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TV Distance From Couch

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

We are purchasing a flat screen TV for our family room and we are trying to decide on the placement. Should the screen be at eye level from where you sit or is it okay to mount the screen higher up on the wall?


Distance disagreement

Dear Distance disagreement,

The height of the TV screen is best placed where you can view the middle of the screen from where you will be seated.

Distance is an important factor for TV placement regardless if it is a flat screen wall mount or standard television set placed on a stand.

The viewing distance from the TV depends on how large the screen is. The simplest method is to multiply the screen size by 1.5 to find the viewing distance. The screen size is measured on the diagonal. Then, multiply the screen size by 1.5 for proper viewing distance. For example, if you have a 42 inch screen then the distance should be 63 inches or 5 feet 3 inches from the TV. If you have a 60 inch screen, then the viewing distance should be 90 inches or 7 feet 6 inches from the TV.

However, there is another method which calculates the optimum viewing distance depending on three factors: 1) distance to main viewing location, 2) screen shape (i.e. standard versus widescreen), and 3) screen size along the diagonal or the width.

My Home Theater provides a viewing distance calculator where you can input your data for a more precise TV viewing distance at