How to Measure a TV

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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.

EditSteps

EditFinding Your TV’s Dimensions

  1. Measure 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.[1]
    Measure a TV Step 1 Version 6.jpg
    • Some common sizes for TVs based on the diagonal dimensions of the screen include , , , . , and .[2]
    • You can also find TVs with screens as big as or larger.
  2. Run 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.
    Measure a TV Step 2 Version 6.jpg
    • A TV listed as , for example, will in reality only be 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.
  3. Measure 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.
    Measure a TV Step 3 Version 6.jpg
    • A TV with a screen that’s wide will have a height of around .
    • 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.
  4. Find 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.
    Measure a TV Step 4 Version 7.jpg
    • 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 deep with a stand attached, and as thin as without.[3]

EditMaking Sure Your TV Fits Your Display Space

  1. Measure 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.[4]
    Measure a TV Step 5 Version 6.jpg
    • For maximum accuracy, round off your measurements to the nearest .
    • 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.
  2. Allow for an extra 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.[5]
    Measure a TV Step 6 Version 6.jpg
    • You may be able to squeeze a TV into an entertainment center with a opening, but it will probably be too cramped to look good. A better choice would be a or 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.
  3. Pick out a TV big enough to see clearly from where you’ll be sitting. A 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.[6]
    Measure a TV Step 7 Version 5.jpg
    • If you’re going to be sitting about away from your TV, for instance, a 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.[7]
  4. Understand 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 for every of width.[8]
    Measure a TV Step 8.jpg
    • 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.[9]
    • 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.
  5. Multiply 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.[10]
    Measure a TV Step 9.jpg
    • If you currently have a standard TV, you’ll need a widescreen TV with a screen that’s at least least to make sure your picture doesn’t get smaller.

EditTips

  • 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 plasma TV will usually be more affordable than a LED flat screen, while a standard LED TV may cost considerably less than a 4K smart TV.

EditRelated wikiHows

  • Pick a Flat Screen TV
  • Mount a Flat Screen TV
  • Evaluate DLP, LCD, Plasma TV and HDTV Quality

EditReferences

EditQuick Summary

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