Wall mounted flatscreen TV in black, white and wood living room

Wondering how big your big screen should be? Here are important considerations to factor into your decision.

Investing in a new TV is a major decision for you and your family. Not only do you have to review specs and features, but also decide on the right TV screen size while staying within budget. There are many aspects to consider, from your available space, to the viewing distance and angle.

To help determine the perfect screen size for your family, and budget, this article walks you through five keys topics. Let’s get started.

TV Screen Size Factors to Consider

TV Screen Size Factors


How much physical space do you have available?

Your first goal is to assess how much physical space you have available. If the TV will be placed on an entertainment unit, measure the length and width to determine what surface area you’re working with.

Alternatively, if you plan on mounting the set, measure the wall space you have available. Then compare the measurements to a few different TV screen sizes to see what options you can choose from.

Tip: You can find TV dimensions within the “Specifications” section of product pages on Walmart.ca. It’s amazing how much research time and effort you can save by starting with this simple step.


TV stand and TV mount safety

It’s also essential to think about safety issues when choosing a TV screen size. Large TVs are top heavy and a risk factor for curious kids who may knock them over. If you have a very active home, you may want to mount the TV to keep it out of your child’s reach.

Another solution is getting a smaller screen size and securing it to the wall, or entertainment unit. In that case, an anti-tip furniture strap will do the trick.

Before making the final decision to mount your TV, another important safety step is investigating your wall. Large screen TVs weigh more, and therefore place more stress on the wall mount bracket.

It’s crucial to understand what material your wall is made from, how thick the wall is, and how much weight it can support. You should also use a stud finder to locate any framing studs behind the wall.

All of these factors will help you narrow down the TV screen size range to choose from. Do your due diligence up front to make sure the mounting is done safely.


Viewing distance

Generally speaking, the larger the TV screen, the farther away you can sit while remaining immersed in an excellent viewing experience.

You also need to factor in the screen’s resolution: 1080p TVs are better for longer distance, while 4K TVs give you a better image when sitting closer. Here are recommended viewing distances for both resolutions:

1080p HDTVs 4K UHD TVs
40” 5 – 8.5 feet 3.3 – 5 feet
50″ 6.3 – 10.5 feet 4.2 – 6.5 feet
55″  7 – 11.5 feet 4.5 – 7 feet
65″ 8 – 13.5 feet 5.5 – 8.1 feet
75″ 9.4 – 15.5 feet 6.3 – 9.5 feet
85″ 10.6 – 17.5 feet 7 – 10.5 feet

table comparing different screen sizes for mobileThe reason you want to sit closer to a 4K TV compared to a same-sized 1080p TV is so you can see all those extra pixels. The further back you sit the less your eyes are able to differentiate between individual pixels.

Measure from your sitting distance to where the TV will be placed to determine the best screen size and resolution to get.


Viewing angle

Viewing angle is another important consideration when choosing the right screen size. Larger TV screens tend to have wider viewing angles, letting family members not sitting directly in front of the TV have a better image.

By comparison, small TV screen sizes have narrower viewing angles and are best viewed from the front. If you already have a TV in the spot where your new TV will go, try doing a viewing angle test from different areas of the room. This will help you further refine your choice of TV screen size to get.


TV screen resolution (size vs. picture quality)

We touched upon this earlier, but it’s important to elaborate on how TV screen resolution impacts the optimal screen size to get. Bigger TVs generally provide more immersive viewing.

However, there are limits. The relationship between screen size and picture quality is one of optimal viewing distance.

A general guideline for 720p and 1080p TVs is to sit between 1.5-2.5 times the screen’s size. Doing so will give you an excellent picture without pixelation.

For 4K resolution screens, it’s recommended you sit roughly the same distance away as the screen size. So if you’ve decided on a 50” 4K TV, the optimal viewing distance starts at around 50″, or roughly 4.2 feet away.

Choosing a screen size for your new TV is an important decision for the entire family. You want to get optimal screen size, while balancing safety, viewing distance and angle, resolution, and your budget.

By considering the factors mentioned in this article, you can save time choosing the right screen size for your new TV. Investing in a new, right-sized television is the perfect way to make family movie nights even more unforgettable.

Legal: This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.
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Based in Toronto, Paul is a proud Canadian, lifelong gamer, and consumer of all things tech! He is one of Canada’s most trusted gaming and technology experts with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. He is well known for sharing his view on what’s hot and what’s not in an honest, down-to-earth manner. On a personal note, Paul is a dedicated husband and father, and loves travelling with his family to the US and Japan. Come say hi on his Twitter channel @NextGenPlayer.

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