Recommended TV size for a given viewing distance
If you want to buy a new TV: What is the right TV size for a given distance? You already have a TV? Learn how far away you should sit from your TV to get the best viewing experience. Our site includes a handy calculator and table for the optimal sitting distance. However, modern 4k or 8k TVs promise that even with very large TVs (over 65 inches), you can sit quite close to the set and still not see any pixels. In reality, however, the resolution of the movie plays a big role.
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Chart: TV Viewing Distance
The following table provides recommended seating distances for various screen diagonals and resolutions, including 4K, HD, and SD.
|TV Screen Diagonal (Inches)||TV Viewing Distance – 4K (Feet)||TV Viewing Distance – HD (Feet)||TV Viewing Distance – SD (Feet)|
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If you’re planning to buy a new TV and you know the distance from your sofa to your TV stand, these recommendations will help you find the right TV size for the best viewing experience. These are based on HD and 4K resolutions:
- 32-inch TV: If your sofa is approximately 6.6 feet from the TV stand, an HD resolution would be ideal. For a 4K resolution, the sofa should be about 3.9 feet away.
- 40-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for an HD resolution is 8.2 feet, and for 4K, it would be 4.9 feet.
- 43-inch TV: A 43-inch TV is suitable if your sofa is about 8.9 feet (HD) or 5.2 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
- 49-inch TV: This size works best if your viewing distance is about 10. 2 feet for HD and approximately 6.2 feet for 4K.
- 50-inch TV: A 50-inch TV is perfect if your sofa is around 10.5 feet (HD) or 6.2 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
- 55-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for HD is around 11.5 feet, and for 4K, it’s approximately 6.9 feet.
- 60-inch TV: A 60-inch TV suits well if your sofa is 12.5 feet (HD) or 7.5 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
- 65-inch TV: This size is ideal if your viewing distance is about 13.5 feet for HD and roughly 8.2 feet for 4K.
- 70-inch TV: A 70-inch TV is best if your sofa is around 14.4 feet (HD) or 8.9 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
- 75-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for HD is approximately 15.7 feet, and for 4K, it’s about 9.5 feet.
- 80-inch TV: An 80-inch TV suits well if your sofa is about 16.6 feet (HD, estimated value) or 10 feet (4K, estimated value) away from the TV stand.
- 85-inch TV: This size is perfect if your viewing distance is around 17.7 feet for HD and approximately 10.5 feet for 4K.
These are general guidelines, and personal preferences, room size, and TV placement can all impact your choice.
Find more about size of TVs here: Including TV size charts and calculator.
TV Distance Calculator
This TV distance calculator can help you determine the ideal viewing distance for your TV based on its size and resolution, ensuring that you have the best possible viewing experience.
What’s the right TV size for my room?
Choosing the right TV size for your room depends on several factors including the space available, the distance between your seating area and where the TV will be positioned, the resolution of the TV (HD, 4K, etc.), and your personal viewing preferences.
As a general rule, for an optimal viewing experience, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommends a viewing distance that is about 1. 5 to 2.5 times the diagonal width of your television for HD TVs. However, with 4K ultra-high-definition TVs, you can sit somewhat closer due to the increase in detail – around 1 to 1.5 times the screen diagonal.
So, for example, if your sofa is around 10 feet (120 inches) away from your TV stand, you can divide that by 1.5 and 2.5 for HD TVs to get a range of suitable TV sizes: 48 inches to 80 inches. For a 4K TV, divide by 1 and 1.5 to get a range: 80 inches to 120 inches.
Optimizing Viewing Distance, TV size and Resolution
It is worth knowing that all screens of the same class initially have the same number of pixels. But depending on the resolution in SD or HD, only fewer or more pixels are displayed, which may contribute to an apparently poorer image quality with a small viewing distance in the case of SD reception.
The TV size and viewing distance you choose, depend on your preferred content resolution (SD, HD, UHD, 4K, or 8K). For SD content, a smaller screen is advised to avoid visible pixels, or you can sit further away. Use the calculator to find the ideal screen size for you.
Most channels and streaming services, like Netflix, broadcast in HD. With HD, UHD (4K), and even 8K, larger screens are possible at closer distances, but 8K content will be limited for some time.
Image quality depends on factors other than screen size, such as reception source quality. Higher quality sources, like HD and Blu-ray, provide better images than SD TV or older DVDs.
In small spaces, a larger TV may still be worthwhile, depending on the content format. If you watch SD content, an HD TV might not be necessary. However, 4K TVs are becoming popular and provide a cinematic experience even in small spaces, making distance less crucial for picture quality.
For 3D TV, the viewing angle is crucial. Enjoyment is optimal at around 75 degrees; otherwise, it’s not as worthwhile.
“The more “area” of the field of view a TV picture takes up, the more immersive it becomes. So, ideally, you should sit as close as possible. But you can also sit too close, if you exceed the maximum resolution, i.e. if you can see the pixel structure of the TV. If even the finest details in the picture are perceived just as sharply as soon as you sit a little further away, you have sat too close. The real resolution of the image is the angle between two transmitted pixels. It is said that humans can differentiate them in about one arc minute (at 100% vision). Tests have shown that the ideal distance with Full HD is about three times the image height. However, these tests were made with PC-generated fonts, but video material is always softened (filtered) so that no moirés are visible. As a rule of thumb, we actually recommend our readers with a Blu-ray and Full HD screen to maintain a seat distance that’s triple the image height and have tried this ourselves in many long tests. For DVD content, you should sit almost twice as far away because of the lower resolution, and for analog TV or DVB-T, even further. In reality, however, this is not a question of pure resolution of source technology and screen; the real resolution always moves below it. It cannot exceed the native resolution of the screen and the source, but can be massively lower. And so, you better sit further away.”
Roland Seibt, deputy editor-in-chief of the “Video Homevision” magazine
Is the TV Viewing Distance important?
“There is a clear trend towards ever larger TVs. However, since the apartments are not getting any bigger, TVs with Ultra HD (UHD) resolution are an interesting alternative and also play an increasingly important role in our product planning. These TVs offer the possibility of integrating TVs with a screen diagonal of 46 inches or larger in almost any room. The optimal seat distance is half that of a Full HD TV, so users of large TVs can see a sharp, detailed picture even in smaller rooms with a smaller seat distance to the TV.”
Frank Eschholz, Product Manager Visual Solutions at Toshiba Europe
Viewing Distance for 65-inch TV
Based on our TV Viewing Distance Chart, the best viewing distance for a 65-inch TV is 8. 2 feet for 4K resolution, 13.5 feet for HD resolution, and 16.4 feet for SD resolution.
Viewing Distance for 75-inch TV
For a 75-inch TV, according to our TV Viewing Distance Chart, the ideal seating distance is 9.5 feet for 4K resolution, 15.7 feet for HD resolution, and 18.7 feet for SD resolution.
- 1 Chart: TV Viewing Distance
- 2 TV Distance Calculator
- 3 What’s the right TV size for my room?
- 4 Optimizing Viewing Distance, TV size and Resolution
- 5 Is the TV Viewing Distance important?
- 6 FAQ
A step by step guide
It’s always tempting to go big when buying a TV, but getting the very best viewing experience is all about finding the right size. If you want a telly that’ll be wall-mounted in your kitchen, a 65-inch OLED like the Samsung S95B isn’t ideal. Likewise, a 32-inch set will cause serious eye strain if used in many rooms. Luckily, we’re here to help you find the perfect screen size for your space.
If you’re aiming to create an immersive home cinema set-up for movies and shows, there’s a good chance that you’ll want to go as big as possible while pairing your TV with a quality soundbar. There’s nothing wrong with that, but we recommend making sure it’s at least 4K resolution – anything lower and you’ll likely see pixels on the display. While the big OLED models are the best for visual brilliance, we love that some of the best TVs under £500 come in big sizes, too.
- Best OLED TVs to buy in 2023
So, whether you’ve already got a TV in mind or are still researching, it’s time to get the tape measure out and follow our guide on how to find a model to fit your room. Need suggestions? Here are our favourite TVs that you can buy in 2023.
Know your screen size
TV screens are measured in inches – diagonally from corner to corner instead of side to side. Measure from the top left corner, bringing it down to the bottom right corner, ignoring the bezels around the display.
There you have it: that’s the size of your display. While every manufacturer has different ways of describing how to categorise TVs by size, we consider smaller sets to be between 30 to 40 inches, mid-size models to be between 40 to 55 inches and larger sizes to be 65 inches and up. If you don’t have a tape measure to hand, the screen size is listed on the box and on a label on the back of the TV, too.
Best 55-inch TVs
Best 55-inch TV for most people
£1,299 at John Lewis£1,487 at Amazon£1,599 at AO
Best 55-inch TV for user experience
£1,172 at Amazon£1,199 at appliancesdirect.co.uk£1,299 at AO
Best 55-inch TV for affordability
£449 at Argos£620 at appliancesdirect.co.uk£435 at Amazon
Best 55-inch TV for audio
£1,700 at John Lewis£2,297 at appliancesdirect. co.uk£1,999 at Curry’s
Know your resolution
Putting the tape measure aside for a moment, your next step is to find out your display resolution. It’s likely to be Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) or 4K/Ultra HD (3840 x 2160 pixels). We recommend that if you’re shopping for a larger screen size, go for at least 4K because this will give you crisp and clear picture quality. Still, most of the smaller-sized sets don’t need extra pixels to look good.
Recommended viewing distance
While measuring viewing distances isn’t an exact science, here’s the general guide: if you have a 4K TV the ideal viewing distance is from one to 1.5 times the TV screen size. If you have a Full HD set, the viewing distance is about 1.5 to 2.5 times the screen size.
There are a few ways that the recommended distances can be calculated: the first is based on finding the best size for a room (helpful if you’re able to move your furniture) and the second is based on how far you should be from the TV. Getting a large display means you’re able to sit further back to appreciate its high-definition glory, while for small screens you’ll need to be closer.
Knowing the maximum resolution of the TV display is important as this changes the recommended length of distance that you should sit from the set to get the best possible viewing quality. Just want the viewing distance guide. That’s fine, after all, buying a new TV is supposed to be fun, right?
Here are the recommended distances based on popular TV screen sizes in 4K:
• 32-inches: 32-48 inches (2.7-4 feet)
• 43-inches: 43-64.5 inches (3.5-5.4 feet)
• 50-inches: 50-75 inches (4.1-6.3 feet)
• 55-inches: 55-82.5 inches (4.5-6.8 feet)
• 65-inches: 65-97.5 inches (5.4-8.1 feet)
Don’t fancy doing sums? We understand. Thankfully, it’s easy to find a TV size calculator online that will help you to work out your own measurements.
How to find out TV viewing distances
Bear with us, as this gets formula-heavy fast – but there are a handful of ways you can find the best TV viewing distance for your own room.
One popular approach is that, for 4K TVs, you aim to sit at least the same distance from the set as the screen size – and if your TV is Full HD then multiply the screen size by two. So, if you have a 43-inch 4K TV you would sit at least 43 inches (1.07 metres, 3.5 feet) from the set, and if it’s 1080p you should sit 86 inches (2.2 metres, 7.2 feet) away. These are all minimal estimates, and it’s probably best to add a few extra feet to each of the distance suggestions.
Another approach is to consider the field of view (FoV). This is the viewing angle (measured in degrees) between you and the screen – the closer you get, the larger the number and the wider your FoV is. Experts recommend a TV FoV of between 36 to 40%. Get too close to a screen and you can’t focus without moving back to having to turn your head. If that’s happening, the FoV is too wide.
In this case, you’ll find the recommended viewing distance by multiplying the TV screen size by 1.2. So, for a 50-inch set, a good distance would be 1.6 metres or 5 feet. There’s no hard rule, but this gives you an idea of how far your seat should be from your TV to get the most immersive experience during Happy Valley.
Of course, this approach suggests you can shift your furniture. If you can’t, then start with the viewing distance available and work out a suitable screen size. To do this, you can just divide the available viewing distance by 1.2.
So, if you take the tape measure and find that you have around 100 inches (or around 8 feet) to work with from your comfy living room chair to your TV stand, then the largest TV screen size that’s recommended is 83 -inches. In reality, a 65-inch model like the brilliant LG C2 will still work just fine in that space.
What else should you consider about TV sizes for your room?
Personal preference: You don’t always need a calculator to find the most suitable TV for your room – and the formulas that exist are only designed to be a guide for how to get the best possible viewing experience of your movies and streaming shows. Do you want to wall-mount a 75-inch TV to a smaller living room because your eyesight isn’t the best and you don’t want to squint to see the picture? Ultimately, it’s completely up to you!
Price: Big TVs cost big money, especially if you want an OLED set like the Sony Bravia A80J for the absolute best picture quality. So, the choice of TV may come down to what you can afford, although it’s great that you can now get large 65-inch 4K sets – like the Toshiba QA5D63DB – for around £500.
Where your TV is placed: You can often go for a big-screen telly if you’re wall-mounting it, such as above a fireplace in a living room, while a more traditional setup will require that you have a cabinet or stand. We advise having a good think about where you’ll place your TV and how your room is laid out. Can you move your sofa to change the viewing distance? If not, this may instantly determine how big you can go without making the viewing experience uncomfortable.
Jason Murdock is our Deputy Technology Ecommerce Editor, writing across multiple titles including Good Housekeeping, Esquire and Digital Spy.
With more than eight years’ experience covering tech at publications including Radio Times, Newsweek and the International Business Times, Jason has extensive knowledge on the latest gear and gadgets – reviewing phones, tablets, laptops, headphones, smart home products and more – and covering the biggest shopping events of the year, including Black Friday and Amazon Prime Day.
For his coverage on cybersecurity in the International Business Times, he won Digital Writer of the Year at The Drum’s Online Media Awards in 2017. When not writing and testing the latest gadgets, you’ll find Jason playing the guitar or learning how to parent his new baby.
You can follow Jason on Twitter at @Jason_A_Murdock.
Manual – Which size TV to choose
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How to Measure Your
Calculating the ideal TV size is easier than you might think. The size of the TV is determined by the diagonal length from the top left to the bottom right corners of the screen itself. As a rule, the size is expressed in inches.
Bigger is better
TVs come in a variety of sizes, but we recommend choosing the largest size based on your budget. If you’re planning to buy a 75″ or larger TV, there’s a few things you need to know. According to Samsung’s internal research, many customers are buying new TVs primarily because of the demand for larger screens. And even after the purchase, they are very satisfied with the choice. So, have you already decided what size TV you will buy? Then it’s time to choose the big screen and not return to the past.
Recommended Screen Distance
All TVs have a recommended distance and viewing angle to consider when choosing a TV for your home. The best immersive viewing experience is achieved when the screen spans 40 degrees of your field of vision. This value is easy to calculate, knowing the size of the TV. To find out the appropriate distance, multiply the screen size by 1.2. For example, if you have a 75″ TV, you need to be seated at 90 inches, or 2.3 meters from it. To choose the best TV size for your space, take a look at the recommended viewing distance chart for different TV sizes.
Other points to remember
1. Check the actual TV size.
The excitement of buying a new TV can make you forget you have to install it. The TV is larger than its screen size. You need to be aware of the actual dimensions of the large screen TV, including the stand and frame, as well as its future placement in the room. Before buying, match the exact dimensions of the TV with the arrangement of furniture in the room to avoid problems when installing a large screen TV.
2. Check the resolution of the TV, especially with a large screen
As a general rule, as the screen size increases, the total number of pixels, or resolution, should increase. The higher the resolution, the clearer you see the image instead of pixels. Therefore, when buying a large screen TV, it is recommended to choose a high resolution, such as 4K.
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Optimum TV viewing distance depending on diagonal
The distance to the TV directly depends on the diagonal and type of display. A few years ago, hardly anyone wondered how far the device was from a sofa or bed, but today, when the dimensions of home TV reach impressive dimensions, the question becomes relevant. Many buyers want to purchase the largest possible TV that can fit into the environment. In order for viewing to be comfortable for a long time, without harming the eyesight of adults or children, the distance from the eyes to the center of the screen must be correctly selected, depending on the resolution and size of the TV diagonal in inches.
General rules and some amendments
Naturally, there are no strict limits on this matter, there are only some rules and recommendations on how far you need to watch TV. Previously, it was considered that the distance from the screen to the eyes should be three to four diagonals . So, if the diagonal is 32 inches (80 cm), then the person should be at a distance of 2.4 – 3.2 m, and a larger indicator can be slightly increased. The range allows you to choose the most comfortable position.
Such calculations of the correct distance from a person to the TV screen fell on the use of kinescope TVs , taking into account their diagonal. Rounded or flat monitors quickly tired the eyes and were devoid of any progressive technology. The same applies to TVs up to 720p. Modern plasma or LCD displays have higher parameters.
Flat screens do not create glare, and a high-quality picture does not cause eye fatigue.
Plasma has similar characteristics to LCD TVs and in terms of distance from the viewer, panel installation is no different. Projectors, in turn, allow you to adjust the size of the screen, but you will have to take care of the plane for the image in advance.
Formulas for calculating the optimal distance
Comfortable viewing directly depends on the diagonal size of the TV panel and the distance of viewers from the big screen. The larger the TV screen, the farther away the viewer needs to be. It is important that the image and sound accompaniment are heard in full in the field of view of the eye.
Some rules have been developed to determine the optimal location of the screen.
- For a home screen, the human viewing angle should be within 36-70°. According to THX recommendations, when operating a home theater, the optimal involvement of the viewer in the ongoing actions provides the viewer with a viewing angle of 40 °. Based on this value, the distance of seats from the screen is calculated, taking into account the diagonal length of the TV panel. To view content on panels with a diagonal of 60 – 90 inches, the viewer needs to be placed at a distance of about 2.4 -2.74 meters from the screen.
- The SMPTE standard from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers is based on a fixed 30° viewing angle. Based on this regulation, the distance to the screen with a diagonal of 65-70 inches should be about 2. 74 meters.
- The CNET calculation formula regulates the safe distance of the viewer from the screen. The distance must be at least 1.5 TV panel diagonals. For a 72 inch TV, the viewing distance should be 2.74 meters.
Important note! All 3 standards regulate the safety and comfort of viewing content in a home theater. Television LCD panels are less tiring for human vision due to the high viewing angle parameters and the absence of glare. Therefore, the distance for the TV, determined according to the regulations of THX, SMPTE and CNET, can be reduced to 1.7 meters.
Recommendations based on specifications
What do these technologies give a person? Their use has brought televisions to a new level. Today, 4K resolution is steadily conquering the market, even 8K TVs are appearing. Such clarity standards allow you to view the image from a very close distance, while no pixels will be noticeable – only a clear and most realistic picture. Accordingly, recommendations for watching 4K TVs take this fact into account and make some adjustments to the rules discussed above.
Full HD or UHD 4K resolution TVs (both flat and curved) allow you to significantly reduce the viewing distance to a minimum and fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a movie or game. Thus, a device with a screen diagonal of more than 32 inches will fit well into a small room. For more specifics, you can bring a small summary table in which TV manufacturers indicate from what distance their offspring can be watched without strain on the eyes.
|Diagonal size in inches||Full HD (1080h, 1080i)||UHD 4K|
In the first case, the diagonal size is multiplied by 1. 6, and in the second – by 0.8. Thus, it is not difficult to calculate the optimal distance for any panel size. For example, with a diagonal of 32 inches, the indicators will be 1.3 and 0.7 m, respectively.
Important to know! For 3D TV viewing, the same calculations are used, but for projectors, the diagonal needs to be adjusted based on the distance of the image plane from the person.
As you can see from the above, it is fairly easy to calculate how far a TV panel can be placed. Although the indicators are approximate, they highlight the basic framework, which is easy to adjust without harming the layout of the room. It is also worth considering the height at which the TV panel will hang.
The latest technologies have improved the matrices and allow you to relieve unnecessary eye strain, even if you watch several films in a row, the user’s condition does not deteriorate to a significant extent. But we must not forget that when viewing cervical spine are also involved. There are several important points based on the recommendations of medical specialists.
- Being too close puts stress on muscles and joints, which can be hard to control when watching.
- A remote location will have a negative effect on the spine, as well as on the eyes, forcing you to look closely at every detail.
- When installing a TV, it is important to take into account not only the distance at which it can be viewed, but also the height, tilt angle .
- Medical regulations do not recommend watching TV for more than 1.5-2 hours for adults, 1-1.5 hours for teenagers, and preschoolers are allowed to watch TV for up to 15 minutes a day.
In conclusion, we can conclude that it is the diagonal that determines the optimal distance from which it is permissible to watch TV. Simple calculations will help you navigate correctly when choosing a new model or redevelopment of a room.