What Size TV Should I Get? Our TV Screen Size Guide Shows You

What size TV should I get?

What size TV do I need for my room?  How big a TV should I buy?

Those are all common questions we are asked often.  I’ve put together this detailed guide to answer exactly these questions for you.

You will no longer have to wonder what TV screen size is best. I’m going to show you everything you need to know to calculate the perfect size TV for every room.

So what size TV do I need?

Whether you’re getting a TV to watch the current movies, the latest sporting events, or as a gaming TV, the short answer is ‘as big as you can afford’.

The long answer is a little more complicated, and depends on the room, whether the display is mounted on a wall or not, the seating distance, the viewing angles, and the resolution of the display.

Best TV By Size Chart - Early 2017

TV SizesModelType
Check Today’s Pricing
32″Vizio E32-D11080PCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
43″Sony X800D4K UHDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
50″Vizio M Series4K UHDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
55″LG E64K OLEDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
60″Samsung KS80004K UHDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
65″LG E64K OLEDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
75″Sony X850D4K UHDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy
85″Sony X850D4K UHDCheck AmazonCheck Best Buy

TV Screen Size – Bigger is Better?

HDTV screen size - what size TV should I get

Wonder no longer ‘what size TV should I buy’. The size of your TV should only be limited by the size of your television budget.

What size TV should I buy?  The size of your television should be limited only by the size of your TV budget – basically speaking. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard it, bigger is better. At least, when it comes to a TV.

Why do you even have a HDTV? You want to feel you are at the championship game. Like you are in the stadium.

You want to lose yourself in the movie or TV show you’re watching. As if you were in the theater.

You want to feel immersed in the virtual world of the video game. Suspend reality, at least for a while, and feel embedded in the game.

You want the wow factor. You want to experience the excitement. You want the emotional engagement. Isn’t that what watching high definition television is all about?

We all want the big HDTV, but you don’t want the television to overwhelm your room. Consequently, you don’t want your TV screen size to appear, under-developed, for the space.

So how do find the perfect TV screen size? In most situations, our experience has proven that you should choose the largest display your room location, viewing angle, viewing distance, and budget will allow.

Many times I’ve heard people wishing their screen was bigger, but rarely have I heard anyone wish it was smaller.

How To Measure TV Size

Tip: How to measure TV screen size

How to measure the TV Size

Diagonally measure TV screen size

What is the screen size?  The TV screen size is the most important measurement since retailers list new HDTVs by the size of the screen.

To accurately determine the screen size, hold the end of your tape measure in one corner and extend it diagonally across to the opposite corner. Make sure your tape measure is inside the TV screen frame so you’re only measuring the visible screen area.

That distance is your screen size or diagonal screen size.

Location: Wall Mount or No Wall Mount?

You have a room where you want to put a new television. What size TV do I need for my room?

The first thing to decide is if you want it hung on the wall or not. You need to know this before you head to the store or shop online to buy your HDTV.

If you are placing the TV on a cabinet, it decreases the viewing distance and can cause some viewing angle issues. Also the size of the flat or curved screen could be limited by the size of the cabinet.

A huge display could look awkward on a small cabinet, and you could be restricted by weight limitations. Conversely, a long cabinet might make a nice size television look small in contrast.

If you plan to use a stand mount, be sure to measure the length and width of the cabinet. Today’s flat screens are much lighter, but it’s still a good idea to know how much weight your cabinet can support.

The average flat screen weighs around 45 lbs., but the weight increases and decreases rapidly based upon display style and screen size. Edge-lit LED’s are the lightest models, with an Ultra HDTV being the heaviest.

A mid-sized LED could weight as low as 25 lbs. On the other end of the spectrum, 60” plasma and Ultra HD displays average around 60-70 lbs.

Remember distance, angle, and resolution when trying to determine what size TV do I need.

Determining the ideal TV size for room should be based on the distance you are sitting from the TV, the optimal viewing angle of your peripheral vision, and the resolution of the HDTV.

Why is Viewing Distance Important?

The distance you generally sit from the screen, consequently has a huge impact on determining the best size TV for your room. If you want to sit closer the quality of your viewing experience could be diminished by certain types of super sized HDTVs.

The most common resolution offered today is 1080p. For any given screen size, a typical 1080p television has around 2 million tiny pixels. The number of pixels will remain constant despite a change in display size.

The pixels will be smaller and closer together on a smaller screen, therefore resulting in a sharper picture quality. On a large screen, the pixels are bigger and may start to become visible the closer you come to the screen if the program source is not Blue-ray or HD.

How to Calculate the Viewing Distance

A simple formula for determining the maximum size TV based upon how far you sit from the screen is to divide the viewing distance by 1.5. If your viewing area is 8 feet away from the screen, a HDTV in the 60” range will help you achieve the optimal cinematic experience.

The new 4K Ultra HDTVs have 4 times the resolution of 1080p display. You’re in the range of 8 million pixels for any screen size. There is less fear of pixelation as you approach the television since the pixels are a lot smaller and grouped tighter.

To find the optimal size 4K UHD TV display, we suggest a 1 to 1 ratio between viewing distance and screen size. For maximum recommended screen size for 4K Ultra HDTVs, multiply the viewing distance by 15.6. From the same 8 feet viewing distance, theoretically your screen could max out at 125 inches.

A screen size that big overwhelms most people.  Pixelation might not concern you, but you’re also well beyond an optimal viewing angle.

HDTV Screen Size Guide

TV Size Comparison

For 1080p HDTVs, we suggest a viewing distance between 1.5 and 2 times the screen diagonal.
Screen sizeViewing distance range for 1080p HDTVs
40″5.0 – 6.75 feet
43″5.4 – 7 feet
48″6 – 8 feet
50″6.3 – 8.3 feet
55″6.9 – 9.2 feet
60″7.5 – 10 feet
65″8.1-13.5 feet
70″8.75 – 11.7 feet
75″9.4 – 12.5 feet
80″10.0 – 13.3 feet
85″10.6 – 14.2 feet

You should sit closer to see the extra detail of 4K UHD TVs, we suggest from 1 to 1.5 times the screen diagonal.
Screen sizeViewing distance range for 4K UHD TVs
40″3.3 – 5.0 feet
43″3.6 – 5.4 feet
48″4 – 6 feet
50″4.2 – 6.3 feet
55″4.6 – 6.9 feet
60″5.0 – 7.5 feet
65″5.4 – 8.1 feet
70″5.8 – 8.75 feet
75″6.3 – 9.4 feet
80″6.7 – 10.0 feet
85″7.1 – 10.6 feet

Use viewing size and viewing angle to help determing the perfect HDTV screen size you should get

Viewing distance and viewing angle are important elements in selecting what size TV should I get

What Is Viewing Angle?

This is the angle created from your nose out to the left and right edges of the display. Viewing angle is a simple but crucial concept in selecting the best television size. Ideally, most of your peripheral vision is filled by the screen image.

The movie theaters specification maxim sets 30-36 degrees as the optimal viewing angle. To achieve an “immersive cinematic experience”, most of all you want a screen size that pushes the limits of your field of vision.

THX recommends a display that fills 40 degrees of your field of vision, while SMPTE recommends 30 degrees. To achieve the “immersion effect”, we recommend you push the limit of the biggest screen size based upon your viewing distance.

It’s Time To Buy A New HDTV

You’ve done it! You now have the concepts and tools to determined the perfect size TV for your room.

It’s great to understand the key rules, but every situation and room is different. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference and taste.

If you want to get an idea how well your new TV is going to blend in with your space, Samsung has a great online tool to get an idea of how different size TVs will appear in your room.  Take a picture of the wall area your TV will hang or stand from the desired viewing distance (try to include the entire wall).

First of all, before you get started, measure the height and length of the wall, plus the viewing distance.  You can choose wall or stand mounted.  Then you can select different size Samsung HDTVs to show how each size will appear in your room.

The only thing you have left to decide is what type of HDTV you are going to get. UHD, LED, LCD, 4K, or 3D? Flat Panel or Curved? What brand? Samsung, Panasonic, Sony, or Vizio?

Before you buy a hdtv checklist

  • Determine your budget
  • Measure the length and height of the wall
  • If cabinet mounted, measure the length and width of cabinet
  • If cabinet mounted, determine the weight limit of cabinet
  • Measure the distance between the screen and where you will normally sit
  • Decide the type of TV
  • Study the chart as a guide for ideal size range

Conclusion

Most of all, your TV size decision is ultimately based on personal preference. I always tend to err on the big side because that’s my preference. If the best size for your room is outside your budget, just buy the biggest size TV you can afford.

So what size TV did you buy? Did you buy a TV for watching movies, sports, or playing video games? Please share it with me in the comments below.

Avatar for David Clark

Hi, I’m David Clark, founder of CurvedView.com and you could say televisions are not only a personal passion but a career. My mission is to educate consumers and help each find the perfect HDTV and TV accessory, at the best price, for their personal viewing preference.

10 Comments
  1. thanks for the great distance guide. I’m looking to buy my husband a 4K TV for Christmas and wasn’t sure what size I could get away with in my living room. Looks like I can do a 60 to 65 inch model. He is going to be so happy!

  2. the checklist for finding the right TV size was a nice touch

  3. Your distance guide was very helpful in finding the correct screen size for our little den. Our sofa is pretty close to the screen. When looking at big tv’s in the store it was hard to get an idea of how each size would fit in our little space while looking at them in such a huge wide open store.

  4. Do you recommend a flat mount or a tilted mount for the TV?

    • It depends on a number of factors Vera. The height of seating versus the height the TV is mounted. The seating distance from the TV, to name two factors.

      I would suggest buying a mount that is adjustable. Mount the TV flush to the wall and then slowly adjust the angle of the mount.

      You will find out which angle (if any) is preferable.

  5. I have a 60″ 1080p HDTV and am sitting at a distance of approximately 7′. I don’t see pixels on my blu-ray but still see pixels when watching TV. Is this normal?

    • It sounds like your issue is the resolution quality of the TV programs you are watching and not your TV. Especially since you do not have the issue when watching Blu-ray DVDs. To display images at 1080p you need content that is 1080p or greater. If the content you are watching is less than 1080p, then it would be normal for some pixelation to occur.

      Is the TV content cable or streamed? If it is streamed (downloaded from the web) make sure it is 1080p or higher resolution. Some of the services have higher quality feeds at a slightly higher monthly cost. I hope that helps.

  6. The Samsung tool is really cool. I uploaded a photo of my room and it really helped give me an idea of how the different size tvs would look. It is a wide room but not very deep with a really large sectional. Now i’ve got to decide what tv brand and resolution.

  7. I followed your chart for a new 65″ 4K I just bought for my den. The image is great and the size is perfect, I’ve got it up on the wall a little higher than normal so I also purchased an angle mount. I original came to your site and this guide from a Quora question. Thanks for the big help.

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