How To Choose the Right Size HDTV for Your Room

With Black Friday coming, many of you might be running out early to get one of those great deals on a new HDTV from Best Buy or some other electronics retailer. If you do, what size set will you get? Knowing what will fit best seems like a terribly subjective decision. However, there are some guidelines that many professional audio-visual installers use to help their customers choose the right size HDTVs for their rooms. We want to show you their secret so you can go out and get the right size set for your viewing pleasure. And this will also apply to those presentations you might be doing at work or in some civic or religious institutions with your laptop and projector or TV.

One site we found said the following about picking a TV size:

When it comes to buying a high definition Television, the rule of thumb is: bigger is always better. In the past, you could actually see degradation of quality the larger you go. Today, that is no longer the case. A good way to determine how large a TV you should get would be to take some time with a tape measure and really do some math.

Of course you will want to factor things like where will the TV sit or hang – on a desk, an entertainment center, or even better for a fairly thin HDTV, mounted on a wall. Decide where it is going and measure the space to be sure how much TV can fit.

The above site says use the “rule of two” when determining a set size. Measure the distance from the place you will be when watching the set and figure it in inches. For example, in our basement “man cave” as we call it, the TV is about ten feet from the sofa. That is 120″. Using the rule of two, as in divide by two, we need about a 60″ set. In our case we have only a 35″ tube HDTV. But we also have installed a video projector and pull down screen that is about 72″ across diagonally for movies and big sporting events. That puts us in the range and even a little above.

Here is a video with Veronica Belmont explaining some of the issues regarding size and other issues.

Believe it or not, another great place to find this information is at Amazon. On many of their HDTV information pages they have a chart that will tell you what size set based on the distance the group will be sitting from the TV. It differs a little bit from the site above.

The idea is to find the sweet spot between the minimum and maximum size in the last two columns. Pick the distance you will be sitting from the front of the TV and move over on that row to the last two columns. For example, in our bedroom we have a 32″ Samsung LCD HDTV. Based on the chart above, a 32″ set is a good pick for some sitting four feet away (Max Size) or as much as eight feet away (Min Size). We usually sit up in bed watching and it is about eight feet from the head of our bed. We probably should have picked out a slightly larger set, but we are not outside the range.

One last thing to remember may seem silly but is significant. How will you transport the new TV in its big box? You don’t want to be opening the TV set outside in the parking lot so you can get it into the back seat of your Mini Cooper. If you want a mammoth 50+ inch set, bring a truck or a friend’s van or something else big enough to fit your new HDTV’s oversized box.

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