For a while, 40-inch TVs were seen as being the next big thing – everyone was used to 24-inch and 32-inch screens for a while, and 40-inches seemed like a massive step. But it wasn’t long until they were blown away by much bigger screens again.
And now, 40-inch TVs are actually starting to decline in popularity, with 43-inch models being seen as the standard for a low-mid size screen instead.
But they’ve not given up completely and there are some great budget 40-inch TVs you can buy. Are they right for your home though?
Is a 40-inch TV the perfect size for your space, or do you need to scale up or down? Let’s take a look.
What is the size of a 40-inch TV?
A 40-inch TV is a TV with a screen that’s 40 inches diagonally. The usual screen size makes them 34.9 inches wide, and 19.6 inches tall. That’s the size of the actual screen – the bezel will make the actual TV a little bit bigger, and this varies in size.
Some TVs have a thick bezel which could add another inch or two to the total, while the more premium screens have a smaller bezel so that you only focus on the screen. 40-inch TVs aren’t that premium, so you should expect to add a little bit extra for the bezel if you choose this screen size.
TV sizes are always measured in inches from the corner of the screen to the opposite corner. That’s the same even where the metric system is used – inches is the standard measurement for TV screens.
Here’s a rundown of all major TV sizes:
|32”||27.9 inches||15.7 inches|
|40”||34.9 inches||19.6 inches|
|43”||37.5 inches||21.1 inches|
|50”||43.6 inches||24.5 inches|
|55”||47.9 inches||27 inches|
|60”||52.3 inches||29.4 inches|
|65”||56.7 inches||31.9 inches|
|70”||61 inches||34.3 inches|
|75”||65.4 inches||36.8 inches|
|80”||69.7 inches||39.2 inches|
|85”||74.1 inches||41.7 inches|
What does a 40-inch tv look like in a room?
In a larger room, a 40-inch TV will look quite small. While they used to be considered big TVs, they’re now much smaller than most other models. They’re quite discreet, which makes them a good option if you don’t want the TV to be the focal point of a room.
When you’re standing next to a 40-inch TV, it’ll likely come up to just past waist height, provided it’s on a TV stand. When you’re sitting down, it’s likely that the top of the screen will be at your eye line, which is OK, but ideally, you’d want the middle of the screen to be level with your eyes. Buying a taller stand might help.
Is a 40-inch TV big enough?
A 40-inch TV is big enough for small living rooms, provided you aren’t looking for an impressive screen. A 40-inch TV is considered a smaller TV now, but in close proximity, it will be OK. In larger rooms it certainly won’t fill the space, and can look too small when on a low stand.
The best viewing distance for a 40-inch TV is recommended as 5.5 feet, so if your couch isn’t too far from your TV stand then it’ll look OK, but as soon as you open up the room a little bit then the TV will feel dwarfed.
So how do you know which TV size is the one you actually need?
Well, there are recommended viewing distances for each screen size, and they’re a good place to start. They tell you the best distance to sit from a TV so that you can enjoy all the detail of the picture, without having to move your neck back and forth to see everything that’s happening.
They are just recommendations – you might prefer to upgrade or downgrade for your own tastes, but here’s a list of all the best viewing distances:
|Screen size||Optimal Viewing Distance|
|32”||4 – 4.5 feet|
|60”||8 – 8.5 feet|
|70”||9 – 9.5 feet|
|85”||11.5 – 12 feet|
How far should you sit from a 40-inch TV?
The best viewing distance for a 40-inch TV is around 5.5 feet. Any more than that and you’ll struggle to make out details, but much closer and you’ll need to move your head back and forth to take everything in.
This means that a 40-inch TV is good for a small living room or den, or for the kids’ room. It’s also a good TV size to have on a desk if you tend to sit back and unwind.
How much does a 40-inch flat-screen TV weigh?
A 40-inch TV with a flatscreen will normally weigh somewhere between 11 and 18 pounds (5.5-8kg). Compared to older TVs they’re much lighter, and can usually be easily supported by a wall mount or a TV stand without any issues.
One of the main differences in the weight of a TV is in the stand. Some TVs use a central stand while others will use feet at each end of the screen. Central TV stands weigh more because they need to act as a sort of ballast to prevent the TV from falling over. Separate feet can keep the TV sturdy just through their position, and so can be much more lightweight.
How high should a 40-inch TV be mounted?
When wall-mounting a 40-inch TV, you’ll want the center of the screen to be around 50 inches from the floor, which means the base of the TV should be around 40 inches from the ground.
That’s the recommended height, anyway, although really it depends on your room layout and how far you’re sitting from the screen. If you’re a little closer than the recommended viewing distance, it’s better to mount the TV slightly higher. Don’t go much lower though even if you’re sitting further away, or it’ll make it harder to see.
Another option is to mount the TV higher up the wall using a tilting mount, but again, for a 40-inch screen, you won’t want to be sitting too far away or you’ll struggle to make out the details.
Really, a 40-inch TV is better used somewhere where you’ll be sat close to it.
How much power does a 40-inch tv use?
A typical 40-inch LED TV will use 31 watts of power, although this varies depending on the brand making the TV, the features that it has, and the resolution of the screen. Larger TVs with more features will use more power than a 40-inch screen.
This is a relatively low amount of power compared to 55-inch TVs and bigger, although if you’re planning on making power consumption a part of your buying decision then you’ll want to know the actual costs.
Using a presumed average cost of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour of electricity used, and a typical 3 hours per day of viewing time, a 40-inch TV is likely to cost you in the region of $6 per year to run (including if you leave it in standby mode when not in use).
That compares to around $10 for a 55-inch TV. So really, it’s not a huge saving, so if you have the space for a larger screen then it’s better to go for an improved viewing experience since the electrical costs are so close anyway.
Read more: How much electricity does a TV use?
The Bottom Line
A 40-inch TV is a good choice if you’re on a budget but want something a little more impressive than a 32-inch screen. You won’t get the latest features since the screen size is being slowly phased out, but that also means you should get a decent price tag.
They will look small in most living rooms and dens though, so consider buying a bigger one if you have the space available. But for watching a TV up close in a kids’ room or with the TV on a desk, they do still look pretty impressive in size.