When it comes to buying anything, the general rule seems to be the bigger the better. Whether you’re buying a cake, a car, or even a house, you’re probably inclined to seize the chance to get more for less.

It’s a great mantra in some cases, especially if you’re in the market for some cake, but it certainly isn’t one that can be applied across the board. If, for example, you’re on the lookout for some fancy new tech, buying bigger isn’t always better. It’s important to question whether you really need a 6inch phone, the top-end MacBook Pro, or that 70 inch TV you’ve been eyeing up.

How, then, can you make sure that you aren’t overspending on tech you don’t really need? It’s difficult to know thanks to the tidal wave of TV and internet ads that bombard our senses on a daily basis. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about them anymore; because we’re here to help you cut through the ad-speak and understand what product is right for you and your home.

This week, we’re talking TVs.

You’re after a new TV and you can’t help but gaze longingly at the most extravagant products on the market. You’re right, curved screens do look cool, OLED is pretty flash, and ultra-thin, 4K Smart TV does roll off the tongue.

As technology becomes cheaper and prices drop, it’s even more tempting to pick up a TV that’s more of an impulse buy than a practical product. Trust me, you might feel good when you’re buying that 60-inch behemoth, but you’ll probably feel a little less pleased when you’re trying to squeeze it in your living room.

Indeed, contrary to popular belief, you only really need a 50 inch TV if there’s a gap of 12 ft between you and your TV. Climbing up the scale, if you want a TV that’s 60 inches or over, you should make sure there’s going to be at least 14 ft between yourself and your beloved screen.



Why do I need to leave such an enormous chasm? I hear you ask. Well, simply put: the closer you sit to your screen, the more visible the pixels become. So, even if you do splash out on a 70 inch, ultra HD partner in crime, you’ll never reap the benefits of such a costly outlay if you end up sitting too close. It’s a small consideration that can make or break the viewing experience.

For those of you with a more modest space between your sofa and your TV, a 17-26 inch screen will look stunning at a viewing distance of 4-6 ft, while 27-38 inch screens will look great up until the 10 ft mark. After that, you’re looking at a 39-46 inch screen until you hit the 12 ft sweet spot.

So, what does this mean for you? Ultimately, it means that if you were on the brink of buying a gargantuan TV, it’s probably time to rethink your plan of attack unless, of course, you have the space to accommodate such a beast. It also means that you can now feel confident spending a little more, or a little less, on a screen that’ll give you the optimum viewing experience.

Whatever you decide to do, just remember: don’t buy big purely for the sake of it. After all, it’s not the size that matters; it’s what you do with it.

To find out more about TV sizes and viewing distances, head on over to Which.com to check out their handy screen size calculator.


Image sources: Flickr for LG TV.


By Chris Kerr on 12.05.15

Guest Contributor

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