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How to Measure a TV

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Before You Begin

Before you begin to measure your flat screen, be sure to grab a tape measure, pen, and paper in order to get your measurements.

There are many reasons a person would need to know how to measure a TV. Buying a new TV, rearranging or buying new furniture, or even moving to a new house or apartment all require knowing a precise measurement. Back in the day of the old cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs, it was easy to decide what size television to purchase. Today, there are so many sizes, and styles of TVs to choose from, making it a little difficult to decide what size is right for you. Knowing how to measure a TV can give you an idea of the size that best fits your individual situation.

Safety tips

Anytime you are working on or around your flat screen TV, it is a good idea to unplug it. Electricity is dangerous and leaving a television plugged into power while working on it can be deadly. Televisions can also produce static electricity that is less dangerous. However, a static charge may startle you.

Make sure to place your TV on a flat surface to help minimize the risk of damage or injury to you or your TV.

Steps to measuring a TV

The screen size is the most important measurement. However, there is a specific way to get an accurate TV screen size

Measuring a TV screen. Put the end of the measuring tape on the bottom left corner of the TV screen. Stretch the measuring tape diagonal to the top right corner of the TV. Keep both ends of the tape measure within the TV casing to ensure an accurate measurement. If, for example, the measure you find is 24”, then you have a 24” screen.

Repeat these steps measuring diagonally from the right bottom corner to the left top corner of the TV screen.

Measuring the TV housing. You need more than just the TV screen measurements if you want to put the TV on a wall mount, or you have limited space. The housing is much smaller on a flat screen TV than the casing of an old box CRT TV. These dimensions are important if you are trying to buy the right size TV stand or wall mount. Make sure to measure the TV housing height, length, and depth.  

Be sure to write all the measurements down as you go.

Footprint measurements of a TV

Taking footprint measurements of a television means; writing down measurements of the TV screen, housing, base, and how much the TV weighs.

You have written down the measurements of your TV screen, and housing. To measure a TV base, measure the length and width; then write it down. Look in your flat screen TV user’s manual to find out how much the TV weighs.

Write down all the measurements and you have the footprint of your TV.

Measuring a flat screen TV to fit a wall mount

Flat screen TVs are designed to fit on a base or wall bracket. Attaching them to a wall bracket helps to free up space in any room. Before you can mount your flat screen on the wall, you must have the proper sized wall mount brackets.

On the back of the flat screen TV, there are screw holes for mounting two wall mount brackets. Measure the space across between the two top holes, then measure the distance between the upper and lower screw holes. Write these two measurement down and use the measurements when needed.

Why are accurate TV measurements necessary?

There is nothing like getting your brand television just to find out it is too big for the space you had planned.

Often, when buying a TV, we only focus on how clear the picture is, or what bells and whistles come with the television. However, picture clarity will not matter if your TV does not fit where you envisioned. The measurement of the TV, and the space you intend it to go, is imperative. There are several reasons to know the size and weight of a television especially if you are buying a new one. Many televisions need two people to carry them, so knowing the size will help determine if you need an extra set of hands. Delivering the television to your location is also important to make sure the TV will fit in your vehicle or if you need it delivered by the store.

Optimizing the viewing distance of a TV

To make sure you pick out the right size TV to fit your room, you must measure the display space. Measure the distance between different pieces of furniture, and the area where you wish to place your TV. Divide the distance by three, and that will give you an idea of the size television needed for your space.

Using the Seinfeld Factor

The Seinfeld Factor is a method of determining the size of a high-definition (HD) TV, versus the old box type CRT televisions. If a CRT TV had a 32" screen, the picture will probably seem smaller or cut off on an HDTV because the HD TV measurement is wider than that of the CRT TV.

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