The 9 Best Kitchen Televisions
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in June of 2015. If you don't want to miss your favorite shows just because of your pesky need to eat every day, these kitchen televisions are the perfect solution. Small enough to stay out of the way (especially if mounted on the wall or under a cabinet), they still offer a rewarding TV viewing experience. Of course, if you tend to get lost in your stories, you might want to invest in a fire extinguisher as well. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.
November 03, 2020:
While some companies are still updating TVs small enough to fit in the average kitchen, the market for kitchen entertainment has shifted somewhat, and smart home hubs with video capabilities are likely to be the kitchen TVs of the future. Models like the Amazon Echo Show and the Philips 6000 Series are outstanding examples of this trend, as is the Google Nest Hub Max in our special honors section. That Philips model is a nice surprise, as well, mainly because of the investment the company made in ensuring it could provide good audio. They outfitted it with two 8-watt speakers that sound better than just about anything else on the market for its size class.
Of course, the Soulaca Smart remains one of the few viable bathroom options, and the only thing out there that can withstand a significant amount of water. It can be a challenge to install, however, as it's designed to sit in the wall, rather than on it, and some significant carpentry might be required to get it going. And keep in mind, with any model that mounts on a wall, its speakers are likely rear-firing, meaning that a flush wall mount is going to muffle your sound significantly.
November 12, 2019:
A good kitchen TV needs to be two things: compact and inexpensive. The modern kitchen is a pretty high-traffic area, and this TV is going to be exposed to water, smoke, oil, and a slew of other environmental disturbances that rarely grace the entertainment center in the living room. Rather than make a line of waterproof televisions — which you can certainly get if you opt for the Soulaca Smart included on our list — most companies prefer to offer something that cuts a few corners in build or audio quality in the name of economy.
Choosing what corners you want to cut may sound like a negative way to go about picking a kitchen TV, but it's a very reasonable approach that should yield positive results. One of the biggest differences among models is their number of inputs, with some of the offerings with the best picture specs only providing users with a single HDMI input and maybe an antenna port for digital signals. If you know you want to sneak a gaming system or a streaming device into your kitchen to compliment your cable box, you might want more than on HDMI port.
There are also some models that are good for use in the kitchen, but that aren't tied to the space, in that they're meant to be portable. The Tyler TTV705 Portable and the Leadstar Digital Portable both boast kickstands for easy setup and built-in batteries that last up to four hours. The Tyler even has an SD card slot for media access, so you can load up your movies and hit the road.
Google Nest Hub Max With its front-facing stereo speakers and three-inch woofer, this model allows you to enjoy cooking shows and video chats loud and clear. It functions as a primary hub for a smart home running on Google Assistant, and can even play a constant slideshow from an album in your photo collection. You can use its facial recognition software to engage parental controls, as well. store.google.com
Entertainment While You Eat
It's not that you want to set up a crazy, complex entertainment system there; you just want a little extra something going on while you cook and snack.
For one reason or another, it seems like the best parties always end up centralized in the kitchen. They do in my house, for sure, since all of my parties revolve exclusively around food. But when we're alone in the kitchen, when it's just you and the food and quiet, sometimes you miss the comfort of that group, the extra voices and presences there with you.
That's why I think it's a good idea to have a television in your kitchen. It's not that you want to set up a crazy, complex entertainment system there; you just want a little extra something going on while you cook and snack. Considering the fact that we've become so adept at operating two or more screens at once, having the TV on in the kitchen is almost a necessity.
These kitchen televisions work just the same as any other television. Their screens are liquid crystal displays, or LCDs, and they're either back-lit or edge-lit by light emitting diodes, or LEDs.
Those LEDs provide the light that the LCD screen colors and focuses into your image. Back-lit LED TVs have an array of LEDs behind the entire LCD panel, whereas edge-lit TVs only have LEDs running along the edges.
If we were talking about 60" units here, you'd be justified in worrying that an edge-lit system couldn't effectively illuminate the center portions of your image with any kind of sufficiency or accuracy. With these smaller kitchen TVs, though, the sizes are small enough that an edge-lit design gives you all the light you need to produce a high quality image.
Not Exactly Viewing Distance
The kitchen in my house when I was very young boasted a teal green floating counter with a bar and stools on one side, and it was at the end of that bar that we placed a 13-inch TV. This is back in the days when TVs had vacuum tubes, and southwestern themes held some sway over decorating patterns in the northeast US. That means our kitchen also had dream catchers, clay pottery, and other things you'd find decorating a bad Tex-Mex restaurant.
In a living space, the golden rule for viewing distance and screen size is that you want roughly ten inches of screen size for each foot of viewing distance.
The size of the TV was perfect for glancing up at a bad horror movie in the middle of a midnight snack or catching a bit of the morning news over breakfast. The point here is that you don't want the TV in your kitchen to be too big, and that viewing distance isn't measured quite the same way as it is in your living room.
In a living space, the golden rule for viewing distance and screen size is that you want roughly ten inches of screen size for each foot of viewing distance. So, if you have your couch situated six feet from your television stand, you'll want to get a 60-inch TV.
In the kitchen, though, there are other things to consider, and the amount of space you have is paramount. Most of these TVs are designed to fit into tight corners. One of the models on our list is even built to be mounted beneath a cabinet like those old kitchen clock radios. Their sizes range from 9-22 inches, and I've developed a good way to guide your size decision.
How many people can comfortably cook in your kitchen at once? If things get uncomfortably close as soon as a second chef begins to work, you shouldn't get anything above 13 inches. If two chefs can coordinate a simple dance between them and get their cooking done with minimal interference, you can go up to 19 inches, and if you have a whole line working in there seamlessly, then, and only then, should you reach for the bigger screens.
The Televisions Multiply
While there were fewer than 10,000 television sets in American in 1945, the post-war boom in production and sales sent that number up more than 6,000 times, with over 60 million sets nationwide in the 1960s, which was about a third of the country's population. Those years marked the first in which a small number of Americans had more than a single TV set in their homes.
That first TV, more than likely, went in the main living room.
While the development of television itself is a fascinating one, from its early experiments in the US and Russia in the 1920s, to RCA producing regular programming in the late 30s, and F.D.R.'s appearance on the medium in 1939, it's that specific marker of growth–the moment American households took on more than one TV–that leads us to the topic at hand today.
That first TV, more than likely, went in the main living room. The second was liable to end up in the parents' bedroom, or perhaps a rec room for the kids. By the time Americans got into their third TV, the odds of it ending up in the kitchen drastically increased.
Yet, in 1975, only about 11 percent of American households had three or more TVs, and 54 percent still had only the one. It would take until 2006 for that number to cross 50 percent, and now the figures from 1975 are reversed with well over 50 percent of households sporting three or more sets, and the number of households with just one TV approaching single digit percentages.