Flat Screen TV Sizes: How to Choose the Right One

If you’re thinking about buying a new TV, then you’re probably wondering which size TV should you buy. Television is an essential item of the modern household, and undoubtedly, it will occupy ample space, so you need to find the size that is best for your room and comfort.

Flat Screen TVs of different sizes

If you visit any TV website, you’ll be shown the biggest TVs they sell. That is all the rage nowadays. However, if you do not have a large living room, and deep pockets, those TV sizes may not be the right choice for you.

A larger screen provides a more immersive watching experience, but you must find a TV for your optimal viewing distance. The task at hand is not to buy the biggest and the most expensive TV but to rather make an optimal choice.

And in this flat-screen TV guide, we will help you do just that. The good news is that there is some fundamental rule, or should we rather say, a recommendation for screen size and field of vision which we will share in this guide.

Finding the Right Flat Screen TV

One mistake that many people make when they buy a new TV is that they only consider their budget and not the space they have for the TV. Especially, when they are getting rid of their old TVs and getting a new one, or when they get a sweet discount deal.

They think the new one will sit perfectly where the old one sat for years. However, TV dimensions have changed significantly. They are much thinner, and lighter.

There are TV mounts, and TV stands that you can make good use of. When you’re buying a flat-screen TV, think of it as a package, a new point of focus in your living room, rather than just another electronic item. 

With all this in mind let us talk about TV sizes. The TV market has three kinds of TVs: there are small TVs, these are 32 to 48 inches, then there are big TVs, these are 50 to 75 inches, and then there are huge TVs, which can go up to 85 inches and then some.

These measurements are diagonal, meaning corner to corner. When manufacturers advertise TV sizes, they do not add the size of the bezels that go around the screen, neither do they add the measurement of the TV stands.

So, in addition to the advertised TV size, you need to check the overall dimensions of the TV. For example, if you get an 82-inch Samsung, then it is the corner to corner length that is going to be 82 inches.

The TV is going to be 72.1 inches wide, 45.3 inches tall and 15.4 inches thick. These dimensions will be mentioned along with the TVs specifications, so make sure you check that as well.

Flat Screen TV Viewing Distance

There is a good relationship between the size of your TV and the optimal viewing distance too. How far you will be sitting when you view the TV will also help you decide what your TVs resolution should be.

TV resolutions are either HD (720p), full HD (1080p), Ultra HD (4K), and the high-end models also have 8K resolutions. If you’re buying a small TV, let’s say a 38-inch TV, then a TV with an HD resolution should be good enough.

If you have a bigger screen with a smaller resolution, then you will see small pixels that make up the TV screen and that will affect your viewing comfort.

For a pleasant viewing experience, it is recommended you sit at a distance where the screen occupies around 30° to 40° of your field of vision. By this rule, you will have the smaller screens closer and the larger ones farther away.

If you will be sitting in a big room where your couch is around 10 ft away from the TV, you can go ahead and buy a huge TV. A big TV, which is between 55 inches and 75 inches is best for a viewing distance of 6 to 10 ft.

Consider how far you will be sitting and then check the table to see what your TV size range can be.

Viewing distanceRecommended TV size
4 ft -6 ft32 inches – 50 inches
6 ft – 9 ft50 inches – 65 inches
9ft -10 ft65 inches – 75 inches
Above 10 ft85 inches +

However, take this as a general recommendation. Your viewing experiences will also depend on other things like the display resolution of the TV or viewing angle. It will also depend on the kind of shows you’re watching the viewing environment and your eyesight.

Apart from the size of the TV and the viewing distance you should also consider the room you will be placing your TV in. If you are looking for a TV for the kitchen, then you should look at smaller models.

It is a little challenging to find TVs that are smaller than 32 inches. You may come about some older models, or some TV from less popular brands. However, as the screen is going to be small you don’t have to worry about getting a high-resolution TV.

For a kitchen, or similar small space and purpose, a 720p screen is good enough.

If you are looking for a TV for your bedroom, then you need to decide where you will put it. It is ideal to have a small TV at the foot of your bed. A 43-inch HD screen should meet your late-night movie needs.

If you are considering a TV for the bedroom, it is advised that you spend your money on a good TV stand or a tilting wall mount instead of getting a bigger high-resolution screen.

A great option for a bedroom TV is a hidden TV cabinet. That way your intimate space will not be imposed upon by a giant black screen all the time.

If you are looking for a TV for the living room then, depending on how big the room is, you can consider getting a big TV, something that is 50 inches or bigger.

65 inches TVs have the best prices in the market, they are big enough but significantly cheaper than 70-inch or 85-inch TVs. When you are considering a TV for the living room you should think of it as your entertainment center.

You will also need space for a TV cabinet to place the television. The benefit of a TV cabinet is that it will house all your TV accessories, such as a cable box, extra cables, a game console, and so on.

So, when you make your decision, also think about the furniture and the fixture that comes with the TV.