skip to Main Content

Are you Ready for Some Football?

Seating placement in home theaters is very important for an optimal viewing experience.

The NFL has kicked off a new season and folks all over the country are evaluating they way they watch their favorite team.  It’s highly likely that a few of them (more like a lot of them) have already had the discussion that they need a bigger/better TV and “Wouldn’t it be neat to have a media room?”  Whether you choose a big screen plasma, video projection, or a wide flat screen model, where you place your seating can affect how well you view the big game.

There is quite a bit of math and physics and research that has gone into this subject.  It hasn’t been “Well, I can see the screen pretty good from here…”  The so-called sweet spots that your Uncle Tim so quickly takes when he comes over on Sunday has been determined by factors such as screen resolution, screen width, screen height, seating height, peripheral viewing, etc.  In the end, though, even placing your sofa or lazy-boys somewhere near the optimal viewing distance is going to give you a good experience.

BASIC RULES OF THUMB FOR SEATING PLACEMENT

  • 2′-to-5′ Principle: The nearest seating position should be limited to approximately twice the screen width while the furthest seating position should be no more than five times the width of your screen.
  • 30° Angle on Sides:  Seating along the sides of the screen should be at no less than a 30° angle from the center of the screen. This may need to be a larger angle depending on what type of TV you are using.  The nature of some sets may lose their resolution when viewed from the side.
  • Screen Height:  The line of sight should come center of the screen.  This is more important for older large screen televisions with rear-projection, or small sets with a standard base than it is for the larger or wall-mounted flat screens or projection systems.

There are online calculators that you can use to determine the best distance for your seating based on the actual dimensions of your TV.   If you are installing a projection system with theater surround, a trained home theater professional would be best in advising your room placement.

If you are planning to add a media room to your home–whether it’s new construction or repurposing a family room–contact me to set up a consultation or for more information on an eDECORATING plan!

A word about mounting over a fireplace:  This has become a very popular location for people to mount their flat screens.  It’s understandable from the standpoint of minimizing multiple focal points in the room, but unless your room is very long, or the ceilings are low, this is very rarely the best place to put a TV.  The angle is awkward and can result in neck pain.