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Plasma Television Screen Size Ratios -- How to Decide Which TV Viewing Size is Best for You

Aug 17, 2007
If you frequently watch DVD's and you are purchasing a plasma television, plasma television screen sizes ratios are an important consideration. This is one of the features you should investigate prior to making a final decision on which TV you are going to choose. The ratio will affect television viewing.

Aspect Ratio and HDTV

Today's conventional regular television signals are transmitted with an aspect ratio of 4:3 (the nearly square TV picture to which you are accustomed). All HDTV and some SDTV signals will be transmitted with an aspect ratio of 16:9 in the near future. This means that you will either lose part of the picture with a square television, or need a converter.

HDTV broadcasts are now being delivered in the wide-screen format, the same aspect ratio in which movies are made. Most plasma televisions and big screen televisions are manufactured in the widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio.

However, since television programs are made to fit a square television, you may get some distortion on a wide screen format. So if you do choose a wide screen format, make certain that you get a television smart enough to know the difference.

Screen Size Factors

There are a number of factors to consider when determining your plasma television's screen size. Like all televisions, plasma monitors are measured diagonally across the screen. Plasma television screens start as small as 5 inches and increase in size up to 63 inches or larger. The typical sizes are 24 inches, 32 inches, 40 inches, 50 inches and around 60 inches. The most popular plasma television screen sizes are 32 inches and 61 inches.

Be aware that the larger your plasma television screen, the heavier it will be and the harder it will be to mount. The smallest screens can be taken just about anywhere while the 60 inch screens require their own carpentry supports!

Distance from the Screen

The next factor to help you find the right plasma television is how far you will sit from the screen. If you are going to be sitting close to the screen, like 6 to 10 feet away, then you probably want a medium sized monitor (32 or 36 inches).

You will get the best picture from a 42 inch plasma television if you can sit at least 10 feet back. And for a really big picture, you will need at least 15 feet. Of course, you can just try out different distances in the show room to determine if it is a good match for you.

Conclusion

Size is not everything, but in some things it does not hurt. So approach your plasma television experience with the view to get the most versatile piece of equipment that you can.
About the Author
Ready for plasma? Louis Zhang provides jargon-free, relevant information on plasma televison technology, selection and installation as well as a guide to consumer reviews. For more on plasma television selection tips, go to Plasma TV Screen Size
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