Despite changing décor, family behaviour and streamed content taking a leap forward, the humble TV is still the heart of the living room according to the ‘Evolution of the Living Room’ report, released in conjunction with a survey of 6,000 European consumers and commentary from industry experts.

Informed by experts including Italian design duo Stefano Mich and Alessandro de Pompeis, Sonia Solicari the director of the Geffrye Museum of the Home and psychologist Emma Kenny, the report reveals how the living room has evolved to fit in with our modern-day lives and is centred around the TV, which has evolved with it.

The findings demonstrate how the modern-day television set now completes a living space with the Sony XG95, which is the perfect TV for the modern living room and helps to create the perfect on-demand, cinema experience that people now expect.

It also explores the modern phenomenon of on-demand and streamed services, as well as the growing inch size of televisions.

Covering off topics such as how streaming has infiltrated the living room, the continued increase in TV size despite the increase in popularity of smaller, portable devices, it provides a unique insight into how technology and society have shaped its development.

Evolution of the Living Room – from décor to family interaction

Since the first Sony TV was created in 1960, it quickly became a central and integral part of the living room as the popularity of TV grew – with a third (32%) of people saying it is the most important item, coming second only to the sofas they watch it on. This trend is showing no sign of slowing down either, as 64% of people said that they watch just as much or more TV now than they did ten years ago.

 

Sixty years ago, families huddled around an 8inch TV set but present-day living rooms now have a cinema-style feel – with TVs going up to 75inches in size, such as the XG95 from Sony.

Stress-free streaming, or is it? – from the flexibility of streamed TV to the ‘can’t wait’ demands of spoilers and sport…

Despite people watching more TV than ever, with the average person watching over 15 hours a week, the ‘prime-time’ hour is set to die out as a mere 6% of people always watch a TV show live, instead preferring to stream or watch on catch up. 

The report found that people now prefer streamed content over watching scheduled TV. Reasons given for this include the flexibility streaming offers rather than be restricted to the show on TV (50%), fitting programmes in around longer working hours (32%) and being able to watch with friends/or a partner (31%).

As leading UK TV psychological expert and media commentator, Emma Kenny, comments‘Television isn’t simply a medium that enables you to enjoy a variety of content. It represents so many different variables, and reaches individuals in completely unique ways. 

Whilst society has changed significantly since the introduction of the first TV to the present day, many of our social behaviours remain the same. We’re still social beings who value family time, and with a certain nostalgia linked to ‘TV time’ across Europe, it doesn’t surprise me that families continue to enjoy TV together as a shared experience.

Inch size does matter

Despite the increase in popularity of portable devices, TVs are getting bigger, with over a third of people now wanting a TV over 55 inches and 16% desiring a 65+ inch set. 

Almost half (48%) of people want a bigger TV than the one they have now, but men are 10% more likely than women to want a bigger TV.

Emma Kenny says: ‘Like it or otherwise, we associate owning items that really ‘stand out’ as a marker of success. The market for large TV’s has grown, and this has made it a competitive environment. If you want your home to appear modern and your lifestyle to seem successful, then status symbols are important. This bigger is better belief system has never been so prominent than in the world of TV.

Living rooms are transported into home cinemas, making the viewing experience the best that it has ever been. Whilst for many of us affording a season ticket to watch your favourite football team is out of reach, yet you can feel as if you are at the match when you have a large, quality TV screen in front of you’

As Takayuki Miyama, Sony’s head of TV product planning and marketing in Europe highlights, “This report provides an eye-opening and nostalgia-inducing look at how the living room has changed over the years. TV has clearly been a huge part of this and Sony has been at the forefront of innovation through the years with its televisions and the introduction of the XG95 TV shows a key point in time.

“We know the TV is the heart of the home and we wanted to offer the most versatile model yet, complete with X-Wide Angle† making it ideal for viewers to sit anywhere around the room and still get the best picture. It also features Netflix Calibrated Mode – truly offering what the director intended you to see, putting you essentially on set and X-Motion Clarity which offers industry-leading smoothness for incredible sports viewing along with innovative Acoustic Multi-Audio technology for the perfect sound. As if that wasn’t enough, we offer a full range of sizes, perfect for any home.”