Like a long time TV reviewer, I’m a firm believer that no one needs to suffer a grainy screen or slow, laggy video quality. There are dozens of TVs out there now, at every price point, that will improve your movie or gaming experience immeasurably.
But even I have to admit there’s a big hurdle to buying a new TV, and no, it’s not the weird, misplaced emotional attachment you might have to your 15-year-old Panasonic. I am the proud owner of a 850 square foot house in Portland, Oregon and it is literally my job to mount and watch TV. But I still have a pathological fear of drilling into walls, and I won’t lend my wife to lift and mount a new TV every few weeks.
I’d much rather watch TV on their own stands. You know, the ones that come in the box with them. But I can’t, for the stupidest possible reason – they don’t fit on my media console. I have to call out TV manufacturers, big and small, for a serious and common design flaw: For the love of God, don’t make TVs so far apart.
The big problem
We’ve been using media consoles to hold players and discs and hold screens since Monica and Chandler first proposed in prime time. Consoles haven’t changed much, but TV sizes sure have.
Over the past decade, we’ve settled on model standards of 55, 65 and 75+ inches, which is considerably larger than all but the richest of us rocked in the 90s. Back then, a large TV was about 40 inches. You can hardly find TVs that size now, much to the chagrin of my dad and his built-in cabinets.
But companies are still place angled legs at the edge of the TV, as if media consoles have undergone a similar growth spurt. It has to stop. When I built myself a TV review room I had to buy a very expensive (but still poorly made) stand to fit this very real 75-inch TCL on top of.
If I wanted to mount a TV this big on the wall, I would have to buy a bracket and find at least three people to help me lift it. I’ll also need to measure the space and assemble a stud finder, impact driver, and various other tools that don’t come with said TV before spending a decent amount of time actually installing the thing. If you really want to go smooth and have outlets and wires in the wall, the work alone could end up costing more than the new screen.
Be the solution
There are a few solutions for those of us who refuse to replace our precious mid-century console. The first, and least easy for renters, is to just mount the thing on the wall. Most TVs have VESA mounting holes, but this requires a couple of people to pick up to lift the unit. And some TVs are pretty thin, which makes them intimidating to mount. I recently damaged a review unit just trying to get it onto my TV stand – imagine trying to mount it to a wall.
A cheaper solution that I have settled on? Buy a pedestal mount adapter for VESA mounting holes ($44). This allows you to continue using your current furniture while avoiding the problem of missing legs.
But I argue that the best option would be for all manufacturers to design a simple, flat pedestal mount, like the ones that come with the LG C1 OLED. It’s a simple design change that would make so many lives easier. Some TV manufacturers, such as Hisense, have made it possible to move the legs slightly inwards so that their TVs fit on more stands. But as screens continue to grow, it’s still not the best solution.
You shouldn’t have to shell out for a piece of furniture to place your new TV on, especially when the prices of raw materials are higher than ever. For my own sake, I’m glad I bought the largest wooden TV stand I could find on Amazon to my test room.
That said, there may be hope yet: At least some of this year’s new Samsung models have pedestal mounts, as do the high-end OLED options from LG. Hopefully this development will trickle down to other manufacturers as those of us with limited space (and especially renters) don’t want to permanently scar our living rooms just so we can watch Netflix.