Picking a new TV can be an overwhelming process. There are just so many factors to consider, such as type of TV, brand, mounting style, etc. But, of all the factors out there, one of the most difficult to consider is size. These days you can get just about any size TV imaginable. Whether you want a 32-inch baby or a 90-inch Goliath, if you can spare the cash to buy it, you can put it on your living room wall.
But what size TV is right for your living room? And for that matter, what size TV is right for your bedroom, game room, kitchen, family room, attic? Okay, well maybe not attic, but you get the idea. Some may say that TV size doesn’t really matter all that much because of how amazing the picture quality is on TVs anymore. This could not be further from the truth. Size does indeed matter, and we’re here to tell you why.
Why TV Size Matters
Depending on what you’re going to use your TV for, you’re going to want to choose a particular size of TV that is right for that type of use. For example, smaller TVs are generally better for bedrooms and kitchens where it’s not going to be the center focal point of the room. On the other hand, you’re definitely going to want to get a larger TV for your living room or family room, where the TV will often be the center of focus. Many experts recommend, as a general rule of thumb, that if the room is bigger, you’re going to want a bigger TV. But, if the room is smaller, you’re going to want a smaller TV.
How to Use a TV Size Calculator
A good tool to help you figure out just how big or small your new TV should be is a TV size-calculator. You can find many nifty TV size charts and equations all over the Internet, and, quite frankly, they’re all probably going to give you slightly different answers about what size your TV should be. So no one size-calculator should be taken as law. We would encourage you to consider a few different calculations before finally deciding on that perfect size for your TV.
Here are a few good calculators and calculation methods we’ve found from experts around the web. Check them out:
- Home theatre expert Carlton Bale has developed a really detailed calculator that takes into account many important factors, including aspect ratios, screen resolution and brightness.
- This interactive calculator from Rtings.com allows you to mess around with variables, such as size, distance and resolution, in order to get a better idea of how the three relate to one another.
- Sarah Pike of CableTV.com recommends that you calculate TV size (in inches) by taking the distance you plan to sit away from the TV (in feet) and multiplying it by 12, then dividing that total by 2.5.
And don’t just use TV calculators. There are many other eyeball tests you can do help you decide on size. Josh Davis of Abt Electronics recommends you use cardboard and painters tape to simulate a TV where you’d like to put yours. Measure it out and try different sizes and locations until you find the combination that seems right for you. You really want to be sure about this before you move forward, especially if you’re wall-mounting a TV because, once that sucker’s up, it ain’t fun to take it back down.
Calculating TV Sizes for Different Rooms
If you’re like most Americans, you are going to have more than one TV in your home. With the privilege of owning multiple TVs comes the important question of what size TV should go in what room. To help you answer this question, we’ve picked three of the most common rooms to have a TV and have given our best advice on what size TV best fits each room.
Best Size TV for Your Living Room
Bigger is usually better in the living room. If you enjoy regularly having a lot of people over for movie nights, then you’re probably going to want the largest TV you can afford, assuming that your living room is large enough to house it. If you do get one of those mammoth 90-inch flat screens, just make sure you mount it in a spot where everyone can view it at a comfortable angle.
However, if you’re not a big TV watcher and you don’t often have a lot of people over for viewing parties, then you shouldn’t feel pressure to go out and get the biggest, fanciest TV you can buy. More likely than not, you’ll be plenty satisfied with a 50 to 60-inch flat screen to suit your modest viewing habits. Just make sure you’re not sitting too far away from it so that it doesn’t cause you too much eye strain. Remember, a good TV is a TV that you’re comfortable watching.
Best Size TV for Your Bedroom
Generally speaking, you’re probably not going to want a large TV in your bedroom unless you want your bedroom TV to be your primary TV. More often than not, though, people like having a smaller TV in their bedroom to compliment their primary TV in their living room. However, you don’t want your TV to be too small because you’re likely going to have to watch it from a distance when in bed. So depending on how far you’re mounting the TV away from you while in bed, you’re going to want to find a TV that you can watch comfortably while lying down and viewing it from a distance. Something within the 32 to 50-inch range should probably suffice, but if you feel comfortable getting a television outside that size range for your bedroom, more power to you. Again, there are no hard and fast rules about the best TV sizes; they will undoubtedly vary from person to person.
Best Size TV for Your Gaming Room
Before you get all Gung-ho about getting the biggest TV you possibly can for your game room, you’re going to want to take a step back and consider a few things. The first thing to consider is how far away from the TV you usually like to sit when you play. If you’re used to playing while sitting close to the TV, then you’re probably not going to want to get a huge monitor because it might throw you off you off your game a bit when you have to sit farther away in order to take in the full screen. Another potential draw back of getting a huge monitor is that it may hinder your ability to play certain games if you have a hard time taking in the whole screen while you play. In this case, bigger really isn’t always better, so you may want to save the gigantic TV for entertainment purposes and get a more medium-sized TV for gaming.
Another factor to consider is whether you like to play multi-player games with your friends. If you prefer playing on your own and rarely have others over to play with you, then you can get as small a TV as you want because it’s only going to be you who has to deal with the size of the screen. But if you often play multi-player, split-screen games with friends, then you’re going to want to make sure that the TV is big enough to accommodate all of them. A happy medium size will probably be something in the 40 to 60-inch range. Anything bigger or smaller than that could potentially hinder your gaming experience.
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