People in the UK spend on average 3 hours 40 minutes watching TV each day, according to Ofcom. That’s an awful lot of time each week squinting at the screen if you have annoying reflections, or craning your neck in pain if your TV is too high.
Watching TV should be entertaining not an endurance test. So it’s worth spending time before you set up to think about the best location for your TV. It could be a choice you live with for years to come – so make sure you avoid unnecessary headaches.
What’s the best distance to sit from the TV?
Sitting too close to the TV can hurt your eyes and cause you to miss the edge of the picture. Too far away and you’ll lose out on the sharp detail of high resolution screens such as 4K. This is why you need to be smart about choosing the right screen size for your home.
For the best viewing experience choose the right TV size for the distance in your room:Work out the best height for your TV
You want your TV to be in a comfortable position for director’s-cut-length movies and epic Netflix sessions. Think eye level from your sofa, rather than a tilt up or down. Here’s how to work it out:
- sit comfortably on the sofa and get someone to measure the height between the ground and your eyes
- measure the same height on your TV wall and mark the spot with a pencil
- match the centre of your TV with that pencilled spot
If that’s too low – for example, if you’re mounting your TV above a fireplace – you can get round this by choosing a TV mount with forward tilting so you can adjust it downwards.
Managing your lighting
No one enjoys trying to follow a favourite soap amid a sea of reflections.
If you have a particularly sunny room then, of course, avoid placing your TV in front of direct sunlight if possible. If not, then invest in a pivoting TV wall mount so you can move the TV to avoid the glare.
If sunshine’s the least of your worries (because you love a marathon movie session in a darkened room) you might have noticed that your eyes start to water or get dry, or sometimes that you may even get tension headaches. This is because you’re making your eyes adjust constantly between the darkness of the room and your TV’s screen.
It’s easy to avoid this strain. Place a neutral-coloured lamp behind the TV to create what’s known as a ‘bias light’, which ups the ambient lighting level in the room without making the TV image look worse.
Tip: don’t choose a coloured bias light as it will drain that colour from your TV’s image.
Bias lighting also counteracts glare from floor lamps positioned behind you, like reading, table or ceiling lights. If positioned badly, these can reduce your TV’s contrast, creating glare and a hazy image.
Bias lighting works with problem reflections on curved TVs too. Curved TVs can sometimes stretch and distort reflections making them more prominent than on a flat screen TV.
Prefer to leave it to the experts?
Too much hassle? Call in our experts who can advise on the best location and position for your TV when they arrive to install it.
You’ll need to make sure you’ve carried out certain checks and have the necessary equipment first. Find out more about our Knowhow service.
Picture Perfect Plus
When you first get your new TV, there are a couple of steps you need to take to ensure you get the best possible picture quality. Most TVs arrive set up for the bright fluorescent conditions of a shop, so you’ll need to adjust the settings to see all the fine detail your TV is capable of.
You can learn how to make the most of your TV with the Picture Perfect video guide created by our Knowhow experts.
In simple steps, the guide will show you what to do, talk you through the settings to change and even give you a whole suite of professional quality tools to use if you want to take your viewing to the next level. Picture Perfect Plus includes test patterns for 4K UHD TVs, as well as audio setup tones for optimum speaker placement.
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