How big an area would 1 billion televisions cover?

Summary:

People still buy televisions — a lot of them every year, though I wonder how much profit television makers actually make. Either way, about a billion TV sets were shipped in last four years. That’s one big honking screen. How big?

photo: Shutterstock / Angela Waye

Editor’s note: The market-research company that put out the report on which this story is based, IHS, initially said that 1 billion TV sets would cover a country the size of Norway. That is, in fact, not accurate, and we’ve corrected our story to reflect that. (A special thanks to the commenters who helped flag the error.)

Over the past four years, TV makers have shipped about a billion television sets. If you combined them, that would be equivalent to a single TV set with a 330-million-square-meter screen, according to IHS, a market research company. That is about the size of a city. Of course, no one knows what screen size those sets have, but it’s still a fun (if unscientific) stat. As for me, I am about to move and so I am getting rid of all the screens in my house except for four: MacBook Pro (Retina), iPad (Original), Kindle Paperwhite and iPhone5. Everything else is going to eBay.

You’re subscribed! If you like, you can update your settings

1. Where would all that screens go? recycle or trash the planet.
Never know is it good to have so much technology or are we digging our future generations to the grave :O

2. A billion TV’s would form a square of 31,623 by 31,623 TV’s. At 40″ per screen that’s about 20 miles on a side. That’s big but not even close to the size of Norway.

You must be thinking of lining them up end to end and measuring the entire length.

3. Michael Wolfe Thursday, March 7, 2013

Om, I love your stuff, but there is an error here.

A square kilometer is a million square meters. Norway is 385,000 square kilometers, which is 385 billion square meters.

330 million square meters of TV is 330 square kilometers, equal to an 18×18 kilometer square. This is the size of a city, but not a large country.

Still, the point remains intact. That is a lot of TV!

4. It might be interesting to see how big an area would smartphones cover…does higher obsolescence compensate for much smaller screen size?

Comments have been disabled for this post