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Forum Topic: How close do you sit to the TV?

One size probably doesn't fit all

by Mark Hodgkinson Aug 13, 2017 at 8:32 AM

  • This is a topic that comes up quite a lot on AVForums – just how close/far away should you sit relative to your TV and projector for the best results?
    Forum member _Dragon_ has a 65 inch TV and sits 6 foot 11 inches (we like the precision) from it while watching a film but some of his friends think he’s crazy to be so close.

    _Dragon_ concedes it’s far to close for Standard Definition content but for 1080, he thinks it’s great; _Dragon_ bought the TV for watching Blu-rays, after all, and they’ll just cope with the rubbish SD.

    There are a number of factors that govern where you should position yourself relative to your display. There's the question of resolution, for starters. As _Dragon_ has discovered, sitting too close when you’re watching standard def is not a great experience so a good rule of thumb is that the higher the resolution, the closer you can get but if you start seeing the pixels that make up the image (screen door effect) then move back until you can’t. The size of the screen also comes in to play, here, as the bigger it is, the more likely you’ll be able to see that pixel structure.

    There are various schools of thought on where you should sit, depending on who you ask. For instance, SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) recommends a viewing distance that is 1.6 times the diagonal width of the screen so in the case of _Dragon_ that would be 8 foot and 8 inches away but, by THX guidelines, who say you should only be 1.2 times the diagonal screen size of your TV away, _Dragon_ is near enough spot on (slightly too far away in fact) at 6 foot 6 inches.

    You can find more on this in our dedicated article : AVForums Viewing Distance Guide

    How far away do you sit and how large is your display?

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