The correct distance between the seats and the television

How far should you sit away from the TV and is it always better to go further away? In the meantime, the opposite applies, especially with 4K televisions: the closer, the better. TECHNOLOGY BUTTON explains.

This topic is often discussed: What is the perfect seat distance from the television? Because with the advent of ever higher resolution screens, old rules of thumb from the tube era became superfluous. Suddenly the motto is again: get closer to the television! But how close? TECHNOLOGY BUTTON explains it.

The resolution and TV size determine the distance between the seats

The correct distance from the television to sitting on results from several factors. The aim should be to sit far enough away that you can no longer see individual pixels, but you also don’t sit so far away that details are lost.

The most important thing is what you want to watch on the television, because the level of detail of an analog television transmission is significantly lower than that of an HD stream or a 4K film (with four times the HD resolution). The screen diagonal of the television is also important: the larger the screen, the larger the individual pixels. However, 4K televisions have such a high resolution that it hardly matters – that’s why you can sit closer to the screen here than with HD TVs.

In addition, with all the technical factors, you shouldn’t ignore what you consider to be a good distance. The closer you sit in front of the television, the more your eyes have to wander over the screen – some can find that exhausting in the long run. And the ideal sitting position can also change depending on your eyesight.

Rules of thumb for the correct sitting distance from the television

So when trying to find the right distance from the TV to sit on, there are a number of rules of thumb that can be used. It is also worth paying attention to this when buying the TV and, if necessary, measuring beforehand at home how big the distance between the couch and the TV will be.

For the following rules of thumb you need the screen diagonal in centimeters. Traditionally this is given in inches. One inch is the equivalent of 2.54 centimeters. A screen with a diagonal of 40 inches has a diagonal of 101.6 centimeters – a good one meter.


A question of resolution

Analog TV:  If you watch mainly analog TV on the TV, it is advisable to sit a little further away from the TV. The analog TV picture is low resolution and modern TVs can upscale the picture, but picture details cannot conjure up either.

If you watch mainly analog TV, the following rule of thumb is recommended: The screen diagonal in centimeters multiplied by the factor 3. Calculated using an example, this means for a 40 inch television: 101.6 centimeters * 3 = 304.8 centimeters. So you should sit around 3 meters away.


HD:  With an HD image with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, you can get a good deal closer. In this case, Samsung recommends determining the distance between the seats for in-house televisions with a factor of 2.1.

In the example with a 40-inch television this gives: 101.6 centimeters * 2.1 = 213.4 centimeters. This means a distance of just over 2 meters.


4K:  And you can get even closer with 4K footage. The resolution of 3840 x 2160 allows even sharper details and can therefore also be viewed from closer up. Here the multiplier shrinks to 1.5. Sitting so close to the TV is only worthwhile if you are actually watching 4K videos.

In the example of the 40-inch television, this would result in a calculation of 101.6 centimeters * 1.5 = 152.4 centimeters – i.e. only 1.5 meters. Of course, you don’t want to sit so close to the television to a certain extent. This also explains why the high 4k resolution is only really worth it if you have a really large TV. With the 40-inch TV mentioned in the example, you can quickly sit too far away to make out any clear differences between HD and 4k.

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