For the best viewing experience, you’ll need the picture to fill up your entire field of vision. This is not the typical viewing area from your eyes, but rather of how much you can see or view while in sitting down position. Thus, for the most immersive experience, you would need the largest TV screen possible that would meet your room size, budget, mounting hardware/stand while also accommodate the viewing distance.
Best Seating distance for TV screen sizes
Again, if your budget allows, buying the largest possible TV that works with your room size turns out to be the best solution. Still, this is a two conditions verse, that is if the TV is too big for your room, you’re at risk of straining your eyes while an undersized TV doesn’t give you all the details of displaying the picture.
So before buying, measure the distance where the TV will be mounted or placed to where the sofa or seating structures will be. From there you will have a pretty good idea of which TV size would be to provide the best viewing area.
Typically for a 1080 HDTV, the viewing distance should be 1.5 to 2.5 times of the screen size while for the 4K Ultra HD it’s only a 1 to 1.5 ratio. The different resolution has different viewing distance as well. For your information, see the below table for a general TV screen size optimal viewing distances.
|TV screen size||Best Viewing distance range for 1080 HDTV||Best Viewing distance range for 4K UltraHD TV|
|24″||3 ft – 5 ft||2 ft – 3 ft|
|28″||3.5 ft – 5.8 ft||2.3 ft – 3.5 ft|
|32″||4 ft – 6.6 ft||2.6 ft – 4 ft|
|40”||5 ft – 8.3 ft||3.3 ft – 5 ft|
|43”||5.4 ft – 9 ft||3.6 ft – 5.4 ft|
|50”||6.3 ft – 10.4 ft||4.2 ft – 6.3 ft|
|55”||6.9 ft – 11.5 ft||4.6 ft – 6.9 ft|
|60”||7.5 ft – 12.5 ft||5 ft – 7.5 ft|
|65”||8.1 ft – 13.5 ft||5.4 ft – 8.1 ft|
|70”||8.75 ft – 14.6 ft||5.8 ft – 8.75 ft|
|75”||9.4 ft – 15.6 ft||6.3 ft – 9.4 ft|
|80”||10 ft – 16.7 ft||6.7 ft – 10 ft|
|85”||10.6 ft – 17.7 ft||7.1 ft – 10.6 ft|
|88″||11 ft – 18 ft||7.3 ft – 11 ft|
|98″||12.25 ft – 20.5 ft||8.2 ft – 12.25 ft|
Speaking of the chart, as you notice, the table above provides a range of distance for screen size. Thus, depending on how large your room is, of course, the smaller bound number is the optimal distance if your budget allows, while the larger bound one is the limit.
Still, those numbers are for perfect 20/20 vision, so depending on your usual situation, a test viewing may be required.
Also as you can see from the chart above, higher picture resolution require shorter viewing distance to keep your eyes from getting strain. However, for the newer 8k TV, that viewing distance becomes way too close for such a large screen size, thus your viewing area is short of out of range. This is what most people complaining about skipping the hype of getting 8k TV. But if you’re not on a budget and want a super large viewing area, then an 8k works like a nice treat for any movie session.
On the other hand, it’s totally fine to sit farther away than the recommending distances if you’re only getting a smaller TV as a temporal solution. It’s just a little bit wasteful of the high depth picture but otherwise doesn’t put constrain on anything.
There are other factors that would be affecting your viewing enjoyment as well. For instance, if you’re wall-mounting your TV, consider the angle at which it will be. Now, this will mostly depend on the type of chair or sofa you’ll be sitting on while watching. Since the recommending distance is measured from the front of the screen to just before your eyes level, this vertical angle will affect and thus reduce/increase as well.
Finally, a test view is always the best to determine whether it’s right or not. Try to place a similarly large poster or picture frame in the position and see if any discomforting exists. If you’re following the guide above, hopefully, you should be able to pick the correct size for your TV viewing distance. Keep in mind, that you can always reposition the sitting area and make it closer but not the other ways around though.
why are the distances for 1080 so much greater than the distances for 4k when everyone seems to agree that 4k has almost twice the resolution? 85″ 1080 is 10.6-17.7′ while 85″ 4k is only 7.7-10.6′. That seems exactly backwards, particularly for the difference in cost, does it not? Thanks
the distance recommendation was based on how far from the TV to the sitting area for the best viewing experience.
Since 4k TV resolution is so large, you can sit closer to enjoy without seeing the noise/pixelate on the picture. this also applies to 1080 TV, due to the lower resolution (compare to 4k TV), pixelate or image noise will be visible when you’re sitting too close.
The 4K screen would have to be displaying 4K *content* for you to be able to move closer without seeing pixels. If you’re watching HD content (1080), it will be pixel-doubled to fill those 4K pixels on the display and will look the same as if you were viewing an HD screen. Some displays will use interpolation to fill in the pixels rather than a simple doubling, but the image on the screen may appear to be fuzzy.
Another thing worth mentioning regarding viewing distance are video compression artifacts. The closer you get to your screen the easier it is to see the block/banding artifacts due to a lack of appropriate bitrate used in the video compression process. You see this particularly in streamed video (usually darker scenes from live broadcasts). If you back up from the screen these sort of artifacts are less noticable.