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A 'class' TV is not quite the screen size you think

August 3, 2009 | 12:49 pm

This 46-inch "class" Sharp TV is a tiny bit bigger than advertised. Credit:

If you've been shopping for a TV lately, you may have noticed the word "class" is included in a lot of product descriptions. For example, some models are described as being "55-inch class" TVs.

Does that mean the TV is a classic? Or that it's in a class by itself?

No, it simply means you are not quite getting the advertised size. A lot of TVs that want to be considered in the "class" of a certain size are actually not quite that big. But not to worry, it's usually just by a few tenths of inches.

So why do the manufacturers feel they have to say "class" over such a tiny difference? "So we don't get sued," said one company executive, who didn't want to be identified.

But this can work in your favor. A current Sharp LCD model advertised as "46-inch class" has an actual diagonal screen size of 46-63/64-inches, according to specifications on the site.

Who says you can't get more than what you pay for?

-- David Colker