Q: My roommate accidentally knocked over my TV and now I need to buy a new one. My boyfriend has a ginormous TV at his place and is willing to chip in to buy a bigger TV than what I would expect my roommate to purchase as a replacement, but I don’t want something dominating the entire living room. How do you know what size will be right?
A: Well, my first thought on the topic is that whatever size you get, mount it more securely to a wall or the furniture! While a good quality TV these days isn’t nearly as expensive as they used to be, and they’re much lighter, a falling TV can still injure someone or cause damage. And because TVs are lighter than ever, they might even be more likely to fall over, especially if you have pets, kids, or ... accident-prone roommates.
Also know that it’s common to mount any size TV too high, especially if you have a fireplace. Just because all the hookups were preinstalled, that doesn’t mean that’s where your TV needs to go. Also, these days, you can have a bigger viewing screen without the TV taking up as much visual space in your room.
For reference, measure your old TV diagonally from one lower corner to the opposite upper corner. That number, in inches, will be the TV’s “size.” Then start shopping to determine your budget. Check out the available TV sizes, options and the true width and height dimensions. From this information take your best guess what size you might want, and cut out a big piece of cardboard to match. You could even spray paint the cardboard black if you really want to get a good idea how big this TV will really be.
Live with that on the wall for a couple of days. Experiment with different mounting heights and angles, as cardboard taped to the wall is a lot easier to move around than a brand new TV. Relax in your favorite sofa spot or chair, stand in your kitchen, lie on the floor — wherever and however you watch TV. Whatever feels like the best balance of size and placement to you is the answer.