Why Big TVs Are In Trend? And Getting Cheaper! - Tech Tips - Tech can be complex; we make it easy

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Monday, July 6, 2020

Why Big TVs Are In Trend? And Getting Cheaper!

- When I was a teen anything bigger than 48 inches was considered a giant big-screen TV, and they were big. This 65-inch Mitsubishiweighed over 330 pounds. But these days, 55 to 65-inch TVs are quickly becoming mainstream, and in many homes, anything smaller is probably pulling guest bedroom duty. And why not? These giant screens, somehow,keep getting cheaper. So today, after a two-year hiatus, we're gonna take a look at the forces behind this trend with another installment of why the-- - [Narrator] Advertiser friendly content. - Are you all buying this? Featuring the best selling65-inch TV on Amazon.com, the TCL 65S425.

The reasons that 65-inch TVs like this TCL are getting more and more popular is because, one, that's what consumers want bigger TVs, and two, it's becoming more and more cost-effective to make them this big thanks to improvements in the manufacturing process. Just like in the world of CPU silicon, TV manufacturing capabilities are specified by fab generation, with the latest being Generation 10.5. But these fabs, rather than being defined by how small the transistor gate length is in nanometers, like a processor, are defined by how big of a piece of glass you can make.


If you've ever stood beside an 86-inch TV, you know how impressive a single piece of perfect glass that large is. But that's only the tip of the iceberg because TV screens aren't actually manufactured as individuals. Instead, they're cut from an even larger sheet of what is appropriately called mother glass. When I graduated high school, in 2004, TV fabs run Gen 7 and could produce sheets of mother glass that were about 114-inches diagonally. They probably could have made one giant weird-shaped TV out of it, but that size was actually chosen because it was optimal for making up to eight 40-inch panels, which were a lot easier to sell at prices that consumers could afford, like this hoodie from lttstore.com.


Today, the most common fab generation is Gen 8.5, which being about the size of two pool tables pushed together can be cut into six 55-inch TV panels or into three 65-inch panels with some extra left over to make smaller devices like monitors, six 32inchers to be precise. But while 55-inch screens used to be the sweet spot where consumers and manufacturing costs met, today TV manufacturers are aiming more towards 65-inch, and the mother glass coming out of the new Gen 10.5 facilities, which are currently all in China, can be cut into eight 65-inch TVs. Wow. But why does cutting up a bigger piece of glass, make the individual TVs cheaper? It's because many of the components of a TV substrate are put together using deposition, which happens across the entire mother glass sheet at once. So the length of time to process a sheet is roughly the same, regardless of its size, meaning that larger sheets are more economical because you can process more surface area at a time.


There's already more than a few Gen 10.5 fabs in operation, and soon, there are going to be dozens, meaning that thanks to increased competition TVs like our TCL over here are only going to get cheaper. And that is prettyremarkable when you consider that this is a 3840 by 2160 UHDTV with a direct led VA panel, and it already costs under $500 U.S. It's an especially good deal for gamers considering its low input lag. We measured just one to three frames and "CS:GO" with game mode on and the pixel response time is good enough that fast-paced games don't get too much blurrier than they have to.


Just don't expect some of the more advanced gamer features like FreeSync or a 120-hertznative refresh rate. For that stuff, you guys should check out our upcoming reviews of LG's 2020 TVs, which are on their way to our lab now. So get subscribed for that. If you think about it though, that's kind of the story of this thing and the answer to why is everybody buying it? It covers the basics, and does it well, but without the extra frills. For example, it technically supports HDR in the form of HDR 10, but given that it's got an 8-bit panel, and a peak brightness of around 200 nits, the color volume and contrast just aren't enough for it to really check my HDR box.


The VA panel does give it pretty decent contrast in dark environments but when the sun comes out, you're gonna be fighting glare so I wouldn't put one of these in a bright room. Also, if you haven't guessed by now that relatively low performance means it has no support for Dolby Vision. None of which means that we're not recommending it for the price. The I/O is typical, even if it's a little underwhelming with a side accessible jack pack, containing three HDMI2.1 ports, RJ45 Ethernet, a lone USB 2.0 port, S/PDIF, and, just in case you have a really long cable, a headphone jack. The industrial design isspartan with basic bezels, a stamped metal back, and simple feet that's crew directly to the set.


And one thing to note is that those feet are 50-inches apart so you're gonna need a pretty wide table to sit it on unless you decide to wall mount it which might be a pretty good idea. There's a 400 by 200 millimeterVESA mount on the back, and the TV is relatively light so you should be able to get it up there without too much trouble. In the box, you get an adapter that breaks out the composite port into its constituents and a pair of batteries for the Roku remote. Which feels a little small,kind of like a kid-sized remote, but I still support this decision. TCL has opted to integrate Roku inside their TV for their smart TV experience, that would otherwise cost you about 40 bucks if you bought it on a stick. And it's known as slick as LG's web OS, as versatile as AndroidTV or as snappy as, well, the same OS running on a TV with a faster processor, but it's easy to use and supports most major streaming apps. And it's certainly better than if they had tried to homebrew something. So bottom line.


There are obviously compromises, but I don't wanna sound nitpicky either. For an entry-level set, TCL's S425 lineup, which launched in 2018, still packs a lot of value for people on a budget, or for people who just aren't that concerned about having the most mouthwatering picture quality on the block. I'd even go as far as to say that most people I know, outside of the echo sphere, would never complain about this one. Except for one thing, that I think we can all agree needs improvement, the speakers.


The pair of eight watt down-firing drivers are harsh and bassless and speech can actually be kind of hard to make out, especially if you're listening to someone who has an accent that you're not used to. So maybe if you do gofor something like this, consider an inexpensive soundbar, like this one that we checked out in the previous episode of this wonderful why youall buying the stuff series. And if you liked our discussion on fab generations, by the way, maybe check out our companion video, so to speak, on quantum dots and the future of TVs. It's a bit of a deeper dive but I really want you to just go watch it.


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