Unboxing a new TV is exciting for anyone. But, after the initial thrill, you face the dilemma of where to put it. Not everyone knows how high a TV should be mounted when they buy their unit. Other than how high to mount the TV, other factors come into play as well. To get the best viewing experience, take note of the guidelines below.
How High Should a TV be Mounted?
Experts recommend keeping the middle of your TV at eye-level while seated. This is normally about 42 inches from the floor to the middle of your TV. However, this might be different for you, depending on how tall you are when sitting down.
The 42-inch measurement is a general rule because most couches are roughly 18 inches from the floor, and most people’s eyes are about 24 inches above the sofa.
To calculate how high your TV should be from the floor, simply measure the height of your TV and divide it by two. Then subtract that number from 42, and that’s how high the bottom of your TV should be from the floor.
For example, if you have a 50-inch TV, it is probably 24 inches tall. In that case, you would divide 24 by 2, which is 12. Then subtract 12 from 42, which is 30. So, if you have the average 50-inch TV, you should mount it 30 inches from the bottom of the TV to the floor.
If you want to mount your TV above or below eye level, the view from your couch to the top or bottom of your screen should be less than 35° to avoid neck strain.
Viewing Angles And Distances
The Society of Motion Pictures and Television Engineers (SMPT) also recommends keeping a 30° horizontal field of vision from your seat. If you want the feel of a movie theater right in your home, the THX-certified screen placement requires a horizontal viewing angle of 36° for all their theaters.
There are complicated calculations that deal with formulas around this topic. To make things easier, just remember that the ideal viewing distance is 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal screen size of your TV. For example, if you have a 50-inch TV, you will want to sit at least 75 inches (or 6.25 feet) away.
A fireplace, sound system, or other furniture might not allow you to set up a wall-mounted TV at eye level. For these scenarios, keep the angle between the front row seat and the top of the TV within 35°. According to studies, a vertical field of vision of less than 15° causes images to appear too small. To simplify things, measure the distance from the floor to the bottom of the TV screen. Then multiply that number by 1.4 to get the ideal viewing distance in inches.
Another method is to divide the diagonal size of your TV by 0.55. If you have a 42-inch TV, for example, you will want to sit 76 inches (or 6.3 feet) away.
Mounting Your TV Around Obstacles
Fireplaces and furniture can also affect how high a TV should be mounted. Most manufacturers advise against mounting your TV above a fireplace. A TV has delicate electrical wires, which can be damaged if they get too hot. Doing so could also void the warranty.
To get around this, you can build a mantel or recess the TV into the wall. Both provide a barrier between the heat from the fireplace and your TV. Generally, you want to keep a clearance of six to 12 inches from the top of the mantel to the bottom of the TV. However, it’s best to consult your fireplace manual for any specific clearances that you need to observe.
Next, check the temperature of the area where you will be hanging the TV. Compare this with the maximum operating temperature stated in your TV manual. LG, Samsung, and Sony have a maximum operating temperature of 104° F. Try to keep the temperature of the place where you will mount your TV below 100° F to allow some room for error.
Some modern developments make it possible to hang your TV above the fireplace. Electric linear fireplaces can help protect your TV from heat. There are also full-motion mounts that allow you to tilt the TV vertically after you’re done watching a program. This eliminates neck strain issues that come with placing the TV at above eye level.
For wall mounting your TV around shelves or a media center, keep a gap of four to six inches.
Room Type and Layout
You should consider the function and the focal point of the room where you will be placing your TV to figure out how high a TV should be mounted.
If your living room doubles as an entertainment area where guests are standing up most of the time, it makes sense not to follow the basic guidelines for how high you should mount your TV. Instead of 42”, you can position it to 60” above the floor, which works out great for a standing adult.
You might also consider this placement in other rooms, such as the kitchen, game room, or gym room. If you’re mounting your TV in a home bar, check the height of the barstool. Then add 24 inches to it, which should put the mounting height of your TV at 48 to 53 inches off the floor.
No matter what type of room you’re working with, remember not to put the TV near any bright light sources. The varying levels of brightness from the TV and the light source can hurt your eyes. It will also distract you from whatever you’re watching. The same is true for natural light that comes from your windows. Avoid placing your TV in front of or opposite a window to avoid glare bouncing off your TV screen.
The resolution and type of screen you have can also impact how high you mount your TV.
For instance, you do not want to sit too close to a TV with 1080p maximum resolution. You will most likely see the pixels on the screen, which will ruin your viewing experience. For 1080p HDTV units, you want to sit at a distance that is 1.5 to 2.5 times the size of your screen (diagonally). This means that if you have a 40-inch TV, you want to sit between 60 inches (5 feet) to 150 inches (8.3 feet) away from the screen.
For 4K or 8K TVs, you can sit closer without worrying about eye strain because of the higher pixel count. You can sit anywhere between 1 to 1.5 times the diagonal size of your screen. For example, with a 40-inch TV, you can position yourself 40 inches (3.3 feet) or 60 inches (5 feet) away from the screen.
If you want to know more about the difference between 1080p and 4K TVs, check out our article here.
Whether you have an LED or OLED TV will also affect your mounting height. LED or LCD TVs are best viewed at eye level because their light source is located at the back of the TV. The farther you move away from the center of the screen, the more the colors will be affected. In contrast, the light source of OLED TVs comes from the panel itself. As such, you can get away with placing them above eye level.
The bottom line
While the recommendations above are guidelines, you do not have to follow them by the letter. Deciding how high a TV should be mounted is largely a matter of personal preference. You might have to do a bit of trial and error before you figure out the sweet spot for placing your TV.
Now that you know the do’s and don’ts of mounting a TV, the next step is to look for the right TV mount. To help you decide, take our short quiz to find out which TV mount is right for you.