I often opine to my wife that we should really invest in a bigger TV. My wife is quite happy with our 42 inch HDTV, and argues that a larger television would be far too big for our living room.

That got me to thinking, is there such a thing as a TV that is too big? Not if you ask me but there are a range of sizes that give you the best viewing experience, and it is very easy to figure out that range.

First, you have to decide where in the room your new TV will be located. Once you’ve got that set, measure how far away from the TV you’ll be sitting. Take that number (in inches) and divide by 3. That’s the lower end of TV sizes to get the best viewing experience in your room (this is the smallest TV you should get). Now divide the viewing distance number by 1.5 to get a good idea of the largest TV you should consider for the space (a TV much larger than this would be overkill, since you won’t be able to take it all in).

Let’s say you want to sit about 7 feet from your TV (which is about how far we sit from the TV in my house). That translates to being 84 inches from the screen. Divide that by 3 and you find the smallest suitable TV will be about 28 inches. On the other end of the range we find, by dividing by 1.5, an upper limit of about 56 inches.

Clearly, I need to buy a bigger TV and maybe you do as well.