LCD TV sizes, finding the right fit

When was the last time you looked at your TV and said, ?I wish the screen were smaller?? It probably hasn't happened. So what are you considering, a 19-inch LCD TV? A 22-incher or a 26-incher? Though those are three popular sizes, TVs range in size from about 5 inches to more than 100. Talk about options! To know what size of TV to purchase, you need to answer a few questions.

Bigger is usually better when it comes to TVs, but bigger is also more expensive. What is your budget? How much television can you afford to buy? A great time to get the best bang for your buck is to purchase a TV during the holiday season, especially on Black Friday or Cyber Monday; tax season, when stores are hoping people use refunds to make expensive TV and technology purchases, is also a sales-heavy time. You can also take advantage of store credit cards that allow you to pay off a purchase within 30 to 90 days same as cash. Just be sure to pay it off in time. Steep interest payments will quickly wipe out any savings you create.

Space and seating

A lot of people look for a TV that's the same size as the one they're replacing. That's not a bad idea. But a better idea is to measure the space where the TV will go and then find one that fits that space. Remember this: If you're putting the TV in an entertainment center, leave at least 1 inch of space around each side and at the top for ventilation. (A manufacturer may suggest a different number; follow the manufacturer's instructions.) A few small inches can make a big difference. Compare the view with a 19? against a 22? LCD TV. You'll see what we mean.

If it's difficult for you to imagine what the TV will look like in the space you have allotted for it, tape together newspaper pages and then cut out a rectangular shape the size of the TV you are considering purchasing. You can also cut out cardboard. A good rule of thumb is to purchase at least a 40-inch TV for a living room or family room and a 32-inch for a bedroom. That rule applies for any type of TV you purchase, whether it's a new, expensive 3D or a standard plasma TV.

Think about how far away you will be from your TV when sitting on the sofa. Measure that distance in inches. Multiply that by .3, and .6. The ideal range for your television will fall between those numbers For example, if there are 84 inches (7 feet) between your entertainment center and your couch, a 25- to 50-inch screen will work for you. Others go by a different guide, which is to be no closer than 1.5 times the TV's measurement (taken diagonally) and no farther away than twice that. So if you had a 28-inch TV, you don't want to be any closer than 42 inches or any farther away than 56 inches. If you take into consideration your budget and the amount of space you can allot for a TV, you'll be able to pinpoint the perfect size for you.

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