Best TV viewing distance

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Use the best tv viewing distance for your television screen size

So, you've picked up your brand new HDTV, set up the sofas, and popped the popcorn: but what's the best tv viewing distance for your new device? What's the optimum placement for your seating arrangement?

On the flip side, if you know the space available to you -- How big  can you go and still be comfortable? Fortunately, there are many sites online which can help you with these questions. There are industry standard formulas to use, as well as easy cheats such as online calculators from top electronics manufacturers.

In the coming paragraphs, we'll take a look at specific formulas to assist you with placement, in addition to a few extras in terms of viewing angles and the proper vertical placement of your device. Read on to find out all you would ever want to know about televisions, couches, popcorn, and even math!

The Formula

Now, this isn't set in stone -- It's just meant to be a helpful study guide of sorts. Coming from Toshiba.com -- makers of a wide brand of electronics, including televisions -- the website offers insight into the best tv viewing distance. To do this, Toshiba multiplies the screen size by either 1.2 (for the minimum distance) or 1.9 (for the maximum).

You then divide by 12 in order to get the correct number of feet you will need between the couch setup and your new television. Let's take an example of a 40 inch screen size, so:

40 inches x 1.2 = 48, which is then divided by 12 to equal 4 feet for your minimum length.  Your maximum length from the new television would be:

40 inches x 1.9 = 76, which is then divided by 12 to equal 6.34 feet for you maximum length. Now that you've been forced to do math, we'll tell you that Toshiba offers a cheat sheet on their website. They provide minimum and maximum spaces for screen sizes of 40" up to 65".

You'll find that your top spot to watch is usually found between the minimum and maximum lengths -- Whatever is the most comfortable and looks the best during your testing stages. You will normally be able to find LCDs from 7 to 70 inches, LEDs from 32 to 55 inches, and plasma screens from 37 to 70 inches. Obviously, this is just a general guide, but helpful nonetheless when you have space constraints and you want the top location for your new device.

Angles and Such

You have the couch placed just right, the popcorn sitting in your small bowl, and The Avengers idling in your Blu Ray player: what more can you ask for? Well, a few things. It's important to keep in mind the number 40 as it's the left-right angle from your sight line on the couch. Keeping this angle at 40 degrees or less will improve movies, games, and regular television programs.

To get an idea (with help from the diagram to clear up any issues) head over to the Toshiba site to learn more. There, you'll find even more information on proper vertical placement of your new television as well as a slick calculator to help you with measurements. The calculator will give you a perfect length between the minimum and maximum distance every time.

Thus, with your popcorn still sizzling, The Avengers spinning in your player, and your television set up for maximum effect, the night is yours. Put up your feet, turn the sound system up, and enjoy!


The Home Cinema Guide: Understanding TV Viewing Distance and Flat Screen HDTV Sizes.

Toshiba.com: Recommended TV Viewing Distance.

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