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4K TV: How Far Away Should You Sit?

Q. I got a 55-inch LG 4K TV and I like the 4K picture, but it doesn’t seem to pop like it should. I wonder if I am sitting close enough to the screen to really see the difference in a 4K picture. What’s the recommended viewing distance for watching 4K? — Brenda, St Louis. 

Brenda, your eyes are not deceiving you. The 4K TV offers four times the resolution of a typical High-Definition TV. But to really appreciate the extra pixels on screen, you need to sit closer to the screen than you normally would. Otherwise, you may not see some of the details that are visible in 4K that may not be displayed in the high-def picture.

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So, how close should you sit?

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Sony, which makes a myriad of 4K TV models, recommends sitting 1.5 times the vertical screen size of the TV, which is twice as close from where you should sit in front of a High-Definition model.

For instance, if you have a 55-inch 4K TV, you should sit 3.30 feet away from the screen. If you have a 65-inch 4K set, you should sit about four feet away. If you have a 75-inch 4K TV, you should sit around 4.6 feet away. (Please note that the calculation is based on ‘vertical size,’ not horizontal or diagonal. Here is the calculation done on Sony’s site.

Now that may sound like it’s a bit close, particularly for a 55-inch like yours. Well, it is. And it’s one of the little secrets of 4K TV. You definitely have to sit closer to the screen to get the full experience.

That’s why I recommend never buying a 4K TV smaller than 55 inches in vertical size. And if you can afford it, go bigger.

Happy Viewing!

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— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1613 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

6 Comments on 4K TV: How Far Away Should You Sit?

  1. Lmao bullshit. For one 55” TV isnt its vertical size. And two 4 feet for a 65”? You wouldn’t even be able to see everything. I sat 8 feet from a 55” and now 65” and Think 55” was fine even.

  2. This guy needs a math lesson. “You should sit 1.5x the screen size… 3.3’ from a 55” screen.”

    3.3’ is only 39.6”.. 1.5 x 55” is almost 7’.

    4.6’ from a 75” TV? Average person sits 9’ away.. what should they buy, a 150” TV?

    I know he says “vertical screen size” but I’m pretty sure he meant “diagonal screen size.” Screens are not measured vertically.

  3. Somebody needs a calculator.

    55” is almost 5ft, if you multiply this by Sony’s 1.5 it makes the viewing distance 7.5 ft not the 3.3 ft stated!!

    Happy viewing.

    I wonder how many people took this advise?

    • TV Answer Man // May 30, 2019 at 9:51 am // Reply

      It’s 1.5 times the vertical size (as the story states), not the diagonal or horizontal size.

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