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How To Choose The Right TV Size and Installation Height

I often get asked a very important question: what is the right size of TV to purchase and what height should it be mounted? Well, to a certain degree this question is a matter of personal preference, however, there are some good rules of thumb that I can share with you. To start with, the right TV size has to do with 3 factors: aesthetics, viewing angles and picture quality, and I will discuss each of these points separately.

TV Aesthetics

More often than not, the look of the TV becomes the #1 factor for my client’s decisions on TV size. Think of TV aesthetics in the same way you would think about a piece of artwork.The scale and height of the TV should make sense for the size of the wall and surrounding elements (fireplace, trim, artworks, etc.). Museum height for mounting artwork is 5-feet above finished floor (AFF) to the centre of the artwork and this rule often works well for TVs too. Also, the look of the TV should be considered relative to the décor; maybe it could be picture framed or built into a niche to look more traditional, transitional or contemporary depending on the desired look. There are many motorized options for hiding TVs these days as well if you don’t want to see it when not in use.

Viewing Angles

From a viewing experience stand-point some good rules of thumb that I like to use when working out TV size as it relates to viewing angles are as follows. Most of us like to sit in the middle of the theatre which has approximate viewing angles of 1.5X the screen width to the seating distance. For example, the width of a 70” TV image is approximately 5-feet.So you could be sitting as close as 7.5 feet away from this TV to have similar geometry to the middle of the movie theatre. So if you are going for a “theatre experience,” you may want a bigger TV than you are thinking. If you are going for more of a “TV experience,” think in terms of 2-3X the screen width to the seating distance. In terms of viewing height, think about how comfortable you will be when watching for an hour or two. If you are looking up significantly, this could be hard on your neck.

Picture Quality

Picture quality depends on the quality of the source you are watching and the quality of the TV. Also, keep in mind that the installation and set-up of the TV can greatly affect the quality. The better the quality the image, the closer you can comfortably sit to the TV. Nowadays, a lot of what we watch is digitally compressed images. You want to be far enough away from the TV so that you are not seeing “digital noise” in the image. If you look closely at a TV picture you will see what I am referring to.

Well that’s all the advice I have for now on this topic.Happy TV planning!