Even with all the other screens in our lives, most of us still enjoy having a TV around so we can watch movies, shows, and sporting events on a sizable screen. In fact, a TV is the centerpiece of many of the rooms we spend the most time in. So when it comes time to replace an aging or broken TV, choosing which one to buy is a big decision. As with most big decisions, a lot can go wrong when you set out to purchase a new television.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes people make when buying a new TV — and how to avoid them.
1. Getting the wrong size
When it comes to televisions, size matters. Having a giant 70-inch screen parked three feet in front of your sofa is about as comfortable as sitting in the front row of an IMAX theater. It’s equally uncomfortable when you have to squint to read text on a TV screen that’s too small. All of which is to say that you need to find the right screen size to accommodate for the distance between your set and your seat.
As a general rule of thumb, measure how far you’ll be from the TV set in inches, and then divide by 1.5. The result is about how big of a TV screen will be comfortable to watch from that distance. If you’re going with a 4K television, you can buy a bigger TV, because the pixel density makes the image look better at close range.
Another rule of thumb: Bigger is better, within reason, as long as you’re not ignoring other aspects.