How Far Should You Sit From a Widescreen TV?

By Alexandra Romanov

If you are about to purchase a new wide screen television, you are probably wondering how big the screen should be to fit your room. Conventional wisdom says to max out your television to fit the room. That is, buy the largest television that you can afford and that your room can comfortably handle.


Determining how far you should sit from a wide screen television is important for your viewing pleasure. In making this determination, there is no difference between a wide screen television and a regular television.


There was a time when it was believed to ruin your eyesight if you sat to close to the television. That wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now. The biggest concern is with getting a headache induced by attempting to focus on the entire screen if you are to close. According to the American Medical Association, this is caused by the optic nerve being overly constricted. If you begin to develop a headache, move further away from the television.


Many people believe that the bigger the television, the better. This is not true if the television overpowers the room and is so large that viewing it is uncomfortable. You want to purchase a large screen but not one so large that you don’t enjoy watching you favorite programs.

Expert Insight

The best size for your room is going to depend entirely on the distance from the screen that the seating area is located. The further away from the seating, the larger the screen should be for optimum viewing. There is both a minimum and a maximum distance for the best view of the screen. When possible, you should attempt to find a screen size that has your viewing distance someplace in the middle.


The following sizes recommended by are listed with the minimum to the maximum distance in feet:26-inch screen size – 3 feet to 6 feet32-inch screen size – 3 feet to 7 feet 37-inch screen size – 4 feet to 8 feet42-inch screen size – 5 feet to 10 feet47-inch screen size – 6 feet to 12 feet60-inch screen size – 7 feet to 15 feetYou also want to take into consideration the television stand itself. If you are buying a new television stand, it’s not likely to be an issue. If you are using an old stand then you will want to be certain that your new television will fit.