As one of the few UK editors present at CES 2022 – the largest tech show in the world, hosted by the CTA in Las Vegas – I got to see first-hand the incoming world of ultra-massive TVs. Samsung had on display dozens of its MicroLED panels, among others, showing off what its 100-inch+ tellies will look like. The idea being these are the largest TVs you can buy.
Except it hasn't quite come to fruition. Back at the tail-end of March 2022, Samsung quietly delayed the consumer arrival of its 'The Wall' MicroLED panels, which were/are slated to arrive in 89-, 101- and 110-inch formats. On the one hand I was disappointed, on the other these aren't panels that I'd ever be able to afford anyway (and I'm not the only one).
100-inch TVs: How much will they cost?
I can only speculate here, because Samsung never revealed the prices of its largest MicroLED TVs. However, rumours suggested the 89-inch panel would set you back $80,000 (£64,000 by conversion). Yes, you read that right – I did say affordable wasn't on the agenda. The 100-inch+ panels I would anticipate to cost north of $100,000 (£80,000). Yikes. So, right now, not what you'd call particularly 'consumer', right?
But let's not panic, other technologies and, indeed, other companies are also making large panels. Also at CES 2022, TCL showed off its 98-inch QLED panel, which you can find in the USA for $7,999 (£6,400). No small chunk of change, granted, but this is a massive panel – touching upon that critical 100-inch scale.
100-inch TVs: Who are they designed for?
That 98-inch TCL QLED model, however, measures a staggering 227cm across. That's almost 2.3 metres wide. Now I don't know about you, but I'm not convinced that many people have the physical living room space to house such a behemoth of a panel. Not to mention the stand required. What about wall-mounting? I'd worry the actual wall would come down!
Of course it's not just the physical scale that's a barrier. Cost is a clear hurdle. As mentioned, Samsung's MicroLED panels will be out of reach for all but the ultra-rich when they eventually arrive. But there are alternatives: LG's 97-inch G2 Evo telly was also revealed at CES 2022, but with a €25,000 price tag (£21,000 by conversion) it's not exactly on my shortlist on account of that alone (beautiful as it looks, I must admit).
100-inch TVs: What is the affordable option?
Want to buy the biggest TV possible? Well, you might not actually end up with a true TV if that's what you're after. To explain: a laser TV might be the closest match.
What do I mean by 'not a true TV'? Well, laser TVs, as released by the likes of Hisense – which also announced an 8K laser TV at CES 2022 – are ultimately just short-throw projectors capable of presenting a 100-inch 4K image. However, the price is more amenable: Hisense's 100L5G-CINE100A, for example, costing around $3,500 / £2,500 at the time of writing (see widget at bottom of page for up-to-date pricing). That puts it at a competitive point against a 65-inch LCD, QLED or OLED equivalent.
Spoiler alert though: I'm less convinced by laser TVs in their ability to deliver the very best picture. Sure, 100-inch as an idea is nice, but I'd rather go with the best possible quality. Having had Panasonic's JZ2000 65-inch 4K OLED telly with built-in Dolby Atmos grace my living room for many months, that's the kind of top-end cinephile level panel that I'd be plumping for.
Bigger TVs will come, sure, but right now I think the reality of 100-inch panels is a little further down the line than it was purported to be back in January of this year. But it'll be interesting to see how much of a push CES 2023 brings to the game.