If you’ve walked through a consumer electronics store lately, you may have taken notice of the array of TV sizes offered for sale. It’s not uncommon for a home TV to be 64 inches or larger.
But, not every room will require a TV size that is that large. In fact, if your television is too large for the room it may actually negatively impact your viewing experience. To help, we’ve assembled some tips to help you choose the right TV size for your room.
Before you can pick the proper TV size for your room, you need to think about where you want to position the television.
If you plan to place the TV on a stand or entertainment center, you may be limited by the size of that surface. If you intend to hang your TV you need to think about how high you’ll hang it and how much clearance you’ll have from the ceiling, wainscoting or other furniture.
Regardless of which room you are putting it in, you’ll need to measure the space to be sure it will fit.
If you are mounting the TV on a console table, you’ll want to be sure to consider the TVs attached stand size. While these stand legs are probably the same length as the TV, they often are wider than the screen. If you have a skinny TV stand, the legs will not be able to fit on it.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, the SMPTE, actually has a set standard for TV sizes.
According to the group, the display should fill 30 degrees of your field of vision. This means you can calculate the “ideal” screen size by measuring the distance between your seating and planned location of your television.
We get it, math is hard. If you’d rather skip the complicated calculations, you can simply multiply the seating distance (in inches) by 0.625. So, if you plan to hang your TV about 80 inches, or about 6.5 feet, from your seating area, a 50-inch TV would be the SMPTE’s recommended television size.
This is a general guide to help you determine how far to hang your 1080p TV from seating. You can always hang it farther than suggested, but closer could compromise picture quality.
You can hang 4K televisions 2-3 feet closer to seating than the suggested distances below.
|Tv screen size (1080p)||Suggested viewing distance in inches||Suggested viewing distance in feet|
|40 in||60 - 68 in||5 - 5.5 ft|
|43 in||68 - 80 in||5.5 - 6.5 ft|
|50 in||80 - 90 in||6.5 - 7.5 ft|
|55 in||90 - 96 in||7.5 - 8 ft|
|60 in||96 -105 in||8 - 8.75 ft|
|65 in||105 -114 in||8.75 - 9.5 ft|
|70 in||114 - 120 in||9.5 - 10 ft|
|75 in||120 - 129 in||10 - 10.75 ft|
|80 in||129 - 135 in||10.75 - 11.25 ft|
|85 in||135 - 140 in||11.25 - 11.5|
Your budget will be a factor in deciding which TV size works best for your room. It’s important to remember that just because a TV is bigger doesn’t mean it’s better. If you want a larger screen but have a small budget, the quality of the picture will be compromised. Sometimes it can be more beneficial to opt for a smaller screen size with premium quality picture and sound.
One of the main TV quality considerations is resolution. While 1080p TVs have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 4K TVs have a considerably higher resolution of 3840 x 2160. Since 4K TVs have such a high resolution, you can sit closer to them without losing the quality of the picture. For a 4K television, you can sit two to three feet closer than the suggested distance for a 1080p television.
While it may be tempting to go for the largest TV size you can find, this isn’t always the best option. Remember that TVs keep getting bigger so next season's model will leave yours looking outdated.
In addition, the largest size could be wrong for the space. While some spaces will actually benefit from a 64-inch TV or larger, some rooms will be too small and a television that is too large will actually look worse than a smaller size would. When you’re very close up to overly-large TVs, pixels can actually become visible because they’re intended to be watched from a farther distance.
You’ll spend a lot of time lounging in your living room and enjoying a movie night or curled up in bed binging the latest on Netflix. Choose a TV that will serve its purpose without overwhelming the space. If you are in the process of viewing apartments, be sure to consider where your TV would fit best in the new space.