Right TV Size

Big Screens: What’s the Right TV Size for a Room?

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to choosing the right TV size. Canstar’s guide helps you choose the correct TV size for your room.

We all like to think, and dream, big when it comes time to purchase a new TV. But bigger isn’t always better when it comes to the right size TV for your lounge room.

Rather than the size of your wallet, your choice of TV size should be determined by the size of your room and the distance you sit from it. Choose a screen that’s too big or too small for the space available, and you could compromise your viewing pleasure.

What size TV should I buy?

When working out what size TV to buy, first measure how far away from it you’ll be sitting. The general rules are:

  • High Definition (HD) TVs: sit 1.5-2.5 times the screen’s diagonal measurement away from the screen. For a 50” TV, that’s approx 1.9m-3.1m.
  • 4K TVs: sit 1.5 times the screen’s diagonal measurement away from the screen. For a 50” TV, that’s approx 1.3m-1.9m.

Here’s a rough guide on sitting distances from HDTVs:

Screen size Viewing distance range for 1080p HDTVs
40″ 1.5m-2.5m
43″ 1.6m-2.7m
50″ 1.9m-3.1m
55″ 2.1m-3.5m
60″ 2.2m-3.8m
65″ 2.4m-4.1m
70″ 2.6m-4.4m
75″ 2.8m-4.7m
80″ 3m-5m
85″ 3.2m-5.4m

With 4KTVs, you sit even closer, to really appreciate the difference a 4K picture provides:

Screen size Viewing distance range for 4K Ultra HD TVs
40″ 1m-1.5m
43″ 1.1m-1.6m
50″ 1.2m-1.9m
55″ 1.4m-2.1m
60″ 1.5m-2.2m
65″ 1.6m-2.4m
70″ 1.7m-2.6m

If you were ever told not to sit so close to your TV as a child, for fear of frying your eyeballs, these distances could seem rather close. Especially since the average viewing distance in most homes is around 2.7m.

However, it’s worth noting that the above figures are in line with industry guidelines for the most immersive viewing experience. For this, it’s recommended that 40% of your field of vision is taken up by your TV screen. But that’s only if you’re sitting watching devotedly, as in a cinema. Not if you’re flicking through your phone or device on the sofa and only occasionally looking up at the screen.

How high should I hang my TV screen?

Ultimately, it’s not so much the distance from the screen that creates a problem, it’s how high the screen is from the floor. For whether you’re hanging it from the wall, or positioning it on furniture, if it’s too high or too low it can seriously interfere with your viewing pleasure, and even give you a crooked neck.

For the optimum viewing experience, the middle of your TV screen should be at eye level when you’re sitting down. Of course, this depends on the height of your furniture, but a general rule of thumb is about 106cm off the floor.

As you’ll notice, most TV cabinets are low to accommodate this. However, wall-mounted screens tend to be fixed higher, especially when they’re hung above furniture or existing room fittings, such as fireplaces.

If you’re fixing to a wall with limited height options, such as above a fireplace or sideboard, and are uncomfortable with the viewing angle, the answer is a fireplace wall mount. These brackets allow you to pull the TV down to an optimum viewing angle when in use.

Smart broadband for a smart TV

If you’re in the market for a new TV, it’s likely that your choice of screen, regardless of your viewing angle, will be a smart TV. And to make the most of that feature, you’ll need a broadband plan with enough data for you to be able to binge on Netflix and NEON. And this is where Canstar comes in.

To help Kiwi consumers make more informed decisions, Canstar Blue annually rates all the providers in the market. We survey thousands of broadband customers and ask them to score their providers across categories including Overall Satisfaction, Value for Money and Customer Service.

Canstar Blue’s 2020 review of NZ internet providers compares NOW, 2degrees, Bigpipe, Contact, MyRepublic, Orcon, Skinny, Slingshot, Spark, Stuff Fibre, Trustpower, Vodafone and Voyager, and awards the best our 5 Star rating:

See Our Ratings Methodology

The table above is an abridged version of our full research, so to find out more about NZ’s best broadband providers, just click on the big button below:

Compare broadband providers for free with Canstar!


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