How big a TV should you buy? 32-inch? 50? 65? 85? Major? These days, there is a TV available in almost every size you could wish for, and for almost any budget. If you are not limited by a locker or an entertainment center, you can probably get a larger TV than you assume. Possibly much larger.
The short answer to the question in the title is simple: Become as big as you can afford. The longer answer depends on your room, your seating distance and the approval of any co-decision co-decision makers.
Here’s how to calculate how big you can be.
Recommended screen sizes and seating distance
If you ask TV and theater industry groups, they will tell you to measure seating distance to determine the ideal screen size. The farther away you are obviously, the less your TV is displayed. The ideal is to have a screen that fills a certain part of your field of view, but how much is “ideal” can be discussed.
For example, THX recommends that you multiply the seating distance (in inches or centimeters) by 0.835. This gives you the recommended screen diagonal. So if you are like most people and sit about 9 meters from your TV (108 inches), THX recommends a screen that is about 90 inches diagonal. So yes, the big 65 “TV you are watching is not” too big “, at least when it comes to THX.
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers recommends a 30-degree viewing angle, which is quite smaller than THX. To match SMPTE’s recommendation, multiply the seating distance by 0.625. So given our nine-foot example, this means that a TV is about 68 inches (so a 65- or 70-inch model would work).
While these are good guidelines, do not take them as firm rules. It’s far too easy to get caught up in a number game when reality is much more complex. There are additional factors at play.
4K and 8K resolution
Almost all new TVs are. A growing number are . Only the smallest and cheapest models are still only HD (1080p or 720p).
To see all the details in a 4K or 8K resolution, you must either sit very close or have a very large TV. If you sit nine meters away, even “large” TVs are still too small for you to see all the resolution they can. Or to put it another way, the resolution of your next TV will be a lot if you do not sit very close or get an exceptionally large TV (over 100 inches). So yes, you do not need an 8K TV.
The downside is that with low quality content, a large TV will reveal more shortcomings. If you notice blockiness, video sounds or other artifacts while watching programs and movies on your current TV, a larger model will show these problems even more. Eagle-eyed viewers who want a larger TV should also look for better video to feed it, for exampleand .
The other important factor to keep in mind is something I will call “space domination”. How big must a TV be before the threatening black rectangular plate seems to be the only one in the room? This factor is definitely subjective. As someone who has had a 12-foot wide projection screen in his house for over a decade and has also reviewed large TVs, I take the big screen over the TV every day. An 80-inch TV can easily dominate just one space. Wall mounting may help a little, but your TV room risks becoming the TV room.
If you are unsure, try pasting or cutting out the box the size of the TV you are thinking of and see how it goes in your room. You may want to paint it or put a black canvas over it as well. This is what it will look like when it’s turned off (features likenotwithstanding). Maybe it’s not a concern for you, but it will be for some. Know that when the TV is actually in there, it will be much more amazing than cardboard, and probably brighter. It will also seem much, much bigger. It really depends on your room, decor and opinions of others who share that room.
Beyond that beyond: What is possible
To be honest, I do not subscribe to any of the established “rules” for viewing distance and screen size. I think SMPTE and the smaller THX numbers are too TV biased. I think they greatly underestimate what is easily possible with modern technology, for those who want more.
I sit nine meters from a 102-inch screen. It’s just the 16×9 part. The full screen is 2.35: 1 and 128 inches diagonally. I can barely produce pixels when I expand a 1080p projector to the full width of the screen, but in standard 16×9 display I can not. 4K looks fantastic., and I love it.
I mention this as proof that you can go much bigger than most people think is possible.
Do you want? That’s another question. I find larger screen sizes easier on the eyes, as more of your field of view is taken up by the approximately uniform brightness of the screen. In an otherwise dark room, your students are more naturally closed to the amount of light thanks to the large screen.
Conversely, I find it more tiring to watch a small screen in a dark room, because your students are more open (because of the dark room) with this annoying needle with bright light (the TV). Many people complain of headaches when watching TV in a dark room. One possible cause isfrom one TV takes up a small fraction of your field of vision. Think about when someone lights a flashlight in your eyes when you have been in the dark for an hour. With a projector, you have much less light than a TV produces, and it is spread over a huge part of your vision.
TRUE,, leaves the room lights on and can minimize fatigue as well or better than a large screen, but I like watching TV in a dark room. To each his own.
The final decision is one of personal preferences. My goal here was to point out a rough idea of what is possible or recommended. For me, I would always make mistakes on the “too big” side. An old manager of mine used to say that no one regretted buying a TV that they thought could be “too big”. My opinion is that a 50-inch TV is too small for most rooms. This is not to say that I think everyone should get a 102-inch screen, but the reality is that a 50-inch flat is really not that much bigger than the old 36-inch CRTs. Then 65- and even 75-inch TVs, they are worth considering if you have the space.
If you want to get really big, like an 88-inch TV, consider oneinstead if you have control over the ambient light in your room.
In addition to covering television and other display technologies, Geoff makes photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines, massive aircraft carriers, medieval castles, aircraft cemeteries and more.
You can follow his achievements on Instagram and YouTube and on his travel blog, BaldNomad. He also wrote a best-selling sci-fi novel about city-sized submarines, along with a sequel.