How To Choose The Right TV Diagonal? Counting Inches


How do you calculate the size of your TV so you can get the most out of your viewing experience? Nothing complicated: We explain in simple terms.

TVs are becoming more and more affordable. Many people think that the bigger the screen, the greater the experience, the deeper the immersion into what is happening. But in fact it is not. Look at the plan of any cinema: the most expensive tickets are always in the middle rows. If you sit on the first or second row, the picture will be too big – it will be extremely uncomfortable to watch the movie. So you need to find the optimal diagonal of the TV, based on the peculiarities of the layout and furnishings of your apartment. But how do you choose a TV by diagonal?

What happens if you pick the wrong diagonal screen?

Of course, nothing catastrophic. But over time, you will begin to pay attention to some of the nuances.

Eyes get tired. Remember the advice of our parents: “Do not sit close to the TV. Indeed, when a bright and contrasting image is too close, your eyes get tired quickly. If you sit too far away, you will have to strain your eyes even more.

The quality of the picture will be worse. This applies when the distance between the TV and your chair/sofa is too small. If the screen resolution is low (say, HD Ready), the picture will not be clear enough.

Viewing comfort is lower than usual. Again, this happens when the TV is too close. It’s just like in a movie theater: if you’re sitting in the front row, you have to periodically turn your head because you can’t catch the entire screen in your field of view. It’s about the same with a large diagonal TV.

How do I choose the TV diagonal for my room?

To accurately decide on the size of the diagonal, you need to know exactly where you would like to put the TV. Then measure the distance from the main place where the TV will be watched from to the “box” itself. And finally, follow the “golden rule”: for the most comfortable viewing, you need to install the TV at a distance of 2.5-3 of its diagonal. The diagonal of the TV is measured in inches, 1 inch equals 2.54 cm.

What does this mean in practice? For example, from your favorite sofa to the opposite wall, where the “TV” is supposed to be placed, is 3 meters. That’s 300 cm. We divide this figure by 2.5 (remember about 2.5-3 diagonals), then by 2.54 (converted to inches) – we get about 47. So in this particular case, the right choice would be a TV diagonal of 47-48 inches.

300 / 2,5 / 2,54 = 47,24

This math is true for devices with HD Ready and Full HD screens. But today there are a lot of models with 4K resolution. How do they differ in terms of placement? Because the picture sharpness is higher, even at close range it will not look blurred. That is theoretically the same 48-inch TV can be watched from 2-2.5 m without any problems. But this is only one point of the three we cited above. The enormous size of the image will still strain you if you are too close to it. Here, for example, are Samsung’s recommendations for diagonal-to-distance ratios.

By the way, when we talk about 4K TVs, we mean 4K content. Because it is with it that the picture resolution will be that 3840*2160. And what happens if there is no such content? Then the electronics will start stretching, for example, the standard Full HD to 4K resolution. With some models it turns out quite good: the difference in quality is not very noticeable. But sometimes after “optimization” the borders of objects begin to look blurred, at close range it is possible to notice “pixelation”. That is, if you put such TV too close, you will have the same problems as with conventional TVs.

CONCLUSION: With any TV, use the classic formula: the distance to the screen should be 2.5-3 the size of its diagonal.

What diagonal size TV for the kitchen?

Let’s face it: rarely do people in the kitchen watch TV in concentration. Most often the “TV” is just bought in order not to miss something important or just to watch (or rather listen to) programs in the background, while working with your hands or jaws. So the principles by which we chose the TV for the room can be neglected. What really matters?

The mounting location. The bigger the diagonal of the TV, the fewer options for its placement. For example, a compact 32-inch can be hung on a bracket over the fridge. And the cost of such a device will be noticeably less than, say, a 40-inch.

Weight of the TV. Another argument in favour of models with a small diagonal size. You’re not likely to put your TV on a side table or in a niche in the kitchen. You’re more likely to hang it on the wall. And the walls between the rooms in older houses can be made almost out of sawdust: they can’t take much weight. So it’s better to choose the same 32″ TV for your kitchen of up to 14 sq. m.

A couple more nuances that are important when choosing a location

Now you know everything about the choice and dependence of the diagonal of the TV on the distance. We just want to remind you a few rules to help determine the best place for the TV in your room. With the distance we have already dealt with, what else?

The most comfortable mode for viewing is when your eyes are at or slightly above the center of the screen. If we take into account the traditional sofa, on which viewers usually sit, this is about 0.9-1.1 m. Accordingly, the TV should be positioned so that its center is at this height. Usually furniture sets are made with this in mind. The exception is the same kitchen, where the TV can be hung over the fridge or table.

If the TV is too high, your eyes will dry out because your eyelids are also raised too high. You’ll automatically start blinking more, but even so, you’ll get tired much faster when watching a movie. In addition, if you have to tilt your head back, this puts extra strain on your spine.

And if it is too low? You can easily hit the vacuum cleaner when you are cleaning or a chair when you are setting the table for guests. This has nothing to do with the comfort of viewing, but you must agree that it is a shame to damage your own expensive equipment.

What other tips can be given for determining where to place the TV?

  • Do not place the TV by the window. Do not look at the image in the back light: if you place the TV near a window and look in its direction, the picture will be dim. You’ll have to turn the brightness and contrast to maximum, thereby straining your eyes.
  • Further away from the door. Position your TV so you can’t hit it with a bedroom door or a closet door.
  • Strictly in front of you. Your TV should be strictly facing the viewer. If you have to turn your head to the side, your neck muscles can get stiff.
  • Provide backlighting. It is harmful to watch TV in the dark – too much stress on the eyes. It is desirable to provide artificial background lighting: for example, a floor lamp or a desk lamp.


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