dimension a TV It can be more complicated than it seems at first glance: From diagonal measurements to bezel count to the depth needed for cable connections, there are several important things to consider about how to measure a TV. But if you’re interested in buying a new TV and trying to sort out the perfect TV size for your room and needs, or planning to sell or relocate a current TV model, you’ll need to know the precise sizes. Before you break out the tape measure, here’s everything you need to know!
How are TVs measured, anyway? When you see the size specification advertised on a TV label or in one of our writings, that size always refers to the measurement diagonal, spanning one corner to its opposite. These diagonal measurements allow for universal comparisons between TV screen sizes regardless of other factors, which is why they are so common. However, they should not be confused with the TV’s side-to-side horizontal size, which will be shorter than the diagonal length; for example, a 65-inch LG OLED TV could be 56 inches wide. On average, you’ll find that most TV sizes will be about 10 inches shorter than the listed diagonal screen measurement.
If you’re selling or trading in a TV or want to get a new TV that’s the same size as your old one, then measuring the diagonal length is an important place to start. Starting at a bottom corner and measuring to the opposite top corner is quick, easy, and will give you that all-important number.
Important Note: Diagonal measurements are sometimes rounded up. If your diagonal measurement falls short of a half inch or so, feel free to round up to a whole number. Diagonal measurements may also include the frame of the TV, although this may vary.
Check product dimensions
While diagonal measurement helps with overall analysis and comparison, accurately measuring the size of the TV requires a bit more. Next, you need to check the dimensions of the product, which will detail the height, width, depth, and other important specifications related to the overall size of the TV. Dimensions should be located on any TV box, sales tag, or product page. If you’re shopping on Amazon, for example, you can find the dimensions in the Product Information section under Technical Details.
Product dimensions include two important factors that cannot be overlooked when sizing a TV. First, you’ll usually include the stand as part of the height measurement. It’s hard to get bracket measurements any other way, and it’s vital to make sure a TV will fit in a particular space (unless you’re mounting it to a wall). Second, it will include the bezels, or the edges that surround the panel of the TV. Bezels these days are often very thin, but they still go up in size, and product dimensions will reflect this.
Always provide complete dimensions if you are selling or donating your TV. If you’re shopping, use the dimensions to measure your space (more on that below).
Don’t forget the depth! Today’s TVs are very thin, but TV stands are much less so and will need enough space (usually around 6 inches, but can vary) when you’re setting up. Here are several important things to keep in mind when calculating depth:
- Cables for HDMI connections, hdtv antennas, etc. they can take up extra space behind your TV. There may not be a lot of room, and the ports are generally positioned for easy cable management, but a little extra room in there goes a long way when setting up your entertainment system. You may want to add a few inches to your measurements for this.
- If you have one Sound bar, the optimal location is usually directly in front of the TV. That will also increase the depth you’ll need to manage both the stand and the speaker.
- If you’re planning some sweet accent lighting behind the TV, make sure you have space. This isn’t usually a problem for the size of your TV, but you may need additional power strips or room to work in the back.
- Wall mounting is always an alternative that will reduce the amount of depth space you need. Just make sure you do it safely!
Whether you’re buying a new TV or moving an old one, now’s the time to break out the tape measure and start measuring your home theater space, including a little extra room for depth as needed.
If you are installing the TV inside a space that is enclosed on all sides, or if you are placing a screen between some tower speakers or other home theater speakers, check that there is at least a couple of inches of space between the edges of the TV and the side walls. This is necessary to maneuver the TV into position, and if a TV is too big, you may not be able to easily fit it into that space, even if technically fits. With all of your measurements complete, you should have no problem getting the TV into the correct position.
You can also enlist apps to help you with some calculations if you prefer a little help. There are quite a few measurement apps available to give you some estimates to get you started, such as the Tape Measure app from Apple or the ruler application from Android. You may also want to check the TV Screen Size Calculator on the Google Store, which allows you to put in measurements like diagonal size and aspect ratio, and then helps calculate other important measurements as well. However, a good analog tape measure will always work in a pinch.
Now that you have a better idea of what size TV you need for your space, you can start shopping with confidence. the best tv and the best speakers to complete the home theater of your dreams.