Are Pixels More Noticeable on Larger TVs?

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Q Is it true that bigger TV screens—ones in the 65-inch and above range—have more noticeable pixelation? —Rufino Mendoza

A Before I answer that question, let’s discuss pixelation—a situation where the individual pixels that make up a digital image become visible.

Pixelization on TV screens generally isn’t a problem for most viewers. Say you own a 65-inch HDTV with 1080p resolution. Assuming 20/20 vision, the viewing distance at which you would be able to appreciate the full detail level in a 1080p image is around 8.5 feet. Sit any further away and the image will appear less detailed. Sit substantially closer—say, around 5 feet from the screen—and you will be more likely to notice pixels.

The average distance most people sit from their TV’s screen is 9 feet. So, if you were sitting at that distance from a 65-inch HDTV, you would be within the 1080p-resolution video viewing sweet spot. You could even upgrade to a 70-inch set, enjoy full-res 1080p images, and not have to worry about pixelation. If you were to switch to a 50-inch 1080p HDTV, however, the picture detail benefits of 1080p resolution would be lost.

Basically, all of this is a roundabout way of saying yes, TVs in the 65-inch and above range would have more noticeable pixels than smaller-size screens, but only if you sat unusually close to them. Since the advent of 4K Ultra HDTVs, however, the whole issue has become a non-issue: Given the high pixel density of 4K-res sets, you could sit as close two feet away from a 65-inch screen and not notice the pixels that make up the image.