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What size TV do you need for your room

Person watching TV in the living room

Choosing the right TV size for your room depends on two important factors: your budget and the size of the room. While your budget may be the deciding factor, the size of your TV should depend on how far you sit from the screen and how immersive you want your viewing experience to be.

Calculating viewing distance and screen size

Today's UHD TVs offer more detail, so you can sit closer than before without seeing the pixels. However, sitting too close will still cause eye strain. While it all boils down to personal preference, there is a simple formula that provides a good starting point:

Viewing distance (in inches)/2 = recommended TV size.

For example, if you usually sit 10 feet from the TV, that's 120 inches (10 feet x 12 inches).

120/2 = 60

The screen size for you is 60 inches (and remember, that's the diagonal measurement of the screen).

TV in a living room at an appropriate viewing distance

TV sizes for crowded rooms

It's the night of the big game; you've just loaded your plate with nachos and wings, and then it happens. You walk into the living room to find someone sitting in "your spot." When there are fewer places in front of the TV than people in the room, it can be a real downer. Here are some suggestions for making sure everyone has a good view, even in crowded rooms:

Group of people watching TV together in a living room
  • For crowded rooms, you should go with at least a 40-inch screen if you are seated more than six feet from the TV.

  • A 50-inch screen is good within 7.5 feet of the TV.

  • If you are 9 feet away, a 60-inch screen is probably as small as you want to go.

  • Keep in mind the ideal distance can vary depending if you mount your TV on a wall or place it on a stand. Mounting a TV on the wall can give you a little more room to work with.

Viewing angles

Viewing angles are also important when you're buying an HDTV for a living room. Ideally, the TV should be placed parallel to your eyes, with no more than a 15 degree angle up or down, and no more than a 40 degree angle to the left or right.

If you are seated at a sharp angle to the TV, the picture will look distorted, unless you have a UHD/4K TV.

Man standing in front of the TV for best viewing angle

Don't Forget About Screen Resolution

The larger a UHD TV screen, the more important screen resolution becomes.

For a UHD TV that is 40 inches or smaller, a 720p resolution is usually good. However, if you have a 50-inch screen or larger, you will probably need a higher resolution, like 1080p.

Mother and daughter watching TV together in living room

1080p resolution (Full HD) has 1920 by 1080 pixels, which offers great picture quality. Full HD really shines on video game consoles, Blu-ray discs, and HD cable or satellite channels. But 4K resolution takes it one step up with even higher resolution for a clearer, sharper picture: 3840 by 2160 pixels.

But if you're looking for the very best picture quality currently available on the market, 8K UHD is where you'll find it. Samsung 8K TVs have 16x the number of pixels as Full HD TVs. They also have amazing upscaling capability, which means they can take a lower quality image and raise the quality up to 8K resolution (7680 by 4320 pixels).

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