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TV Viewing Distance

Posted by Eric Smith on

Before purchasing a High Definition television it is important to take the TV viewing distance into consideration. While large screens are great, you’ll want to make sure that your room allows for a comfortable distance between the TV and where viewers will sit.


Minimum and Maximum Television Viewing Distances

How far you sit from your television is a personal choice of course, however there are certain recommendations to keep in mind.

Because of their high resolution, wide screen High Definition televisions allow you to sit closer to the screen and still view crisp pictures. You’ll enjoy a movie-like experience without eyestrain. Generally speaking, you can view an HDTV screen from as close as 1.5 times the screen’s diagonal measurement. If you view a High Definition television from too far, you greatly reduce the impact of the viewing event. But... if you sit too close you may see horizontal scan lines and pixels.

Viewing Angle

Most modern flat screens offer a viewing angle much more accommodating than previous display types. The best in this regard would be Plasma, which provides a nearly unlimited viewing angle (virtually 160 degrees) both horizontally and vertically, offering a fully fleshed out image from any location in the room. Nearly as accommodating is the LED, which provides just about the same 160 degree angle of viewing. LCD should be avoided if you will be viewing from an off center angle, as images will tend to become washed, especially if viewed from extreme angles.

Confused? Don’t be. The chart below makes it easy for you to choose the right size television for your room:

16:9 TV diagonal screen size Min. viewing distance (in feet) Max. viewing distance (in feet) Click for Options
19-23 3.3 6.5 Shop Now
29-32 3.8 7.6 Shop Now
39 4.3 8.5 Shop Now
40 5.3 10.5 Shop Now
46-47 5.9 11.8 Shop Now
50-51 6.3 12.5 Shop Now
55-58 6.9 12.8 Shop Now
60 7.5 15 Shop Now
65+ 8.1 16.2 Shop Now

Other things to consider when deciding what size High Definition television to purchase


You should allow approximately six inches of space on each side of your television for proper ventilation.


Make sure your HDTV will fit all dimensions. Some sets are very slim (LED), while others are more bulky (DLP).

Eye Level

High Definition televisions are best viewed at eye level. Make sure your room has large enough wall or floor space to accommodate a set that can be placed at this optimal height.

Ambient Light

While modern flat screen displays, especially LED, offer brightness which can easily overcome most brightly lit viewing environments, care should be taken to avoid lighting or sunlight which is oriented directly on to the screen. Most displays, even the latest LED offerings are designed with a mirror-like screen covering which will tend to cause reflectivity of any direct light. This could interfere markedly with the image being displayed. However, with careful lighting control this potential issue should not be a problem

If you have any questions about the size or proper viewing distance for a High Definition television you are considering, feel free to contact us. Our representatives are happy to share their High Definition TV knowledge and can help you make the right HDTV choice.

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