: Minumum distance for a 50" tv?

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2008-01-20, 08:22 PM
I'm moving into a new place and I'm debating between a 42" and a 50" tv.
I love HD, but I realize that some programming just isn't available in HD. So what would you consider the minimum distance to view SD programming on a 50" tv? I'm setting up to be about 8' from the tv, so I'm starting to think a 42" might be a better choice.

Michael DeAbreu
2008-01-20, 08:33 PM
I think 42" @ 8' would balance room design with viewing experience. In my opinion 50" would be overwhelming in a small room.

2008-01-20, 08:35 PM
Here's the FAQ on How Large an HDTV to Buy:


2008-01-20, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the ideas, 42" seems to be about right. It's weird how much smaller tv's look in the store. i've got a 32" that looks great in my current place, but they look absolutely tiny in the store.

2008-01-20, 09:01 PM
Stores are big; homes are small.

2008-01-20, 09:20 PM
You'll regret buying the 42" and next year you'll have to buy another TV. 8 feet for a 50" is just fine for HD.

2008-01-20, 09:41 PM
My eyeballs are 8.25 feet away from my 50" HDTV, and SD looks fine enough that I don't feel I have to sit further back. Of course, for HD, I wish I had gone for the 60"!


2008-01-20, 09:57 PM
Like with many things in life, when you have to choose between the bigger one or the smaller one, the bigger one is often more satisfying ;).

Most people who plan to upgrade their TV always choose something bigger if they can. Very few people wish that they had something smaller. I sit between 6-9 ft. away from my 52" and SD pictures look OK. Obviously, it really depends on the quality of the SD signal.

If I had to do it again? I'd get a bigger one :D.

2008-01-20, 10:36 PM
I'm about 7' away from a 720p 50" TV. I watch primarily HD programming which looks great, SD obviously suffers a little but still good enough for me. It all boils down to the type of content you watch and what your personal PQ threshold is.

Walter Dnes
2008-01-21, 12:11 AM
I just finished watching the Giants beat the Packers about 9 or 10 feet from my 50" Panasonic plasma. No problem moving a foot closer. Go at least 46, if not 50 inches. You won't regret it.

2008-01-21, 06:32 AM
I have a 50" Plasma at about 9 feet. Absolutely love it. Would not wish to go smaller. I made comprimises before and regreted being cautious. I think if you get a good quality Plasma or LCD you will have no issues.

2008-01-27, 12:12 PM
There are 46-47" TVs too, if you can't make up your mind :)

2008-01-27, 03:49 PM
If money is not an issue, go 50 inch. I don't think i've seen a 50 inch TV that over powered a room. I have my butt parked 8-9 feet away from mine with no problem.

2008-01-27, 04:12 PM
My eyeballs are 8.25 feet away from my 50" HDTV, and SD looks fine enough that I don't feel I have to sit further back. Of course, for HD, I wish I had gone for the 60"!

Same here - go with the 50 - I had a 47 and the 50 still made a huge difference.

2008-01-27, 04:31 PM
Go with 50" all the way. As others have pointed out, with a quality set, the bigger the better.

2008-01-29, 10:20 PM
I have an open concept, but not large condo that has a 50 inch DLP. Because of the positioning, it fits nicely in the room. And I love the size.

I used to have a 32 inch CRT--which actually took up more room with the depth, the stand, etc--but when I brought in the new display, my spouse thought the size of the new one was ridiculous. I sold my old 32 inch to our neighbour.

Two days later, my spouse was at the neighbour's and noticed our old TV. She asked if it was our old one and when told it was, my spouse said, "looks small."

This--after TWO DAYS--she completely changed her perspective.

All that said, it should be noted that in almost every home design magazine or model suite I've ever seen, NO designer ever uses a TV larger than 42 inches. In fact, I was watching one home reno show where the designer grandly removed the admittedly poorly positioned 60 inch DLP from the room--and didn't replace it. So the design community would probably disagree with having anything larger than a 42 inch in almost any residential space.

You just have to decide who you're trying to please.

2008-01-29, 10:30 PM
The rule is typically the size of the screen x 2 which would give you 100 inch (8 feet 4 inches). You are closer to the standard with the 50 inches than you are with the 42 inches. If you like big screen, you should go for the 50 inches!

2008-02-03, 05:02 PM
I would go with the 50" if not, at least a 46". You lose a lot of the wow or big screen factor if you go too small.

2008-02-04, 08:42 PM
I'm happy with my 60 inch SXRD at a distance of 8.5 feet. SD is not the greatest but HD is superb.

2008-02-04, 10:05 PM
At 8.25 feet, I would have happily gone with the 60" SXRD, if I watched nothing but HD. Sadly, there still remains a lot of good shows that are not in HD. Not to mention older shows that were shot on digital video that would probably look terrible if transferred to HD. So I knew I'd be watching a mix of both SD and HD. That's why I went for the smaller 50-incher.

So it's not just distance of eyeball to screen, you need to also consider what you'll be watching.