Do You Want Your TV Cheaper Or Thinner?

There are three obvious trends in televisions: they get bigger, they get thinner and they get cheaper. So does it make sense to make a TV thicker just to make it cheaper? Samsung is about to find out.

Samsung launched a stack of new TVs for the Australian market at a Sydney function last night. Alex has the full roundup over at Gizmodo. What particularly struck me were the comments from local Samsung head of AV Phil Newton about how Australian has been flooded with cheap sets:

For the last 12 months it’s all been about low quality, low cost sets; it gives the market a bad name.

While Samsung still wants to get people to shell out for its high-end Smart TV units, it has recognised that price is a major driver for some people, so it is introducing some lower-priced sets. How does that happen?

By being able to make it slightly thicker, we're able to reduce the cost of the product.

As a confirmed frugal type, that appeals to me, but I suspect some people will favour the aesthetics over the price tag. What's your take? Tell us in the comments.


    Depends on where i'm putting it, on a wall I want it as thin as possible but in our lounge room where it sits on a cabinet designed for a CRT tv I couldn't care less how fat it is, I'd rather quality but still cheap than ultra-thin and a lot more expensive.

    Agree with David. If a super thing LED tv was say $1800 or the alternative was a similar tv from the same brand for $500-600 less then yes id go the cheaper tv. Rarely is thickness a huge issue unless its on a wall.

    Thickness of the unit isn't even a consideration for me. Twice as thick, half the price, sign me up!

    Ah, see the question is faulty - the problem isn't the cheapness, it's the quality.

    If you assume the same quality, then cheaper > thinner.

    They're so god-damned thin already that if you're used to one that's only about 5 or 10cm thick anyway, why the hell not stick with the thickness, and supersize it at a budget price. Even if it's slightly thicker than what you're used to, you'll probably find it's proportionally thinner...

    All in all, I think it's a good move, and they might find themselves selling a lot of them - I think people look at picture quality, then size then thickness as a final decider... Of course people look at size first, but I'd hope no-one chooses a huge one with poor picture quality over a slightly smaller one with brilliant picture quality...

    There are a number of options to consider when buying a TV, personally, when I am looking at 2 models, they both have the same technical specs, 1 is cheaper & 1 is thinner, if the picture is going to be the same, I personally would go for the cheaper one any day. With the extra $, get s nice surround sound system!

    Thickness means nothing to me (as long as it isn't a CRT, I'm happy). What matters to me is picture size (I prefer 45 to 55 inches diagonally) and cost. Not just the price at the store (although I love a bargain!), but the cost of running. I'm really hanging out for this new OLED technology to ramp up, and it's not because it promises to be thinner - it's because it promises to be more efficient power-wise.

    I think Samsung's move is a winner.

    Thickness depends on the back lighting. Side array LED thinner, full LED array thicker. Having said that they may be opting for cheaper fluoro back lighting. Cheaper to manufacture, but quality of pic maybe not so good. Most manufacturers offer a premium and a budget range to capture all marketing opportunities.

    i want a freaking bluray player in mine!

    A certain brand offered a built in BD pleyer in their 40" and 46" full array LED LCD TVs. The product was brilliant but didn't sell that well. There are of course some 'bedroom ' models out there that offer DVD players built in.

    Maybe some more decent plasma options too in the smaller sizes (ie 42inch). I could care less about how thin it is. And now it seems all 42 inch flat screens are LCD (which I really don't like).

      You could care less? So you do care about the thickness; I think you're meant to have said you couldn't care less. ugh.

    The one thing no one has mentioned is warranty. Be aware there are brands that offer full three year warranties out of the box. No paying extra for store extended warranties. Most brands offer a standard one year warranty

    Price is proportional to quality, not how thick (or thin) it is. I'd sooner buy a thicker better quality TV than some rubbish quality.

    Having sold TVs for a couple of years the people who have the money do care, those who aren't so lucky don't care. There are markets for both, but personally I am functionality over style every time

    Ben, you'll struggle to find many smaller sizes in plasma. In fact there are few manufacturers now. Most all are LCD products

      Tell me about it. Mum decided last night she wanted a new tv so I've spent today running around trying to find one of the last Panasonic 42 inch plasmas. Finally found a ST30A for a reasonable price and now waiting at

        Stupid fat fingers....

        Now waiting at the warehouse entrance to pick it up. Or should I say it's now in the back seat of the car :)

    Our current TV is probably about 5cm deep, and I'd have no problems at all having one 2-3 times the thickness.

    Older model TVs were generally thicker, but styling may have taken over with the marketing gurus. Older models seemed to have better quality sound too, as the newer thinner styling may not allow decent speakers. Hence most TV are generally shown off with a seperate sound system attached.

    what bothers me the most about is New flat screens are the flimsy stand that they come in, they look like toothpicks holding a gaint billboard.

    I don't care about the thickness of the unit, my first consideration is the thickness of the bezel... I almost want the image to appear to be floating in thin air, not have a gigantic black plastic 5cm border running around it.

    to be honest the cheaper the better so what if its not thin or ultra thin, if i wanted ultra thing id buy a projector, then thats super thin, well the screen is anyhow, i can mount the projector in the roof with pull down methord

    Screen size and picture quality, including superior ability to upscale Australia's terrible Standard Def free-to-air broadcasts into something watchable, is far more important to me than thickness.

    For me, Cheaper beats Thinner every time.
    It means for a given amount to spend, I can get a bigger TV and/or a TV with better picture quality. Hopefully that would include superior ability to upscale Australia's terrible standard definition free-to-air broadcasts into something watchable.
    I have a 55" LG, but it is terrible at upscaling SD content.

    Couldn't care less about thickness. Picture quality is the most important, then size/cost. Thickness doesn't come into consideration. Smart TV features don't come into consideration either. Don't need to Skype on my TV. Have a computer and phone for that. Don't need to watch Youtube clips on my TV. Have a media player for that or can plug a computer in and use a real keyboard to navigate. Not worth the extra $1000 it adds to the cost of the TV. And the new TVs Samsung are bringing out where you can talk to your TV or wave your hand around to change the volume or channel doesn't come into consideration at all..

    I just sit facing the screen when I'm watching, that way I can't see the back or sides. I know some people like to watch their TVs from a ninety degree angle, this way they can admire the 'thinness' of the set without being distracted by stuff happening on the screen. Others still prefer the 'head up a**' angle.

    Horses for courses.


    I actually own two Samsung LED tv's and I paid a premium for the thinner models. The reason, they are both mounted on walls and they look stunning when almost flush with the wall. The guy in the first post got it right and for me thinner = better.

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