HDTV: How Close Should You Sit?

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Q. I read your article about how far away you should sit in front of a 4K TV. But what about us poor souls who still only have HDTVs? How close should we sit in front of them? — Hank, Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

Hank, you’re right. I wrote an article this week explaining why you need to sit closer to a 4K TV than a High-Definition TV. You can read it here.

But what about a High-Definition TV, you ask? Where should you sit when you are watching just a regular old HDTV?

With a high-def TV, there are fewer pixels on screen than a 4K TV so it’s not as important to sit as close to appreciate the added resolution. Your sitting choice can be based on such factors as comfortability, eyesight, room size and even the show or movie’s genre. (You might want to sit closer for an absorbing movie, but a few feet further away for a news program.)

That said, here are my recommendations for how far away you should sit in front of High-Definition TV:

32-inch HDTV — 4 to 6 feet
40-inch HDTV — 5 to 7 feet
50-inch HDTV — 6 to 8 feet
55-inch HDTV — 7 to 9 feet
60-inch HDTV — 8 to 10 feet
65-inch HDTV —  9 to 11 feet
70-inch HDTV —  10-12 feet
75-inch HDTV —  11-13 feet

At those distances, you will best experience the high-def picture without straining your eyes, and your noggin. However, please note that these are recommendations. I tend to prefer sitting closer to a TV than some people. So if you feel more comfortable being further away, it’s your choice.

Happy Viewing!

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— Phillip Swann

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