What Size TV Should I Get?

You have just decided to upgrade your old plasma TV to a new QLED 4K. Great decision! But you are throwing away money by buying a bigger TV and at the same time getting an inferior viewing experience? This guide will advise you in very simple terms what size of the screen is best for any given distance that one has on their current living room setup.

Ideal Screen Size and Viewing Distance Guide

Why is Viewing Distance So Important?

Selecting the right TV size for your room is largely determined by how close you plan to sit from it. If you have space constraints and want to sit close as possible to the screen, certain super-sized HDTVs might reduce your viewing experience.

The most common resolution today for any given size screen is 1080p. Typical screens on a TV offer 2 million pixels, even though the average person can’t discern much more than roughly 8 of these pixels apart when viewing. Changing the size of a TV will not affect its resolution, which refers to the number of pixels it offers.

A smaller screen will result in a stronger pixel density, which means a sharper picture. On a larger screen, you may notice more pixels the closer to the screen that you come. The frequency of these tiny dots is not noticeable at all when viewing on smaller screens.

In a nutshell…Don’t buy a TV size that is larger than your existing space just because you think it will provide the best viewing experience. Buy a screen that fits well in the space you have, not one size bigger.

How to calculate the perfect TV size

Distance to Size TV
What Size TV Should I Get?

1 – Measure, in ft, the distance between your sofa and the tv stand or wall where the TV will be mounted;

2 – Multiply that number by 12, for example, if the distance is 6 ft, the calculation is 72;

3 – Divide the result by 1.6 if you´re considering buying a full HD TV (1080p) or by 1 for a 4K/8K TV. In the example above, we recommend getting a 45 inch TV (full HD) or a 72 inch if buying a 4K/8K one. (Or a size close to that).

How To Measure TV Size

TV size is calculated diagonally, and not horizontally.

I´ve written an article that explains how TV dimensions are calculated. Head over there to learn more about TV sizes.

So, what size should you get?

If you don´t have a calculator at hand, use our handy table below to find out what size TV is best for your viewing distance.

Viewing Distance for 4KTV Screen Size
3.3 - 5 feet40"
3.6 - 5.4 feet43"
4.2 - 6.3 feet50"
4.6 - 6.9 feet55"
5 - 7.5 feet60"
5.4 - 8.1 feet65"
5.8 - 8.75 feet70"
6.3 - 9.4 feet75"
6.7 - 10 feet80"
7.1 - 10.6 feet85"

The calculations provided are the recommendation from SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) or THX.

What about viewing angle?

Viewing angles is also important. If you are sitting off to one side of the TV, for example, if there is a sofa on one side and not on the other, then it’s crucial to know that your viewing experience will be diminished because of this. The less space between where you sit and the screen in relation to its size, the higher impact it has on what you see when watching video content or playing games.

TVs by their nature can only display what’s in front of them – so if you’re sitting off-centre from the screen because there is furniture on one side but not the other, your experience will suffer as a result. The wider the viewing angle in relation to the centre of the screen, the more impact it has on the quality of your experience. This problem is amplified with LCD TVs rather than OLED ones due to how different these two technologies are.

Best TV size for every room

Here are a few quick shortcuts to the different TV size ranges and how appropriate they will be for each room of the house.

Small TVs

A 25″ to 39″ TV is a good size for bedrooms, offices, and kitchens.

Medium-size TVs

40″ – 65″ TVs are best suited for smaller spaces, like that of a small living room. Larger screens can be overpowering in such places.

Large TVs

70 inch and over TVs are the most common size for this range, and can provide a great experience when watching movies or sporting events.

Extra-large TVs

A big-screen television is a game-changer. It offers the best possible TV viewing experience. That being said, you’ll need a heavy duty TV stand if you want to go bigger than 86 inches in a room with lots of space (if not, look into projectors and screens).

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About Mike Herrera

Mike is a freelance journalist who specializes in writing about technology. He has a degree in computer science, and he likes to stay up-to-date on the latest software releases. He's an avid reader, and he enjoys spending time outdoors. When he's not working, you can usually find him playing video games or exploring new hiking trails.

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