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How to measure a TV screen

Get your measuring tape - here’s the correct way to figure out your television’s size.

How to measure a TV guide

Maybe you’re at home, and you’re working out where to install your TV in your living room. Or maybe you’re shopping for a new television in-store, and you want to make sure it will fit in a specific spot at home. Maybe you’ve read our article on how to wall mount a TV. Either way, it’s important to know how to measure a TV properly.

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The first thing to know is that when you see a TV’s size listed, that it refers to the diagonal length of the screen – lots of people make the mistake of assuming it refers to the screen’s width. This size doesn’t include the television’s bezel (the border running around the edge of the screen), so doesn’t account for the full size of the television. Bezels are getting ever smaller as technology develops, but they still take up extra space, so you’ll need to make sure you account for that.

Something that’s also important to know is that when you measure your television’s screen, it will probably turn out to be a little smaller than the advertised size. This is absolutely standard: a portion of the screen is simply covered under the bezel, and is a necessary part of the manufacturing process. Usually, the discrepancy is little more than a few millimetres.

Read on for our step-by-step instructions for measuring your TV screen – we’ll talk you through each stage of the process, and why they’re important. You might also want to take a look at our list of cable management ideas.

And for everything you need to know about buying a new television, don’t miss our which TV to buy guide.

How to measure a TV screen: step by step

How to measure a TV screen

To get a TV’s size, you’ll need to do four separate sets of measurements. Got your measuring tape at the ready? Let’s get started.

1. Measure the screen diagonally

Run your tape diagonally across the television’s screen, from one upper corner to one lower corner, or vice versa. This will tell you the TV’s screen size – but, like we say, don’t be surprised if there’s a couple of millimetres’ discrepancy with the listed size.

2. Measure the entire television diagonally

Now, you should make the same measurement, but stretch your tape across the entire face of the television, including the bordering bezel. Lots of people skip this step, and then make the mistake of assuming their television’s screen size is the same as the overall dimensions.

3. Measure the television vertically and horizontally

Run the tape horizontally across the television’s face to gauge its horizontal width. If you’re planning to install the television in an alcove or other small space, make sure you leave a couple of inch’s space on either side so you can install it and remove it safely. Next, do the same vertically.

4. Measure the depth of the television

Use the tape to measure the depth of your television. This may be a little fiddly, as lots of televisions don’t have entirely flat back ends – you’ll need to measure the deepest point. Once again, make sure you account for space at the back to accommodate the cables that will run to the mains.

With these four sets of measurements, you’ll be able to make an informed choice on where to install your television at home. Conversely, if you keep these in mind if you’re shopping for a television, you can measure a set in-store to work out if it will fit into your viewing space.

In the market for a new TV?

If you’re thinking about buying a 4K television, head to our article on what is a 4K TV. If you’re not which size TV is right for you, take a look at our guide on which size TV should I buy?

People are often surprised to find that when shopping for TVs, it’s not necessarily a case of ‘the bigger the screen, the bigger the spend’. Smaller 32-inch TVs are usually anywhere between £150 and £350, with LG 32LM630BPLA TV currently £219 at Amazon. With 43-inch sets you can expect to pay as little as £350 to £400, like Panasonic TX-43HX580BZ 4K TV (£399), with newer models costing as much as £800.

But once you get up to 50-inch and 55-inch televisions, prices start to vary wildly. The 55-inch Samsung TU7100 4K TV might only cost £469, but the same-size LG OLED55BX6LB 4K TV costs £1,098. Similarly, you can spend as little as £749 on the 65-inch Sony Bravia KDXG70 4K TV, and almost £2,000 on the Sony Bravia KDA85BU 4K OLED TV of the same size. The differences in price here can be attributed to the age of the model, and additional features like a built-in voice assistant and OLED picture technology.

If you have a small viewing space, or you’re simply struggling to find the perfect spot for your television, you can also consider buying a wall-mounted bracket such as the Invision Ultra Slim Wall Bracket and the VonHaus TV Wall Bracket. These will let you extend the television when it’s in use, and swivel it in various directions. Just be sure you mount it on a load-bearing wall and use the correct equipment and materials – or better still, get an expert to install it for you.

And if you’re looking for a new TV that’s cheaper than usual, don’t miss our round-up of the best cheap smart TV deals this month.

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Unsure which size television is right for you? Take a look at our what size TV should I buy? guide.