A viewing distance is as much as important as buying a 4k TV, surround sound speakers, or soundproofing your home theater system. It can make or ruin the theater experience. That’s why pay special attention to it.
Now that you have got a good quality TV/projector screen, or you are considering buying one. You will have this question on your mind. What is the best viewing distance for a home theater screen both for projector & TV?
As a general rule of thumb, for 4K and 8K projector/TV screens multiply its vertical size by 1.5 times its size and the result will be a viewing distance, for 720p and 1080p multiply by 3, and for lower than that multiply by 6 times.
The viewing distance is related to the vertical size of the screen but the picture quality plays a role.
To apply this rule. If your TV or projector screen is 4k or 8k then you can simply sit from a distance that is 1.5 times the vertical screen size. If your 4k screen is 65 inches then you should sit at a distance of 48 inches approximately.
Keep reading to know how to mine the vertical screen size value and calculate the viewing distance for your screen size in seconds. I will also answer the most important related questions.
Viewing Distances & Screen Sizes Table
Here is the comparison of each size of the screen with its viewing distance for your convenience.
|TV/Projector Screen Size diagonally |
|4K TV Distance||1080p/720p TV Distance||Lower Resolutions TV Distance|
|45 inch||34 inch (2.83 ft)||64 inch (5.33 ft)||133 inch (11.08 ft)|
|50 inch||37 inch (3.08 ft)||74 inch (6.16 ft)||147 inch (12.25 ft)|
|55 inch||41 inch (3.41 ft)||81 inch (6.75 ft)||162 inch (13.5 ft)|
|60 inch||44 inch (3.66 ft)||89 inch (7.41 ft)||177 inch (14.75 ft)|
|65 inch||48 inch (4 ft)||96 inch (8 ft)||192 inch (16 ft)|
|75 inch||56 inch (4.66 ft)||111 inch (9.25 ft)||221 inch (18.41 ft)|
|85 inch||63 inch (5.25 ft)||126 inch (10.5 ft)||251 inch (20.91 ft)|
|95 inch||70 inch (5.83 ft)||140 inch (11.66 ft)||280 inch (23.33 ft)|
|105 inch||78 inch (6.5 ft)||155 inch (12.91 ft)||309 inch (25.75 ft)|
|115 inch||85 inch (7.08 ft)||170 inch (14.16 ft)||339 inch (28.25 ft)|
|125 inch||92 inch (7.66 ft)||184 inch (15.33 ft)||368 inch (30.6 ft)|
|135 inch||100 inch (8.33 ft)||199 inch (16.58 ft)||398 inch (33.16 ft)|
|145 inch||107 inch (8.91 ft)||214 inch (17.83 ft)||427 inch (35.58 ft)|
|155 inch||114 inch (9.5 ft)||228 inch (19 ft)||456 inch (38 ft)|
You will also learn to calculate these values in 2 easy steps in the below instructions
Download This Chart In Printable Form From Bottom Of This Article
Other viewing measures such as distance, viewing angle, mounting of the screen, and throw ratio. These values can together break or make your screen viewing experience. Read this article for these additional values to super fire up your theater experience altogether.
How Do You Calculate Viewing Distance? (The values at the above table)
As we all know that TVs and projector screens in the market are measured by their diagonal. Like 65, 75, or 85 inches of screen. In this case. How to find its vertical screen size and then divide it with my recommended value and find the viewing distance for it?
Well, I have a simple two-step process for you.
Get the 75 inches diagonal value of the TV or projector screen. Don’t search for diagonal value as they measure the TV in diagonal already.
The 75 inches TV, diagonal value is 75. Head over to this screen measuring tool here with this value and follow the below steps.
- Select the aspect ratio of 16:9 in the tool above. Home theater screens are mainly available in this ratio.
- Put the diagonal value of 75 in the diagonal section
- You will get the height value of that TV, and that will be 36.8
- Now, multiple this value by 1.5 and you get 55 value
- This new value is the viewing distance for you in inches
- Everything is so damn simple now.
If you want to calculate the distance of the screen for the second and third-row then follow my this optimized formula for that.
What About Screen Viewing Angle?
The reputable organization of SMPTE recommends that you must watch your screen at 30 degree viewing angles.
Now this will get more confusing for you to do a degree calculation for your home theater screen.
As we follow the screen height calculation formula above. That will pretty much work the same for satisfying this SMTP recommendation viewing angle degree.
Simply go and multiply the height of the screen by 1.5 for 4K resolution. The desired value will be your viewing distance. And at this distance, you will automatically get a degree value that will be near to this 30-degree angle.
After angles and distances, you can try my these 13 theater experience improving tips for the best experience possible.
Other Things To Take Into Consideration For The Best Experience
Screen Mounting Position
This one value completely depends on your experience. That’s why we will identify the perfect spot for mounting position according to your comfort.
It is very important that you do not select a very high spot for mounting because then you will experience strain in your neck.
- Sit on the Sofa that you have installed in the middle of the room and the assistant should be standing with the wall where you will mount the TV
- Now closely observe different spots at the front of your wall
- Where you feel that your neck and the whole body is comfortable
- The point at the spot and your assistant should mark that spot with the pen
- Now this is your spot for the screen mounting
How Far Should A Projector Be From The Screen?
This question can be answered from the Throw ratio and Light output value.
Now that you have successfully calculated the viewing angle or in other words the viewing distance.
Other things to look after are throw distance and light output value.
The throw ratio of any projector determines how far you should keep the Projector from the screen in order to get your desired size of the image.
You can consult the projector manufacturer and talk to them about this throw distance ratio.
But in short, if your projector throw ratio is 1.7. It means that you should place your projector at 1.7 feet distance in order to project a screen size of 1 foot.
Now that you have calculated the throw distance ratio, now what about that projector brightness. The projector should be bright enough to give you the optimal result you are desiring for your screen.
The light output value is responsible for the projector brightness. It is measured by lumens. The greater the lumens the brighter will be the image.
If your home theater room can block out light then you will need at least 1500-2000 of lumens projector.
Read my soundproof home theater guide, it will also help you to block out the theater room.
A projector throw ratio plays a very important role in the distance from the screen. You can read my this best short-throw projector review.
Resolution And Pixels
Other things are resolution and pixels.
No matter how correctly you calculate the viewing angle and viewing distance from the screen. If your resolution and pixels are not supporting you, then all these calculations will go in vain.
If your TV is not providing you a higher pixel density of pixels across the screen then you will have to watch it from a distance in which your eyes don’t notice individual pixels.
But if the TV screen is providing you a lot of pixels across the screen and very tiny size of each pixel then you can watch it from a lesser distance than the lower density pixel TVs.
But don’t worry too much about this pixel density because modern TV brands do provide a higher density of pixels. Like many new 8k TVs provide 33 million pixels across the screen.
But you must confirm higher pixel density before buying any TV.
Another thing is resolution. Never settle down for less than the 4K resolution for both TV and projector. This will give you the best picture quality from a lesser distance without noticing any individual pixels.
This formula for calculating the perfect viewing distance works fine when you thrive for the 4k resolution and good throw distance ratio and lumens for the projector too.
This will instantly satisfy the formula for your theater room. Otherwise, you will have difficulties with adjustments.
Screen Size And Viewing Distance Chart (Downloadable)
This chart is created for those who want a more handy form of it. All values in this chart are calculated by SMPTE standards. You can confidently follow these values.
What Is The Best Projector Or TV Screen Size For My Room?
I just told you about this process briefly but let me break it down for you in a step-by-step manner.
- You need an assistant and measuring tape. The assistant can be your Spouse or Child.
- Now hold the measuring tape at one end with the wall, where you will mount your projector screen or TV
- Now your assistant will hold another end of the measuring tape and should walk away from the wall
- The assistant should stop moving when they reach the middle of the room. Because after sitting you will also need to surround sound speakers to place at your surroundings.
- Let’s suppose the distance from the wall to the middle of the room is 85 inches
- Now divide this 85 value by 1.5. The result will be 56 inches. This is the height of the TV or projector screen.
- Now put this height value into the screen size calculator tool, and you will get a diagonal value of 115. The tool is mentioned above.
- This means that you can get around 115 inches 4k TV or projector screen for your theater room according to the 16:9 aspect ratio formula.
- You will have the best audio listening and video viewing experience in the middle of the room
As you are concerned about the projector mistakes to avoid. Also, These are the 17 most common home theater mistakes that newbies make and it is an instantly fun killer. Avoid these to have the best experience. I have written it with so much love.
How far should I sit from my TV for gaming?
If you are considering gaming for your home theater room, then the calculation for its viewing distance will be a little different because games rely on latency and frame refresh rates.
You will have to sit from the screen at a distance that must be 2.5 times the diagonal size of the screen.
The above formula that we discussed is for movies and for other videos like sports, and it is calculated by the vertical screen size.
This was my opinion, learn more about it from this Reddit discussion
Is it bad to sit too close to the TV?
Well, it is not harmful to sit closer to the TV. It will not damage your eyes, but it will strain your eyes. Your eyes will feel the strain quickly.
It is recommended to follow the viewing distance formula above for this.
This was my opinion, learn more about it on AAO.org blog
What is a safe distance to watch TV?
The formula that we used to calculate the viewing distance will help you to achieve a safe watch distance for the TV.
Simply multiply the vertical screen height of the TV by 1.5 in case your TV is 4k. Then the resulting value will be the safe distance for your TV to watch it from.