Did you buy the right size or do you wish you had bought bigger/smaller? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Do You Wish You Went Bigger or Smaller on Your New TV?
1) When I got my TV home, I wished I had a bought a bigger size. I realize we could have used the next size up. 6 54.55%
2) When I got my TV home, I wished I had bought a smaller size. This thing looks way too big for the room! 1 9.09%
3) At first, I thought the TV was too big, but after some time, I'm glad I went bigger. I'd never want to go back to a smaller size! 4 36.36%
Voters: 11. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 07:56 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to decide on size for my first ever flat screen, having been on a CRT for decades. On a CRT, most HD programming leaves huge expanses of black bars on a lot of our programming, effectively turning our 32" into more like a 24" (or less!). Not to mention the fact that a CRT by nature has huge amounts of metal/plastic surrounding the actual screen, so in terms of height, our 32" CRT is the same height as a 50" flat screen. In terms of width, it's on par with about a 40" flat screen.

We are trying to decide whether a 47" or 55" would be better (sure, we think a 50" might be perfect, but so many of our top-picks only do 46/47 or 55.

I'm going to try to get some cardboard so we can put it in place and see what we think. But still, I'm sure many of you have had fits of anxiety over choosing the right size TV. Many of our friends have told us that they originally thought they bought too big but later decided it was the right move. But, still, we are very concerned about the issue.

Please weigh in with your experiences! Thanks so much in advance...
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post #2 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyvn View Post

I'm trying to decide on size for my first ever flat screen, having been on a CRT for decades. On a CRT, most HD programming leaves huge expanses of black bars on a lot of our programming, effectively turning our 32" into more like a 24" (or less!). Not to mention the fact that a CRT by nature has huge amounts of metal/plastic surrounding the actual screen, so in terms of height, our 32" CRT is the same height as a 50" flat screen. In terms of width, it's on par with about a 40" flat screen.

We are trying to decide whether a 47" or 55" would be better (sure, we think a 50" might be perfect, but so many of our top-picks only do 46/47 or 55.

I'm going to try to get some cardboard so we can put it in place and see what we think. But still, I'm sure many of you have had fits of anxiety over choosing the right size TV. Many of our friends have told us that they originally thought they bought too big but later decided it was the right move. But, still, we are very concerned about the issue.

Please weigh in with your experiences! Thanks so much in advance...
You left out the most important info to this question. How far will you be sitting from the TV?
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post #3 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:41 AM
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My experiences: I bought a 46" for a room where my viewing distance was 6 feet. It was great. Then I turned things around, and at 8 feet, it became just "good". When I moved into a new apartment, the living room was 12 feet across, and now it's clearly too small. My 60" replacement is on the way. A 55" might have been a solid compromise in order to save money, but 60" just seems more appropriate to the space and, actually, still smallish.

Cardboard or masking tape on the wall will help, but it won't really give you any clues about how much detail you'll see. In that regard, there's a chart from another thread that might be helpful, and I think it's right in line with my own observations at home and in stores:



I was close to the sweet spot for a 1080p 46"/47" (the red line) at 6 feet. My thought would be that if you're 8 feet or further, you'll be happier with the viewing experience on a 55".
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post #4 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:47 AM
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I was expecting a 4th option that read, "When I first got my TV, it was great...but over time I got used to it, it started looking average, and I wish I had purchased one bigger."

When I was in the market EVERYONE told me to "buy the biggest you can afford," with the reasoning that almost always people wish they went bigger, but almost never wish they went smaller. I was looking at 42"-46" and ended up going with a 50" ST30 for this reason. I sit about 9' from the screen. When I first got the TV, I was giggly like a little kid over how big and "cool" it was. The girl was always saying "omg that's too big for this room!" and so forth; however, now that a year has passed and I have grown accustomed to it, I find myself searching for 65" TVs all the time.

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post #5 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr-A View Post

My experiences: I bought a 46" for a room where my viewing distance was 6 feet. It was great. Then I turned things around, and at 8 feet, it became just "good". When I moved into a new apartment, the living room was 12 feet across, and now it's clearly too small. My 60" replacement is on the way. A 55" might have been a solid compromise in order to save money, but 60" just seems more appropriate to the space and, actually, still smallish.

Cardboard or masking tape on the wall will help, but it won't really give you any clues about how much detail you'll see. In that regard, there's a chart from another thread that might be helpful, and I think it's right in line with my own observations at home and in stores:



I was close to the sweet spot for a 1080p 46"/47" (the red line) at 6 feet. My thought would be that if you're 8 feet or further, you'll be happier with the viewing experience on a 55".
I am at 12-14 feet and have a 60". Could definitely go bigger but won't complain about having a 60" TV. lol

I was originally trying out 55" TVs in the same spot and they were more then doable but the larger you go the more immersed you will be able to get into the picture. You want to feel like you are in the picture and not just watching something on a little screen in front of you. Even 60" at my distance is far from overwhelming and if money was no object I would probably be looking more for a 70".

I can't complian though, I have a great 60" TV and more then appreciative I can even afford that.

Look for the largest TV you can afford in your price range that offers the best PQ and any features you want. At first whatever you buy will probably seem big but give it time and somehow it will magically shrink. Just buy bigger and not smaller.

Oh, also people will complain the TV looks like it takes over the room. I would not choose the size based on that but choose the size based on how it feels to view from where you sit! A TV has a purpose and that is to watch it. You want your viewing experience to be the best it can be not how it looks in your room! If you want a piece of furniture then go buy furniture. lol
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post #6 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:57 AM
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Duplicate post.
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post #7 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow, now I'm actually kind of bummed out! LOL! I just measured, and I'm sitting 12' away from the TV. By the chart, it seems like 60"+ would be the way to go. Sadly, my wallet (and my wife) don't agree. But I guess I've answered the question that a 46" is probably too small. Guess it will have to be a 55"...
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post #8 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 11:31 AM
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I have a 32 inch 1080p Sony Bravia - I love it - the picture is outstanding with no flashlighting, no clouding, inky blacks, and matte black screen. I originally bought a 40 inch and swapped it for a 32, since I was playing close to the screen while gaming.

Recently got new furniture in my small apartment and now I spend more time watching TV from the kitchen table, so it seems too small. Kinda wishing I kept the 40 incher I originally bought 3-4 years back, because the new LED TVs have screen uniformity problems, not enough HDMI inputs, terrible built in speakers, no 120 hz options on lower priced models, or terrible gaming lag (a big deal for me). I love how my current 32 handles 24 fps content.

My other issue with looking for a TV is that while the bezels are shrinking with no front spacing speakers, so do the speakers which sounds worse and worse. I've got a spherex 5.1 channel setup that is great, but the center speaker is pretty tall. A new 40 inch TV would look great, but the TV would be partially blocked from view by the large center speaker.


I am super close to buying a closeout priced 40 inch Sony KDL40EX640, but the horror stories of screen uniformity are scaring me off!


As for the chart, I game about 5 feet away (hence the 32 is darn near perfect, so I don't make myself sick), but my kitchen table is about 10 feet away, Argh, I'm going nuts trying to find a sweet spot screen that matches the gorgeous backlit LCD TV I currently have. It seems like all the bells and whistles (like local dimming) are going into higher end large models that start at 46 inches.
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post #9 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 11:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyvn View Post

Wow, now I'm actually kind of bed out! LOL! I just measured, and I'm sitting 12' away from the TV. By the chart, it seems like 60"+ would be the way to go. Sadly, my wallet (and my wife) don't agree. But I guess I've answered the question that a 46" is probably too small. Guess it will have to be a 55"...
A 55" would be just fine and still give you plenty from 12 ft . If it was only a 47" you can afford, you know what, you would still be fine. Lol

I had 2 TV's in my home I was testing, one was a 55" and one was a 60". The 55" I had was the TV with a much better picture and I was going to keep the better picture over one that just offered a better size. Do not sacrifice picture for size.

While testing these TV's I happened to be in a Best Buy looking around and found a great deal on an open box 60" TV that was a clear winner over the other 2 TV's I had so bought that one and returned the other 2.

There are some really good deals to be had right now on 2012 closeouts. What was your budget? Maybe we can help....

Also remember, the people here are very into their TV's and buying the biggest thing they can afford. Most "normal" people would hear 55" and say WOW, that's big!
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post #10 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 02:29 PM
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I bought the perfect size. My 46HX750 is perfect.
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post #11 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Steve, thanks. How far from the TV do you sit?
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post #12 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 02:38 PM
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I first tried a 65".. It died in a few hours and I packed it away for pickup. A mistake! Should have left it there and gotten a sense for the size. Went looking for a replacement and settled for a 60" thinking the 65" looked too big. Now I'm patiently waiting for the day when 4K 70 inchers sell for under $2000.

Insert pithy comment here
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post #13 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 02:47 PM
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Seriously flawed questions, not enough choices.

How about "I did my research ahead of time and bought the perfect size for my needs." Nobody ever posts that one.
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post #14 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Jim, I'm not positive that it's easy to do the research fully when transitioning from a big fat CRT blob to such a different form factor as a flat screen. Secondarily, it's hard for me even to know how much programming coming over Satellite will be full screen or show some bands at the top and bottom. Like I was saying, it's not unusual that some of today's shows turn my 32" CRT into something more like a 24" screen because of the bands on top and bottom. I wonder if such programming will appear full screen on a 1080p or will there still be (presumably smaller) bands? Once I get my first flat screen, I'll have a much better feel for this, but as it is now, I feel that I'm shooting quite a bit in the dark.

Hence my polling to get some other people's opinion, some of which have already been helpful.
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post #15 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyvn View Post

Jim, I'm not positive that it's easy to do the research fully when transitioning from a big fat CRT blob to such a different form factor as a flat screen. Secondarily, it's hard for me even to know how much programming coming over Satellite will be full screen or show some bands at the top and bottom. Like I was saying, it's not unusual that some of today's shows turn my 32" CRT into something more like a 24" screen because of the bands on top and bottom. I wonder if such programming will appear full screen on a 1080p or will there still be (presumably smaller) bands? Once I get my first flat screen, I'll have a much better feel for this, but as it is now, I feel that I'm shooting quite a bit in the dark.

Hence my polling to get some other people's opinion, some of which have already been helpful.
Fully understand. However, one of the best suggestions I've heard is to take cardboard or something similar and cut it to the size you may need and see how it looks in the space where you want a TV. It works pretty good and lets you decide for yourself rather than ask a bunch of strangers. smile.gif

Oops, looks like you already thought of that one. Sorry. redface.gif

One more thing, as to the "bands" at the top or sides, if you set the TV to full screen you should get 16:9 on programs that were made that way and 4:3 on those types of original programs. The one thing I would never do is use the "stretch" function that distorts the images. Zoom is a much better option, but 4:3 pictures should be left alone.
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post #16 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 05:14 PM
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Most things you watch today will take up your full screen, 16x9. It is really not the same as what you are seeing on your old school TV.
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post #17 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric3316 View Post

Do not sacrifice picture for size.

FWIW, I disagree with this...when talking about two panels that are "similar" in picture quality.

I ended up going with a larger Panasonic ST series than a smaller version of the GT series. While the GT may be a little bit "better," the larger picture size more than made up for it...and all the opinions I was given/read when doing my shopping pointed me in this direction.

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post #18 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyvn View Post

Wow, now I'm actually kind of bummed out! LOL! I just measured, and I'm sitting 12' away from the TV. By the chart, it seems like 60"+ would be the way to go. Sadly, my wallet (and my wife) don't agree. But I guess I've answered the question that a 46" is probably too small. Guess it will have to be a 55"...

If it helps, I mapped out a 55" and a 60" on my wall, relative to my 46", with tape. The 60" is great, but the 55" still seems very good, so much so that I almost bought one to save the cash, myself. The 46" isn't a bad viewing experience, it's just...not immersive the way it was at 6' away. It has the start of that "watching TV from across the room" feeling, which I could get equally well from a cheaper panel with poorer PQ.

Of course, you can always throw a beanbag down halfway between the couch and the TV*, and use that as the best seat in the house.

* Wife Approval not guaranteed.
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post #19 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KtrainHurricane View Post

FWIW, I disagree with this...when talking about two panels that are "similar" in picture quality.

I ended up going with a larger Panasonic ST series than a smaller version of the GT series. While the GT may be a little bit "better," the larger picture size more than made up for it...and all the opinions I was given/read when doing my shopping pointed me in this direction.
You are still talking about 2 great TVs there so you can't really go wrong with either one. I was talking more about a substantial difference in TV quality just to choose a larger TV. It really comes down to your budget.

If you have an Android device there is an app that you can virtually put a TV in the room to see what it would look like. I haven't tried it but could be kind of cool.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=br.com.lge.showroom
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post #20 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 07:20 PM - Thread Starter
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When I was inquiring about size, I was trying to choose between two sizes of the same TV, whatever set that might be. I've had my eye on one of the upscale Sonys...either the new W802 or the earlier HX850 or HX950. Was thinking about the new 8500 Samsung plasma, but I saw it in the store, and it was still not as bright as the Sony LCD's, and I'm definitely worried about IR, because my wife and I just don't want to be bothered with thinking about that. Size of the TV was good, however (at least I think...).
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post #21 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyvn View Post

When I was inquiring about size, I was trying to choose between two sizes of the same TV, whatever set that might be. I've had my eye on one of the upscale Sonys...either the new W802 or the earlier HX850 or HX950. Was thinking about the new 8500 Samsung plasma, but I saw it in the store, and it was still not as bright as the Sony LCD's, and I'm definitely worried about IR, because my wife and I just don't want to be bothered with thinking about that. Size of the TV was good, however (at least I think...).
So, basically money is not an issue so a 60 inch is a no brainer here : )

The F8500 is pure gold. Why would you need anything brighter then that. Also that TV is suppose to handle glare very well. I had an LED TV and my plasma (Sammy e7000) handles glare better then the LED did.

If you are worried about burn in and have some extra money after the purchase, you can buy it at Best Buy and then get their extended warranty which covers burn in although it really shouldn't be an issue on that TV.

Don't really know much about the Sony's
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post #22 of 23 Old 04-15-2013, 10:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks, Eric. Yes, the 8500 seems to be pure gold, if you follow the blogs and critics. And I'm sure it's one hell of a TV. However, it's not without its downsides...if you follow the 8500 thread here at AVS, you'll find lots of people complaining about "flashing" problems which seem to be causing the brightness levels to fluctuate to a noticeable degree. And the truth is, for me the styling is, well, unusual. Because it doesn't use a conventional stand of any kind, you kind of have to sit it on something that is at least as wide as the unit itself, and that seems a bit odd to me.

Additionally, the Sony 850's and 950's are supposedly two of the TV's in existence today that are supposed to give plasma's a real run for their money. If you investigate, you'll see similarly tremendous reviews of both sets from nearly every major website/magazine, etc. Simply stellar. So, I do feel comfortable with those choices, along with the 8500...
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post #23 of 23 Old 04-16-2013, 11:42 PM
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John, TV size has a lot to do with seating distance from the face of the set and is highly subjective.
Like you, we had a 32" 4:3 CRT TV which we thought was quite nice. Then, we replaced that with a Sony 36" 4:3 HD CRT which was even greater, with the same seating arrangement.
Now I will provide some actual measurements.
The actual display height of the 36" is 22 1/4" and width is 29 3/8".
Our new 46" HD Samsung 16:9 display height is 22 3/4" and width is 40 1/4".
As you can see, height is 1/2" greater and width is 10 7/8" greater.

I sit 8' 7-10" from the screen, while my wife sits 10' 8-12" from the screen. We think this 46" is the cat's meow for our situation. (Subjective)

Our son has a 50" flat panel. Due to room size, all his seating is an average display distance of 8' and that is too close for older eyes, on a day in day out exposure.(Subjective)

Please note that our lives do not revolve around a home entertainment system. We live on an estate that affords many outdoor activities. If we want a true cinematic experience we go to the "movies".

John, only you and yours are to be satisfied. Might go to a sales room and actually put yourselves at your normal (measured) viewing distance from various size sets and see what you can be comfortable with. After all, bigger ain't always better.
Rereading your initial post noting a seating distance of 12', a 50 " TV might be a serious consideration. For the money and diminishing return, 55" might not be worth it.

Something else, ABC & Fox broadcast at 720P while CBS, NBC & PBS broadcast at 1080i. These new flat panels are 1080p and most up convert to 1080p. The point is that one does not have to sit close to see minute detail. In fact my wife complains about people needing to trim nasal hair. (subjective)

Happy hunting
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