You’ve probably never wished your television screen was smaller, but many of us would love a larger TV. The optimum screen size should be based on how far you’ll be sitting from it, what you’ll be watching, and your personal preferences. In most situations, when choosing a TV for your main room, the largest screen your viewing distance, room, and budget will accommodate is probably the ideal size.
Sitting the correct distance away from your screen in important when choosing the right size. Back in the days of tube TVs, sitting too close meant you might see the screen’s scan lines. Today you might miss some of the high-definition details if you sit too far away from HDTV screens. On the other hand, if you find that you’re noticing some of the screen’s “structure,” the rows and columns of pixels that look like tiny dots, you’re sitting too close to the screen.
If you’re unsure about the best-sized screen to buy for your room size and viewing distance, check the chart. It might also provide some help in comparing your TV to current industry recommendations. The chart gives a range for each screen size to allow for personal preferences and what you most often watch. For viewing mostly high-quality video (Blu-rays or high-def cable, satellite, or over-the-air programming), sit at the closer end of the range to experience all the detail your HDTV provides. However, if you’re still watching mostly lower-quality sources, like analog cable, sitting at the higher end of the range will make the image’s flaws less noticeable.
Our chart applies to HDTVs, usually with “1080p” screen resolution. New Ultra High Definition TVs, called “4K” TVs, have much higher resolution screens and can show four times the detail of a 1080p screen. Pixels on Ultra HD screens are so incredibly small that they are hard to notice even when standing right next to the screen; so you can sit much closer to an Ultra HD TV – as close as 1 times the screen diagonal measurement.
SOME OTHER CONSIDERATIONS FOR TV PLACEMENT:
Viewing angle affects picture quality. Experts tell us that any screen display – LCD, plasma, OLED – is best when viewed straight-on and at a height where your eyes are level with mid-screen. Therefore, TVs are usually placed on some kind of stand or wall-mounted.
Safety is critical. Your TV should be on a stand or a wall mount that is correct to accommodate its size and weight. On a stand, the TV should be balanced front to back and left to right. For TVs with two small legs near the edges of the screen, be sure they are far enough back from the edge of a stand so the front-heavy TV doesn’t slip if bumped. In a home with small children, a wall mount might be safest; a TV safety strap is also a good idea.
Room lighting can have a positive effect, preventing eye strain and providing deeper-looking blacks. However, poor lighting can create on-screen glare and fade or wash out colors.
LIGHTING TIPS INCLUDE:
>> Avoid placing your TV across from west-facing French doors or windows that cause afternoon glare.
>> Eliminate screen reflections with adjustable blinds or curtains on windows.
>> Windows behind the TV may make viewing difficult as eyes must adjust to the different brightness levels. Again, curtains or blinds will help.
>> If glare is a concern in a well-lit room, consider an LCD TV; the anti-reflective screens work best in bright rooms.
>> Some light shining on the wall behind a TV is best to avoid eyestrain caused by the screen’s brightness.
>> Dimmers in your viewing room allow for the adjustment of background light for the best viewing comfort.