TV height is a very important issue when determining where to locate your TV, whether you’re using the included stand or mounting it on the wall. In addition to considering room design and accommodating furniture, viewing comfort should be high on the priority list of things to consider.
You Should Locate Your TV at the Right Height
Viewing comfort is an important factor when finding the optimal TV height because we spend so much time watching our favorite shows.
According to the New York Daily News, the average American watches 5 hours of television per day. With that much time in front of the TV it should be comfortable to avoid needing extra visits to the chiropractor.
When you go to the movie theater do you choose the front row seats or do you choose to sit a little further back and higher up? If you spend an extended period of time looking up too high you’re likely to get neck and back pains and are not likely to enjoy your stories on your brand new flat-panel.
What is the Best TV Height
Unfortunately there is not a one size fits all rule for the optimal TV height for those looking for a concrete answer and a specific measurement. The best TV height can be somewhat subjective and there is no easy answer.
Most video professionals agree that the optimal height for the optimal viewing experience is to locate the center of the screen at the same height as your eyes when seated.
The average height of your eyes when seated is 42″, assuming an 18″ sofa and 24″ from the seat to your eyes. If you center a 70″ TV at 42″, the bottom of the TV will be 25″ off the floor for optimal viewing.
Most often to get a comfortable viewing range the rule of thumb is to place the bottom of the TV 25″ from the floor.
This may compete with room design, which is another important consideration. Depending on personal preference it may be ok to raise the TV a little. If you lean back while watching TV you may raise the TV a little more.
How High is Too High to Mount a TV
The Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers requires a viewing angle of less than 35° from the viewer to the top of the screen. You should attempt to mount your TV in the most comfortable position possible, which is likely well below the maximum 35° viewing angle.
The sweet spot for the TV height in your room will depend on a few considerations:
- seating height, e.g. Sofa vs bar seating height
- seating angle, e.g. Do you sit back which raises our field of vision or do you sit more upright which would move your field of vision lower
- viewing posture and personal comfort varies
Additional considerations for TV height
- how much time is spent watching TV
- use of the room, e.g. is this a dedicated viewing space or a formal living space
- design preferences and room aesthetics
- furniture being used, e.g. the TV will go in an existing entertainment center
- room constraints, e.g. the only spot available is over a fireplace
- the cost of different mounting options
How to Find the TV Height Sweet Spot
To find your sweet spot we recommend sitting in your room and normally looking at where you want to mount your TV in the same posture as you would watch TV. Where do you feel comfortable watching?
One tip is to use painters tape to tape an outline of the TV at the desired height or cutting out a piece of the TV box that is the size of the TV to locate the most comfortable height.
It’s up to you if you want to concede viewing comfort for room aesthetics, but this technique will at least help find the most comfortable TV height for your room.
What Can You Do to Make a Higher TV Position More Comfortable
If you really want to mount your TV above your fireplace or high on the wall even though you know it isn’t comfortable you still have options. First, consider a tilting mount which will reduce glare and allow you to watch more straight on, refusing distortion.
We recommend a 32″-70″ tilting mount because it’s a cost-effective and easy to install tilting mount. Consider different seating that would allow you to lean back, which will naturally raise your field of vision. This is one of SMPTE’s recommendations when building movie theaters as well.
If a lazy boy is not in your future, consider locating seating further away from the TV which will reduce the viewing angle. Our TV viewing distance calculator can help you find your viewing distance range for your TV size to help determine how far back you can move your seating position.
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- David Hinkley, Average American watches 5 hours of TV per day, report shows, New York Daily News, https://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/average-american-watches-5-hours-tv-day-article-1.1711954
- Jason Carpenter, Best Viewing Angle and Height to Mount Your TV, Tom's Guide, https://www.tomsguide.com/us/how-to-mount-tv,news-24719.html
- Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, EG 18:1994 - SMPTE Engineering Guideline - Design of Effective Cine Theaters, https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/7513358
- My Home Theater, Vertical Viewing Angle, https://myhometheater.homestead.com/Verticalviewing.html