How to Measure a Television Screen

by Spanner Spencer

    Televisions are typically sold using standard measurement sizes, such as 32-inch, 40-inch, 42-inch and so forth. However, it isn't always clear exactly where this measurement is derived from, as TVs have different-sized frames -- often referred to as bezels -- and different-sized housings. The screen ratio also affects the screen size, as a 26-inch widescreen TV has a different size than a 26-inch standard screen. To help standardize TV dimensions and properly convey a screen's size, manufacturers refer to the diagonal distance between the screen's corners, so it's here that you should measure to determine your television's screen size.

    Step 1

    Place one end of your tape measure in the lower left corner of the TV's screen. The tape measure should begin on the inside of the bevel, where the visible part of the screen begins.

    Step 2

    Extend the tape measure diagonally across the screen to the upper right corner.

    Step 3

    Write down the measurement at the inside of the bevel in the upper right corner. This diagonal measurement is your screen's size.

    Tips

    • Widescreen TVs have a screen ratio of 16:9. Include this information when conveying your screen size if it is a widescreen set.
    • Standard TVs have a screen ratio of 4:3. This should also be included when describing your screen size.
    • If selling your TV -- or buying a new one -- it can be advantageous to also measure the outside dimensions of the TV's housing, as this differs from set to set. For example, one 32-inch widescreen TV will have a different overall housing size from another 32-inch widescreen TV, and may not necessarily fit in the same physical space. Measure the height, width and depth when including this information.
    • Many TVs include a stand, which may not be used depending whether the set is to be table-top or wall mounted. Including the overall TV's height both with and without the stand can be useful when measuring your TV.
    • Always measure from the inside of the TV's bezel, so the measurement refers only to the visible area of the screen.

    Warnings

    • Turn your TV off and disconnect it from the power outlet before measuring.

    Required Items

    • Tape measure

    About the Author

    Spanner Spencer has been writing since 2005 for a variety of print and online publications. Focusing on entertainment, gaming and technology, his work has been published by Eurogamer.net, "The Escapist," "GamesTM," "Retro Gamer," "Empire," "Total PC Gaming" "The Guardian," among others. Spencer is a qualified medical electronics engineer with a Business and Technology Education Council certificate in technical writing from Huddersfield Technical College.

    Photo Credits

    • Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images