TV: what screen size to choose?

Whether it’s a compelling purchase, a little pleasure, or a genuine need, buying a new television requires some thought before you get your hands on your wallet. Choosing the right one gets harder and harder as manufacturers double their imaginations to offer the best definition, the best functions, and increasingly cleaner interfaces.

Beyond these thoughts, The main purchasing criterion remains size. For some, this is where things get complicated. It’s hard to judge whether a particular screen size will suffice for your living room. Conversely, some might dream of an 89-inch panel when they don’t have the necessary distance to take full advantage of it.

Because choosing a television is based on several criteria that must be combined perfectly. Size, definition, distance, field of view, all these elements matter. We also provide some explanations so you won’t be mistaken for your next purchase.

Choose the right format

While manufacturers often offer displays in 16:9 format, others are starting to become more popular. As a reminder, different formats will determine the width of the black bands surrounding the image. While most content is optimized for 16:9, movies are shot for 21:9, which is that of a cinema screen. Our good old CRT TVs adopted the 4:3 format.

It is therefore up to you to determine what entices you the most and, above all, what best suits your use case. If you’re a movie fan, the 21:9 format seems like the best fit. Some brands like Samsung even offer curved panels especially for video game enthusiasts. The more immersive it is, the more visible the reflections will be. So be careful where you put it. Near a window, you may not enjoy the experience. Unless you’re only viewing your content in the dark then this issue is no longer an issue.

choose size tv format

How is screen size calculated?

Once the format is selected, it will be seen if your living room can get your TV. Although larger screens tempt us all, it’s worth remembering that size isn’t everything. To accurately calculate the diagonal of a screen, therefore, you will need to do a little calculation.

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Indeed, since the advent of LCD screens, screen sizes are no longer expressed in centimeters, but in inches (thanks Anglo-Saxons). One inch is equal to 2.54 cm. For example, a 55-inch screen measures 137.5 cm diagonally. If you live in a small house, this diagonal is already very comfortable. In any case, another factor will be decisive in the choice of size: distance.

select tv size back

know how to take a step back

Instead of starting from the TV to move to the back, from your living room layout to the TV. Indeed, if the TV seems to marry easily with your furniture, that doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the right size. That’s why we recommend measuring the gap between your sofa (or bed) and where the TV is located.

If we do not have to leave a significant distance between the sofa and the TV, we still advise you not to hurt your beautiful eyes. So forget the distance 4 times the size of the TV based on the days of CRT TVs. However, you will need to find the right balance between screen size, distance, and definition.

choose size tv definition

Indeed, the gap between the TV and your sofa will not be the same, depending on whether you prefer a Full HD or Ultra HD 4K display (or 8K if you prefer). The lower the resolution and the closer you are, the more likely you are to detect pixels on the screen.

The good news is 4K is getting more democratic and now you can find quality panels without breaking your money. This has the advantage of not requiring you to take too many steps back. The bad news is that you will have to be patient to calculate the distance to respect, as each manufacturer has their own magic formula.

For example, Samsung explains that (for 4K screens) it’s enough to multiply the diagonal (in centimeters) by 1.2 to get the correct distance. Comparing with other manufacturers, we determined:The 1.5 multiplier was a good average. That’s why we recommend going for 4K screens with a maximum of 55 inches, unless your sofa is more than two meters away from your TV.

for a definition Full HD, we recommend a multiplier of 2 to prevent you from detecting pixels on the screen if you are too close. Therefore, for this screen type and if there is no more than 2 meters between the TV and the seat, we recommend a maximum 49-inch panel. Don’t you want to do math? Here is a small summary table.

select tv size chart

Importance of field of view

Note that these values ​​are not strictly correct. The decline is only an indicator among others. To get the best experience, You should also consider the field of view. Indeed, if the human eye has a viewing angle of 120° horizontally, Association of Cinema and Television Engineers (SMPTE) describes that a screen should cover a field of view of 30° to enjoy television and sporting events and 40° for movies and series.

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So, if we recommend respecting a 2 meter setback with a 55-inch 4K screen, SMPTE states that you should position yourself at 1.7 meters to fully enjoy your movies. That thirty centimeters difference shouldn’t have much of an effect on your eyestrain. So you can get a little closer.

choose tv size field of view

Usage and content: does it matter?

Today you can view content in different definitions. For example, television broadcasts in HD (some channels such as Canal+ go up to 4K), game consoles support Ultra HD (PS4 Pro, Xbox One X), you can access SVOD services in 4K or you can prefer 4K UHD Blu-Rays.

Therefore, he may fear that a television program broadcast in HD will be difficult to watch on a 4K panel. Do not panic. New televisions are equipped with processors that can improve the processing of the image, thanks to a process called upgrade. for simplicity, Your TV show broadcast in 720p is converted to 4K by the TV chip. Please note, the higher the quality of the initial content, the higher the quality of the image. So look Lord of the Rings It will be much more enjoyable than watching it on TV on a Sunday night on 4K Blu-Ray. Finally, it’s up to you.