In the tech world, bigger is better — and TVs are no exception. Screens are larger than ever, and sizes that used to be out of reach for most households are astonishingly affordable.
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When you’re ready to update your television, don't just go for the biggest model you can afford. Grab a tape measure and find out if the screen of your dreams really makes sense for your home.
Expectation versus reality
While fitting a massive discounted 90” TV into your living room sounds nice in theory, there are several factors, in addition to room size and budget, to consider:
- Television size
- Viewing distance
- Viewing angles
- Screen resolution
Let’s take a look at how each can affect what size television you should purchase.
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Size does matter
If you plan to mount your new TV on the wall, it’s time to measure the space’s height, width and even depth if you have a surrounding entertainment center or something similar.
Tip in a Tip: The screen size of a TV is measured diagonally, either from the bottom left corner of the screen to the top right screen corner or bottom right up to the top left.
The size of the screen itself matters, but don’t forget about the bezel surrounding it. While screen size is constant, the actual measurement of your TV can vary a bit depending on the frame.
If you plan to put your new TV on a cabinet or console, measure that too. The stand or feet of the television must rest entirely on the furniture, as any part that extends over the edge could lead to disaster if bumped.
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Come a little closer
The ultra-high definition (UHD) of today’s TVs translates to double the resolution of traditional HD sets. What does this mean for you as a viewer? You can sit closer than you would with an older model television and not discern individual pixels.
Yes, the higher pixel density allows you to watch a larger screen seated a little closer.
If you’re not sure where to start, use this tried and true formula to determine the ideal screen size for your viewing distance:
Viewing distance (in inches)/2 = recommended TV size.
For example, if you sit 10 feet from the TV, that’s 120 inches (10 feet x 12 inches) divide that by 2 and you should get a 60” TV. Remember, select a television that meets your space measurements, regardless of suggested TV size determined with viewing distance calculators.
There’s not a bad seat in the house
If you plan on buying a standard HDTV, you need to consider viewing angles. This is especially true if you have multiple seating areas for viewing the television. To ensure the image quality doesn’t degrade for those sitting off to the side, look for a TV that offers wide-angle viewing.
While the viewing angle is an issue associated with LCD TVs, it should not be a problem with UHD/4K sets.
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Bigger is not always better
Of course you want the most sizable screen for your available space and budget. The problem is if you opt for a cheaper big screen from a lesser-known brand, you may be forced to sacrifice picture quality.
The better choice would be to go with a big-name model that offers a smaller high-quality screen for a comparable price. You will find the better picture quality makes up for any loss in size.
With a small amount of homework, you’ll be ready to watch your perfect-fit TV, free of buyer’s remorse.
BONUS TIP FOR EXTRA KNOW-HOW: Avoid these counterfeit products when Christmas shopping.
Holiday shopping may be fun, but it comes with its share of risks. In this time of giving, hackers, scammers and swindlers are lying in wait to take advantage of people’s kindness and make a quick buck at your expense.
Another way scammers are ripping folks off this year? Counterfeit goods. Research has shown that a specific category of goods is rife with fakes and low-quality knockoffs — and people continue to fall for it. Here’s what we know about this season’s counterfeit goods epidemic.
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Learn about all the latest technology on the Kim Komando Show, the nation's largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and dispenses advice on today's digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data hacks. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.