How to Find the Right TV Size for a Room

Bigger is not always better when it comes to shopping for flat screens or buying a refurbished TV. A large TV may be impossible to see, while a TV that's too small will be just as frustrating to watch. To find the right TV size for your room, a quick formula will help.

Family watching TV at home
Family watching TV
credit: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

Measure in inches the distance from the area you want to place your TV to the area where you'll sit to view the television.

Man relaxing on sofa watching television, rear view
Man watching TV
credit: Kraig Scarbinsky/Digital Vision/Getty Images
house in Arizona
Living room with flat screen on wall
credit: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

Divide the distance by 3. The number you get is the smallest size television you can purchase and still see it clearly from this distance.

kids coloring on floor
Children sitting in front of TV
credit: Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

Divide the distance from the TV to where you will sit by 1.5. This number is the largest television set you can purchase and still see it clearly. Consider dividing by 2 instead of 1.5 if you are not purchasing an HDTV.

Man watching TV in modern living room
Man turning on screen
credit: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images

Step

Compare the two numbers to the TV sizes available in your price range. Round the numbers up to the next common TV size. For example, if the distance you sit from your TV is 48 inches, dividing by 3 and 1.5 will give you 16 and 32. Thus, you might purchase a TV ranging in size from 19 inches to 32 inches.

Man watching television
Man watching TV
credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Step

Choose a smaller size for a non-HDTV television. A larger screen may be harder to see, even if it is still technically within the range you calculated.