Feeds

How to choose the right screen size

Is your telly too small - or too big - for HD?

High performance access to file storage

The fear of all sums

There are 1080 pixels vertically on a full HD set, so we already know that p = H/1080. Calculating the value for the tangent allows us to put in a real number, and we come up with the following formula for the distance:

Formula 3

A quick calculation suggests that for a 37in display, you need to be 57.74 inches away, or a bit short of five foot. Any further and most people won’t notice the difference.

For comparison, using the ITU recommendation of 3H for viewing distance would come up with a distance of 54.41 inches for the same size screen. And if you want to know the viewing distance in metres, starting with your screen size in inches, then use:

Formula 4

If that seems a bit close for comfort, consider 3D viewers, where the recommendation is to sit only 2H away, according to Panasonic. That, I suspect, is unlikely to happen in many living rooms.

Finally, if you have the reverse question, ‘what size TV do I need to buy for my living room’, it’s easy enough to turn around our last formula. Start with the viewing distance, d in metres, and you can find out the diagonal screen size D you need, in inches, using this formula, again only for a 16:9 set. If you want to buy one of Philips’ super-wide models, do your own sums!

Formula 5

Alarmingly, that suggests that if we really are all watching at the 2.7m distance suggested in the BBC internal survey, we need 68in sets to be able to make the most of full HD.

So, how big is yours, and can you really tell the difference? Tell us in the comments. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
NORKS' own smartmobe pegged as Chinese landfill Android
Fake kit in the hermit kingdom? That's just Kim Jong-un-believable!
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.