useful pointers on Finding your optimum TV Screen Size

Some are bigger, and others certainly are smaller. And when it comes to buying your next TV, there are many reasons why size really does matter!

We're sure you'll agree that there's a minefield of baffling information to confuse us, but aside from the technical jargon of such terms as HD and 4k, or OLED Vs QLED, one of the most overlooked factors is the size of the screen itself. Because in the world of TVs, finding the right size screen for your requirements makes all the difference for enjoying movies, shows and games at their very best. So, don't always assume that 'bigger means better'. 

But with budget also taken into consideration, it's always worth remembering that although a larger screen at a lower price may seem attractive, a smaller set at a similar price could have more picture technology to boot, meaning a better viewing experience overall. 

And with all of this in mind, if you're worried about finding the optimum screen size for your viewing needs, the good news is that this handy guide tells you all that you will ever need to know. 

Why is Screen Size So Important?

Despite the constant advances in TV technology improving picture quality, resulting in sharper images, more vivid colours and smoother transitions, choosing the wrong size screen for your room could easily ruin the experience for the viewer. 

For example, selecting too big a screen for a smaller room means that the viewer sits closer, and this could result in the image appearing distorted. And by contrast, a screen too small for larger rooms may prove both difficult and tiring to watch from more considerable distances. 

And from an aesthetic's point of view, a giant screen in a smaller scale room would prove dominating, whereas an undersized TV in a room with more compact dimensions may look out of place. 

How Do I Find the Right Size Screen? 

Since there's no 'one size fits all' approach when it comes to selecting your next TV, be sure to try this simple technique for determining the right size screen for you and your room. 

  1. Decide on where your TV will be located and where the viewers will be seated. 
  2. In inches, now measure the viewing distance from the TV's location back to the viewing point. 
  3. Take this measurement and divide it by the value of 2.5 - the resulting number is the approximate screen size that you'll need.

For example: 11-feet (132") from screen to sofa / by 2.5 = 52.8” (approximate ideal screen size).

Like in the example above, as many rooms won't allow for a round number to be determined, you may get is an approximate value of the screen size you should consider. In this case, a TV size of between 52" to 55" will be more ideal. 

Higher Resolution & Advanced Technology

Although this article is aimed at helping you find an optimum screen size, and less focussed on technical jargon, you'll discover when it comes to finding your ideal TV (more content on these topics to follow), picture resolution is hard to overlook. 

Despite HD TV creating a massive revolution in the way we enjoy movies and shows, the higher resolutions now offered by the likes of 4K - as well as 8K now looming on the digital horizon - means that TVs now have even more pixels to make up an image. In Layman's terms, the more pixels available, the more detail you will see. 

And with streaming services and broadcasters offering much more 4k content for us to enjoy, especially where smart TVs are concerned, it only makes sense to take advantage of all the picture quality benefits that 4k video has to offer.

Plus, as a result of these clearer and sharper images, larger screen sizes are becoming more readily available, allowing us to enjoy a more significant picture free from visual distortion. 

However, as 4K technology is now becoming commonplace for many smaller screen sizes too, you can afford to sit slightly closer to the TV than before. Also, this opens up your choice when it comes to more budget-friendly TVs, as seen with the 43" to 65" screen range of the Sony XH81 series. 

Distance and Viewing Angles

When it comes to listening to music, and in the case of a pair of stereo speakers, there is an optimum listening position which allows you to hear the music at its best. Often referred to as the 'sweet spot', this is usually found when you sit centrally in front of the two speakers, but at a sensible distance away. The speakers should ideally be at an equal distance apart from each other. 

Keeping this theory in mind, when it comes to TVs you will often find that the picture appears at its best when you view it from a position both central and level to the screen, and at the recommended distance in proportion to its size. The general consensus is that a viewer should not be more than 40-degrees to the left or right of the screen for optimum viewing, whereas the viewer shouldn't have to look up or down more than 15-degrees. 

However, this presents us with a slight snag: what if your viewing position isn't in direct line with your TV? 

In an ideal world, we would all have a square room with the TV located in the centre of the wall, and our sofa or viewing point perfectly in line to match.

But before you consider drastically redesigning your living room to create the optimum viewing space, or ditching that perfectly good sofa in favour of a new one to match the height of your new TV, hold on for a moment. All is not lost! 

In the real world, people's rooms are all different shapes, sizes and layouts. And thankfully, TV brands such as Sony have tolerances for those situations where you are off-centre from the screen, or if the TV is positioned higher than you are when seated.

For example, all new 2020 Sony TVs of the XH95 series and above feature X-Wide Angle viewing to ensure that picture quality remains consistent for all viewers, regardless of their seating position in the room, thanks to the intelligent use of colour and brightness parameters.

Will Your New TV Fit?

Aside from all the improved screen technologies allowing you to enjoy even greater picture quality, along with the enhanced choice of screen sizes we can opt for, it's always worth considering how your TV will be physically supported. 

Screen size is determined by a measurement recorded in inches, from the top-left to the bottom-right of the panel. However, don't forget that the TV's casing means that you will also have a bezel surrounding the screen, plus a back cover to the TV, too.

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In this case, you'll want to consider if your ideal TV will fit on your chosen piece of furniture, or if it can be safely wall-mounted without obstructing any other objects. Thankfully, we have some convenient TV wall-mount options if you're looking to use your new TV with a Sonos soundbar

But should you wish to mount your TV into a special recess within a wall, then don't forget that you'll need to keep your TV's full physical size in mind. In which case, be sure to consider the size of the TV's bezel surround too. Also, remember that your TV will need adequate ventilation.

Placing the TV on a piece of furniture offers safe and sturdy support, but it's vital to ensure that there is enough room to accommodate it. Some TVs have a central stand to support itself, but many have feet at either end of its casing, meaning larger TVs may overhang. 

In light of this, Sony has also given both their XH95 and ZH8 series TVs adjustable width stands, ensuring your prised new TV is fully supported at all times. Similarly, Sony's A8 comes complete with an adjustable height stand for making sure you and the TV are on the same level for optimum viewing; this also proves handy for raising the TV's height above any soundbars which may be placed on the same piece of furniture. 

In Summary

Hopefully, this guide puts you in the picture when it comes to everything concerning the size of your next TV. But should you still be unsure of which screen size is best to go for, why not check out our blogs on the new range of Sony TVs available at Smart Home Sounds

With screen sizes ranging from 43" to 85", offering a choice of OLED or full-array displays, we're sure to have the right TV for you and your family to enjoy. 

But if you're confused by all the technical jargon, please be sure to refer to our guides listed below for more information. Or even better still, please don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team for advice and support on finding your next TV. 

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By Tom Parker, Sales & Customer Service


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