major feature of their homes instead of the focal point of a single room.
While there has been a significant evolution of the TV room over the years, we are now seeing individual screens change the nature of the way we view content. Keep an eye out for the next installment of this series, where we will explore if this individual screen revolution marks the death of TV itself.