As a long-time TV reviewer, I firmly believe that no one needs to suffer through a grainy screen or slow, laggy video quality. There are now dozens of TVs out there now, at every price point, that will immeasurably improve your movie-watching or gaming experience.
But even I have to admit that there’s one major hurdle to buying a new TV, and no, it’s not the weird, misplaced emotional attachment you may have to your 15-year-old Panasonic. I’m the proud owner of an 850-square-foot house in Portland, Oregon, and it’s literally my job to mount and watch TVs. But I still have a pathological fear of drilling into walls, and I don’t want to borrow my wife to lift and mount a new TV every few weeks.
I would much rather watch TVs on their own stands. You know, the ones that come in the box with them. But I can’t, for the dumbest possible reason—they don’t fit on my media console. I need to call out TV manufacturers, big and small, for a serious and common error in design: For the love of God, stop making TVs with legs so far apart.
The Big Problem
We have been using media consoles to contain players and discs and hold screens since Monica and Chandler were first courting in prime time. The consoles haven’t changed much, but TV sizes sure have.
Over the past decade, we’ve settled on model standards of 55, 65, and 75+ inches, which is significantly bigger than all but the wealthiest of us were rocking in the ’90s. Back then, a large TV was around 40 inches. You can barely find TVs in that size now, much to the chagrin of my father and his built-in cabinets.
But companies are still placing angled legs at the edge of the TV, as though media consoles have gone through a similar growth spurt. It has to stop. When I built myself a TV reviewing space, I had to purchase a very expensive (yet somehow still poorly made) stand to fit this very real 75-inch TCL on top of.
If I wanted to mount a TV this large to the wall, I’d need to buy a mount and find at least three people to help me lift it. I’d also need to measure the space and collect a stud finder, impact driver, and various other tools that don’t come with said TV before spending a decent amount of time actually installing the thing. If you really want to get slick and have outlets and in-wall wiring, the labor alone can end up costing more than the new screen.
Be the Solution
There are a couple of solutions for those of us who refuse to replace our treasured mid-century console. The first, and least easy for renters, is to just mount the thing on the wall. Most TVs do have VESA mount holes, but this requires rounding up a couple of people to lift the device. And some TVs are pretty damn thin, which makes them terrifying to mount. I recently damaged a review unit just trying to get it onto my TV stand—imagine trying to mount it to a wall.
A cheaper solution that I have settled on? Buy a pedestal mount adapter for VESA mount holes ($44). This allows you to keep using your current furniture while avoiding the distant legs problem.
But I argue that the best option would be for all manufacturers to design a simple, flat pedestal mount, like those that come with the LG C1 OLED. It’s a simple design change that would make so many lives easier. Some TV manufacturers, like Hisense, have made it possible to move the legs slightly inward so their TVs will fit on more stands. But as screens continue to grow, that’s still not the best solution.
You shouldn’t need to shell out for a piece of furniture to place your new TV on, especially when the prices for raw materials are higher than ever. For my own sake, I’m glad I bought the largest wooden TV stand I could find on Amazon for my testing room.
That said, there may be hope yet: At least some of this year’s new Samsung models have pedestal mounts, as do the higher-end OLED options from LG. Hopefully, this development will trickle down to other makers, as those of us with limited space (and especially renters) don’t want to permanently scar our living rooms just so we can watch Netflix.