Choosing a Television Screen Size
When shopping for a new TV, you can narrow your selections to a manageable number by deciding the screen size you want. Bigger is not necessarily better: a larger TV screen size does not mean a better picture.
Before you pick out a 60-incher, consider the size of the room where you watch TV. If you buy a TV that’s too big for your room, you won’t be able to experience its full effect.
Generally, there are three categories of TV screen size:
- Small (15″ – 24″): Small TVs are ideal for a bedroom, kitchen or home office.
- Medium (25″ – 40″): Medium TVs are commonly used for family or entertainment rooms.
- Large (40″ – 65″): Large TVs are great additions to big rooms. They usually display a widescreen view, making them ideal for watching movies and sports.
If you’re looking for a big-screen view without the big-screen encumbrance, keep in mind the aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is the ratio of width to height for an image or screen. There are two types: 4:3 (standard) and 16:9 (widescreen).
If you mostly watch local and network shows, a standard 4:3 aspect ratio is common. If you want access to HDTV signals or prefer watching movies in a cinema-style widescreen view, a 16:9 aspect ratio is ideal.
- 16:9 aspect ratio: Creates a widescreen, theater-like display and is a common feature for most digital or HD-ready TVs
- 4:3 aspect ratio: Creates a squarish display and comes standard on most analog TVs
How can you experience the best view when watching your TV? First, place your TV at the correct viewing height, so your eyes are level with the middle of the screen when you’re in your usual watching position. Second, keep in mind the horizontal and vertical viewing angles, which when large enough (160 degrees or so), make every seat the best in the house. Third, depending upon the screen size, consider the following recommendations for the optimal viewing distance:
Optimal viewing distance for CRT/Tube TVs(analog) with 4:3 aspect ratio:
- For a 27″ – 36″ screen, 7 to 10 from the TV
- For a 40″ – 50″ screen, 10 to 15 feet from the TV
- For a 55″ – 60″ screen, 15 to 18 feet from the TV
Optimal viewing distance for digital or HD-ready TVs with 16:9 aspect ratio:
- For a 30″ – 40″ screen, 5 to 8 feet from the TV
- For a 45″ – 55″ screen, 8 to 12 feet from the TV
- For a 60″ – 65″ screen, 12 to 14 feet from the TV
Are you ready to find your perfect TV? Try this easy TV Matchmaker to help narrow down your decision.