Metallic silver colored 4:3 televisions. An observation...

Discussion in 'Displays' started by David Stone, Nov 14, 2005.

  1. David Stone

    David Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone noticed the metallic silver color of the current 4:3 television cases and bezels? I hadn't given it much thought myself, until I had to purchase one recently, and now I'm a tad bit suspicious of it all.

    Recently, our all black case and bezel 4:3 television "died". We feared it could not be repaired and, facing an upcoming house purchase, decided to get by with a cheaper 4:3 model for a while and postpone the big 16:9 upgrade for later.

    We looked at Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy and noticed that every single 4:3 television we saw had a metallic silver case and bezel, except for one with a light grey bezel. We've always owned an all-black TV, but picked out one of the all-silver models without giving much thought to the color.

    That is, until we got it home and watched a letterboxed movie. The light-colored silver bezel around the picture tube made the black letterboxing stand out in contrast and be very noticeable. It seemed to "box in" the picture making it feel smaller. On our old black TV, letterboxing simply blended in with black bezel while watching the program. Not being used to it, the wife and I both found it a bit distracting on the silver set and, for the first time, actually understood why some people say they prefer "fullscreen" movies instead of having "those annoying black bars" on their screen. They really can be annoying if you're not used to them and are using a light colored bezel.

    Now, I don't want to accuse the television manufactures of a large-scale conspiracy because maybe the current color of televisions is nothing more than the home electronics equivalent of a fashion trend. However, I keep having this nagging thought that if you wanted to sell more 16:9 HDTV's later then it would be a good idea to get as many letterbox-unfriendly 4:3 TV's into the homes of consumers today.

    Just to clarify, we'll always think OAR is the only way to go, but at least we have some insight in to why some people may dislike it. In the end, we were very fortunate and found someone willing to repair our old black-only television so the silver one was quickly returned. Anyway, it's just our experience with a new TV and I thought I would share it.
     
  2. Mark:F

    Mark:F Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the designers are just lame. Case in point, my 2 year old Sony 16:9 HDTV is all black...my 1 year old is silver. Even the reviewers slammed them for going silver.
     
  3. David Stone

    David Stone Stunt Coordinator

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    Definitely lame, but how in the world did this market research driven industry come to the unilateral conclusion that consumers wanted silver?

    I know which of the following I would rather be looking at for 2 hours when trying to enjoy a film...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings

    Quite often, their marketing test groups tell them to go a certain direction.

    They also have to decide what looks good in a room when the tv is turned off. This falls into the female end of things.

    It explains why DLP and LCD RP sets have screens that have green tints to them. They look better in a room when turned off.

    Regards
     
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have a 32" Toshiba CRT with a silver frame. Me and the misses watch a lot of movies, but we do it with dimmed lights. Can't say the silver frame bothers us much. My prior TV was a 32" Panasonic that had a dark grey/black colored frame, but to be honest, the difference between the two just never registered.
     
  6. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    No shit? That's truly bizarre.
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Your just used to your black set. I really no difference one way or the other. I still find people about 1/2 to 1/2 on Black -vs- Silver, really depends on the room's existing decor and the prefernce of the buyer.


    I suggest, to anybody that really hates black bars, to come up with a simple effective black curtain masking system.
     
  8. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    At the least, these silver spaceships will be readily identifiable with the time in which they were produced. A fashion trend, nothing more -- but one that will look truly dated before long.
     
  9. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    In the 1970s, hi fi gear had silver fronts (actually generally brushed aluminum). Then in the 1980s they moved to black. Now we are getting more silver fronts again. This sounds like a fashion statement to me.
     
  10. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    The move to black was originally a cost cutting measure. Consumer Electronics companies wanted to save money by replacing metal chassis with plastic. However, cosmetic defects were readily apparent in the plastic of the period, and in an effort to disguise these defects, black dye was used. Having secured a source of cheap materials, it was now up to the industry to make black fashionable. It didn't quite catch on with some of the world-- "champagne" coloured aluminum is apparently very popular in Japan, but in the US, everything defaults to black. Now, there's not as much of a pressing need for black-- and silver coloured components are quite readily available.

    But, as already been mentioned, black still has some functional advantages.
     
  11. BarryNS

    BarryNS Stunt Coordinator

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    Seems like consumer electronics "follows the leader" - cellphones started going silver a few years back and not long after so did car audio, home stereo, TVs, etc.

    On the good news front, dark colours for cellphones are coming back - not so much just plain "blacks", but dark shades like midnight blue, deep purples, etc. Not many new phones coming that are silver for 2006.
     
  12. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    What I'd like to see is a nice Blue LED power indicator.

    Something that says
     
  13. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I really don't like all-silver monitors. They looked kind of cool at first, but I realized as soon as they are placed in a real living room-bleh! Silver and walnut/cherry/beech/etc furniture doesn't work.

    I also don't like staring at a silver box for long periods of time-I guess it is too bright or something. But I have noticed some manufacturers are slowly bringing back darker colors-YES!-and placing them around the the screen itself so they also may have noticed the effect David spoke of. I like that dark zone around the image itself:

    Panasonic (actually, almost all Panasonic's TVs have this feature now).

    Sony

    Toshiba

    Next thing they ought to make black again is the HTiB systems. Because having a bunch of little silver boxes stuck on walls, shelves, etc like hi-tech warts IMO is not a pretty thing to see. [​IMG] Yamaha has an all-black system, but luckily the front mains are nearly full-size bookshelves (6.5" woofer/cloth dome tweeter) to help keep things from sounding small-this is especially important for music, since this is a universal/hi-res audio HTiB. I've heard this one several times and it sounds very good for a HTiB, nearly like a "normal" component system. And its sub, despite having only a 6.5" driver, sounded very good: non-boomy (rare for HTiBs) & went deep for its size.
     

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