LG is catching up with Samsung in “lifestyle” TV land, adding a new model to its LG OLED Object Collection that launched last year. The new Pose is a slimline take on Samsung’s Serif; it comes in 42-inch, 48-inch, and 55-inch screen sizes and launches in the third quarter of 2022, starting in Europe.
The Posé joins the 65-inch Easel that was announced at CES (then called the Objet), which is designed to look like an art easel and has a sliding fabric cover to conceal 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 homes? “Looks nice when in the middle of my living room” seems like a key consideration when buying a TV just as it is when you buy a couch. Of course, that’s along with the other essential specs; bigger than my neighbor’s, better sound, excellent picture quality, and doesn’t require me to take out a loan to pay for it. But instead, TV manufacturers have convinced us that a giant black rectangle in the middle of our home is the norm.
Whether you like the look of the Posé or the Easel, neither of which I would put in my home, the popularity of Samsung’s The Frame TV, which turns the black rectangle into a convincing-looking piece of art when not in use (and I do have in my home), makes it clear there is an appetite for good design. But current options are either costly or sacrifice some of the features you want in a TV.
While there is no pricing on them yet, both of LG’s new lifestyle televisions have the OLED evo technology used in the company’s premium models, so they’ll likely be expensive. The company’s 65-inch LG G2 Gallery Edition is $3,200, over $2,000 more than Samsung’s 65-inch The Frame, which opts for a cheaper display than Samsung’s higher-end models. The Frame also sacrifices features like local dimming, while you pay around a 30 percent premium for design-centric stuff, such as flush mounting and having all the wires and connections hidden.
The Posé is the smaller, thus likely cheaper, of the two new LG options. The TV free stands in your living room, much like the Serif. But it’s more slimline than Samsung’s option, which has a thicker frame around it that can double as a shelf. The Posé has LG’s Gallery Mode for displaying artwork or photos on its self-lit digital canvas, similar to The Frame’s picture-showing capabilities. It also has an “effective cable management system” to minimize clutter. However, we assume there is a wire somewhere, not that LG has developed a wireless power option, as the press image suggests.
LG is showcasing its two new arty televisions at Salone dei Tessuti during Milan Design Week, which hints toward its target audience. But lifestyle TVs shouldn’t only be aspirational. TV manufacturing has long been a game of follow the leader, and there are hundreds of budget options that provide much of what the higher-end brands do. But there’s still only a handful of models that try to fit into your home like a piece of furniture or art and aren’t just ugly black rectangles. It’s 2022, way past time for all TV manufacturers to step up and give us more affordable better-looking choices for the largest screen in our homes.