How to find the right TV size for a room

Updated February 21, 2017

Bigger is not always better when it comes to shopping for flat screens or buying a refurbished TV. A large TV may be impossible to see, while a TV that's too small will be just as frustrating to watch. To find the right TV size for your room, a quick formula will help.

Measure in inches the distance from the area you want to place your TV to the area where you'll sit to view the television.

Divide the distance by 3. The number you get is the smallest size television you can purchase and still see it clearly from this distance.

Divide the distance from the TV to where you will sit by 1.5. This number is the largest television set you can purchase and still see it clearly. Consider dividing by 2 instead of 1.5 if you are not purchasing an HDTV.

Compare the two numbers to the TV sizes available in your price range. Round the numbers up to the next common TV size. For example, if the distance you sit from your TV is 48 inches, dividing by 3 and 1.5 will give you 16 and 32. Thus, you might purchase a TV ranging in size from 19 inches to 32 inches.

Choose a smaller size for a non-HDTV television. A larger screen may be harder to see, even if it is still technically within the range you calculated.


Amazon recommends dividing by 3 and 1.5, but Samsung recommends dividing by 4 and 3. Try both, or use 3 and 2 as a compromise.


Cheap televisions may seem appealing, but before buying a TV always look at the warranty and the store's return policy.

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