4K TV: How Far Away Should You Sit?

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Q. I read your article about how close you should sit in front of a 4K TV. It seems like that’s too close. Are you sure it’s right? — Linda, Hoboken, New Jersey. 

Linda, my article on how many feet you should sit from a 4K TV has triggered considerable debate among set owners with some saying it called for people to sit too close.

My recommendations were based on a guide published at Sony’s web site. The electronics giant noted that you have to sit closer to a 4K TV than you do for a High-Definition TV. The 4K TV display has so many pixels that you have to be closer to the screen to really appreciate the difference.

However, I am going to revise my 4K distance recommendations. Although you do have to sit closer, I’m afraid that most viewers are not accustomed to sitting that close and therefore may have a poor experience while viewing a show in 4K.

For instance, sitting as close as three to four feet from a 55-inch 4K TV may give you an enhanced look at the set’s resolution, but it may also give you a headache and eye strain because the set’s display is so bright.

So let’s modify my earlier recommendations so you can both appreciate 4K’s greater resolution, and have a comfortable experience while watching television. (As I said in past articles about the subject, these are recommendations. Don’t be shy about making adjustments based on individual preference, room dimensions and lighting factors.)

4K TV Viewing Distance
40-inch — 3 to 3.5 feet.
43-inch — 3.5 to 4.5 feet.
50-inch — 4.5 to 5.5 feet.
55-inch — 5 to 6 feet
60-inch — 5.5 to 6.5 feet

65-inch — 6 to 7 feet
70-inch — 6.5 to 7.5 feet
75-inch — 7.5 to 8.5 feet
80-inch — 8.5 to 9.5 feet
85-inch — 9.5 to 10.5 feet.

Note: These viewing recommendations are roughly two to three feet less than where you would sit for a High-Definition TV. For example for a 60-inch HDTV, you should sit 7.5/8.5 to 8.5/9.5 feet away.

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— Phillip Swann

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