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HDTV: Can They Ever Be Too Big?

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Most people feel that the bigger a TV is the better it will be, but this isn’t necessarily so, especially not for HDTV models. The size of your room will dictate the ideal TV size, but your viewing will also be influenced by the type of HDTV you have. You must carefully consider these factors when choosing your next HDTV. As a general rule the smaller the room, and the closer the viewer seating is to the TV. the smaller your HDTV should be.


Which Size is Right? suggests that size really matters, as high-definition televisions are very different from conventional TVs. For instance, sitting too close to your TV gives you a pixilated view. On the other hand, being too far away is not good either as you’ll get a distorted and even too dark a view.

You can’t just decide to compete against your neighbors huge television here – bigger is not always better. A too big TV for the space you have available will cause viewers to need to scan their eyes across the picture, as if they were reading a book, instead of watching TV. This happens when the TV is too big for the area and at the seating distance you have, the image becomes too large for your eyes to take it all in.

But too-small a TV will also cause problems, limiting your viewing immersion experience and diminishing the HDTV features.



Before deciding on the right size you need to determine the TV’s location. Are you hanging it from a wall or from the ceiling? Are you placing it on a stand or in an entertainment center? How far is the seating area from the TV and do all seating areas have access to TV viewing? Is the seating area moveable? These are all questions you must ask yourself before finding the right sized HDTV for the area.


The Ideal Size

To get an estimate of the size you need you should measure the distance from your viewing area to the TV placement area. Then divide this number by 1.5 and this will give you the maximum size HDTV you can buy. So if your sofa is 8 feet away from your TV, this translates to about 80 inches. Divide these 80-inches by 1.5 and you get 53-inches, which is the largest HDTV you should purchase for the area.


The Type of HDTV will also Influence Viewing

Not all HDTVs are created equal. There are actual 3 categories within HDTVs: Plasma, LCD, and LED technology.

The first of these to arrive on the market was plasma. In this technology the pixels are lit instead of scanned as they were on conventional TVs. Plasma TVs can be viewed from all angles and bright whites and blacks are viewed normally, but there is a higher danger of these TVs overheating, and they use more electricity than LCDs.

LCD technology is the next rung on the technology ladder. These TVs have liquid crystal molecules that filter in or out light. Although these TVs are more durable than plasma, they offer issues with contrast when viewed from certain angles. Whites and blacks can be confused with other dark or light colors from a certain distance or angle.

LED is the newest in HDTV technology and offers the benefits of plasma and LCD. LED-lit TVs offer a large range of colors including deep blacks and whites. Additionally, these use the least amount of energy.


Bottom Line

The TV size you purchase will depend on your room size, the distance of your seating area and the type of HDTV you buy. You should analyze all of these factors before purchasing your next HDTV.


Paul Hinshaw is an independent contractor. He enjoys blogging about home entertainment and writes regularly on tech issues.


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