When it comes to TVs, size does matter

Syd Bolton poses with Sharp's 80-inch LC-80UQ17U TV.

Syd Bolton poses with Sharp's 80-inch LC-80UQ17U TV.

, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:32 PM ET

I have always had a "thing" for TVs. I believe it has to do with the fact that the majority of entertainment I enjoy (movies, television shows and video games) all connect to the TV. I remember when my brother bought me my own television for my bedroom. It was a Toshiba, 13 inches and I believe I was 14 years old. I still have it to this day and it still works. I watched a lot of Star Trek on that television.

In my 20s I bought the largest television I could get at the time. It was a 35-inch Mitsubishi. It was so big at the time that the television stands that were available couldn't accommodate it and a friend of mine modified it in under to fit the TV. I remember hooking up a sound system and a LaserDisc player. I thought I was the king of the world when the moon shattering sounds of Independence Day rocked my living room. I temporarily forgot that there is no sound in space.

In early 2004, the world had changed. Flatscreens had already come into the picture,  but until then,  they were easily $10,000 or more. Certainly they were more expensive than I (or most people) could possibly afford. Then I found out about a 42-inch flatscreen from Daytek that was available near brand new for only $6,000. Now, you might be thinking that is a crazy amount of money to spend on a television but I knew I had to have it. I was definitely the first on my block with this massive today and friends came over to view in awe as this plasma screen filled the wall in my new living room. This was only ten years ago!

In the past ten years, we have seen Plasma, LCD and LED televisions grow in size and shrink in price. I had settled on a 50-something-inch television in my living room, knowing full well that it's not quite big enough for the room but you do what you have to do (the old Daytek has since retired to the bedroom and I'm honestly not sure exactly where that 13-inch Toshiba is anymore). I thought I knew televisions and I thought I was reasonably happy. Until a knock at the door came with a couple of young guys carrying a really big television.

Sharp recently sent over an 80-inch television for me to try out, primarily during World Cup times. It's the Quattron+ series of displays, more specifically it's the LC-80UQ17U. It's beautiful. It reminds me of the first time I ever saw a flatscreen, it's that breathtaking. I haven't stopped using it every single day since it arrived.

I've definitely put it through its paces. I've played 3D games on it, played high-resolution games with my PS4 and Xbox One, watched 3D movies, Blu-rays, DVDs. I've used Netflix on it (which is very convenient since there is actually a Netflix button on the remote) and I'm about to hook up some classic game systems because it has enough inputs that it can handle that, too. The interface could be a little nicer and more intuitive but it has the chops when it comes to the important things like how it looks. Breathtaking is right.

This is one of those times where I didn't know what I was missing until it was right there in front of me. Now, the biggest problem I have with this thing is that I'm going to have to send it back. Why, I keep telling myself, did I agree to review this in the first place? I'm already getting separation anxiety. I suppose that it paved the path for me to the future of entertainment.

Don't settle for "it's okay, it's big enough" the next time you go television shopping. When it comes to TVs, I'm afraid that size does matter. Visit sharp.ca for more information and in the meantime you'll catch me immersed in fantasy worlds and video games I've longed to play like I'm right in the middle of the action.

Syd Bolton is the curator of the Personal Computer Museum and the manager of Information Technology at ACIC / Methapharm. You can reach him via e-mail at sbolton@bfree.on.ca or on Twitter @sydbolton.

 

 


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