The average person sits about 9′ away from their screen when watching TV. If this fits your viewing habits, it is recommended using a screen size of 46″ or larger. Additionally, THX recommends using a television screen that occupies 40° of your vision’s field.
You’ll get the best viewing experience by sitting centered in front of your HDTV. Make sure your screen is at eye level when sitting down to avoid neck strain.
Calculating Your Viewing Distance
-> For easy reference, refer to this viewing calculator.
To determine the minimum distance (in feet) you should sit away from your TV, use this formula.
(Diagonal Screen Measurement in Inches x 1.5) ÷ 12
For example, if your HDTV’s screen measures 42″ diagonally, you’d want to sit at least 5.25′ away. If your screen measures 60″ diagonally, you’ll want to sit at least 7.5′ away.
(If you can see the pixels on your screen, or lines while viewing your TV, you are sitting too close!)
Bigger Really Is Better
While it’s recommended to go as big as your budget will allow, don’t forget about your room measurement constraints—you don’t want your HDTV to dominate or overpower your room (unless it is a home theater room.) Smaller TV’s in the 20″ range are great for kitchens, and mid-range ones (30″ range) are better for the average bedroom. most people opt for televisions 42″ or larger for entertainment and living rooms.
Purchasing an HDTV is an investment—you’ll want your TV to last for years to come. If you can, invest in a large screen. If you watch more television in HD (as opposed to standard definition) a larger screen will better amplify high definition detail. Purchasing a larger screen will allow you to better immerse yourself in a complete HDTV viewing experience.