How Far Should You Sit From a TV?

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Most parents have to tell their children not to sit too close to the TV, but there’s a good chance that you’ve been sitting too far from your TV, especially if you have a new 4K display. Here’s everything you need to know about the optimal TV viewing distance, so you can get the most immersive experience in your home theater.  

Why You Should Sit Closer to Your TV

It is important to calculate your TV viewing distance because if you sit too far from your TV, you might miss some details. However, if you also sit too close, you will have to move your eyes to follow the action, and you might even start to notice individual pixels if you sit really close.

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The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommends you sit close enough to your TV that it takes up at least 30 degrees of your field of view. The closer you sit to your TV, the more of your field of view it will take up. To put that into perspective, a 75-inch TV would take up 30 percent of your field of view from only 10 feet away.

While this is good for mixed usage, THX recommends sitting even closer to your TV, so the display takes at least 36 degrees of your field of view. This guideline was originally created for cinemas, and it is meant to provide a more immersive experience when watching movies. That means, you would have to sit 8.4 feet away from a 75-inch TV.

field of view how far should you sit from your TV
(Image Source: THX)

While this might seem that your TV would be too close, THX actually recommends that you sit even closer to your TV if you have a 4K screen. This is because a 4K display has four times as many pixels as standard high-definition (also known as HD or 1080p) TVs. That means you can see more details when you sit closer to your screen. However, you won’t really notice the benefits of a 4K display unless you are sitting close enough to your TV.

According to THX, you won’t get the full benefits of a 4K screen unless you are sitting around 10 feet from a 75-inch TV. On the other hand, you can sit more than 15 feet away from your screen if you have a regular HD TV.

4k vs 1080
(Image Source: THX)

If you want to know more about the difference between 1080p and 4K, check out our article here.  

How to Calculate the Optimal TV Viewing Distance

To find out how far you should sit from your TV, multiply your screen size by 1.5 to 2.5 for HD TVs. If you have a 4K TV, multiply the screen size by 1 to 1.5. That will let you know how many inches you should sit from your TV for the optimal viewing experience.

It is important to remember that you measure a TV from one corner of the display to the opposite corner. To find your screen’s resolution, check the manufacturer’s website. If you have your TV’s model number, it should be easy to find out whether you have a HD TV or a 4K model.  

how to measure tv size
(Image Source: Samsung)

How Far Should You Sit From an HD TV?

If you have an HD TV, you can calculate how far you should sit from the screen by multiplying the screen size by 1.5 to 2.5. For example, if you have a 55-inch flatscreen, you should sit between 82 inches and 137 inches (or around 7 to 11.5 feet) away from your TV.

TV SizeOptimal TV Viewing Distance  
40 inches5 – 8.5 feet
43 inches5.5 – 9 feet
50 inches6.5 – 10.5 feet
55 inches7 – 11.5 feet
60 inches7.5 – 12.5 feet
65 inches8 – 13.5 feet
70 inches9 – 14.5 feet
75 inches9.5 – 15.5feet
80 inches10 – 16.5 feet
85 inches10.5 – 17.5 feet

How Far Should You Sit From a 4K TV?

If you have a 4K TV, you can sit much closer to the screen. Because they have much higher resolution, you will not notice the pixels even if you are only several feet away from it. You can calculate how far you should sit from the screen by multiplying the screen size by 1 to 1.5.

TV SizeOptimal Viewing Distance  
40 inches3.5 – 5 feet
43 inches3.5 – 5.5 feet
50 inches4 – 6.5 feet
55 inches4.5 – 7 feet
60 inches5 – 7.5 feet
65 inches5.5 – 8 feet
70 inches6 – 9 feet
75 inches6.5 – 9.5feet
80 inches6.5 – 10 feet
85 inches7 – 10.5 feet

Once you know how far you should sit from your TV, check out our guide on how high you should mount your TV for the best viewing experience.  

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