AVS Special Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Indianapolis, IN
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The distance from the TV is up to the individual. Sure, there are charts that tell you the "optimum" viewing distances, but I don't always agree with them. I have a new 37" Samsung LN37B650 that I sit about 12' from and it seems plenty big enough for me. If I want a bigger screen experience, I'll go to the movies.
I also have a 46" Samsung A650 in the living room and also sit about 10' - 12' from it and it's fine also.
Screen size should be based on many things including what you want, what you need, what you feel comfortable watching, and above all, what you can afford. If you ask 10 different people on this forum how big your TV should be, you will very likely get 10 different answers. The best way for you to decide is to go to an electronics store, step back away from the various sizes until you get to your normal viewing distances, and then make your decision. Samsung, LG, and Panasonic all make some very nice 37" panels that fit well within your price range. For a bedroom TV for regular watching, I would suggest looking at the 37" Panasonic S1. I left Sony and Toshiba off of this list because they don't make 37" TVs this year.
However, no matter how much advice you get, ultimately it's your money and your choice. Good luck to you.