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How Far Should You Sit From Your HDTV

How Far Should You Sit From Your HDTV

How far away do you sit from your HDTV?

A great topic that was made possible with thanks to poll conducted by the guys (and girls?) over at Gizmodo – How far away do you sit from your HDTV? And what is the optimal viewing distance?

As the results revealed, many of you are sitting too far away from your HDTV set to take in the benefits of the precision ‘definition’ that make up those crystal-clear images.

60% of the respondents with 40-inches 1080i/1080p HDTV sets, were sitting over 6 ft away from the screen, almost a foot to far away, according to the Lechner Distance chart.

Optimal Viewing Distance For Your HDTV

Optimal Viewing Distance For Your HDTV

For sets between 40 and 52 inches, 43% of respondents were sitting over eight feet from the screen, which in some cases, is almost 3 feet too far away.

The Lechner Distance chart illustrates the optimal viewing distances at which the human eye can best process the details a HDTV resolution has to offer. Bernard Lechner is an award winning television engineer who was heavily involved in the development of the HDTV.

His scale not only states how far away from the screen one should sit, it also suggests what screen sizes are optimal for both 720 and 1080 HD. For a 720 image, the screen should be no less than 46-inch, but to get the best out of a full 1080 HD image, Lechner suggests a screen of no less than 69-inches!

As many users opt for a slightly less sizable HDTV, we can use the Lechner Distance Chart to get the optimal view distance for smaller screens.


  • 28-inch set: 3.7 feet
  • 32-inch set: 4.2 feet
  • 37-inch set: 4.8 feet
  • 40-inch set: 5.2 feet
  • 42-inch set: 5.5 feet
  • 46-inch set: 6 feet
  • 50-inch set: 6.5 feet
  • 52-inch set: 6.8 feet
  • 60-inch set: 7.8 feet
  • 63-inch set: 8.2 feet
  • 70-inch set: 9.2 feet

So, we know it’s a fact that sitting to close to the TV will not make your eyes square, but now we know that sitting too far away from HDTV is no way to embrace your high-definition picture.

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  1. Excellent info – I am just starting my learning curve with the whole HDTV experience – motion resolution, viewing angle/distance etc and this is great. Thank you!

  2. I’ve come up with a “Lechner Distance Equation” for the sake of expediancy:

    If  you take the “Diagonal Width” divided by an “Roughly Averaged Divisor” you’ll get the “Averaged Optimal Viewing Distance” :


    The average was derived by dividing the examples in inches above by the stated distance resulting in a divisor of 7.6. 

    And yes I have a life believe it or not.  

  3. I don’t agree with the 42″  distance being 5.5 feet… I’m just over 6′ 4″ and sit 8 – 9 feet away from my Panasonic plasma with no trouble at all, when I sit closer I get problems after a while and I have 20/20 vision.

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