About TV: which size should I buy?


How big a TV should you buy? 37? 42? 50? 65? 90?
The short answer: as big as you can afford. The longer answer depends on your room, your seating distance, your eyes, and the acceptance of any cohabitating co-deciders.

There is a direct correlation between recommended screen size and seating distance. The farther away you sit, obviously, the smaller your TV appears. The ideal is to have a screen that fills a certain amount of your field of view, though how much is "ideal" is up for debate.

THX recommends, for example, a viewing angle of 40 degrees, to create "an immersive cinematic experience." What does 40 degrees mean to those of us who love math in theory but not in practice? Skip the protractor, and multiply your seating distance (in inches or centimeters) by 0.84. This gets you the recommended screen diagonal.

For example, most people sit about 9 feet (108 inches) from their TV, so THX recommends a screen size of around 90 inches diagonal for that distance. That means the 55-inch you're looking at is not "too big," at least as far as THX is concerned. They realize, though, that not everyone has the space (or desire) for a TV that big, so they also recommend something in the 60-inch range for seating distances up to 9 feet.