Mantel Mount | January 31, 2024

Watching TV Seating Preferences: How Far Away from the TV Should You Sit?

Although purchasing a MantelMount pull down TV mount or drop down and swivel TV mount will enhance your TV viewing experience, there are other factors at play, including lighting, comfortability with furniture — and understanding just how far away from the TV you should sit with couches or chairs — as well as knowing what the ideal TV viewing distance is and taking advantage of that. There are a number of articles talking about the optimum distance between you and your TV, so we’ve filtered through a number of them to cull the best advice.

Recommended Viewing Distance

The process can be a bit tricky. If you’re a TV watcher that tends to sit back far, the risk is there to lose the sharp detail that you paid for when you bought your HDTV in the first place (if you have a 4K TV or 8K TV, then you spent even more money for more detail). 

However, if you’re someone who might sit a little too close, the individual pixels start to become visible and, ultimately, distracting. Furthermore, there are health factors when a viewing angle is so close including audio distortion and eye strain. Ultimately, you have to find that happy medium.

Here, we break down the best viewing distance for your living room’s TV screen size. First, the concept of the science behind picture quality.

Pixels, Standard Definition, High Resolution TVs, and All That In Between

When understanding the best TV viewing range, one of the first things to understand is the concept of pixels. Every digital image is made up of a grid of colored dots or squares called pixels.  For instance, a 1080p HDTV has 1080 rows of 1920 pixels each. That’s a grand total of 2,073,600 pixels; it doesn’t matter whether the TV size is a 43-inch TV, a 55-inch TV, or a larger TV (think 100 inches wide), the number of pixels remains constant. What does change, however, is the size of the pixels; the bigger the TV screen, the easier it is to see them — which is not ideal since pixels should be too small to see.

THX — the company founded by legendary filmmaker George Lucas, which develops high-fidelity, audio/visual reproduction standards for movie theaters, immersive experience screening rooms, and home theaters — offers a simple formula for calculating the closest you can get to an HDTV without seeing the pixels: Divide the advertised TV size by 0.84.

However, there are opposing points of view. In a TechHive article, the writer notes, “The speaker manufacturer Aperion Audio recommends that you not sit closer than six and a half feet from a 50-inch 1080p set. Aperion also recommends you sit no farther than 9 feet 9 inches for the best viewing experience.”

TV Size Viewing Distance Range

Via the THX calculation, figure one foot of distance for every 10 inches of screen size. Keep in mind that the viewing distance formula does not take into consideration the field of view from your couch or any glare or external factor which might require a change is your seating preferences while watching TV. For the following TV screen sizes, this should be the viewing distance:

43-inch TV: At least 4.3 feet away

55-inch TV: At least 5.5 feet away

65-inch TV: At least 6.5 feet away

75-inch TV: At least 7.5 feet away

4K TVs and 8K TVs, however, present a different issue. Because of the high-definition screen with the high resolution picture quality that they come with, as well as the advanced clarity and sharpness, you can sit closer, but that will cause audio issues. Our advice? Move a little bit closer, maybe 6 inches to a foot.

Are you looking for even more data around viewing distance and TV screen size? This piece from The Home Cinema Guide delves into more of the nitty gritty of how far away from the TV should you sit, in addition to having a distance calculator.

Interested in understanding more about the science behind screen size and viewing distance? The following video should give insight into the decisions behind how close you should be sitting from a TV, which includes information from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (or SMPTE) and the standards for audio and visual experiences.

Video via Linus Tech Tips

How a Mount Helps in the Optimal Viewing Distance for your TV Watching

For a television mount, a pull down mount helps to optimize the viewing experience for anyone — those wanting a more home movie theater experience to those playing video games on the TV — and for any TV screen size.

Ultimately, it’s about your own watching TV seating preferences, in which nothing is set in stone. However, by utilizing a pull down TV mount or drop down and swivel TV mount, in addition to understanding the optimal viewing distance for TV preferences, the experience will be that much more enhanced.

So whether you are having a big family movie night with people scattered about the living room on couches, chairs, and on the floor, or you are enjoying laying down playing a game, with a pillow propping up your neck, the combination of knowing how far away from the TV you should sit and a TV mount will get you to that sweet spot of your ideal TV viewing distance.