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Get the Right Size Television for Your Space

It’s common today to have more than one television in your home. From the kitchen to the bedroom to the family game room, practically every room is prime real estate for a television. When it comes to HD TVs, the ideal TV size depends on the size of the room in which you want to place it.

Range Recommendations versus Fixed-Distance Figures

Range recommendations are exactly what they sound like: an optimum distance range that accommodates a larger spectrum of viewing preferences. Fixed-distance figures are calculated based on the desired viewing angle to give the viewer that feeling of being immersed in the picture.

Manufacturers and retailers offer suggestions on range recommendations. They vary only slightly and ranges overlap, so optimum viewing distances can be more freely interpreted by the customer. For example, Best Buy recommends a viewing range of 5.8 feet to 11.5 feet for a 46-inch screen, Toshiba recommends a range of 6.0 feet to 19 feet. These ranges allow the customer to choose the viewing angle for the desired “immersion” effect.

Fixed-distanced measurements are all about the angle. If you prefer a smaller viewing angle as recommended by most manufacturers and retailers, the method for calculating distance is to multiply the diagonal measurement of the television by 2.5. This will give you a 20-degree viewing angle, closer to the upper end of the range measurements.

At a viewing angle of approximately 30 degrees, you would multiply the diagonal measurement of the television screen by 1.6. This is the distance most popular among home theater gurus. If movie-viewing is your primary objective, this may be the best distance calculation for you.

To get closer to the feeling of being in the action, the largest viewing angle of 40 degrees is the way to go. Multiply your diagonal screen measurement by 1.2 to calculate optimum viewing distance. This figure will put you closer to the lower end of the range measurements.

Will sitting too close to the TV damage my eyesight?

As a child, Mom always warned you that sitting to close to the TV would damage your vision. As much as Mom was right about, she got this one wrong. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, sitting close to the TV will not impair your vision. However, it may cause eyestrain. Most adults sit closer to their computer screens than their televisions. So your desktop is more likely a cause of eyestrain than your television. For the little ones in your home, keep in mind that children’s eyes can focus at close range without eyestrain better than adults. If your youngsters like to sit directly in front of the TV, they are probably just fine where they are. However, be sure that their preference for sitting two feet from the TV screen doesn’t stem from a more general issue with nearsightedness.