The rise and rise of smart phones and tablets, not just as communication devices but also as media & entertainment devices, would warrant a reclassification of the screens, isn’t it? The screens on these mobile devices may be called the new ‘small screens,’ a term that has long been used to refer to the TV screens. And the TV screens could be the new ‘big screens,’ especially given the march of the jumbo LCD TVs…

But the reclassification thought apart, more exciting possibilities seem to exist around these ‘big screens.’ In fact, I got to experience some of that first hand.

Recently, I walked into a large-format ICT retail store, as a matter of habit, and a different looking ‘PC monitor’ caught my eyes. On moving closer, I noticed it was actually a TV and then learnt that the store had actually wired it to the PC because they had run out of stock for a monitor to demo.

That happened to be a 56-cm LCD TV, with DTH built in and was retailing at sub-Rs 9,000, due to a sale offer. It looked like a real bargain, given that the price was competitive even against a 56-cm HD LCD monitor, with the added advantage of a built-in D2H. Moreover, because it was a TV, it would not suffer from a viewing angle problem. I bought it.

After I set it up on my desktop and connected it with the CPU, using of course, an additional VGA cable for audio reception, I realized there was yet another advantage to it–I didn’t need the external speaker system on the desk, as the TV’s in-built speakers were good enough. And that helped me reclaim precious little real estate on my desk.

Moreover, over the next few days, the quality of display improved, as the PC system quietly auto-downloaded the driver updates.

The overall quality of my experience has improved so much over the 19-inch LCD monitor I was earlier using, that I now doubt that the store had indeed run out of monitor stocks and that they weren’t actually employing a sales trick to which I had fallen ‘prey.’

What’s more, I have since been thinking that if more users are falling for such sales tricks then this would make the ICT market researchers’ work more difficult. Instead of tracking just the PC monitor segments, they would also need to factor in the usage of TVs as monitors, if not actually track the TV shipments.

(As published in Deccan Chronicle, June 16, 2011.)

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