How to Determine What Size Widescreen TV to Buy

Written by nina nixon Google
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Widescreen televisions come in all sizes and get bigger and better each year. Sizes start at 19 inches and go up. Selecting a screen size that fits your needs is important and ultimately will make you feel better about the investment. Here are some methods to aid in your search:

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  1. 1

    Decide how you will use the television and where it go in your home, office, etc.

    Give some thought to the layout of the room. If it’s the bedroom, decide if it will be viewed from a sitting area or in front of the bed. Take note of the furniture placement if the unit is to be placed in the living room. A widescreen for the home theatre room should be comfortable viewed from all angles. If the television is in an activity room and used for gaming, the size of the unit, its placement and the seating for the players also should be considered.

  2. 2

    Measure the distance from the "ideal seat" (or seats) to the proposed placement of the widescreen. Optimal viewing distance 3 to 6 feet for most television sets. For widescreens, though, it depends screen size, TV placement, room size and personal preference.

    Usually, the viewing area for a widescreen television compared to traditional of the same size is a few inches smaller. For example, a traditionally sized 32-inch television has a viewing area of 26.5 inches x 19.2 inches. A 42-inch widescreen would be a good replacement because the viewing area increases to 27.5 x 20.6.

  3. 3

    Look for a TV with a high aspect ratio.

    The standard aspect ratio of a widescreen television determines how much of the content will fit onto the screen. Most widescreens have an aspect ratio of 16x9, which fills the screen for most feature films and many new HD TV programs. Older programs have a smaller aspect ratio and won't fill the screen, leaving black borders around the picture. This is called letterboxing.

  4. 4

    Consider purchasing an Anamorphic or "Enhanced for 16x9" widescreen if the you choose a smaller size unit.

    Anamorphic widescreens typically have a higher resolutions. If you are considering a screen of 24 inches or less, you will benefit with having a crisper view on a smaller screen. Anamorphic works by stretching film to fit the screen and results in more condensed pixels and higher clarity. Since it works for smaller units, this choice is recommended for larger widescreens as well.

  5. 5

    Do your shopping homework before making a purchase.

    Widescreens are 33 per cent wider than traditional television sets. They also have shorter vertical screens, making them more rectangular rather than square. Shop at stores that have widescreen TVs on display and turned on. Keep in mind all of the determinations you made earlier regarding where the television will be placed, what it will be used for and the optimum viewing distance. Ask the sales clerk provide the dimensions or give you some literature to take with you.

Tips and warnings

  • Before you buy, know the store's return policy. Shop at stores that have fair return policies, and keep your receipt and original packaging. Test your ideal placement and viewing distance before making a final commitment.

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