The newest flatscreen digital televisions come in a staggering array of shapes, sizes, and styles. Before you choose which one is right for you, you’ll need to decide where to place it and also where to place your surround sound stereo speakers, if you’re going for a full-on entertainment system. If you’re lucky enough to have a new house with a media room that’s dedicated to watching television and playing video games, then you probably already have the room measured for your new HDTV. However if you’re in an older home then you may consider turning an unused or under-used rooms like basements, studies, empty-nest bedrooms, or even garages and attics into your new home theater room.
There’s literally no limit to the time and money you can devote to installing a home theater and creating its environment. If you want only to separate TV viewing and video-game playing from your household’s other activities, you could simply clean out an unused room, stick a TV/DVD combo set in it, hook up a couple of stereo speakers, and maybe add a chair or two. At the other extreme, you could undertake a full-blown home improvement project, complete with acoustically “deadening” wallboards and carpeting, wall-mounted speakers, a wall-mounted screen, burnished-leather loge seats, a plush crimson theater curtain, and a retro-decorated lobby out in front complete with an old-time popcorn maker. Such an installation would probably involve a professional consultant and installer, and cost more than you’re willing to spend. Choose as big and as elaborate a system as you can afford that will fit proportionately in your room.
Which ever size TV works best in your chosen room is a judgment call, but you probably won’t want your new TV to overwhelm the size of your room if it’s used for other activities. Some households don’t have an entire room to devote to a home theater, or choose to devote such a room to other priorities. As a bookshelf stereo is more appropriate for a college dorm room than a $10,000 audiophile system, the same goes for a 20″ to 40″ direct-view TV being more appropriate for a living room than a mammoth projection screen television. You also might not want to place surround-sound speakers in a multipurpose room where tiny tots and house pets might trip over and damage them.
Determining what TV will work best in any room is a compromise between screen size and speaker volume, the size of the room, and the other activities undertaken in the room. For other rooms like the kitchen, bedrooms, garage, attic, or home office, a small non-HD digital set may fit right in. In these instances you’ll want to choose something relatively small and light that won’t excessively interfere with the room’s other uses, such as an SDTV LCD flat-screen set from 15″ to 20″. In a home office or a teen’s bedroom, a computer monitor could double as a DTV monitor, or vice versa to best fit the room. When you buy your next television be aware of the desired rooms primary function and size so that you make the appropriate television buying decision.