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As technology continues to improve, TVs continue to get bigger and better. If you’ve recently upgraded to a sleek new model, you may be wondering how best to measure it for display. Luckily, measuring a TV is incredibly simple, and only takes a few seconds in most cases. Stretch a tape measure from corner to corner to double-check the screen measurement given by the manufacturer. If you’re trying to fit your TV for a cabinet, stand, or spot on the wall, it will also help to find its actual width, height, and depth to make sure it will fit comfortably.
Finding Your TV’s Dimensions
1Measure the screen from corner to corner to confirm the advertised size.
Start with the end of your tape measure at the top left corner of the screen and extend it to the bottom right corner. Measuring the screen diagonally will give you the standard screen dimension that manufacturers use to advertise the size of their TVs.
- Some common sizes for TVs based on the diagonal dimensions of the screen include 24 in (61 cm), 28 in (71 cm), 32 in (81 cm), 42 in (110 cm). 48 in (120 cm), and 60 in (150 cm).
- You can also find TVs with screens as big as 72 in (180 cm) or larger.
Tip: Only measure the screen itself, not the bezel, or the frame surrounding the screen’s outer edges.
2Run your tape measure horizontally from side to side to find the width.
This time, measure from the far left edge of the TV to the far right edge, including the bezel on both ends. The number you get will be the overall width, which should be a few inches less than the screen size.
- A TV listed as 60 in (150 cm), for example, will in reality only be 52.3 inches (133 cm) wide.
- Your TV’s width is its most crucial measurement—it will come into play whether you opt to mount it on the wall or set it up on a cabinet or stand.
3Measure from top to bottom to get the height.
Now, stretch your tape measure from the upper edge of the TV to the lower edge on the same side. Doing so will give you the overall height. Most newer TVs have a height that’s around 56% of the total width.
- A 48 in (120 cm) TV with a screen that’s 42 inches (110 cm) wide will have a height of around 25–27 inches (64–69 cm).
- Generally speaking, height doesn’t matter as much as width. However, the vertical dimension could end up making a difference when you’re deciding where to place your TV.
4Find the depth of the TV by measuring from front to back.
This may be a little tricky if the backside of the TV is tapered. In this case, it can help to hold another long, flat object (such as a ruler) against the rear edge and measure the distance between the screen and the reference object. If that’s not an option, you may also be able to get away with simply eyeballing it.
- You may need to consider the depth of your TV in order to guarantee that it will fit an existing cabinet or stand.
- TVs are continually being redesigned to take up less space. These days, many flat screen models are less than 10 inches (25 cm) deep with a stand attached, and as thin as 3 inches (7.6 cm) without.
Making Sure Your TV Fits Your Display Space
1Measure your intended display space.
If you haven’t already, find the exact height and width of the area where you want your TV to go. You’ll also need to note the depth of cabinets, stands, or entertainment centers to determine whether they’re big enough to hold your TV.
- For maximum accuracy, round off your measurements to the nearest 1⁄2 inch (1.3 cm).
- Jot the dimensions of your display space on a piece of paper and keep them with you when you’re shopping around for your new TV.
2Allow for an extra 2–3 in (5.1–7.6 cm) of room in your display space.
Make sure the stand or section of wall you’ll be using is at least half a hand’s width larger than your TV on all sides. That way, you can ensure that it fits comfortably and avoid any unpleasant surprises when it comes time to set it up.
- You may be able to squeeze a 50 in (130 cm) TV into an entertainment center with a 45 inches (110 cm) opening, but it will probably be too cramped to look good. A better choice would be a 46 in (120 cm) or 48 in (120 cm) model, which will provide a little breathing room on either side.
- You’ll need to know your TV’s width and height if you intend to mount it on the wall. If you want to place it on a stand or in an enclosed cabinet, and you’ll also need to factor in its depth.
3Pick out a TV big enough to see clearly from where you’ll be sitting.
A 50 in (130 cm) screen may sound impressive, but it could be a little underwhelming if you’re watching from the opposite side of the room. When it comes to arriving at a reliable size estimate, a good rule of thumb is to multiply the distance between your seating area and TV in inches by 0.84.
- If you’re going to be sitting about 72 inches (180 cm) away from your TV, for instance, a 60 in (150 cm) will provide optimum visibility.
- Another option is to use an online viewing calculator to get a better idea of what size screen would look best in your display space, or how far away you should sit from a screen of a certain size to get the best view.
4Understand your TV’s aspect ratio to enjoy the best picture.
The term “aspect ratio” refers to the relation between the width and height of a TV’s display image. Newer widescreen TVs normally have an aspect ratio of 16:9. This means that the picture has a height of 9 inches (23 cm) for every 16 inches (41 cm) of width.
- Standard TVs squeeze the picture into a square image with an overall smaller area, while widescreen TVs take advantage of their added width to display the full image in its proper dimensions.
- A standard (4:3) TV and a widescreen TV could have the same diagonal screen measurement, but the picture would look quite different for each.
5Multiply standard screen sizes by 1.22 to get the same aspect ratio on a widescreen TV.
If you’re thinking about upgrading to a widescreen TV but you’d prefer to continue watching in a 4:3 format, multiply the diagonal screen measurement of the old TV by 1.22. The resulting number will tell you how big your new TV would have to be to produce the same size 4:3 image.
- If you currently have a 40 in (100 cm) standard TV, you’ll need a widescreen TV with a screen that’s at least least 50 inches (130 cm) to make sure your picture doesn’t get smaller.
Is a TV screen with a depth of five to six inches considered a flat screen TV?
wikiHow Staff Editor
Yes; the “flat screen” designation refers only to the shape of the screen, which in this case is flat rather than convex, the way old TV screens used to be. Flat screen TVs have no standard depth, but most newer models are less than 3 inches thick without a stand.
I have the width (16′) and height (9′) of a big screen for a projector. (1.) How do I determine the measurement for the diagonal and (2.) If the projector is 14′ from the screen, what is the aspect ratio?
(1) Use the Pythagorean theorem. Diagonal is the square root of (height squared width squared). If your measurements are exact, the diagonal is 18.4′. (2) Aspect ratio is the ratio of horizontal to vertical on the screen. This ratio does not change with viewing distance.
Is it normal for a TV that says 55″ to measure smaller diagonally?
A TV that says 55″ should be 55″ diagonally and there are no exceptions to that. Either you might be measuring the TV wrong or there was an external error.
What is the exact width of a 60″ TV?
It depends on the shape of the TV (i.e., square or rectangle) but most often it will be around 53″x28″.
Are there guidelines for how much distance there should be between the back of a TV and a wall?
Nowadays, not really. That was really more a concern for CRT’s. Today’s flat TVs really have no rear end. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for any such specifics.
What size television should I buy to fit into a space 33.5″ wide and 45″ tall?
Using the Pythagorean theorem, the diagonal would be about 56 inches. You would be able to fit a 50 inch TV. 55 inches might be too big since there’s an outer border you have to account for.
I have a TV opening 32inches wide by 30 inches high – what size flat screen to buy?
Flat screens measure diagonally. Based on your amount of space, you’d need to keep the screen under 42″.
My cabinet space has a 37.25-inch opening. How big of TV can fit in there?
It depends on the height. Since TV’s are rectangular, the screens are measured diagonally. If it’s 37.25 inches tall and 37.25 inches wide, the biggest TV would probably be a 42-inch. But it will depend on the TV. Measure all dimensions of your cabinet — height, width, and diagonal — and use those to help you find your best fit.
What size TV can fit on a stand that is 42 inches long?
It depends on whether it was designed for an old CRT TV or for the modern LED/LCD TVs which are quite a bit lighter in weight. It will also depend on the span of the feet on the new TV set. You shouldn’t have any problem fitting a 50- 54″ as long as the feet aren’t too close to the edge. I wouldn’t recommend any larger as it’ll make the stand appear way undersized.
We have a built a TV cabinet that is 35 inches by 39 and 1/2 inches. Could a 40 inch TV fit in there?
If you are trying to put the TV inside of the cabinet, no, it will not fit. It may fit on top if the base is smaller than the screen.
How do I measure for a TV?
I’m looking for a TV to fit a 24 inch space in my camper. What size screen should I look for?
How do I measure a TV for a small space like in a camper?
Why do I measure diagonal to get the actual size of a TV?
How do I know if my TV will fit in a spot?
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- If you’re not sure you can afford a TV of a particular size, take a look at other styles in the same size. A 50 in (130 cm) plasma TV will usually be more affordable than a 50 in (130 cm) LED flat screen, while a standard LED TV may cost considerably less than a 4K smart TV.
To measure a TV, measure from the top left corner of the screen to the bottom right corner, which will give you the standard screen dimension. This is the dimension that’s used to advertise the size of a TV in stores. Make sure you only measure the screen itself, and not the frame surrounding the screen. If you want to measure your TV’s height and width, measure from top to bottom and side to side, including the frame. To learn how to make sure a TV will fit in your display space, scroll down!
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