What Size TV Is Right for My Room?

Whether living room, bedroom, bonus room, den, man-cave or she-shed, the same universal rules apply: In order to get a real sense of what size TV is right for your space, you’ll need to know the distance between your seating and where you plan to install/place the TV.

Wall-mounting a TV in your living room or den? Measure from the wall to the seat of your sectional, sofa, loveseat or recliner. Setting the TV on a stand, media console, or entertainment center? Measure the same way, but start from the center of your TV stand or console instead. In a bedroom where you’ll be sitting or lying in bed while watching TV, take the same measurement from the center of your media chest, dresser or TV stand to your headboard.

All of this is assuming that you haven’t bought your new TV yet. Just remember that the only other measurement that really matters here is your TV’s screen diameter.

[Note: It’s important to remember that the consumer electronics industry measures TV screens diagonally from corner-to-corner. This diagonal measurement is also commonly known as the screen diameter or screen size.]

What Kind of TV Do You Have? (What Is Your TV’s Resolution?)
With modern, 4K ultra high-definition (UHD) TVs, viewers should ideally be 1 foot back for every 8 inches in screen diameter. Most of the TVs being manufactured today fall into this category. Just divide your screen’s diameter by 8, and that’s your ideal distance in feet.

For instance, you should be around 4 feet back from a small 32-inch screen, 5 feet back from a 40-inch, approximately 7 feet back from a 55-inch, around 8 feet back from a 65-inch, 10 feet back from an 80-inch, and so on.

Do you have a high-definition TV model with a resolution of 1080p? Perhaps an older TV that you’re planning on moving from another room? For “standard” HDTVs with 1080p resolution, we recommend that viewers sit 1 foot back for every 6 inches in screen diameter. Like above, simply divide your screen’s diameter by 6, and that will be your optimal distance from the TV in feet.

Using that math, you should be sitting just over 5 feet from a 32-inch, just under 7 feet from a 40-inch, 9 feet from a 55-inch, around 11 feet from a 65-inch, 13 feet from an 80-inch, etc.

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