Q. We are designing a new home and I want the TV to be above the fireplace in our living room, but a friend tells me that’s a bad place. Why would it be bad? I see it above the fireplace in ads and shows on Discovery. — Juniper, Deale, Maryland. 

Juniper, my wife sometimes watches the home remodeling shows, and in each episode, it seems like I see the TV mounted above the fireplace. And I mutter ‘no, no, no’ every time I see it!


Two reasons.

1. It Could Give You a Headache
Whether the set is mounted on a wall, or just sitting on a stand, the center point of the screen should be directly in line with your eyes. From that vantage point, you will see the best possible picture from your set.

You know you have it placed correctly if you could draw an imaginary straight line from the screen’s center to your eyes when you’re sitting in the chair in which you normally watch TV.

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If you mount the screen too high on the wall, your eyes have to adjust to focus on the center point and, consequently, your viewing is not as smooth. You will feel like you are constantly adjusting your seat position and that’s no way to watch TV!

Plus, if the set is mounted above your eye level, you will indeed have to crane your neck to watch it. That may be okay for a few minutes, or even a 30-minute sitcom, but try watching a two-hour movie that way. (If you do, bring a bottle of Advil. You will get a headache!)

2. It Could Make Your ‘Cool TV’ Hot
Placing your TV above a fireplace mantel is common sense dumb. If it’s a working fireplace, the heat from the fireplace could do damage to your set. That’s why every TV manual warns you to keep your set in a cool place, right?

Now if it’s a ‘fake fireplace,’ one that doesn’t emanate heat, this isn’t a concern. But the ‘line of sight’ issue still is. So, take it from The TV Answer Man, don’t mount that TV above your fireplace.

I’m sure many of you will disagree with me so you can post your comments below or send a comment directly to me with the form below:


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— Phillip Swann