More Home Theater Advice
Do you want to go that big? Well, that’s a different question. I find larger screen sizes easier on the eyes, as more of your field of view is taken up with the roughly uniform brightness of the screen. In an otherwise dark room, your pupils are more naturally closed to the amount of light thanks to the big screen.
Conversely, I find watching a small screen in a dark room more fatiguing, as your pupils are more open with this one annoying pinprick of bright light . Many people complain about headaches when they watch TV in a dark room. One possible cause is the hundreds of nits from an HDR TV taking up a tiny fraction of your field of view. Think about when someone shines a flashlight in your eyes when you’ve been in the dark for an hour. With a projector, you’ve got far less light than what a TV produces, and it’s spread out over a huge swath of your vision.
How We Test 85
When it comes to evaluating TVs, we’re serious about getting it right. That’s why every TV we review is put through a rigorous testing process that measures key standards of picture quality and performance.
Our lab tests involve testing for color accuracy and color gamut using an X-Rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, an AccuPel DVG-5000 video test pattern generator and SpectraCal CalMAN Ultimate calibration software. These tools are relied on by professional calibrators throughout the industry, and we’ve paired them with custom workflows to gather the information needed for our reviews. These measurements are taken first in standard mode to simulate the average watching experience, and then taken again in other display modes to find the top color and brightness performance offered by each set.
Our testing measures contrast and maximum brightness, as well as lag time. Using a Leo Bodnar Video Signal Input Lag Tester to test video signal delay, we time how long it takes for content to travel from the original video source to the screen, measured to the millisecond. Shorter response times equate with faster gaming performance, letting us objectively know which TVs are better for gaming.
And there’s more to today’s TVs than just viewing, so we also check out the smart TV functions and evaluate everything from the interface to the remote control design. This lets our reviews speak to the technical capabilities of today’s smart TVs and how they fit into your connected home.
Buying A TV: What To Consider
For many, in addition to the attractive price, size is considered as the most important factor in making a purchase decision. Whether this is always the right decision depends on the conditions on site. As already mentioned, the distance between the seats in inches or centimeters matching the length of the screen diagonal is the most important benchmark for a good television experience. Therefore, the best decision is the one that is based on the possible seat distance in relation to the preferred screen size. Unless youre dealing with high-definition TV and content through and through, televisions that are too small are no more fun than screens that are too big.
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Calculating Screen Size By Viewing Distance
The field of view you experience depends on how far you are sitting from the television. If you know how far youre going to be sitting, you can use this distance to calculate an ideal screen size in inches. For a 30º viewing angle, multiply the viewing distance by 0.6, or to get closer to a 40º viewing angle multiply your viewing distance by 0.84.
For example, if you are sitting 60 inches from the TV , a screen range of between 36 and 50 inches is recommended.
Calculating TV Screen Size From Your Viewing Distance
Alternatively, you can look at this from the other direction.
Start with your viewing distance, and then work out a good screen size.
In many rooms, the viewing distance from the screen is pretty limited, and there arent too many places to put the TV and home theater seating.
Therefore, if you can estimate how far from the TV you will be sitting, you can get a rough idea of the best screen size for that room.
This time you can divide your viewing distance by 2.5 to get the minimum screen size and by 1.2 to get the maximum screen size.
So, for example, if you know the viewing distance in your room will be about 10 feet , you can work out that a good TV size will be in the range of:
- Minimum screen size: 120 inches ÷ 2.5 = 48-inches
- Maximum screen size: 120 inches ÷ 1.2 = 100-inches
Now, that still gives you quite a bit of choice, but at least you can rule out screens below 48-inches, and you have a better idea of where to start looking.
The numbers are rounded a little in the chart below to make it more straightforward:
The most helpful number in this method is the minimum screen size.
For example, if you will be sitting 14-feet from the screen, you should be looking to buy a TV of around 68-inches and above. I
Therefore, ideally, you need a big screen from that distance.
But remember these are only rough guidelines.
So if you want to watch an 80-inch screen from 3-feet, then go ahead.
Theres no law against it!
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Why Trust Our Journalism
Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.
Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.
Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.
We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors code of practice to underpin these standards.
Why Is Viewing Distance Important
The distance you generally sit from the display has a huge impact on determining the best-sized TV for your room. If you want to sit closer, your viewing experiences picture quality could be diminished by certain types of super-sized HDTVs.
The pixels will be smaller and closer together on a smaller screen, resulting in 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.
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Consider Room Size And TV Position
You have a room where you want to put a new television, or you have a TV size you want to buy. You are usually left with one of two questions. What size TV do I need for my room? Or do I have a large enough wall or room for the TV I want?
First, consider where youll put your new TV. As long as the rooms furniture is not permanently attached to the floor and youre willing to move it, you have some flexibility in the size of the TV you can get.
Second, theres also the question of how you plan to set up the TV. Are you using the included stand or using a wall mount to hang it?
Does TV Resolution Affect Viewing Distance
Heres where things get a tad more complicated. Screen size and seating distance are definitely important factors of the home viewing experience, but you wont want to ignore the number of pixels on your screen either – particularly if youve forked out for an expensive 4K or even 8K TV. The more pixels you have on a screen, the closer you can be without noticing those pixels. Sit too far away, though, and you forfeit the benefit of added pixels.
This is the inevitable effect of resolving power the human eye is only capable of resolving – or differentiating – between individual points or lines up to a certain distance. Thats why a pointillism painting looks like a normal painting when youre really far away, and its also why its a waste of money to sit 25ft away from a 100in 8K TV.
Isnt it always better to have more pixels?
That depends on where you sit. Lets imagine that youve upgraded from a 50in FHD TV with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 to a 50in 4K UHD TV with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 . The new 4K set has four times as many pixels so you can sit much, much closer before being able to detect individual pixels on the screen. On the other hand, if you sit too far away from that shiny new 4K TV then you wont see any benefit, in terms of resolution, over the FHD TV.
What about viewing distances for HDR content?
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Why Should You Buy A 48
One of the main reasons to choose a TV thats under 50-inches is its price. TVs on the smaller end of the spectrum are much more budget-friendly than their larger counterparts. Though thats not just because theyre more compact, smaller screens often lack some of the upgrades that are given to 55-inch or bigger TVs.
As such, screens of this size can come with some performance restrictions that you wouldnt find with larger TVs where there is a wider selection of TVs that offer high-end features. But in return, your wallet wont be hit so hard when you decide to take one of these sized screens home with you.
Beyond their price, smaller 42-inch TVs and 48-inch TVs are also well suited to smaller spaces. If you just havent got space in your living room for a massive screen, then this is the size youll want to look out for.
These factors also make this size of TV great for a kitchen or bedroom, or an oversized computer monitor. The smaller frame means they wont have to compete as much for space against other more useful objects in the room, and you wont as easily go broke buying a second or third screen to deck out your home.
Why Should You Buy A 55
For those after an impressive home cinema experience thats value for money, or want the longest list of options to choose between, 55-inch TVs and 65-inch TVs are what you want to be grabbing for your next TV.
Starting at these sizes, youll start to find a much broader spectrum of TVs boasting high-end performance features. This includes LG C2 OLED Evo TV the Samsung S95B and Sony Bravia A95K QD-OLED displays and Samsungs QN95A Neo QLED among others.
Though, if you are on a tighter budget, theres a swathe of 55-inch and 65-inch LCD screens that still offer a decent-sized 4K image but come with fewer bells and whistles. A budget 55-inch TV can set you back as little as £400 / $400 / AU$600, though you can also find more expansive models for $2,000 / £2,000 / AU$2,800.
Plus, while you can expect to pay more than a 42-inch or 48-inch TV for one of this size, you wont be hit with the exorbitantly large price jump that comes from the bigger screens . Generally, 55-inch and 65-inch TVs offer the most bang for your buck.
These are your home cinema centerpiece screens that can entertain larger groups and families, the kinds you want to soup up with a great soundbar. Theyll be large enough to take up a sizable portion of your vision but not so enormous that a regular-sized living room will struggle to fit one in.
That being said, wed still recommend you measure out your space before buying one of these TVs for yourself just to be sure you do have enough space.
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Puls Can Mount Any Size TV
No matter which size TV you end up choosing, Puls can mount it for you, as well as provide a host of other services from setting up a surround sound system, to neatly concealing cables, to programming your new remote. Simply hop online and book a time slot thats good for you, and a certified Puls technician will show up at your door, ready to take care of all your TV installation needs from A-Z. Well bring your choice of bracket to you as part of your appointment, to make things as easy and seamless as possible.
How To Choose The Right Size TV
Most people want the biggest possible television they can fit in their living room – and the good news is that big televisions are no longer exclusively high-end .
But the size of a television has to be offset against the amount of viewing space you have at your disposal. Invest in too large a television, and you might start to see the pixels that make up the image, which will spoil your viewing experience. Alternatively, you could buy a TV with a native resolution that simply cant be enjoyed at the distance youre watching it, and isnt worth the money.
Always keep in mind that screen sizes are measured diagonally, not horizontally, so its no indicator of a TVs overall width. Nor does the overall screen size mean TV size, since nearly all TVs have a bezel frame surrounding the display. These are getting slimmer and slimmer as TVs internal workings grow ever less bulky, but if youre hoping to fit the biggest size TV possible into an alcove, you should definitely look at the overall size under the specs on a product page.
Its up to you how much wall or floor space you wish to give over to your TV, and where you wish to position your chairs and couches. But we can go to the relationship between screen size, resolution and viewing distance, to help you make the right decision in buying the right size TV. Once you’ve read this, head over to our explainer on How to measure a TV screen.
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Its All About The Field Of View
The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers states that a field of vision of between 30º and 40º provides an optimal viewing experience for most content. The SMPTE describes itself as a global professional society of individuals and corporations collaborating for the advancement of all things technical in the motion picture, television and digital media.
In cinemas, THX recommends a field of view of 36º for cinematic presentations. THX was established in part by George Lucas in 1983 to develop high fidelity standards for visual mediums including television and cinema.
If in doubt, stick with 30º as this is widely accepted and quoted as being ideal for most people.
TV Mounting: Quick Tips
- Orient you mounting to the center of the TV. The middle third of the TV screen is where most of your focus will be regardless of what you’re watching, so make sure this middle section is at a comfortable eye level.
- How centered is your TV mount? Some TVs have VESA mounting holes in the center of the TV chassis, others on the bottom section. Knowing which your TV uses will change how you position the mounting hardware on the wall.
- Using a pencil or erasable marker, make small marks to the right and left of the TV, noting where the center of the TV screen should be. Then, determine where the wall mount should attach to set the TV at this same level.
- Consider the weight of the TV. You may need to screw into the wall studs to get the necessary support. A heavy TV will pull screws out of regular drywall, and can lead to a broken TV.
- Use the right hardware. Whether you want to keep your TV flat against the wall, cant it at an angle, or want the flexibility of an articulated stand, you’ll find it all on our list of the best TV mounts.
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Sony’s Recommended Seating Distance
The flip side is that with lower-quality content a big TV will expose more flaws. If you find yourself noticing blockiness, video noise or other artifacts when watching shows and movies on your current TV, a larger model will show those issues even more. Eagle-eyed viewers who want a bigger TV should also look for better video to feed it, for example 4K streaming and Blu-ray.
Read more: 8K TV: What you need to know
What Size TV Should I Buy Ideal Sizes And Viewing Distances Explained
- 6:49 ET, Apr 6 2022
SEARCHING for a new TV can be overwhelming with the vast range on offer.
Before you rush out and buy the biggest telly you can find, ask yourself ‘what size TV should I buy?’ to save yourself some money and time.
If you click on a link in this story we may earn affiliate revenue.
If you’ve already checked out the best 4K UK TV deals, then you’re ready to purchase, only thing left to do is find the right size.
Don’t be scared to wall mount your TV either as you can find out how to wall mount a TV from this helpful article.
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