Will Kerry

Building a, err, ‘unique’ home cinema system

My elaborate and highly-sophisticated project to create an acceptable 19″ TV for less than €80.

Some time ago, I decided to buy a TV. I occupy – by generous courtesy of my employer – 21 charmingly down-at-heal m² of spectacular architectural brilliance, so understood a certain imperative in sourcing a particularly small television. By my reckoning, a 20-ish m² abode fits a 20-ish inch TV.

A budget LCD TV with a budget bluetooth speaker strapped to the bottom of it.

Trouble is, no one seems to buy small TVs in 2021. My local consumer electronics scoundrels seem to think ‘small’ means 32-45″, which is really anything but when you haven’t got space for a normal fridge.

This wouldn’t be a problem if the Samsungs, Sonys and Philipses would only continue to sell, perhaps even periodically update, the truly small TVs they used to sell. But, they don’t. (Well, Toshiba claims to do a 21″ model, but it’s been out-of-stock everywhere for more than a year.)

Instead, we get supermarket-special, your-brand-here, Alibaba objects that excel in nearly all their qualities: they’re small, light of bezel and cost nearly nothing. Tragically though, they sound like musical birthday cards.

So here’s the predicament. I bought the only commercially available 19″ television in Metropolitan France and found it too tinny to listen to.

Let’s WikiHow our way out of this.

Detail of the aluminium attachment strap between TV and speaker.

  1. Buy a cheap TV with a 3.5 mm output
    It doesn’t matter which one you buy, they’re all pretty much the same.

  2. Acquire a redundant iPod speaker with a 3.5 mm input
    I presume lots of people have these sitting about. If you work for a big tourism company that bought thousands of them six months before Apple brought out the lightning connector, you may have access to quite a few.

  3. Attach one to the other, using strips of extruded aluminium and ludicrously expensive but simply wonderful SPAX® woodcrews. How this’ll work is pretty dependent on the shapes of both speaker and TV.

  4. Hook ‘em up with a cable
    Neaten it up with cable ties for extra points.

  5. Done

Seriously though, this is a very messy implementation of a product I’d happily pay €200 for. A tiny TV with mediocre, maybe even reasonable, audio would be great.