Science Behind The TV Size Calculator

Science Behind The TV Size Calculator

The most accurate way to select the RIGHT TV SIZE for you is through the VIEWING DISTANCE between your TV LOCATION and your SEATING LOCATION.

This is because each TV size requires us to maintain a certain viewing distance to get full advantage of TV resolution and enjoy the best results. We call this the ideal viewing distance. 

Ideal viewing distance is dictated by the limitations of our visual system. Our eyes have a limited field of view and visual acuity. 

TV Size calculator is largely based on ideal viewing distances.

Maintaining Ideal Viewing Distance is important due to 3 reasons.

  • To Avoid the Screen Door Effect
  • To Get Full Advantage of Resolution
  • To Get an Immersive Experience 

When it comes to finding the ideal viewing distance for a TV size, organizations like the Society of Motion Picture Engineering (SMPTE), THX and TV manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Panasonic have made it easy.

To avoid confusion, we will be only using 3 different viewing distances standards for our TV size calculator that are widely used all over the world. We have also listed when you should select which standard.

 1- SMPTE Recommends 30-Degree Field of View

SMPTE recommends a viewing distance where the TV screen fills your 30-degree field of view. 

SMPTE 30 Degree field of view is the most widely adopted all over the world. Please keep in mind 30 FOV viewing distance was originally recommended for 1080p resolution, but later, it got adopted for 4k TVs as well. 

We recommend this viewing distance for both FHD TVs (1080p) and UHD (4K) TVs for casual and mixed TV usage in living rooms and bedrooms. You can go this distance with confidence.

We can easily calculate the Viewing distance by following the formula.

  TV Viewing Distance (inches) = TV Size (Diagonal Inches) x 1.6235

If we know the available viewing distance, we can calculate the TV size for our room from the above formula as follows. 

 TV Size (inches) = TV Viewing Distance/ 1.6235

2- 32-degree Field of View

Panasonic and many other manufacturers recommend a 32-degree field of view distance, and it is also one of the most adopted Viewing distances. The 32-degree field of view was also originally for 1080p resolution, but now it is adopted for 4k as well. 

We recommend this distance for mixed usage in living rooms and bedrooms for both 1080p and 4k TVs. 

We can easily calculate this distance by following the formula:

  TV Viewing Distance (inches) = TV Size (Diagonal Inches) x 1.5

If we know the available viewing distance, we can calculate the TV size for our room from the above formula as follows. 

TV Size (inches) = TV Viewing Distance/ 1.5

3-THX Viewing Distance 40 Degree Field of View

THX is an audio-visual standard organization that publishes standards for Movie Theater Designs, Home Theater, Speakers and video games. 

THX 40 Degree Field of View is the latest recommendation from THX and Samsung for 4k TVs. Please note this is the most up-to-date recommendation for 4k TVs, and we can verify it from Samsung and THX websites. You can use this distance for all types of usage. 

We recommend THX 40 Degree field of view for home theater setup or getting an immersive movie-watching experience; THX recommended viewing distance is the best. 

We can easily cross-verify it from the THX website. Now Samsung has also adopted this Viewing Distance for its 4K TVs. While previously, Samsung recommended other distances.

So, the latest viewing distance recommendation for 4k TV is based on THX 40 Degree FOV. 

We can easily calculate this distance by following the formula:

  TV Viewing Distance (inches) = TV Size (Diagonal Inches) x 1.2

If we know the available viewing distance, we can calculate the TV size for our room from the above formula as follows. 

Or TV Size (inches) = TV Viewing Distance/ 1.2

Key Factors For Determining the Right TV Size For Your Room

Here are the 4 factors that will affect the TV size selection for your room. We have considered all these factors while creating a TV Size calculator.

1-Optimal TV Viewing Distance 

You need to maintain optimal viewing distance from your TV to get the best viewing experience as recommended by SMPTETHX and other organizations. Please note that various organizations recommend slightly different viewing distances based on their recommended FOV.

The viewing distance also affects immersion. The closer you sit to the TV, the more immersive the experience you get. Since THX recommends a shorter viewing distance, THX distance will give you the most immersive experience. 

2- Room Layout and Furniture Placement 

Your room layout and furniture placement will determine what TV size your room can accommodate. If your room is square, you can plan your furniture placement in any order, and there won’t be an impact on TV Size. 

But if your room size is rectangular, like 12×18, you can go for larger TV sizes if you plan your TV on a 12 feet wall. This way, you have more distance available between your TV and the couch. Larger the viewing distance, the larger the TV size you can go for. 

3- TV Resolution

TVs come in resolutions like 720p (HD), 1080p (FHD) and 4k (UHD). But these days, 4K resolution is almost the standard. Higher-resolution TVs have more detailed, crisp and better image quality. Since higher resolutions have more pixel density per inch (PPI), you can watch it from sitting relatively closer without seeing the screen door effect. 

If you go with higher resolution TVs, you get two advantages: 

  • Better Image Quality
  • Smaller viewing distance 
  • Allow you to buy larger TVs 
  • Allows You to get immersive experience  

That’s the reason our TV Size calculator takes into account resolution and gives you tailored answers for each resolution.

4- Available TV Sizes on The Market

TVs don’t come in all sizes. They mostly come in 32, 43, 50, 55, 65, 75, 77, 80, 83 and 85 inches. Now if you have a viewing distance for which the recommended TV size is not available, we recommend you select the closest available TV size on the market. And then maintain the viewing distance recommended for your TV size to get the best viewing experience.  

Our viewing distance calculator also takes into account available TV sizes on the market.

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