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Can A TV Be Too Small? 7 Surprising Facts (Updated 2022)

Can A TV Be Too Small

There are many things to consider when buying a new TV.

And 1 of those is its size. 

See, it’s common to worry about whether you’re getting a TV that’s too small. 

But you’re in luck. Because you’ll know if TV size really matters by the end of this article. 

Continue reading to find out:

  • What size the smallest 4K TV is. 
  • Whether a TV can be too small or not.
  • 7 surprising facts about the smallest TVs. 
  • And this is just the beginning… 

Can a TV be too small?

A TV can be too small. That’s because tinier TVs have shorter viewing distances. For example, you won’t be able to see a 32” TV screen properly if you’re sitting further than 4 feet. With that, deciding where you want to place your TV is crucial before selecting its size. 


7 facts about having a too-small TV


#1: The smallest TVs don’t support 4K

If TVs are the center of the conversation… 

It’s impossible for the term “4K” not to be mentioned. 

For sure, you’ve heard of it too, so let me briefly explain what it is and why it matters.

See, the 4K resolution is an upgrade to the 1080p HD display.

Specifically, 4K screens have 8 million pixels thanks to their 3840 x 2160p size. 

While on the flip side, 1080p screens only have 2 million pixels with their 1920 x 1080p dimensions. 

Now, note that…

The more pixels a screen has, the higher its resolution is. 

So this means that 4K TVs have 4x the resolution of regular HD screens.

Unfortunately, though, the smallest TVs aren’t compatible with 4K displays.

That’s because their screens can’t physically fit 8 million pixels. 

So if you’re interested in joining the craze about 4K TVs… 

Keep in mind that you’d need to stay away from the smaller models.

Or, specifically, you shouldn’t pick a TV smaller than 32 inches. Because that’s the size of the smallest 4K TVs available now. And it doesn’t seem like companies will start producing smaller versions of them any sooner.

However, bear in mind that being wider than 32” doesn’t automatically make a TV 4K.

See, TVs that support this resolution will explicitly state that they do. 

For example, take this Samsung 32″ QLED 4K 32Q50 Series Smart TV.

As you can see in its name, the term “4K” is included.

So if you want to enjoy this high resolution on your TV, ensure its title has the term “4K.” 

You might also want to know: Can You Watch 4K Without a 4K TV? (Updated Guide)

#2: Smaller TVs have a closer viewing distance

If you want to buy a new TV for your wide room…

You should stay away from buying TVs that are too small.

That’s because narrower screens have closer viewing distances.

So you’ll have a harder time arranging your space if your TV screen isn’t wide enough. 

“What do you mean?” 

Let me elaborate.

See, the viewing distance refers to how far you should be to see your TV display clearly. 

And as a general rule, the bigger your TV is, the further you should be away from it.

So naturally, if your TV is small, you’d need to be closer to enjoy its display. 

And to give you some examples, here’s the… 

Recommended viewing distance for HD TVs

Screen Size (in inches)Viewing Distance (in feet)
22 2.62
263.28
323.94
404.92
435.57
506.23
556.89
607.55

As you can observe, to watch on smaller screens, you’d need to be closer.

So, for example, picking a TV that’s only 26” wide won’t work out if you have a living room longer than 6 feet. And you want to place your sofa and TV against 2 walls facing each other. 

With that, I highly recommend picking out a TV size best suited for the space you intend to put it. And to help you do that…

Here’s a short video that can guide you in choosing the right TV for your room:

#3: Fewer people are buying smaller TVs

You can only enjoy 4K if you have a big TV. 

And no doubt, watching movies on a bigger screen is more fun.

That’s why over the years, fewer and fewer people are opting for the smaller TV models. 

Fun fact: North America’s average TV screen size rose from 47.8” in 2017 to 55.5” in 2021.

#4: Small TVs are cheaper  

With the steep inflation, it’s hard to find ways to save more money.

But luckily, you don’t need to spend half a grand just to buy a new TV.

That’s because some small TVs actually cost less than $200. 

And to give you some of the cheapest examples of this device… 

Here are my top 3 Smart TV recommendations for less than $300: 

Vizio 24-inch HD (720P) Smart LED TV ($170)

If you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind watching on a smaller screen…

This Vizio TV will be perfect for your wallet and preference.

Now, it might be tiny and cheap, but this device is still smart enough to: 

  • Have over 100 live streaming channels.
  • Be compatible with Google Chromecast. 
  • Connect with the Vizio SmartCast mobile app.

But if you’re thinking…

“I think 24” is too small for me.”

Then the next TV might be more suited for you.

Samsung 32” Class LED Smart FHD TV ($228) 

Just by looking at the brand, you’ll know this TV is of quality.

And you’re not wrong. 

Because despite this Samsung TV only being 32” wide, it has:

  • Quad-core processors.
  • Full HD 1080p resolution.
  • Access to the most popular streaming apps. 

Moreover, it also has HDR or High Dynamic Range. 

Or the feature that enhances the contrast and colors of the TV display. 

TCL 32-inch Class 3-Series Android TV ($150)

If the previous example’s size was perfect for you, but you want a cheaper option…

Then you might want to consider this TCL TV instead. 

See, it has:

  • Thousands of streaming apps.
  • The built-in Chromecast feature.
  • 2 AIs (Alexa and Google Assistant).

So you’ll still get a Smart TV but for only $150. 

You may also wonder: What are the cheapest and most expensive TVs? 

#5: The smallest smart TV is 24” long 

The Smallest Smart TV Is 24 Inches Long

The smallest Smart TVs are 24” in size.  

With that, if you’re interested in getting a TV that already has its own apps…

Remember that the tiniest model you can buy is only 24” wide. 

Fun fact: The smallest size of regular TVs is 13.3 inches. 

#6: Small TVs have fewer ports 

TVs have all kinds of ports, including:

  • HDMI.
  • Ethernet.
  • Component. 
  • RCA Stereo. 
  • Optical Digital.

See, all of these have their own helpful purposes.

And for the most part, the more TV ports you have, the better.

That said, 1 of the downsides of buying smaller TVs is that you’ll have access to fewer ports.

Now, to explain this further…

Let me compare 2 Samsung TVs of different sizes. 

To start, let’s look at this 32” QLED TV.

See, this small model only has 4 ports on its back:

  • USB.
  • HDMI.
  • Optical.
  • HDMI ARC.

On the other hand, this 43-inch TV has 6 ports in total:

  • ANT.
  • LAN.
  • USB.
  • HDMI.
  • Optical.
  • HDMI ARC. 

As you notice, bigger TVs have more access to ports than smaller models do. 

So if you want to connect multiple streaming devices to your TV, for example…

It’ll be more convenient to buy bigger TV models than smaller ones. 

“Is there a way to add more ports to my small TV?”

Yes, there’s a simple workaround for that. And that’s to buy an HDMI switch/splitter box

See, this device will add 5 more HDMI ports to your TV. 

Moreover, it also has an optical output that you can use for your TV even if it originally didn’t have 1. 

However, note that depending on your device’s brand or model…

Using HDMI extenders can cause unwanted delay or reduction of the audio/video quality of your TV.  

So if you really need those extra connections…

I recommend buying a TV with more built-in ports instead. 

#7: Some use small TVs as PC monitors

As mentioned earlier, some TVs are as small as 24”.

And with that size, they pretty much look like PC monitors.

On that note, some people actually use small TVs as alternatives to PC monitors.

“Why do they do that?”

That’s because, in comparison to PC screens, TVs are generally cheaper. 

For example, LG’s 32” inch PC monitor costs $250.

While this 32” TV from Roku only costs $230. 

Now, there’s a small difference. 

However, considering that you’ll also get the features of a Smart TV by spending less money… 

It makes sense that some individuals are using TVs as PC monitors. 

What makes a TV too small?

Your ideal viewing distance makes a TV too small. 

For example, if you want to enjoy watching movies while sitting on a couch 5 feet away from your screen… 

TVs 40” or shorter will be too small for your needs. 

That’s because models in this size range have a viewing distance of fewer than 5 feet. 

So you’d need to sit closer to enjoy streaming on these small TVs. 

Does TV size really matter?

TV size really matters. 

That’s because, as mentioned earlier, some features are only available on bigger TVs. 

For example, the smallest TV with a 4K screen is 32”. 

And those smaller than 24 inches don’t have access to the Internet or any streaming app. 

Moreover, your viewing distance also depends on how big your TV is, so size does matter. 

See, if your screen is too small, you’d need to be less than 3 feet away from your device. So you can see its display clearly. 

Likewise, if you want a big TV, your room should be wide enough to cover its long viewing distance. Or else your device’s display will look pixelated because you’re sitting too close. 

All that said, it’s important to pay attention to the size of the TV you’re buying.