What size TV should I buy?

Screen size  
The size of your screen can impact how far back you're going to have to sit.

As much as that massive TV will give you bragging rights among your mates, you also want it to look great in your home. A TV that's not suited to the size of the room can make your room look too spacious, or even too cramped - and may not deliver the best possible picture quality.


Does size matter?

As most people will tell you, size does matter. Even in your television set. TV size is reliant on the resolution and space you have available. The easiest way to think about this is to understand that for a given resolution, there are a limited number of pixels on your screen. At full HD resolution, that's 1920x1080 pixels, regardless of how big or small your television is.

For that reason, if you have a bigger television, at closer distances you'll be able to see individual pixels. If you have a smaller television, on the other hand, you won't be able to see them - but sitting too far from the screen will mean you inevitably miss some of the detail your television's capable of.

To get the best possible picture quality, you need the right sized TV for whichever room you're going to be viewing it in - and that won't always be the biggest television you can afford.


TV types and sizing


If you're after a specific TV type, then you may also be restricted to a certain sized TV in that style. Plasma TVs normally don't come any smaller than a 42 inch screen, and are best for displaying larger pictures. LCD and LED TVs also come in larger sizes, although you may lose some quality when buying an LCD larger than 50 inches.

Size also comes into play when you're considering how wide you want your TV to be at the back. Plasmas are larger than LCD TVs, and LED TVs are smaller still. If you're really short on space, or planning on mounting the television on a wall, then this may be a deciding factor.

Space on either side of the TV is also important to ensure that it can ventilate properly. Televisions can get quite hot, and need room around them to allow heat to be dispersed. If you're limited to the space in a cabinet, be sure that you buy a TV that has enough room to breathe.


How does setting affect the size?

While the size of your TV may be the only thing you're looking for, it's also dependent on where you're going to put the TV in your home. The first factor is the distance you need to keep from the screen to be able to enjoy the maximum viewing experience. The second is what other furniture you're going to have around the screen, and the visual aesthetic of the room. If you're installing a home entertainment system, you can go for the large screen to fill up the wall and provide the maximum experience.

But if you're looking for something for the bedroom, chances are you'll want to look for a smaller TV to make sure that it doesn't dominate the space and overpower everything else in the room. If this is the case, you might also consider a concealable mounting that allows you to hide your television out of view while it's not being used - either in a ceiling or wall cavity, or under the bed.