What is my TV's ideal viewing distance?

How far should I sit from my screen?  
Your screen size and resolution will dictate how far you have to sit from your TV or projector screen.

How far you sit from your television screen or projector screen will depend on how large the room actually is, what type of TV or projector you have, and the size of your television or projector screen. Not many people know it, but the distance you sit from your screen will have a dramatic effect in terms of quality - and a bigger screen isn't always going to give the best viewing experience.

 

Why is distance important?

With older CRT TVs, distance between the TV and couch was generally the same for every TV, as they all had the same basic capacities and resolution from every angle. With plasmas, LCD TVs, LED TVs and projectors however, the size of the display and the resolution mean that the viewing distance is important.

Each of these display types features a limited number of pixels, and beyond a certain resolution (normally 1080p or 'full HD'), a bigger screen essentially means bigger pixels. When you sit too close to a screen (particularly a large screen), you'll be able to see each pixel rather than a nice, smooth image as you should. If you sit too far from the screen, you won't be able to appreciate the details that high resolution displays allow for.

 

Distance and resolution  
  • Viewing distance - sit too close and the image is pixellated, sit too far away and you lose detail of the picture.
  • TV Size - if you have a larger screen you will have to sit further away, if you have a smaller screen you will have to sit closer.
  • Resolution - if resolution is too low you can experience pixellation, but if it is too high you may feel a motion sickness effect.
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How far should I sit from my TV?

How far you sit from your TV depends on the size and resolution of the television, and also the physical space that you have available. The idea of changing the positioning of your television is to eliminate excess pixellation before focusing on getting the detail of the picture back.

The higher the resolution of the TV, the closer you'll be able to sit to it without being bothered by pixellation, even if your set is larger. If you have a low resolution TV or projector, you will need to sit further away from the screen to avoid pixellation.

 

Optimum viewing distance

Different manufacturers give slightly different figures in terms of what's an ideal distance, but they're all fairly close in their recommendations. The ideal distances below are based on the minimum distance required to be able to see individual pixels, and the maximum space where detail begins to blend in. Any point in between should provide you with a good picture.

 

Screen Size Recommended Range
26" 1.0m - 1.9m
30" 1.2m - 2.3m
34" 1.3m - 2.6m
42" 1.6m - 3.2m
46" 1.8m - 3.5m
50" 1.9m - 3.8m
55" 2.0m - 3.9m
60" 2.3m - 4.6m
65" 2.5m - 5.0m
85" 3.3m - 7.5m
The table above shows the minimum and maximum distances required between a TV set and your eyeballs to ensure a good picture.
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