Hey guys,
Pull out your tape measures!
First off, were measuring screens here, not something else!
Seriously, I own a 36" Sony Wega KD-36XS955 4:3 CRT HDTV and the actual screen height, vertically, is 22 1/2 high.
This does not include the chassis, only the actual screen itself.
I like the vertical height of my Sony, but I want a wide screen tv for HD and movies with the 16:9 aspect ratio. I want the actual screen height at least the same vertical height as my 36 incher.
My question is this:
On wide screen tv's, what MINIMUM size would I need to buy to AT LEAST EQUAL the 22 1/2 vertical height of my 36" 4:3 screen Sony CRT?
Remember, this is the actual screen itself, and does NOT include the chassis.
One friend said a 46", another friend said a 50" wide screen, but I need more solid answers from actual owners of wide screens. Neither of my friends actually owns one!
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
That should equal a 46" HDTV.

I arrived at that number using my 16:9 HDTV and converting its measured screen size with a calculator. Mine is 26.5 X 55 (or multiply height by 2.0754) of actual SCREEN (not cabinet).

Of course the most reliable way to determine what's exactly your preferred 22.5" is to visit a Best Buy, Circuit City, or whatever is near you that sells HDTV, and take your own tape measure.

I assure you, you will not be the first to walk in and measure before buying. I did it and saw others doing the same thing.
Audio Girl: your system is awesome you need to go front projection! www.avsforum.com if you can control the ambient light.

My screen height is 50.5" and 90" wide! 103" diag and it was the best thing I could have done for my video system!

www.projectorcentral.com has a LCD/Plasma section also to help you with decision.

What size diagonal screen monitor are you using that has a 26 1/2 vertical height?
This requires use of the pythagorian theorem: a2 + b2 = c2
a =height, b = width, c = diagonal measure
a = 22.5 , b = 40 (16:9, so 22.5 divided by 9 then multiplied by 16 = 40 inches.)

a2 = 506.25
b2 = 1600
c2 = 2106.25

c = 45.89 inches

However, the height of 36 inch 4:3 TV should calculate out this way:
3x = height, 4x = width, 36 inches = diagonal measure.
(3x)2 + (4x)2 = (36)2
9x2 + 16x2 = 1296
25x2 = 1296
x2 = 1296/25
x = 36/5
3x = 21.6 inches

Therefore an equivalent 16:9 TV should be:

a = 21.6, b = 38.4

a2 = 466.56
b2 = 1474.56
c2 = 1941.12

c = 44.06 inches

So, a 4:3 tv of 36" diagnal should actaully be the same height as a 44" 16:9 TV
Audio_girl--you know the 16:9 aspect ratio, and you know the desired height is 22.5. So, divide desired height by 9 to get 2.5 and multiply by 16 to get desired width of 40. Diagonal screen size is (h^2 + w^2)^.5, or 45.9. You may find a 46" 16:9 fits pretty well.
I respectively recommend that you recheck your vertical height measurement. If the 36 inch Wega has a standard 4:3 aspect ratio, the vertical height would be 21.6 inches. This would be commensurate with a 44 inch (not 46 inch) HDTV. This may be a moot point since screen sizes seem to jump from 42 inches to 50 inches with no choices in between.

Another thought is that most movies are shot in a wider aspect ratio than HDTV's 16:9. Many are shot at 2.35:1. When I watch a movie in widescreen format on my HDTV, I have black "bars" across the top and bottom of my screen; the TV displays the full width of the picture and wastes some of my vertical screen availability. Accordingly, when I bought my HDTV, I was replacing a 35 inch standard tube TV, and I wanted to preserve my vertical image size for movies. As a result, I wound up buying a 55 inch HDTV.

Without going into a lot of math, the conversion for this is 1.62 times the diagonal of the standard screen. For your 36 inch standard screen, you would get a 58 inch HDTV. The industry makes 55 inch and 60 inch HDTVs, so you would have a choice.

Can you come over and help me with my daughter's math homework? :)
What size diagonal screen monitor are you using that has a 26 1/2 vertical height?

Audio girl, It's 55" measured diagonally. It's a Sony, Grand WEGA (rear projection) LCD.

It had the best picture for the money. Perhaps third or fourth place behind TV's that cost 6K to 12K (and beyond).

Mine was about $2800.00 and all I could justify for a TV.

Good luck with your search !
Jameswei and Esun have it down. Exactly.
BTW, there is an easier way to do 4:3 TVs--its a right triangle, and given the height of 3 and width of 4, it has to be a perfect 3:4:5 triangle.