So much has changed in the home entertainment space since we first sat watching the TV test pattern in anticipation of some actual content, marvelling at how sounds and images could magically appear on a heavy, cumbersome box that dominated the room it was found in. It’s not just the type of content that’s changed, thanks to satellite TV and streaming services – the technology inside them has evolved, as have the aesthetics around these devices that attract a completely different type of attention.
These developments have influenced the interior design of 21st-century homes immensely. For instance, back when television sets were boxy and bulky, living room couches, coffee tables and other pieces of furniture would be centred around the TV – making it the focal point of the room and thereby limiting the room’s use to a single purpose.
Enter the flatscreen TV. Its slim, unobtrusive design and easily mountable build have allowed interior designers around the world rethink the arrangement of home entertainment spaces. The focus is now on creating an entertainment space for guests and an environment where families can relax in style, with the TV taking on the role of a functional piece of décor, and not just a bulky centrepiece.
Less has become more – the minimalist design
Minimalist interior living room designs have stood the test of time. These designs create a warm and fluid environment, even in the smallest of spaces.
Now, no longer the focal point of living rooms, TVs are designed to complement a home’s interior scheme, rather than take it over, by adopting this trend. Manufacturers are crafting slimmer TVs that have chic aesthetics, using premium, yet simple, materials, to declutter living spaces and provide interior designers with even more inspiration when creating tranquil and multi-purpose living environments.
Technology has now become a critical element of the interior design process. It influences the way people view the living space, how sound radiates from it and even how it feels when combined with the room's textures and materials. Interior designers, like David Nxumalo, incorporate TVs and soundbars into their designs, drawing on this technology’s ability to stimulate multiple senses, using high-definition picture quality, immersive sound output and high-quality build materials, to create functional, themed living spaces.
TVs now occupy these spaces comfortably and naturally, nestling into families’ day-to-day lives and creating a seamless level of integration between homes and technology.
Sony, for instance, has brought this vision to life through its Soft Minimalism concept, which essentially fuses warm and welcoming shapes and textures with no-frill configurations to deepen the viewing experience and complement an elegant home design. This concept has effectively created a multi-functional role for the device that expands well beyond entertainment, for a TV in a home.
Reimagining the function of TVs
By finding that balance between elegant, art-like form and advanced technological functionality, TV manufacturers have been able to combine minimalistic design with immersive viewing.
Manufacturers have been able to maximise the power of the visual experience when the TV is on and still let it reside comfortably in its element, harmonising with the space around it like a piece of beautiful artwork when it's off.
Sony’s Bravia® range, for instance, strikes this balance between design and functionality – emulating the exquisite harmony of the presence of a sculpture and a functional device with advanced technological capabilities.
The Sony A8H, with its OLED display, represents this masterful fusion beautifully, by elegantly inhabiting the living space when it’s off with its minimalistic, single-slate screen, and providing an exceptional viewing and audio experience when it’s on.
The TV’s actuator is placed behind the screen, allowing its shape and materials to be infused with soft materials, a slim design and non-distractive bezels. The TV exudes a resounding visual presence, while also blending into its surroundings to gracefully harmonise with the aesthetics of living spaces.
The A8H's soundbar-ready metal blade stand is versatile and adjustable to ensure the TV display doesn’t disturb the viewing experience, even when used with a slim and elegant soundbar like the HT-X8500 – Sony's inconspicuous, single-slab audio system.
Designing functional beauty
Functional and aesthetically appealing technology, like TVs with sleek, edge-to-edge displays and discreet soundbars, complements the design of living spaces and contributes to the interior theme.
Technology manufacturers, like Sony, continue to look for ways to create the perfect harmony between technology and people, proving that technology doesn’t have to be inorganic and cold. Instead, it can integrate into people's lives and homes, both visually and functionally. Craftmanship like the BRAVIA TV range represents a new step forward in realising this vision.
ByTakakiyo Fujita, Managing Director at Sony Middle East and Africa