Today we look at the dilemma caused by two colliding trends: bigger TVs and smaller homes
It is rare to meet a man who thinks a TV can ever be too big, but it is important to consider your room size when deciding what size TV to buy.
The good news: You can sit closer to a big TV than you think and still have a great viewing experience.
The bad news: Those big TVs still need a big space to accommodate them. Most are too big for your old entertainment centers.
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The general rule of thumb is that you should take the diagonal distance of your TV -- we'll use 26, because that's my TV size -- and multiply it by 1.5 to get the minimum distance you should be from the screen. My TV is great for a small room because optimal viewing distance is 39 inches, or just over 3 feet.
Take a 40-inch TV, which is a more common size. Optimal viewing distance would be 60 inches, or 5 feet. That means if you can find a place to put your 40-inch TV in your small room, it's a good fit.
Not everyone agrees with this rule of thumb, Sam Grobart noted in a New York Times article
titled "Is This Room Big Enough for My TV?" He writes:
In the interest of providing equal time to opposing viewpoints, it should be mentioned that this 1.5 figure is subject to fervent debate in the videophile community. Some groups recommend a multiple of 2.5, while others go down to 1.2. On the one hand, you do not want to be so close to a display that you begin to notice individual pixels. On the other, you do want to be close enough that the experience is sufficiently immersive, like having your own private Imax theater in the den.
By the way, the higher the resolution, the closer you can sit, Grobart says.
Then you have to figure out how high to hang the TV, or place it on furniture, so you can see it well. Over the fireplace is too high. You should position the TV so that your eyes are level with the bottom third of the display.
The next question is décor. No longer are we hiding our TVs inside pieces of furniture. Instead, they remain on display, often on modern TV stands.
MSN's Design Center has some ideas
for accommodating a big screen in a small space. You can find more ideas for decorating around your flat-screen TV at Houzz
and The Decorologist