Display size

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Comparison of screen sizes by width, height, diagonal, area, and aspect ratio.

On 2D displays, such as computer monitors and TVs, the display size (or viewable image size or VIS) is the physical size of the area where pictures and videos are displayed. The size of a screen is usually described by the length of its diagonal, which is the distance between opposite corners, usually in inches. It is also sometimes called the physical image size to distinguish it from the "logical image size," which describes a screen's display resolution and is measured in pixels.

History[edit]

The size of a screen is usually described by the length of its diagonal, which is the distance between opposite corners, usually in inches. It is also sometimes called the physical image size to distinguish it from the "logical image size," which describes a screen's display resolution and is measured in pixels.

The method of measuring screen size by its diagonal was inherited from the method used for the first generation of CRT television, when picture tubes with circular faces were in common use. Being circular, the external diameter of the bulb was used to describe their size. Since these circular tubes were used to display rectangular images, the diagonal measurement of the visible rectangle was smaller than the diameter of the tube due to the thickness of the glass surrounding the phosphor screen (which was hidden from the viewer by the casing and bezel). This method continued even when cathode ray tubes were manufactured as rounded rectangles; it had the advantage of being a single number specifying the size, and was not confusing when the aspect ratio was universally 4:3. In the US, when virtually all TV tubes were 4:3, the size of the screen was given as the true screen diagonal with a V following it (this was a requirement in the US market but not elsewhere). In virtually all other markets, the size of the outer diameter of the tube was given. What was a 27V in the US could be a 28" elsewhere. However the V terminology was frequently dropped in US advertising referring to a 27V as a 27". This was not misleading for the consumer as the seller had to give the actual screen size by law. Flat panel displays by contrast use the actual diagonal of their visible display size, thus the size is the actual size presented to the viewer in all markets. This means that a similarly specified size of display will be larger as a flat panel display compared with a cathode ray tube display.

When the common aspect ratio went from 4:3 to 16:9, the new widescreens were labeled with a W in the US. A screen that is approximately the same height as a 27V would be a 32W. Vizio and other US TV manufacturers have introduced even wider screens with a 21:9 aspect ratio in order to match aspect ratios used in cinemas. In order to gauge the relative sizes of these new screens, the screen aspect must be considered. In a commercial market where multiple aspect ratios are being sold, it will always take two numbers to describe the screen size, some combination of diagonal, aspect ratio, height or width.

Set sizes are frequently given as a "class" as screens from different manufacturers will have slight differences in size. However the "class" should be within 1/2" of the actual size. The reasons for the different sizes within a class stem from differences in the manufacturers' equipment. As manufacturers move from one size to another, newer larger sizes must fit on the same size glass, though with fewer displays being cut from it. Some sizes fit well and maximize glass utilization, other sizes fit more poorly and waste glass. As an example, in some cases, increasing the screen size by even 0.1" can cause an LCD manufacturer to go from 12 screens fitting on their glass sheet to 9. This would make them uncompetitive with other screen makers.

Optimal screen size and viewing distance[edit]

The resolution of the human eye (with 20/20 vision) is about one minute of arc. For full HDTV resolution, this one minute of arc implies that the TV watcher should sit 4 times the height of the screen away. At this distance the individual pixels can not be resolved while simultaneously maximising the viewing area. So the ideal set size can be determined from the chart below by measuring the distance from where the watcher would sit to the screen in centimeters (or inches), dividing that by 4, and comparing with the screen heights below. At this distance, viewers with better than 20/20 vision will still be able to see the individual pixels.

The TV image is composed of many lines of pixels. Ideally, the TV watcher sits far enough away from the screen that the individual lines merge into one solid image. The watcher may sit even farther away and still see a good picture, but it will be a smaller portion of their visual field.

Display sizes of common handheld devices, computer monitors and TVs[edit]

Display size measurements.png

Common screen dimensions are listed in the table below (the most common diagonal dimensions in inches as of 2020 are bolded). If the display is not listed, then the following equations can be used. Note that D is the diagonal (in centimeters or inches), W is the width (in pixels), and H is the height (in pixels).

Diagonal 5:4 Diagonal 4:3 Diagonal 3:2 (15:10) Diagonal 8:5 (16:10) Diagonal 5:3 (15:9) Diagonal 16:9 (4²:3²) Diagonal 21.3:9 (4³:3³)
(cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²) (cm) (in) w (cm) w (in) h (cm) h (in) a (cm²) a (in²)
9 3.5 7 2.76 6 2.36 39 15.35 9 3.5 7 2.76 5 1.97 38 14.96 9 3.5 7 2.76 5 1.97 36 14.17 9 3.5 8 3.15 5 1.97 36 14.17 9 3.5 8 3.15 5 1.97 35 13.78 9 3.5 8 3.15 4 1.57 34 13.39 9 3.5 8 3.15 3 1.18 28 11.02
9 3.7 7 2.76 6 2.36 43 16.93 9 3.7 8 3.15 6 2.36 42 16.54 9 3.7 8 3.15 5 1.97 41 16.14 9 3.7 8 3.15 5 1.97 40 15.75 9 3.7 8 3.15 5 1.97 39 15.35 9 3.7 8 3.15 5 1.97 38 14.96 9 3.7 9 3.54 4 1.57 32 12.60
10 4 8 3.15 6 2.36 50 19.69 10 4 8 3.15 6 2.36 50 19.69 10 4 8 3.15 6 2.36 48 18.90 10 4 9 3.54 5 1.97 46 18.11 10 4 9 3.54 5 1.97 46 18.11 10 4 9 3.54 5 1.97 44 17.32 10 4 9 3.54 4 1.57 37 14.57
11 4.3 9 3.54 7 2.76 58 22.83 11 4.3 9 3.54 7 2.76 57 22.44 11 4.3 9 3.54 6 2.36 55 21.65 11 4.3 9 3.54 6 2.36 54 21.26 11 4.3 9 3.54 6 2.36 53 20.87 11 4.3 10 3.94 5 1.97 51 20.08 11 4.3 10 3.94 4 1.57 43 16.93
13 5 10 3.94 8 3.15 79 31.10 13 5 10 3.94 8 3.15 77 30.31 13 5 11 4.33 7 2.76 74 29.13 13 5 11 4.33 7 2.76 72 28.35 13 5 11 4.33 7 2.76 71 27.95 13 5 11 4.33 6 2.36 69 27.17 13 5 12 4.72 5 1.97 58 22.83
18 7 14 5.51 11 4.33 154 60.63 18 7 14 5.51 11 4.33 152 59.84 18 7 15 5.91 10 3.94 146 57.48 18 7 15 5.91 9 3.54 142 55.91 18 7 15 5.91 9 3.54 139 54.72 18 7 15 5.91 9 3.54 135 53.15 18 7 16 6.30 7 2.76 113 44.49
25 10 20 7.87 16 6.30 315 124.02 25 10 20 7.87 15 5.91 310 122.05 25 10 21 8.27 14 5.51 298 117.32 25 10 22 8.66 13 5.12 290 114.17 25 10 22 8.66 13 5.12 285 112.20 25 10 22 8.66 12 4.72 276 108.66 25 10 23 9.06 10 3.94 231 90.94
29 11.6 23 9.06 18 7.09 423 166.54 29 11.6 24 9.45 18 7.09 417 164.17 29 11.6 25 9.84 16 6.30 401 157.87 29 11.6 25 9.84 16 6.30 390 153.54 29 11.6 25 9.84 15 5.91 383 150.79 29 11.6 26 10.24 14 5.51 371 146.06 29 11.6 27 10.63 11 4.33 311 122.44
34 13.3 26 10.24 21 8.27 557 219.29 34 13.3 27 10.63 20 7.87 548 215.75 34 13.3 28 11.02 19 7.48 527 207.48 34 13.3 29 11.42 18 7.09 513 201.97 34 13.3 29 11.42 17 6.69 503 198.03 34 13.3 29 11.42 17 6.69 488 192.13 34 13.3 31 12.20 13 5.12 409 161.02
36 14 28 11.02 22 8.66 617 242.91 36 14 28 11.02 21 8.27 607 238.98 36 14 30 11.81 20 7.87 584 229.92 36 14 30 11.81 19 7.48 568 223.62 36 14 30 11.81 18 7.09 558 219.69 36 14 31 12.20 17 6.69 540 212.60 36 14 33 12.99 14 5.51 453 178.35
38 15 30 11.81 24 9.45 708 278.74 38 15 30 11.81 23 9.06 697 274.41 38 15 32 12.60 21 8.27 670 263.78 38 15 32 12.60 20 7.87 652 256.69 38 15 33 12.99 20 7.87 640 251.97 38 15 33 12.99 19 7.48 620 244.09 38 15 35 13.78 15 5.91 520 204.72
39 15.4 31 12.20 24 9.45 746 293.70 39 15.4 31 12.20 23 9.06 734 288.98 39 15.4 33 12.99 22 8.66 706 277.95 39 15.4 33 12.99 21 8.27 688 270.87 39 15.4 34 13.39 20 7.87 675 265.75 39 15.4 34 13.39 19 7.48 654 257.48 39 15.4 36 14.17 15 5.91 548 215.75
43 17 34 13.39 27 10.63 910 358.27 43 17 35 13.78 26 10.24 895 352.36 43 17 36 14.17 24 9.45 861 338.98 43 17 37 14.57 23 9.06 838 329.92 43 17 37 14.57 22 8.66 823 324.02 43 17 38 14.96 21 8.27 797 313.78 43 17 40 15.75 17 6.69 668 262.99
47 18.5 37 14.57 29 11.42 1077 424.02 47 18.5 38 14.96 28 11.02 1060 417.32 47 18.5 39 15.35 26 10.24 1019 401.18 47 18.5 40 15.75 25 9.84 992 390.55 47 18.5 40 15.75 24 9.45 974 383.46 47 18.5 41 16.14 23 9.06 944 371.65 47 18.5 43 16.93 18 7.09 791 311.42
48 19 38 14.96 30 11.81 1136 447.24 48 19 39 15.35 29 11.42 1118 440.16 48 19 40 15.75 27 10.63 1075 423.23 48 19 41 16.14 26 10.24 1047 412.20 48 19 41 16.14 25 9.84 1028 404.72 48 19 42 16.54 24 9.45 995 391.73 48 19 44 17.32 19 7.48 834 328.35
51 20 40 15.75 32 12.60 1259 495.67 51 20 41 16.14 30 11.81 1239 487.80 51 20 42 16.54 28 11.02 1191 468.90 51 20 43 16.93 27 10.63 1160 456.69 51 20 44 17.32 26 10.24 1139 448.43 51 20 44 17.32 25 9.84 1103 434.25 51 20 47 18.50 20 7.87 924 363.78
53 21 42 16.54 33 12.99 1388 546.46 53 21 43 16.93 32 12.60 1366 537.80 53 21 44 17.32 30 11.81 1313 516.93 53 21 45 17.72 28 11.02 1279 503.54 53 21 46 18.11 27 10.63 1255 494.09 53 21 46 18.11 26 10.24 1216 478.74 53 21 49 19.29 21 8.27 1019 401.18
56 22 44 17.32 35 13.78 1523 599.61 56 22 45 17.72 34 13.39 1499 590.16 56 22 46 18.11 31 12.20 1441 567.32 56 22 47 18.50 30 11.81 1403 552.36 56 22 48 18.90 29 11.42 1378 542.52 56 22 49 19.29 27 10.63 1334 525.20 56 22 51 20.08 22 8.66 1118 440.16
58 23 46 18.11 36 14.17 1665 655.51 58 23 47 18.50 35 13.78 1638 644.88 58 23 49 19.29 32 12.60 1575 620.08 58 23 50 19.69 31 12.20 1534 603.94 58 23 50 19.69 30 11.81 1506 592.91 58 23 51 20.08 29 11.42 1458 574.02 58 23 54 21.26 23 9.06 1222 481.10
61 24 48 18.90 38 14.96 1813 713.78 61 24 49 19.29 37 14.57 1784 702.36 61 24 51 20.08 34 13.39 1715 675.20 61 24 52 20.47 32 12.60 1670 657.48 61 24 52 20.47 31 12.20 1639 645.28 61 24 53 20.87 30 11.81 1588 625.20 61 24 56 22.05 24 9.45 1331 524.02
64 25 50 19.69 40 15.75 1967 774.41 64 25 51 20.08 38 14.96 1935 761.81 64 25 53 20.87 35 13.78 1861 732.68 64 25 54 21.26 34 13.39 1812 713.39 64 25 54 21.26 33 12.99 1779 700.39 64 25 55 21.65 31 12.20 1723 678.35 64 25 59 23.23 25 9.84 1444 568.50
66 26 52 20.47 41 16.14 2127 837.40 66 26 53 20.87 40 15.75 2093 824.02 66 26 55 21.65 37 14.57 2013 792.52 66 26 56 22.05 35 13.78 1960 771.65 66 26 57 22.44 34 13.39 1924 757.48 66 26 58 22.83 32 12.60 1864 733.86 66 26 61 24.02 26 10.24 1562 614.96
69 27 54 21.26 43 16.93 2294 903.15 69 27 55 21.65 41 16.14 2258 888.98 69 27 57 22.44 38 14.96 2171 854.72 69 27 58 22.83 36 14.17 2114 832.28 69 27 59 23.23 35 13.78 2075 816.93 69 27 60 23.62 34 13.39 2010 791.34 69 27 63 24.80 27 10.63 1684 662.99
71 28 56 22.05 44 17.32 2467 971.26 71 28 57 22.44 43 16.93 2428 955.91 71 28 59 23.23 39 15.35 2334 918.90 71 28 60 23.62 38 14.96 2273 894.88 71 28 61 24.02 37 14.57 2231 878.35 71 28 62 24.41 35 13.78 2161 850.79 71 28 66 25.98 28 11.02 1811 712.99
74 29 58 22.83 46 18.11 2647 1042.13 74 29 59 23.23 44 17.32 2604 1025.20 74 29 61 24.02 41 16.14 2504 985.83 74 29 62 24.41 39 15.35 2439 960.24 74 29 63 24.80 38 14.96 2394 942.52 74 29 64 25.20 36 14.17 2318 912.60 74 29 68 26.77 29 11.42 1943 764.96
76 30 60 23.62 48 18.90 2832 1114.96 76 30 61 24.02 46 18.11 2787 1097.24 76 30 63 24.80 42 16.54 2680 1055.12 76 30 65 25.59 40 15.75 2610 1027.56 76 30 65 25.59 39 15.35 2562 1008.66 76 30 66 25.98 37 14.57 2481 976.77 76 30 70 27.56 30 11.81 2079 818.50
79 31 61 24.02 49 19.29 3024 1190.55 79 31 63 24.80 47 18.50 2976 1171.65 79 31 66 25.98 44 17.32 2862 1126.77 79 31 67 26.38 42 16.54 2787 1097.24 79 31 68 26.77 41 16.14 2735 1076.77 79 31 69 27.17 39 15.35 2649 1042.91 79 31 73 28.74 31 12.20 2220 874.02
81 32 63 24.80 51 20.08 3223 1268.90 81 32 65 25.59 49 19.29 3171 1248.43 81 32 68 26.77 45 17.72 3049 1200.39 81 32 69 27.17 43 16.93 2969 1168.90 81 32 70 27.56 42 16.54 2915 1147.64 81 32 71 27.95 40 15.75 2823 1111.42 81 32 75 29.53 32 12.60 2366 931.50
86 34 67 26.38 54 21.26 3638 1432.28 86 34 69 27.17 52 20.47 3580 1409.45 86 34 72 28.35 48 18.90 3442 1355.12 86 34 73 28.74 46 18.11 3352 1319.69 86 34 74 29.13 44 17.32 3290 1295.28 86 34 75 29.53 42 16.54 3187 1254.72 86 34 80 31.50 34 13.39 2671 1051.57
99 39 77 30.31 62 24.41 4787 1884.65 99 39 79 31.10 59 23.23 4710 1854.33 99 39 82 32.28 55 21.65 4529 1783.07 99 39 84 33.07 53 20.87 4410 1736.22 99 39 85 33.46 51 20.08 4329 1704.33 99 39 86 33.86 49 19.29 4193 1650.79 99 39 91 35.83 39 15.35 3514 1383.46
107 42 83 32.68 67 26.38 5552 2185.83 107 42 85 33.46 64 25.20 5463 2150.79 107 42 89 35.04 59 23.23 5253 2068.11 107 42 90 35.43 57 22.44 5115 2013.78 107 42 91 35.83 55 21.65 5021 1976.77 107 42 93 36.61 52 20.47 4863 1914.57 107 42 98 38.58 41 16.14 4076 1604.72
117 46 91 35.83 73 28.74 6659 2621.65 117 46 93 36.61 70 27.56 6553 2579.92 117 46 97 38.19 65 25.59 6301 2480.71 117 46 99 38.98 62 24.41 6136 2415.75 117 46 100 39.37 60 23.62 6023 2371.26 117 46 102 40.16 57 22.44 5833 2296.46 117 46 108 42.52 45 17.72 4889 1924.80
122 48 95 37.40 76 29.92 7251 2854.72 122 48 98 38.58 73 28.74 7135 2809.06 122 48 101 39.76 68 26.77 6861 2701.18 122 48 103 40.55 65 25.59 6681 2630.31 122 48 105 41.34 63 24.80 6558 2581.89 122 48 106 41.73 60 23.62 6352 2500.79 122 48 112 44.09 47 18.50 5323 2095.67
127 50 99 38.98 79 31.10 7868 3097.64 127 50 102 40.16 76 29.92 7742 3048.03 127 50 106 41.73 70 27.56 7444 2930.71 127 50 108 42.52 67 26.38 7249 2853.94 127 50 109 42.91 65 25.59 7116 2801.57 127 50 111 43.70 62 24.41 6892 2713.39 127 50 117 46.06 49 19.29 5776 2274.02
140 55 109 42.91 87 34.25 9520 3748.03 140 55 112 44.09 84 33.07 9368 3688.19 140 55 116 45.67 77 30.31 9007 3546.06 140 55 118 46.46 74 29.13 8771 3453.15 140 55 120 47.24 72 28.35 8610 3389.76 140 55 122 48.03 68 26.77 8339 3283.07 140 55 129 50.79 54 21.26 6989 2751.57
147 58 115 45.28 92 36.22 10587 4168.11 147 58 118 46.46 88 34.65 10418 4101.57 147 58 123 48.43 82 32.28 10017 3943.70 147 58 125 49.21 78 30.71 9754 3840.16 147 58 126 49.61 76 29.92 9575 3769.69 147 58 128 50.39 72 28.35 9274 3651.18 147 58 136 53.54 57 22.44 7773 3060.24
152 60 119 46.85 95 37.40 11330 4460.63 152 60 122 48.03 91 35.83 11148 4388.98 152 60 127 50.00 85 33.46 10720 4220.47 152 60 129 50.79 81 31.89 10439 4109.84 152 60 131 51.57 78 30.71 10247 4034.25 152 60 133 52.36 75 29.53 9924 3907.09 152 60 140 55.12 59 23.23 8318 3274.80
163 64 127 50.00 102 40.16 12891 5075.20 163 64 130 51.18 98 38.58 12684 4993.70 163 64 135 53.15 90 35.43 12197 4801.97 163 64 138 54.33 86 33.86 11877 4675.98 163 64 139 54.72 84 33.07 11658 4589.76 163 64 142 55.91 80 31.50 11292 4445.67 163 64 150 59.06 63 24.80 9464 3725.98
178 70 139 54.72 111 43.70 15421 6071.26 178 70 142 55.91 107 42.13 15174 5974.02 178 70 148 58.27 99 38.98 14591 5744.49 178 70 151 59.45 94 37.01 14208 5593.70 178 70 152 59.84 91 35.83 13947 5490.94 178 70 155 61.02 87 34.25 13508 5318.11 178 70 164 64.57 69 27.17 11322 4457.48
203 80 159 62.60 127 50.00 20142 7929.92 203 80 163 64.17 122 48.03 19819 7802.76 203 80 169 66.54 113 44.49 19057 7502.76 203 80 172 67.72 108 42.52 18557 7305.91 203 80 174 68.50 105 41.34 18216 7171.65 203 80 177 69.69 100 39.37 17643 6946.06 203 80 187 73.62 79 31.10 14787 5821.65
213 84 167 65.75 133 52.36 22206 8742.52 213 84 171 67.32 128 50.39 21851 8602.76 213 84 178 70.08 118 46.46 21010 8271.65 213 84 181 71.26 113 44.49 20460 8055.12 213 84 183 72.05 110 43.31 20083 7906.69 213 84 186 73.23 105 41.34 19452 7658.27 213 84 197 77.56 83 32.68 16303 6418.50
251 99 196 77.17 157 61.81 30845 12143.70 251 99 201 79.13 151 59.45 30351 11949.21 251 99 209 82.28 139 54.72 29184 11489.76 251 99 213 83.86 133 52.36 28419 11188.58 251 99 216 85.04 129 50.79 27897 10983.07 251 99 219 86.22 123 48.43 27019 10637.40 251 99 232 91.34 98 38.58 22646 8915.75
259 102 202 79.53 162 63.78 32743 12890.94 259 102 207 81.50 155 61.02 32219 12684.65 259 102 216 85.04 144 56.69 30980 12196.85 259 102 220 86.61 137 53.94 30167 11876.77 259 102 222 87.40 133 52.36 29613 11658.66 259 102 226 88.98 127 50.00 28681 11291.73 259 102 239 94.09 101 39.76 24039 9464.17
274 108 214 84.25 171 67.32 36708 14451.97 274 108 219 86.22 165 64.96 36121 14220.87 274 108 228 89.76 152 59.84 34731 13673.62 274 108 233 91.73 145 57.09 33821 13315.35 274 108 235 92.52 141 55.51 33199 13070.47 274 108 239 94.09 134 52.76 32155 12659.45 274 108 253 99.61 107 42.13 26950 10610.24
282 111 220 86.61 176 69.29 38776 15266.14 282 111 226 88.98 169 66.54 38155 15021.65 282 111 235 92.52 156 61.42 36688 14444.09 282 111 239 94.09 149 58.66 35726 14065.35 282 111 242 95.28 145 57.09 35069 13806.69 282 111 246 96.85 138 54.33 33966 13372.44 282 111 260 102.36 110 43.31 28468 11207.87
386 152 301 118.50 241 94.88 72711 28626.38 386 152 309 121.65 232 91.34 71548 28168.50 386 152 321 126.38 214 84.25 68796 27085.04 386 152 327 128.74 205 80.71 66992 26374.80 386 152 331 130.31 199 78.35 65761 25890.16 386 152 336 132.28 189 74.41 63692 25075.59 386 152 356 140.16 150 59.06 53383 21016.93

See also[edit]

References[edit]