LG’s new lifestyle TV reminds us that TVs don’t have to be ugly

LG is catching up with Samsung in the field of “lifestyle” TV, adding a new model to its LG OLED Objet collection that was launched last year. The new Posé is a slim version of Samsung’s Serif; comes in 42-inch, 48-inch and 55-inch screen sizes and will be launched in the third quarter of 2022, starting in Europe.

The Posé joins the 65-inch easel that was announced at CES (then called Object), which is designed to look like an art easel and has a sliding fabric cover to hide the screen. Both can display artwork or photos when not in use.

But what is a lifestyle TV? Why is there a premium for a TV to look good in our home? “It looks good when I’m in the middle of my living room” seems like a key consideration when buying a TV just like it is when you buy a sofa. Of course, this is along with the other essential specifications; bigger than my neighbor’s, better sound, great picture quality, and no loan required. But instead, TV makers have convinced us that a giant black rectangle in the middle of our house is the norm.

Whether you like the look of the Posé or the easel, none of which I would put in my house, the popularity of Samsung’s The Frame TV, which turns the black rectangle into a compelling work of art when not in use. (and I have it in my house), make it clear that there is a desire for good design. But the current options are expensive or sacrifice some of the features you want in a TV.

The easel is a lifestyle TV that leans against a wall. Image: LG

While not yet priced, LG’s two new lifestyle TVs have evo OLED technology used in the company’s premium models, so they’ll probably be expensive. The company’s LG G2 Gallery Edition 65-inch is $ 3,200, more than $ 2,000 more than Samsung’s 65-inch The Frame, which opts for a cheaper display than Samsung’s high-end models. The frame also sacrifices features like local attenuation, while paying around a 30 percent premium for design-focused things like built-in mounting and having all cables and connections hidden.

The Posé is the smaller, therefore probably cheaper, of LG’s two new options. The free TV is in your living room, as is the Serif. But it’s thinner than Samsung’s option, which has a thicker frame around it that can serve as a shelf. The Posé has LG’s gallery mode for displaying artwork or photos on its self-illuminated digital canvas, similar to The Frame’s image display capabilities. It also has an “effective cable management system” to minimize clutter. However, suppose there’s a cable somewhere, it’s not that LG has developed a wireless power option, as the press release suggests.

LG is showcasing its two new art TVs at the Salone dei Tessuti during Milan Design Week, which is aimed at its target audience. But lifestyle TVs shouldn’t just be aspirational. TV manufacturing has long been a leader game, and there are hundreds of budget options that offer much of what high-end brands do. But there are still only a handful of models that try to fit into your home like furniture or art and they are not just ugly black rectangles. It is the year 2022, a time long gone for all TV manufacturers to take a step forward and offer us more affordable and more beautiful options for the larger screen of our homes.

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