The viewing angles for an LCD TV are measured horizontally and vertically, and indicate over what range images on the TV's screen are fully visible. For example, if you see viewing angle measurements of 178, this represents the horizontal viewing angle and indicates that an image on the screen is fully visible over a range of 178 degrees horizontally (from side to side) in front of the TV. Generally, the larger the viewing angles, the better.
Note: The maximum horizontal and vertical viewing angles are 180 degrees.
While the image may change on far angles, the best determination if LCD will work for you is to actually see it and look at it from different angles. If not, a plasma for those hard angles may be a better option.
Can someone PLEASE tell me what is meant by 178 degree viewing angle, such as on the specs for the Samsung LN46B650? Straight on is obviously the best picture and maybe still up to X degrees, but what can one expect in terms of degregation, expressed as a percentage of some other criteria as one moves off center? 178 degrees is close to 180 which will hardly give a decent picture. At 90 degrees, (45 degrees from center on each side), can I expect as good a picture as straight on?