How to Calculate What Size TV to Buy

Size is a key factor when shopping for a new television. A key consideration is how close people will be sitting to the set. In a small room, pixels may be visible on a television too large for the space, making it difficult to focus on the picture. Calculating the appropriate television size for room in your home is essential before making a purchase.

A couple looking at televisions
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Step

Select the location of your new television. This is important before determining the size of your set, because you'll need to make a number of measurements before making a purchase.

Step

Determine where you'll be sitting in relation to the television.

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Measure the distance from where you will sit to where the television will be, using your measuring tape. Record this measurement on your notepad.

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Use the distance measured in Step 3 to determine the best size screen for the room in question. Remember that screen size/distance ratios are generalizations. These are only estimates and vary based on price-range and personal preference.

Step

A 26 to 30 inch screen is best for distances between four to seven feet. A 32 to 42 inch screen is best for distances between five to ten feet. A 44 to 56 inch screen is best for distances between eight and thirteen feet.

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Make sure your television will fit in your home. Measure the area in which the television will be placed using the measuring tape to get an idea of any restrictions regarding the physical size of the set. Consider any stairs or lifting you must do in order to get the television safely into your home.

Step

Shop around for a television, taking note of the screen size and actual size of the set. The screen size is measured diagonally from the top corner of the screen to the opposing bottom corner. The actual size of the set is measured horizontally. Physically seeing the set you are considering will give you an idea of how it will look in your home.