How to Choose the Correct Television for Your Living Space—Plus, Three of Our Favorite Picks
There's a simple formula to follow when shopping for a new TV.
Finding the perfect television can be difficult, especially if your home has challenging angles or spatial issues. And, of course, the correct TV could vary room by room: What seems like a perfect fit for your family area might leave a lot to be desired in your living room. That's why we spoke with an electronic professional, who shares how to discern the proper shape and size model for your house, ahead—plus, some of our favorite options to buy right now.
The Right Size
Most homeowners assume that a larger television is a better one, but Hy Haddad, the owner of HDH Tech Corp, a New York-based automation company, says that larger options aren't necessarily right for every space. "The equation the professionals use is to take the distance from the screen to the best seat in the house in inches, then divide that by three," he says, which will give you the optimal screen height. "So, at 10 feet, that's 40 inches." Haddad says that if you deviate too far from the result of that equation, you risk an uncomfortable viewing experience.
If your TV has to sit on a piece of furniture, choose one with "feet," which, Haddad says, is pretty standard for most of today's models; this offers more stability and gives you some room between your console and the screen. "Just be cautious of big, heavy ones that may not be fully secure around kids," he says of unmounted options. Even a thin television, he adds, can cause injury to a small child if it's not secured properly.
Most televisions on the market are compatible with mounting hardware—so deciding whether to mount yours or not virtually always comes down to your own home's layout and spatial capacity. "For example, if the television will be mounted on your right and, as you walk into the room, you can catch a side view of it, you want to choose a thinner model and mount it so that it is not an eye sore," he says, noting that most high-quality televisions clock in around the same depth.
If you have to hang your television on an angle—think in the corner of a room—Haddad says to request an articulating mount. While many customers will request a swing mount, he notes, what they truly need is for their piece to be hung on an off-center axis, which is what the articulation iteration provides (this allows you to pull out the machine and swivel it accordingly). If you're still struggling to determine the best product for your space, Haddad recommends calling in an expert ("It would be best to contact an audio-visual specialist, rather than a big box store," he advises). As for his recommendations? We've listed his go-to television below, along with some our all-time favorites.
Hands down, Sony gets Haddad's vote. "The Sony OLED models are the prettiest, but you really can't go wrong with any Sony model," he says.
Shop Now: Sony 55" Class A8H Series OLED 4K UHD Smart Android TV, $1,699.99, bestbuy.com.
Samsung The Frame TV
Believe it or not, that oceanic piece of artwork dead center is a television—with the touch of a button, it converts into a state-of-the-art TV, which is almost as optically pleasing as art mode. It's also customizable at every turn, from the bezel colors of the "frame" to the image that it displays during down time. Just as impressive? It connects to a power source with a single cable. It's truly as streamlined as it gets.
Shop Now: Samsung 65" Class The Frame QLED Smart 4K UHD TV, $1,699, amazon.com.
Looking for a top-rated television on a budget? You can't go wrong with VIZIO's SmartCast iteration, which has nearly five stars across the board and boasts four times the pixels of traditional HD models. Its screen class makes it perfect for larger rooms, including living and family rooms and oversized bedrooms (think the master)—but just keep in mind that it's best viewed front and center.
Shop Now: VIZIO 50" Class V-Series LED 4K UHD SmartCast TV, $299.99, bestbuy.com.