The screen size you see quoted for TVs is still most often measured in inches, since that’s how screens have been measured since TV began. And it wasn’t all that long ago that a so-called “big screen” TV was a heavy square box with a 29-inch screen size. Needless to say, times have changed just a bit. These days, with the limitations of the old CRT (“tube”) based TVs completely gone, a 30” screen would be considered a bare minimum for lounge room use, with larger sizes far more common.
The size of a screen is measured from one corner to the opposite corner – the actual diagonal size of the screen. It’s not a measurement of the dimensions of the TV itself – check the manufacturers’ web sites for the details on that if you’re trying to fit a TV into a space. The screen size is really just to give you a quick idea of how large the actual screen is. And they can get big. Samsung unveiled a 146-inch screen overseas recently, and you can walk into a store right now and buy an 85” screen for a lot less money than you’d expect. But how big is too big?
If you’re looking for a TV for the home’s family living area or something convenient for someone who rents an apartment and may be soon relocating, you probably don’t want the TV screen to dominate the entire room – but you also don’t want to have a screen so small that everyone has to gather around it to watch it. We’d recommend screen sizes ranging from 49 to 55 inches – they’re a great balance between price and screen size, with the 49-inch screens in particular offering exceptional value for money for those on a tight budget. It’s tempting to move up to 65-inch – and there’s nothing wrong with that if your living space is big enough, except for the price. That extra 10 diagonal inches can often double the price of comparable models from the same brand.
Oh, and don’t be fooled when you’re in the store. When you’re amongst all those TVs playing video at the same time, a 55-inch screen looks a lot smaller than it will when it’s in your living room at home!
For those after more of a home cinema experience, the options are there to go larger, and that can be a real plus for 4K video streaming. We’d recommend 65-inch for Ultra HD movie content – but there’s still that price wall that pops up once you head up above 55”, with a 77” OLED screen starting at around $11,000.
Bear in mind that most brand-name TVs of 49 inches and up will be 4K screens these days, but you need to be fairly close to the screen to see the benefits of 4K until you get to the larger screen sizes.