How To Pick The Right TV For Smaller Living Rooms

January 8, 2018

Decorating a small space can be a challenge when you do not use the right sizes, shapes, and colors. In this article, I will talk about how to place your TV, the unit, and the shelves into your small living room. Fretting over the size of a TV to fit into a living room is an age-long exercise. Most people will purchase a TV without considering the size of their living room and end up with a less-than-ideal experience. Understanding the challenge will greatly help you determine the best TV size for your small living room. Through my experience in running techisignals blog, I have done enough research to help you solve that small mystery.

Screen Size And Resolution

The first thing you should know is that TVs are measured diagonally. A 40-inch TV, therefore, measures 40 inches from one corner to the other.

With this in mind, always consider the resolution. This is important, because if the TV has a higher resolution, the closer you will be able to sit without noticing the pixilation in an image. It is easier to sit close to a 4K TV (3840 x 2160) than you will to a 1080p TV. This is a very important factor to consider before buying a television, more so for a smaller living room. Since you can sit closer to a 4K TV, you will not need a large TV to fill your field of view like would be necessary if the TV has a resolution of 1080p.

TV Position And Room Size

Consider the size of your living room. If the furniture in your living room is not permanently attached to the floor, you have got yourself some room for maneuver with the TV size you can get. This, however, will depend on your willingness to move the furniture a bit.

With that out of the way, you will have to consider where you want to place your TV. Do you want to use the included stand or will you be hanging it using a wall mount? If you use the included stand to set your TV on an entertainment unit, the TV will be closer to the viewer which will subsequently shorten the viewing distance.

If you plan to hang the TV on the wall, kindly note that this will add a foot or two to the viewable distance. This will make a huge difference in determining the right TV size for your living room.

You Will Need Some Calculations As Well

Simply put, you will have to measure the distance between where you will place your TV and where you will be watching it from. There are as many experts as there are formulas to calculate, but industry heavyweights like Amazon recommend 1.5-2.5 times your screen size.

This is what you need to do:

  • Grab your tape measure
  • Sit on your couch or wherever you will be watching your TV from
  • Get comfortable
  • Measure the distance from your position to where you plan to place the TV (in feet)
  • Remember to account for the wall mount or stand measure (depending on your preference)

It is important to remember that you will measure the distance from your sitting place to where the screen will be, not the wall. A standard wall mount, for example, will be six inches from the wall. You have to put that into consideration. For instance, let us assume you measured a distance of 8 feet (96 inches). With the above formula, the best screen size for you would be anywhere in the region of 6o inches.

That, however, does not mean that a 50-inch screen will be too small or an 80-inch will be too imposing. However, the lowest you should go is dividing the distance between your eyes and the screen by 2.5. Bigger is always better as long as it meets other criteria. Trust me, you will be very happy with your choice.

If you want to go for a 4K ultra-high-definition television, there will be a slight change in the formula. Because of the increased quality, an ideal viewing distance of between one and 1.5 times the screen size is highly recommended. If for instance, you want to purchase a 50-inch TV, you should place it between 50 to 75 inches away. Of course, all that will depend on the size of your living room.

Know What Is Comfortable For You

Typically, people like sitting 9 feet from their TV screen. Considering the focus is on smaller living rooms, it brings in the comfort factor. You may want to sit so far (or so near) that the resolution will not be a factor to you. The most important thing is how comfortable you really are. Be ready to experiment with how you place your TV. Remember, it has never been too hurtful to go a little bit bigger than what you think you really need.

Budget And Bargaining

Now that you have every information you need about purchasing the right TV for your living room, I would like to share with you one last trick; bargaining. The price you find on a sticker or online is indicative. The thing is, TV sale margins are different from other electronics. No matter the budget you have, it is always good to find a salesperson on the floor or probably hit a live chat window if you are doing online buying and bargain for a better price. There is always a chance that you will get some discount.

In Conclusion

There you have it! Those are the things you will need to consider when buying a TV for a smaller living room. It is all about you and your tastes and preferences. Depending on the actual size of your living room, you can now determine the perfect distance to place your TV for a better experience. One thing I can guarantee you is, if you follow this guide, you will not be disappointed. There is always something for everyone.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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One thought on “How To Pick The Right TV For Smaller Living Rooms

  1. Hannah Neilson

    I agree that you would want to consider where you position your TV. It would be good to consider this because it would help ensure that it doesn’t take up too much experience. My brother wants to get a TV for his living room, so he’ll have to consider the position first.


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