Do you remember the time when the screen of an iPhone was 3.5 inches and all of us thought it was huge? Nowadays many of us think a 6-inch screen is too small. If we go further back in history to 1950’s, the time when commercial TV’s just started to appear on the market, we will see that the biggest screen back then was 16 inches, and we used to think that was huge. The biggest screen now is 292 inches, and it is huge, but for some people even that size might be appearing not big enough.
So what is the cause of such a shift in screen diagonal perception? Have we evolved? Not quite. At least biological evolution has little to do with it. We can find the answer to our question if we think about how easily we adjust and get used to improvements in our experiences.
Once we are exposed to something better than we previously experienced, we appreciate it as an improvement and get excited about it; however, very soon we start viewing this improvement as a norm. That translates to enjoying watching an 85-inch TV now equally to how we enjoyed a 16-inch screen in the 50’s, or the amount of satisfaction we get from interacting with a 7-inch phone being equal to the amount of satisfaction we used to get from using a 3.5-inch display in late 2000’s.
Of course, in the present-day world, it is hard to barricade yourself from finding out about technological advances. One would have to take extreme measures to isolate oneself from the world to completely avoid the temptation and the vicious cycle of “never enough”. However, do not apply for admission to a monastery just yet. We are going to suggest criteria by which to choose an optimal screen size and be content with your choice.
Measure your room, specifically the distance from the coach or whatever may be your main viewing point to where the TV is going to hang (or sit if you prefer not to mount it on a wall). For 42-inch diagonals we recommend a 3-foot minimal distance, for a 50-inch TV a 3.5-foot distance, for 55 inches the recommended minimal distance is 4 feet, for 65 inches it is 5 feet, for 75 and 82 inches it is 6 and 7 feet correspondingly.
If this criterium does not fully resolve the dilemma of screen sizes, consider the size of your wall as well as the size of your budget. Make sure that the screen you purchase can fit in the dimensions of both.
And yes, in order to avoid unnecessary temptation, do try to limit your trips to the TV section at BestBuy where they sell extra-large TV’s unless your room size and your budget can accommodate an extra step up in luxury.