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How to Calculate the Viewing Distance for a TV

There are often two main concerns when looking to purchase a new flat-screen television.

When deciding on a television set, it’s important to consider both the size of the room and the optimal viewing distance.

The truth is that they are intertwined, and the solution to one problem will influence the other.

When shopping for a TV, do you just grab the biggest one you can afford, or may you end up with one that’s too huge for the room?

Is there a rule of thumb for determining what size TV or projector screen would be ideal for a certain room?

Viewing Distance and Screen Size Estimators for Televisions

This article provides numerous methods for determining the optimal TV size for a given room and the optimal viewing distance.

On the other hand, if you’re in a hurry to acquire some figures, I’ve included links to two calculators that should speed things up.

The first lets you determine the optimal viewing distance for your TV by inputting its screen size.

The second finds the optimal TV dimensions for your space.

Inputting your desired viewing distance will return a variety of TV sizes suitable for your space.

Please read on for an explanation on the methodology behind these figures.

To start with the fundamentals, how do you determine the dimensions of your television set?

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How Do You Determine What Size Tv You Need?

When describing the dimensions of a flat-screen television, the diagonal measurement from the top left to the bottom right is often used.

alternately, from the top right to the bottom left.

We can only hope it’s the same!

Different companies will provide a selection of sizes, often measured in inches, for this distance.

The dimensions of a television set are not always clearly stated. However, the most common method is to calculate the distance using the diagonal.

Check out the article on TV screen dimensions for additional information.

Today, LED and OLED televisions are the two most common options. You may be surprised to learn that there is a wide range of screen sizes available for each of these TV formats.

LED televisions typically come in sizes ranging from 15 to 80 inches, however larger models do exist.

OLED TVs are the future of television, however as of this writing they are only available in very big screen sizes (50 inches or more).

Keep in mind that the sort of technology you’re interested in may dictate the maximum screen size you can get.

Check out the finest flat-screen TV purchasing guide if you want more information on the distinctions between LED and OLED models.

​How can you know what HDTV screen size is best for your space once you’ve settled on a certain model?

Also, how far away should you be from your TV for the optimal viewing experience?

Optimizing Your Viewing Distance and TV Screen Size

Realize first that this is not an exact science.

Later on, we’ll go through some mathematics that will help you determine the optimal size for your display.

However, you need to be aware that your perception of what is the ideal TV size for your room may be influenced by a number of factors:

One’s own preferences

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The Precise Position Inside the Room

The sharpness of your vision The clarity of the images on the TV you’re viewing
People might be in the same room together, yet they can still disagree on the ideal screen size and optimal viewing distance.

In any case, it is often useful to have some reliable figures to use as a benchmark; how can you go about doing this?

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There are three options to try.

Some of the calculations here are based on Carlton Bale’s stellar research. Download his home theater spreadsheet calculator if you’re comfortable with spreadsheets.

This data is applicable to display devices such as televisions and projection screens.

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