Measuring a TV may seem like a simple task, but it can actually be trickier than you think. In this post, we’ll show you how to accurately measure a TV screen and give you a few tips on choosing the right size TV, how far away you should sit from the TV, and other measurements to be aware of, especially if you’re wall mounting.
First, let’s start with the basics. When you see screen sizes listed on a TV’s box or online, that measurement is from one corner of the screen itself to the opposing corner. However, often you’ll find that it’s actually just shy of the claimed size. For instance, a 70 inch TV may actually come in at just shy of 69 and a half inches.
When it comes to sizing up a TV to see if it will fit on your media stand, a credenza in a cabinet, or on your wall, the screen size measurement doesn’t do anything for you. Instead, look at a few key measurements. On most product pages online, in the specs section, manufacturers will list the TV’s height, width, and depth, both with and without a TV’s stand or legs.
For example, a TV’s depth is altered by its feet in that they extend in front of and behind the TV’s cabinet. In some cases, a TV’s feet may actually increase the width too. This is important for determining if the TV is going to fit in the space you want to put it. Even though you’re only losing five inches diagonally in some cases, the entire size of the TV scales down quite a bit. Therefore, you may have to step down to a smaller model if the TV you want just won’t fit.
Another reason to look at the full dimensions of a TV is that bezel size varies. If you’re already tight on space, you don’t want to assume that you can just squeeze a 65-inch model in if it looks like you have just about 65 inches. Some TVs have no bezels at all, while some add a few inches to the overall size of the TV cabinet.
When it comes to wall mounting, that’s a whole different topic that involves a lot of measuring, which is why we created a separate post for that topic.
The other measurement to keep in mind is the distance from which you’ll sit from the TV. Generally speaking, the further away you will be from the TV, the larger screen size you may want. The inverse can also be true. If you sit super close, it is possible to get a TV so large that it doesn’t fit in your field of vision, and that’s actually not great. Human vision has a field of view of about 200 degrees. Therefore, a rule of thumb is to divide your viewing distance in inches (that’s from your eyes to the TV screen) by 1.6. For example, if you sit 8 feet from your TV, that’s 96 inches divided by 1.6, which equals 60. So a 60 inch TV would be ideal, but you could go a little larger or smaller than that.
One important point to keep in mind is that you may have to, at some point, decide which is more important: screen size or picture quality. It comes down to your budget, and getting the biggest screen at your budget may not be as satisfying as getting the best picture quality at your budget.
In conclusion, measuring and sizing up a TV can be a bit tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be able to accurately measure your TV screen and choose the right size for your space.