Hanging back and relaxing in the quiet comfort of your own home is one of life’s greatest pleasures. There’s nothing quite like watching movies, playing video games, or binging on the latest seasons of your favourite shows. Whether you’re alone or with loved ones downtime is necessary, but you still need to ensure you’re doing it the best way. Putting the right distance in between your face and your television is vital. Now, especially since you’re spending more time at home, is a great time to evaluate your viewing distance from your television. Here are some suggestions to ensure you’re protecting your vision and getting the best out of your TV. 

How to Choose the Best TV Viewing Distance

Having optimal viewing distance is necessary to protect your precious eyesight. If we’re being honest with ourselves, we spend more time than we should in front of screens. Are we going to spend less time in front of our screens? Maybe. But in case we aren’t, the best case scenario is to make certain we’re doing everything we can to preserve our eyes. You’ve been told time and time again as a child to not sit too close to the television. You’re parents had a point, but your television likely looks completely different now. Unless you’re into nostalgia. 

Sony 65” 4K Android Smart TV

What is the Recommended Television Distance?

The recommended distances for watching TV varies depending on the size, model, and features your television has.  I’ll be using a 65” television, such as the Sony 65” 4K Android Smart TV, which is vertically about 32” as an example. Sony has their recommendations for 4K, High Definition, and Standard Definition TV’s up on their website. Using the vertical side of your television, they’ve provided a calculation to recommend a distance. If you’re viewing on a 4K television, the recommendation suggests having 1.5 times the size of your TV’s vertical side of distance between your seating area and your TV. So, if your television is vertically 32 inches, you’d at least 48 need inches, or 4 feet of distance away from it. 

More distance is needed between High Definition and Standard televisions. This is because the resolution on a 4K television is higher, and therefore much easier on your eyes. Sony’s suggestion is to have 3 times the vertical size of an HD TV, and 6 times the vertical size of a Standard television screen. On a television with 32” vertical height you would need 8 feet of distance from an HD TV and 16 feet from a standard television. 

What does this mean for you? 

Now that you know what’s recommended, you have to also consider your own space. Most rooms don’t have the capacity to put 19 feet of distance between your seats and your 80” standard television screen. This means you’ll need to assess your space, and what kind of television is best for the room you’re putting it in. If you want a bigger screen but have less space, you’ll want to consider getting a suitably sized 4K TV, as they are better for closer views. If you have lots of space to spare, you can create your very own theatre room. However, I’d highly suggest if you don’t have the space for it, save your eyes and your money on a smaller screen. 

A properly distanced screen will allow you to enjoy the full capacity of your television. If you’re sitting too close to a wider screen, you may not be able to enjoy the full view of your program. This can cause neck strain in addition to eye strain. The more properly calculated the distance, the better image clarity, the better your entire experience. Additionally, you will want to consider what the television will be used for. If it’s primarily for viewing movies and shows, you definitely want to set up your space and distance accordingly. If you’re a gamer, you may want to sit a bit closer to the action, so you’ll probably want to invest in a smaller screen for this.

Again, the more space you have, the bigger screen you can get. But remember that a bigger TV doesn’t necessarily mean a better viewing experience. If you don’t have the appropriate space for it, whether it’s big or small, you could actually end up not being able to enjoy the full capacities for your television. 

Other Television Viewing Factors

In addition to ensuring you’re at a proper distance from your screen, you will also want to consider a few other factors. The angle of your TV also plays into your viewing experience. You’ll always have the best view with the TV placed directly in front of your face at its appropriate distance. This will allow you to look straight ahead, and not have to twist your neck to get a full view. Lighting is also extremely important. You want to make sure your television isn’t placed directly behind a major source of light. This will not only avoid glare, but also avoid your eyes being strained from excessive light being taken away from the picture. Here are some more of my home theatre lighting suggestions on the Best Buy Blog.

No matter what room you’re putting a television in, there’s an ideal distance that it should be placed. Considering this will preserve your irreplaceable eyes, and also give you the best possible viewing experience with your television screen. Just consider the room it’ll be going in, how much space you have, what kind of TV you’re in store for, and go from there. Your eyes will surely thank you. 

Originally a Vancouverite, Shadi is a freelance writer and social media coordinator now surviving the winters of Toronto. She spends her free time reading, doing creative writing, and trying to make her Fitbit proud. Shadi can also be found in the kitchen as she trains for the next round of Masterchef tryouts.