TV Viewing Distance: How Far Should I Sit From My TV?

The history of how we sit and watch television goes back almost three quarters of a century. In the late 1940s, the first channel in the UK was introduced (the now renowned BBC.) In the 1960s, the first CRT TVs were made (and gave off a little radiation to boot), fast forward to the 1970s where half of the TVs in all homes were in colour, the 1980s where the first 1,125 line- resolution TVs debuted, 1996, when the world hit 1 billion homes with televisions in their living rooms and bedrooms. That’s a lot of eyes on a lot of screens. 

With technology advancing, some of our ideas about the old ways to view television have become outdated. If you have a 4K TV, you don’t need to worry as much about how close you sit to the television because the resolution is so high, you’ll want to be close enough to see all the details on your favorite high definition show. Let’s go over the new types of televisions and what the standard is for each in regard to the ideal viewing distance, so you can enjoy watching a scary movie without worrying about an even scarier migraine afterwards. 

Types Of Televisions/Resolutions

Before we go into the distance breakdown for each, let’s break down which TV screen is the easiest on the eyes (both literally and figuratively in this case.) 

What Does Resolution Mean?

Resolution refers to the number of pixels used to make up an image on your television screen. A high resolution screen is defined by the amount of horizontal and vertical pixels it has. 

ResolutionDescriptionWidth (in pixels)
480i or 480pStandard Definition (SD)640
720pHigh Definition (HD)1280
1080i or 1080pHigh Definition (HD)1920
2160pUltra High Definition (UHD) or 4K3840

Most newer televisions today boast a 4k resolution, but a lot of homes still have the 1080p Full HD televisions. There are differences between how far 4k and 1080 viewers should sit to make sure eye strain and headaches aren’t a factor in your movie night. 

Distance For 1080p Televisions 

How far to sit from your television depends on both its size and the resolution  of the screen you have. If your TV is a traditional 1080p HDTV, then the size to distance ratio is between around 1.5 and 2.5 times the diagonal width of the screen. This means that:

  • With a 40’’ TV, sit between 1.5 and 2.6 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 50’’ TV, sit between 1.8 and 3.4 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 60’’ TV, sit between 2.3 and 3.8 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 70’’ TV, sit between 2.7 and 4.4 meters away from the screen.
  • With an 80’’ TV, sit between 3 and 5 meters away from the screen.

Distance For 4K Televisions

With higher resolution televisions like 4K Ultra HD, you can watch from a shorter distance without straining your eyes or seeing pixels. The ideal TV viewing distance for 4K Ultra HD TVs is between about 1 and 1.5 times the diagonal width of the screen, which works out to the following distances:

  • With a 40’’ TV, sit between 1 and 1.5 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 50’’ TV, sit between 1.2 and 2 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 60’’ TV, sit between 1.5 and 2.3 meters away from the screen.
  • With a 70’’ TV, sit between 1.8 and 2.7 meters away from the screen.
  • With an 80’’ TV, sit between 2 and 3 meters away from the screen.

Keep in mind that different manufacturers have different viewing distance recommendations, so you can always look at what they suggest as well. The numbers above are good for a start, but you also want to make sure you take your comfort and television position into consideration as well.  

Will Sitting Too Close To The Tv Hurt Your Eyes?

You will be happy to know that you do not need to pass the saying “don’t sit too close or your eyes will go crossed” to your children, because with technology as advanced as it is, any eye strain that may have occurred (there is actually no scientific data indicating this was EVER true) is now a thing of the past. 

Make sure however close or far you are sitting to the television, that you don’t strain your neck. While you may not need to worry much about how far you sit from the television with technology being as advanced as it is, make sure your television is placed in an area that is comfortable and accessible to your eye-line. You don’t need to have the most expensive television on the market to get the best viewing experience possible, just sit back, turn on your favorite show and enjoy!

Need A Quality TV Stand For Movie Night?

At MMT Furniture Designs, all of our wall brackets and cantilever TV stands are designed to fit into your home seamlessly. Style and function are at the heart of every piece we create, whether in the office, living room or any room in your home. We have a vast selection of TV stands with mounts and sleek wall brackets that will complement any space you place them in.

Browse our unique and hand selected gallery of TV stands and mounts in our online store and start entertaining today with trendy room fittings from MMT Furniture Designs.