Comparing Flat Screen TV Sizes

By Mike Parker

Flat screen televisions come in a variety of sizes.
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The emergence of flat screen technology for television sets has virtually eliminated old-style cathode ray tube (CRT) sets from the market. But just because CRTs are out of the running doesn't mean the format wars are over. Liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions have been battling it out with flat panel plasma televisions for consumer acceptance. Now, both formats must contend with new light emitting diode (LED) televisions. In many cases it is the size of the screen that determines which television set consumers choose.

Size range

Flat panel plasma television screen sizes typically range from 42 inches to 65 inches, measured diagonally. LCD television screens in the consumer market typically range from 19 inches to 70 inches. LED televisions typically have screens in the 32 inch to 60 inch range. All formats produce much larger screen sizes, but the costs for these sizes can be prohibitive in the consumer market.


The most popular sizes for flat screen televisions in the consumer market range from 37 inches to 50 inches. In this range, plasma televisions have enjoyed a distinct price advantage, although LCD technology has made significant strides in becoming cost competitive in recent years. Plasma still holds a significant price advantage in screen sizes larger than 50 inches.

Viewing angle

Flat panel plasma televisions ranging from 42 to 65 inches offer excellent viewing angles, meaning there is little picture distortion when viewed from an angle. LCD televisions suffer some degradation of picture quality when viewed beyond a 30 degree angle. LED televisions approach plasma technology in viewing angle quality, according to Crutchfield New Media.

Energy consumption

When it comes to energy consumption among all three formats, size matters. The larger the display, the more power is consumed. Flat panel plasma televisions consume the most power. Comparably sized LCD televisions consume less power than plasma televisions. LED televisions are the most energy efficient of the three formats.


When it comes to buying a new flat screen television, bigger is not always better. To determine the optimum size for viewing enjoyment, Crutchfield New Media recommends measuring how far the viewer will typically be from the screen in inches. Divide that number by 1.57 to determine appropriate screen size. This ratio will allow the viewer to see the whole screen without having to scan their eyes back and forth.