In this article, we compare 50 and 55-inch televisions. And we’ll be honest with you, 50 and 55-inch televisions are no longer the most popular style of televisions.
People have swallowed the snake oil that bigger is better, and so today the minimum size television purchase for most people is 65 inches. We think that’s wrong, that for a number of reasons a 50 or 55-inch television is better, but read on and you be the judge.
What do people mean when they say 50 or 55 inches?
This is the first element to cover. Most people assume that a 50-inch television is 50 inches wide and a 55-inch tv is correspondingly 55 inches wide.
Televisions are actually measured diagonally, a fact that most people do not know.
As a consequence, a 50-inch TV is ranging around 44 inches wide and a 55 inch TV is 48.5 inches wide.
The total viewing area is a better measure of television and the total viewing area is 1068 square inches, while the total viewing area of a 55-inch television is 1293 square inches.
In essence, a 55-inch television is roughly 20 percent bigger than the viewing area of a 50-inch television.
As far as viewing distances are concerned, a 4K 50 inches TV can be best viewed from 6.3 ft to 10.4 ft or 4.2 ft to 6.3 ft for the Full HD counterpart. The 55 inches TV, on the other hand, can be watched from 6 inches further, which is anywhere between 6.9ft to 11.5 ft for the 4k models and 4.6 ft to 6.9 ft for the Full HD model.
Depending on the sitting areas, one might be more suitable for your settings than the other.
Actually, and surprisingly, the price difference between a 50-inch and a 55-inch television is almost totally negligible.
Provided you do not go for an OLED TV, expect to pay from as little as $379, up to around $700 for a top brand.
You might save $20 to $50 by choosing a 50-inch, but the prices are so close that price is not an object here.
However, step up to a 65-inch television or larger and you can expect to pay at least $100 to $300 more.
While there are cheap 65-inch TV’s for sale, the very best brands are significantly more expensive in a large screen television.
Fitting your decor
Not everyone has a large living room, and a huge 65-inch television will tend to dominate the entire room.
And as most people have a television in each bedroom, a 50 or 55-inch television does not tend to overpower the room.
Note also, that when people are watching television in bed, they tend to sit much closer to the screen than in the living room.
Do you really need a 65-inch behemeath?
Even if it fits in your budget do you really need a large size television?
Unless your living room is very large, or you tend to have a huge family or lots of guests, most people really do not need a super large television.
Not only is a 50 or 55-inch television easier on the eyes, but the reason most people buy a larger TV is to be immersed in the experience, whether they watch sports, movies, or play video games.
But do you really want your 12-year old son immersed in playing some violent video game?
TV can be great, but do you want to be zoned out and really not pay attention to your wife or kids? The answer for most people is no. Bigger does not mean better.
And don’t be hyped into buying a 4k or 8k television. Not only are shows and movies rarely in 4k, but they won’t be for a very long time.
The bottom line?
- Think carefully about how intensive you want your TV experience to be.
- Don’t buy a television that is too costly.
Today’s state-of-the-art television is yesterday’s hand-me-down. And as nobody fixes televisions nowadays, why even buy new.
Take a look on Craigslist or the Penny Saver and you can typically find a quality 50 or 55-inch tv for around $150, and often you can bargain that price down another $30 or so.
In addition, most used TV’s come with their own TV stand as well.
And since the warranty on most televisions, even the best of them only lasts a year but an LED TV will typically last 4 to 10 years, do yourself a favor and save by buying used.
- Don’t buy an internet-connected TV
Smart TVs are often more expensive, allowing your kids to download all kinds of applications which tend to be not only security risks for the family but allow the kids to all kinds of unsupervised activity.
If you need a Television to add Netflix for example, a simple Firestick or a direct connection via the TV’s internet connection will be all you need.
To sum up, we are very much in favor of 50 or 55-inch televisions. They entertain without overwhelming.
TV should not be the dominant feature in your family viewing, and a 50 or 55-inch size television is plenty big.
If you need bigger on game day, go to a sports bar and cheer with other fans.
What a great article! The internet is filled with articles recommending you to buy as big a tv as you can. That’s why I was fooled into buying a 65″ tv for my rather small living room where I sit around 9 feet away from it. The TV looked ridiculously large in my room and totally overpowered everything else. I ended up returning it and buying a 50″ model with better picture quality. Maybe a 55″ onr would be slightly better but at least it does not look like I’m overcompensating for other areas of my life with that giant 65″ tv. Don’t get me wrong, I have seen 65″ ones in bigger rooms and they look m absolutely fine but the TV size should match your decor and room size.
Your comments are too conservative & stray from the topic of the TV.
I just wish I had found this article three weeks ago. Being fooled by all those ridiculous recommendations everywhere I searched, I decided that 55 to 65 inch would be good and since that week there was a great sale on the 65” sony that brought it to just 50 bucks more expensive than ots 55” version, I ordered the 65”. They brought it and I thought I’d get used to it, but over the last 2 weeks I have had constant headaches. I was just lucky that I found out about a service Best Buy has to pick up tvs over 60” free of charge, so I managed to exchange my 65” with a 50” tv.
Bottom line is, we need more articles like this one. Those say you need at least 65” for 3m (~11 feet) distance just don’t know what they what talking about. I am a researcher and spent a lot of time reading about size/distance for 4k and going to the store to compare, yet I got confused. I wish there were more articles like this one or there was a way to just bump this article up on Google search.
John Chipka says
Great article. I have a 23 year old Samsung plasma. It’s 50”. I’m looking at 55 but everyone s telling me to go 65. I live alone and sit mostly in one chair 9-10 feet away. Room is about 12 x 19 but I have open great room and kitchen is separate from these dimensions Everyone on these sites recommend 65, but I’m afraid it would be overbearing for guests sitting on sofas only 6 feet away. I think 65 is too much, after seeing this article I’m pretty sure 55 should be my choice. The tv I have now has a 2.5 inch around the entire tv which makes it look larger. Thanks for the honesty.
We bought 50″ inch instead of 55″. Its price difference is too negligible. But we opt the 50″ because of our living room size. Im happy but if will buy again i will choose the 55″ and higher price is neglible… but buying 65″ is way too expensive unless you have a budget and the living room area will match your 65″ big tv…
great article, sound advice and reasoning, I totally get it, thanks for posting
Pat Braten says
Thanks. Big help.
Dean B. says
I basically agree with your points. However, my wife has vision problems. We enjoy watching sports together (especially hockey). She’s not able to see and follow the puck on our 50-inch, so we’re considering the 65-inch, even though it might be considered “too large” for our living room.