VIS: Viewable Image Size

VIS, the term for Viewable Image Size, might have been developed to thwart uncooth business practices by monitor and TV brands. When the tube was king, there were 17″ monitors but you could only use and see 16″. Why? The tubes themselves were actually 17″ but there was a black border around them, due to the technology, that made the viewable image size just 16″. Hence VIS was needed. The same situation applied to TVs. 32″ TV? Well, that’ll be just 30″ or 31″. At least there was a good technical reason for why different people had different ideas about what the actual size of the display was. Fast forward to 2008.

Retailers are putting out ads that are duping customers into thinking that a 32″ LCD TV is a 32″ LCD TV. The fact of the matter is most if not all 32″ LCD TVs are actually around 31.5″. There are a few reasons why brands and retailers are rounding up. 31.5″ just doesn’t look or sound as good as 32″; and 32″ is slightly bigger and in the US where bigger is better (definitely not so for cars anymore!) 32″ is preferable to 31.5″. But here is the big problem: this is false advertising. Even if there is a microscopic print somewhere in the box that states the actual size of the LCD is 31.5″, the person who is purchasing the 32′ LCD TV won’t know that and later find out that he’s overpaid for 0.5″.

Is there a technical reason for this? No. A 31.5″ LCD panel is exactly 31.5″. There aren’t any borders you need to deal with and the TV manufacturers can develop a chassis that is right up to the end of the LCD. Some retailers such as Best Buy has starting use the word ‘class’. So a 32″-class type of wording is used to denote that the size is not actually the size. Confusing: I would just recommend that brands and retailers state exactly the size of the LCD or plasma or OLED. NO MONKEYING AROUND.

I would also recommend LCD manufacturers to start making 32.0″ TFT LCD panels so the confused brands and retailers don’t have any wiggle room. The consumers will thank you for it too. A 42″ LCD TV has an actual 42″ TFT LCD panel. Wow! A 32″ LCD TV has an actual 32″ TFT LCD panel. Amazing!

The entire LCD supply chain starting from LCD manufacturers, LCD TV brands and retailers will be slapped with a massive “class”-action lawsuit if they don’t get their act together quickly.

Source: New York Times

[tags]VIS, Viewable Image Size, Best Buy, 31.5″, 32″, 32″ LCD TV, 31.5″ LCD TV[/tags]

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