What Is the Optimum Viewing Height for My Big Screen TV?

By Alice Drinkworth

A big screen television can be the central feature of the family room. Placing it at optimal viewing height allows hours of entertainment without causing eye strain or a crook in the neck.

Optimal Height

The most comfortable television viewing places the center of the TV at eye level when sitting down, which for most people, puts the center of the television about three to four feet off the ground. This placement is not always aesthetically pleasing. Many consider the television too low, especially those with televisions that mount to the wall. For some, it looks nicer to have the television over the fireplace, or mounted like a piece of art.

Mounting Options

Television stands may put smaller televisions at optimal height, but big screen televisions are larger, and therefore need to be positioned lower. One alternative is to put the television on a tilting mount, which lets you angle the television screen to minimize neck strain.

Angle and Distance

The angle and distance from your big screen television also affects the viewing experience. It is best to view most televisions head on. Angle furniture for television viewing no more than 30 degrees from the center. Distance from your big screen television may be a matter of preference. The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends sitting five times the length of the television away from the screen. That would be 20 feet away from a 52-inch screen. Crutchfield recommends closer views, with seating for a 52-inch screen 6.5 to 10.8 feet away.