Not as fun, that’s for sure…actually, non existent.A complete home theater system needs a screen to view movies and television programs on. In general, the minimum size screen that is considered okay for home theater use is 30 inches. The screen size on big screen TVs is measured from one corner of the screen to the diagonally opposite corner. For example, the Sony KV40XBR800 40 inch TV is the biggest tube television you can buy. You would want to be sitting at least 8 feet back from this huge set.
How to Measure TV Screen Size
In the United States, a television’s screen size is measured in inches from one corner of the screen to the diagonally opposite corner.
4×3 vs 16×9, both 50 inch TVs
The white areas represent the 25% of a movie’s picture that’s CUT OFF to view it on a conventional big screen TV.
50 inch conventional TV
61 inch widescreen TV
50 inch widescreen TV
The actual HEIGHT of the screen on a 61 inch widescreen TV is about the same as the height on a conventional 50″ 4:3 television. Notice how the 50″ wide screen is wider but shorter than the conventional TV, which actually has more picture area. However, the widescreen HDTV monitor can display a MUCH BETTER AND CLEARER picture.
16:9 Widescreen vs. 4:3 Aspect Ratio
The height of the 2 simulated TV screen sizes shown at the top of this page is exactly the same. The white areas at the left and right of the 50″ 4:3 television represent the 25% of your images that are CUT OFF to allow it to fit your TV screen. If you’ve ever seen the disclaimer played at the very beginning of a movie talking about how parts of a movie have been edited for content and the picture has been formatted to fit your screen. The alternative to this is “letterboxing” a program, or showing the entire picture, but adding a black bar at both the top and bottom of your screen so the picture fits your TV screen in the right ratio.
If you figure true TV screen surface size, the 61″ widescreen TV on the left has 33% more screen area than the 50″ conventional TV on the right.
We highly recommend that you buy a television that is at least HDTV-ready. This means that you can view high definition programming on your television by connecting an HDTV tuner and antenna. A true HDTV will have the HD decoder built-in to the television, like the HUGE Sony 70 inch TV. Within just a few years, analog television as we know it today will no longer exist due to new HDTV standards set by the United States’ Federal Government.
A progressive scan DVD player connected with component video cables is a must for great picture quality when watching a DVD movie.
Big Screen TV Viewing Distance
You don’t need a TV size chart! Here’s a simple to remember general rule of thumb regarding TV screen size to distance. Take the television’s screen size in inches measured from one corner of the screen to the diagonally opposite corner of the screen. Divide that number by 5 to get the MINIMUM number of feet you want to sit from the front of the screen.
For example, at the very least, you would want to sit 10 feet away from the front of a 50 inch TV screen. OR think about it this way. You’ve got 8 feet to work with — you definitely don’t want to go any bigger than a 40 inch TV. (continues in next column)