How to Measure TV Size Properly

If you are looking for a new TV for your office or lobby, chances are that you already have space allocated for it, a TV stand or a wall mount.

Now, you must get a TV that fits the size of the TV wall mount bracket or TV stand to hold the TV securely. Have you ever seen TVs advertised as 40 inches, 50 inches, or 60 inches and wondered what that measurement actually means? Or are you wondering if a TV will fit in your entertainment center?

If so, then read on to find out.

Before you buy that flat-screen TV you saw in the advertisement, ensure it will actually fit the available space. Although the ad may say the TV is 55", it is essential to remember to factor in the measurements of the TV stand or wall mount when selecting a spot for your TV.

In this article, you will learn the difference between the advertised size of a TV screen and its actual size. One of the most common issues with measuring TV size is that the advertised screen size often does not match the actual, visible screen size.

This is because manufacturers use the entire width of the display, including the bezel, when calculating the size of the TV.

How to Measure TV Size

One common issue with measuring TV size is that many people want to measure TV size by the width and height of the television. It is understandable since the TV mount is measured by width and height.

No matter what TV manufacturer you prefer, they give their measurements in a single unit, inches. The inch size is usually measured diagonally from corner to corner, which can lead to differences in measurements between manufacturers. TVs are advertised according to their diagonal screen measurement, which may not accurately reflect the width and height of the TV.

If you want to use your TV size to calculate the size of your TV stand or wall space, measuring the width and height of the TV directly is recommended to ensure the most accurate measurements.

Diagonal Screen Size

When you see an advertisement for a TV, the size of the screen is the most noticeable feature. The advertised size of the screen is typically expressed in inches according to the diagonal length from corner to corner.

This means that the diagonal length is measured from the bottom left corner to the top right corner or the top left corner to the bottom right corner. A flat-screen TV's advertised diagonal screen size does not always reflect its actual viewable screen size.

To avoid false advertising complaints, many manufacturers refer to their TVs as a specific "class" size, such as a 55-inch "class TV." This is because the frame or bezel of the TV needs to cover a portion of the panel to secure it in place.

To accurately measure the size of a TV, you will need a measuring tape. Pull the tape from one corner of the TV panel to the opposite corner, making sure to exclude the bezels or any other surfaces that do not display the picture. TV sizes are usually expressed in inches, although measurements in centimeters (CM) or millimeters (MM) are also common.

This method of measuring is suitable for TVs and can also be used to measure monitors and large on-screen displays commonly seen in stadiums and event halls. It is also a standard method for measuring displays worldwide.

To measure the TV size correctly, you will need a measuring tape of at least 15ft (5M) in length. Alternatively, you can use a soft measuring tape used by tailors. You may also want to have some cellophane tape ready to secure the end of the measuring tape to focus on the other end of the TV's corner.

Step By Step to Measure TV Size

Step 1: Identify the TV's corners. TVs have a rectangular shape, so the four corners should be easily visible.

Step 2: Pull out your measuring tape and place the beginning of the ruler at the corner of the display. Make sure only to measure the visible screen, not the bezels or other parts of the TV. (Optional: Tape the end of the measuring tape down to make it easier to read the other end.)

Step 3: Pull the measuring tape diagonally across the TV to the opposite corner. For example, start at the bottom left corner and pull the tape up to the top right corner.

Step 4: Stop right at the edge of the display and read the measurement. TV size is usually expressed in inches, so take note of that.

What if You Don’t Have A Measuring Tape?

If you don't have a measuring tape, you can use any string in its place. You can also use the digital rulers on your phone or look up the TV model online for the measurement size.

At least, unless you are a contractor, no one expects you to carry a measuring tape with you wherever you go. That means we might find ourselves in a situation where we suddenly need to measure a TV but do not have a measuring tape at our disposal.


You can use any string you find in place of a measuring tape, take the measurement, mark it accordingly, and then lay it on a ruler whenever you find one.

We frequently carry strings around with us without even realizing it. For example, shoelaces, thread, etc., are always with us. Some of us have waist belts, and some women have long-strapped shoulder bags. To measure TV size, any of these could be used.

Simply attach one end of the string to the TV's bottom corner and pull it to the other diagonal corner. When you can find a ruler, make a mark on it, designating where the length ends.

Digital Ruler

You rely on the digital ruler on your phone when using this technique. You may need to check with your phone's manufacturer to learn how to use the digital ruler on your device because there may be variations.

Typically, you must move your phone to the "end position" after aiming the camera at the "starting position." The distance traveled will then be converted to length by the phone.

This might work, but a ruler and direct measurement might still be preferable. Once we consider additional variables that could affect the readings, like our hand movements, digital rulers might not be as accurate.

Online Help

Search for the TV's make and model to look up the measurements online. This method could be the most accurate without a ruler for determining TV size.

To avoid taking the incorrect measurement, you must identify the brand and model of the TV. You can make mistakes and buy the wrong materials if you work with inaccurate information.

Why Is TV Size Measured Diagonally?

The best way to measure the size of a TV is to do so diagonally since this takes into account both the width and the height of the display. Different displays may have different widths and heights, so only measuring either the width or the height would not be accurate.

TVs typically come in various display ratios, such as 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10, which makes it clear that TVs do not come in a standard size and can have different widths and heights.

As a result, one must use a different measuring method to measure the size of different TVs. Calculating the size using the Pythagorean theorem may be accurate, but it is often an unnecessary overkill.

The best and most direct way is to simply measure from one corner of the display to the opposite, diagonal corner of the TV.

The TV Frame/Bezel and Stand

Although the diagonal screen measurement determines the approximate TV viewing area, it cannot precisely determine whether the TV will fit in a particular area. You must also consider the actual width and height of the TV frame, bezel, and stand.

The width and height of the TV frame can be increased by up to 3 inches with frames and bezels and several more with stands. This means that you should note the listed size of the entire TV, which includes the screen and the frame/bezel and stand, whether you are ordering a TV online or before visiting the store.

Most manufacturers list TV products and package dimensions on their websites if you have a few TV brands and models in mind. Even with this knowledge, you should still bring a tape measure with you to the store if you plan to buy a TV in case it is on display.

The TV's total exterior dimensions can then be verified or checked. Check the box for any listed specifications regarding the size of the TV with and without its stand if it is not on display but is only in a box.

Measure the Space Your TV Is Going to Be Placed In

You can determine how much space your TV will require for placement by knowing how big it is, but you should also make sure that you have measured the space's width and height.

When mounting a TV in an open area or on a wall, the main consideration is making sure there is room for the stand and that the wall space is unbounded, as you may need to account for width.

To ensure that you can move your TV in and out of position safely and quickly, leave at least 2- to 3 inches of space around it on all sides, including the stand, if you're mounting it in an enclosed area like an entertainment center.

Calculate The Viewing Distance

Now, depending on the size of the TV, you have to mount it on the wall or a stand at a distance from those viewing it. We want to discuss how to measure the ideal viewing distance so that you will not distract your staff and customers with the TV.

The perfect viewing distance for your TV varies depending on who you ask, but ultimately, it ensures that the TV takes up the maximum amount of space in your field of view (FOV). While some suggest that 30 degrees of your FOV is sufficient, others claim that 40 degrees is best for watching movies.

However, most agree that the TV should take up a minimum of 20 degrees of your field of view. If you view your TV at a distance less than this, you will not get an optimum viewing experience and should move closer to your TV if possible.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) provides an excellent middle ground between these two recommendations, suggesting that the TV should take up 30 degrees of your field of view for general viewing and 40 degrees for movies.

To calculate the optimal viewing distance for a TV, you will need to consider the TV's size and resolution. Generally speaking, the larger the size of the TV, the farther away you should sit. For example, if you have a 55-inch TV, you should sit at least 7 feet away.

For 4K resolution TVs, you should sit at least 5.5 feet away. For 1080p resolution TVs, you should sit at least 4.5 feet away. Samsung TV owners can set their TV to portrait mode, for a more tailored viewing experience.

It is important to note that the optimal viewing distance is not a fixed number, as everyone has different preferences, which may change depending on the content being viewed.

For example, if you are watching a movie, you may want to sit closer than normal, whereas if you are playing a game, you may want to sit farther away. Ultimately, the best way to determine the optimal viewing distance for you is to experiment and find the best distance.

Knowing how to measure TV size is important because it helps you ensure that you purchase a TV that will fit in the space you have available. Different TVs come in different sizes and ratios, and accurately measuring the size of a TV will help you to make sure that it will fit in the area you have available for it.

Measuring the size of a TV correctly will ensure that you get an accurate representation of the TV's size, and will help you to avoid any false advertising complaints.