College Student Buying Guide: Televisions

Buying a TV is a tough decision, especially when you’re heading off to college. Over the last 10 years, the price of televisions have thankfully significantly decreased and if you want to purchase a good quality television, it’s relatively inexpensive. It’s important to purchase on a budget when you’re going to college, so we’ve compiled a list of the best televisions you can purchase for the price. We’ve also included guides on how big of a TV to purchase and what features to look for in buying a TV.

What Size TV Should I Buy for a College Dorm

According to a study done by, there are optimal viewing sizes depending on how far you’re sitting from the TV. The full list is below, but given dorm rooms are usually fairly small, the max viewing distance is likely no more than 7-9 feet, but may vary depending on the size of your dorm. We’ll plan to recommend the best TV’s for the following viewing distances:

  • Viewing Distance: 4 Feet | TV Size: 32″
  • Viewing Distance: 6 Feet | TV Size: 43″
  • Viewing Distance: 7 Feet | TV Size: 50″
  • Viewing Distance: 8 Feet | TV Size: 55″
  • Viewing Distance: 9 Feet | TV Size: 64″

What Features Should I Look For in a College Dorm TV

If you’re looking for a TV for your dorm, there are several key items that are important to look for. With our recommendations below, we ensure that each of them have been met. However, if you’re searching on your own, then it’s best to look for the following:

  • Streaming Ability: You most likely will want to stream Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. Ensure that the TV is a “smart TV” and has the option to stream these.
  • Connectivity: Ensure that your TV is WiFi enabled and does not require the purchase of an additional product needed to connect to the internet. Most dorms won’t have readily available ethernet ports near the TV, so it will be difficult to hardwire.
  • HDMI Ports: If you’re bringing devices to hook up to your TV such as a gaming console, DVD/blu ray player, etc., be sure there are enough inputs.
  • Wall Mount Ability: Ensure that your TV has the capability of being wall mounted, should you want to put it on the wall. Be sure that your dorm allows for wall mounting before you put holes in the wall :).

What Are The Best TVs for a College Dorm

The Best 32″ TV For a College Dorm

2020 Toshiba LF221 – Starting the list is the most affordable option, the 32″ Toshiba 720p. For under $150, this TV is a great deal, but only for those who don’t mind not viewing optimal definition on shows and movies. Since the TV is only 720p, its not capable of full 1080p HD, but it will still have a good picture. A nice part about this TV is the built-in fire TV which will allow you to use all of your favorite streaming services. The optimal viewing distance for this TV is a little under 5 feet, which is meant for those with smaller dorm rooms. The TV is 32″ diagonally, but is 19″ tall, 28.8″ wide, and 8″ deep with the stand. For those who want a great TV on a budget, this is your best choice.

The Best 43″ TV for a College Dorm

2020 Samsung UHD TU-8000 Series – Next is the 43″ Samsung UHD 4k HDR Smart TV with Alexa Built-in. Considering you can get this 4k TV for the mid $300’s is quite the steal and a testament that TVs are significantly more affordable than they used to be. The optimal viewing distance for this TV will be roughly 6 feet, which is likely the average for the majority of dorms. The TV is 43″ diagonally, but is 22″ tall, 37.9″ wide, and 7.6″ deep with the stand. This TV is an excellent choice for any college dorm.

The Best 50″ TV for a College Dorm

2020 LG UHD 73 Series – Moving slightly bigger is the 50″ LG 4k UHD Smart TV. For somewhere between $350-400 you can get this monster, and it’s absolutely fantastic. The optimal viewing distance for this TV will be roughly 7 feet, which fits in with the average dorm room viewing distance. The best feature of this TV is that it has Apple Airplay built-in, therefore you can stream from your apple products, to your TV. The TV is 50″ diagonally, but is 28.2″ tall, 44.5″ wide, and 9.1″ deep with the stand. If you have room for a larger TV, and are willing to spend a tiny bit more on a TV, this is your right choice.

The Best 55″ TV For a College Dorm

2020 Samsung UHD TU-8000 Series – Our recommendation for 55″ is the bigger brother of the 43″ recommendation. For the quality and price, this is your best bet. This is also the turning point at when the TV gets a little more expensive. For this TV you are looking closer to $475 – $525, so about a $100 bump over the 50″ options. The optimal viewing distance for this TV is roughly 8 feet, or for those who have a slightly larger dorm room or areas of long viewing distance. The TV is 55″ diagonally, but is 30.8″ tall, 48.4″ wide, and 9.9″ deep with the stand. If you’re wanting bigger and price isn’t a concern, this will be your best option for 55″.

The Best 65″ TV for a College Dorm

2020 LG UHD 73 Series – Topping the list is the ultra big brother of our 50″ recommendation. The prices at this size start to vary tremendously, however you can expect to pay somewhere between $550 – $700, so definitely the most expensive. The optimal viewing distance for this TV is roughly 9 feet, so intended for those who have large dorm rooms or don’t mind having a large TV in front of them. The TV is 65″ diagonally, but is 33.5″ tall, 57.6″ wide, and 10.7″ with the stand. If you want the biggest TV in your entire dorm and don’t mind about the price, this one is for you.

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