Too Much of a Good Thing?

Marcel BrownAs we get closer to the DTV transition date, I thought I would offer some advice on choosing the right size HDTV for your particular viewing arrangement. Alternately, if you’ve already purchased an HDTV, you can use this info to rearrange your sitting area to take best advantage of your screen size. It is possible to get an HDTV that is too big for your room!

In general, due to the higher resolution and quality of HDTV technology, it is possible to sit closer to a large screen without noticing the scan lines that form the picture. However, when watching non-high definition broadcasts, the increased detail of HDTV can actually magnify the imperfections inherent in these lower quality sources. So for the next few years, as we continue to transition to high definition broadcasts and source mediums, we are all caught in a bit of a catch-22. However, the following guidelines should give you a good idea on what the optimum viewing arrangement would be for a particular size HDTV.

The following chart (thanks to shows the screen size followed by a viewing distance range. The higher quality the source (Blu-Ray, HD broadcasts, upconverted DVD, etc.), the closer the ideal viewing distance would be in that range. The lower-quality the source (VHS, non-HD broadcast, non-upconverted DVD, etc.), the further the ideal viewing distance would be in that range.

30 inches: 3.75 – 6.25 feet
34 inches: 4.25 – 7 feet
42 inches: 5.25 – 8.75 feet
50 inches: 6.25 – 10.5 feet
56 inches: 7 – 11 feet
62 inches: 7.75 – 13 feet
70 inches: 8.75 – 14.75 feet

Now also consider that many higher-quality HDTV’s will do a good job of upconverting lower-quality sources to look better. So depending on your own viewing arrangement and preferences, use this chart as a guideline to purchase an HDTV or rearrange your viewing area.

Marcel Brown Technology Services and the company’s retail store, The Tech Spot, was recently voted as the #1 Computer Sales and Service company in their area! For more great technology advice, contact Marcel or The Tech Spot today!