Chris Johnson

This wall has already been built, but who needs 200-plus inches of Netflix films

Attendees look at Samsung’s “The Wall” modular television at CES International on Jan. 10 in Las Vegas.
Attendees look at Samsung’s “The Wall” modular television at CES International on Jan. 10 in Las Vegas. AP

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the past few days about “the wall.” I can understand why some folks support it. I’m fascinated by the technology behind it. And I can also understand why some folks think it’s simply too big, too expensive and unnecessary.

Of course, I am talking about Samsung’s new 219-inch television known as “the wall” that the company unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, also known as Nerdvana.

Yes, you read that right — 219 inches! The company pushed to make it 220 inches, but the technicians said that would be just crazy. As it is, 219 inches is more than 18 feet, meaning you’ve got to have a whole wall available somewhere in your house dedicated to the television.

The cost of this television is apparently well over $100,000, which means most folks can afford it in their home — provided that their home consists of one 18-foot-plus wall and nothing else. I guess you could hang this TV on that wall and then set plastic chairs around the yard to look at it and then sleep in a hammock between a couple of trees. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, of course, but I’m not sure I need 18 feet of “Judge Judy,” “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” or pundits on CNN and Fox News endlessly opining and arguing about the same subject hour after hour without actually reporting any news.

(See, kids, there was once such a thing as 24-hour news channels instead of perpetual punditry … but that’s a column for another day.)

It’s not so much the 219 inches that turns me against “the wall” as it is the $100,000 purchase price. Just yesterday I had a huge debate with my wife in the middle of the grocery store over whether $3.99 was too much to pay for a small container of fresh mixed berries. I argued that it was a little too much and could cut into the funds we use for such necessities as electricity and tequila, but my wife argued with “Shut up and quit embarrassing me!” She won again.

I can imagine that football games might be fairly impressive on an 18-foot TV screen, but I guess I’d have to stand way over in the kitchen to be able to take it all in if we placed the TV on the living room wall. As much trouble as I had hanging our 40-something-inch TV currently on the wall, I’d likely destroy half the house trying to hang an 18-foot TV on the wall. Besides, I’d have to move all those wall decorations like wooden ducks and floral thingies my wife put up there.

I guess if I win the lottery, I could get a giant house with a movie theater and use this TV for the screen. Unfortunately, there are so few movies I enjoy and it’s probably not worth doing that just to keep “Smokey and the Bandit” on an endless loop.

It should be noted that “the wall” also comes in handy 146-inch and 75-inch versions for those who would like to take it with them, I guess. Of course, in an age where so many folks watch videos on their phones, I’m not sure that exactly qualifies as “portable.”

Televisions have certainly come a long way since the days of a few channels on a black-and-white set. I remember when we didn’t even have remote controls unless you count my Dad yelling, “Boy, come in here and change the channel!”

What’s the next step? A mile-wide television? Or maybe they’ll just implant a chip in your head and you can watch TV shows in your brain. Then again, I really don’t want Judge Judy in my head.

At least “the wall” has a unique payment plan: Because it’s called “the wall,” you can ask Mexico to buy it for you. They won’t, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Chris Johnson’s annual “Year in Preview” is now online at KudzuKid.com.

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