Recommended TV size for a given viewing distance

If you want to buy a new TV: What is the right TV size for a given distance? You already have a TV? Learn how far away you should sit from your TV to get the best viewing experience. Our site includes a handy calculator and table for the optimal sitting distance. However, modern 4k or 8k TVs promise that even with very large TVs (over 65 inches), you can sit quite close to the set and still not see any pixels. In reality, however, the resolution of the movie plays a big role.

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Chart: TV Viewing Distance

The following table provides recommended seating distances for various screen diagonals and resolutions, including 4K, HD, and SD.

TV Screen Dia­gonal (Inches)TV Vie­wing Dis­tance - 4K (Feet)TV Vie­wing Dis­tance - HD (Feet)TV Vie­wing Dis­tance - SD (Feet)

If you’re planning to buy a new TV and you know the distance from your sofa to your TV stand, these recommendations will help you find the right TV size for the best viewing experience. These are based on HD and 4K resolutions:

  • 32-inch TV: If your sofa is approximately 6.6 feet from the TV stand, an HD resolution would be ideal. For a 4K resolution, the sofa should be about 3.9 feet away.
  • 40-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for an HD resolution is 8.2 feet, and for 4K, it would be 4.9 feet.
  • 43-inch TV: A 43-inch TV is suitable if your sofa is about 8.9 feet (HD) or 5.2 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
  • 49-inch TV: This size works best if your viewing distance is about 10.2 feet for HD and approximately 6.2 feet for 4K.
  • 50-inch TV: A 50-inch TV is perfect if your sofa is around 10.5 feet (HD) or 6.2 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
  • 55-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for HD is around 11.5 feet, and for 4K, it’s approximately 6.9 feet.
  • 60-inch TV: A 60-inch TV suits well if your sofa is 12.5 feet (HD) or 7.5 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
  • 65-inch TV: This size is ideal if your viewing distance is about 13.5 feet for HD and roughly 8.2 feet for 4K.
  • 70-inch TV: A 70-inch TV is best if your sofa is around 14.4 feet (HD) or 8.9 feet (4K) away from the TV stand.
  • 75-inch TV: This TV size is optimal if your viewing distance for HD is approximately 15.7 feet, and for 4K, it’s about 9.5 feet.
  • 80-inch TV: An 80-inch TV suits well if your sofa is about 16.6 feet (HD, estimated value) or 10 feet (4K, estimated value) away from the TV stand.
  • 85-inch TV: This size is perfect if your viewing distance is around 17.7 feet for HD and approximately 10.5 feet for 4K.

These are general guidelines, and personal preferences, room size, and TV placement can all impact your choice.

Find more about size of TVs here: Including TV size charts and calculator.

TV Distance Calculator

This TV distance calculator can help you determine the ideal viewing distance for your TV based on its size and resolution, ensuring that you have the best possible viewing experience.

What’s the right TV size for my room?

Choosing the right TV size for your room depends on several factors including the space available, the distance between your seating area and where the TV will be positioned, the resolution of the TV (HD, 4K, etc.), and your personal viewing preferences.

As a general rule, for an optimal viewing experience, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommends a viewing distance that is about 1.5 to 2.5 times the diagonal width of your television for HD TVs. However, with 4K ultra-high-definition TVs, you can sit somewhat closer due to the increase in detail – around 1 to 1.5 times the screen diagonal.

So, for example, if your sofa is around 10 feet (120 inches) away from your TV stand, you can divide that by 1.5 and 2.5 for HD TVs to get a range of suitable TV sizes: 48 inches to 80 inches. For a 4K TV, divide by 1 and 1.5 to get a range: 80 inches to 120 inches.

Optimizing Viewing Distance, TV size and Resolution

It is worth knowing that all screens of the same class initially have the same number of pixels. But depending on the resolution in SD or HD, only fewer or more pixels are displayed, which may contribute to an apparently poorer image quality with a small viewing distance in the case of SD reception.

The TV size and viewing distance you choose, depend on your preferred content resolution (SD, HD, UHD, 4K, or 8K). For SD content, a smaller screen is advised to avoid visible pixels, or you can sit further away. Use the calculator to find the ideal screen size for you.

Most channels and streaming services, like Netflix, broadcast in HD. With HD, UHD (4K), and even 8K, larger screens are possible at closer distances, but 8K content will be limited for some time.

Image quality depends on factors other than screen size, such as reception source quality. Higher quality sources, like HD and Blu-ray, provide better images than SD TV or older DVDs.

In small spaces, a larger TV may still be worthwhile, depending on the content format. If you watch SD content, an HD TV might not be necessary. However, 4K TVs are becoming popular and provide a cinematic experience even in small spaces, making distance less crucial for picture quality.

For 3D TV, the viewing angle is crucial. Enjoyment is optimal at around 75 degrees; otherwise, it’s not as worthwhile.

“The more “area” of the field of view a TV picture takes up, the more immersive it becomes. So, ideally, you should sit as close as possible. But you can also sit too close, if you exceed the maximum resolution, i.e. if you can see the pixel structure of the TV. If even the finest details in the picture are perceived just as sharply as soon as you sit a little further away, you have sat too close. The real resolution of the image is the angle between two transmitted pixels. It is said that humans can differentiate them in about one arc minute (at 100% vision). Tests have shown that the ideal distance with Full HD is about three times the image height. However, these tests were made with PC-generated fonts, but video material is always softened (filtered) so that no moirés are visible. As a rule of thumb, we actually recommend our readers with a Blu-ray and Full HD screen to maintain a seat distance that’s triple the image height and have tried this ourselves in many long tests. For DVD content, you should sit almost twice as far away because of the lower resolution, and for analog TV or DVB-T, even further. In reality, however, this is not a question of pure resolution of source technology and screen; the real resolution always moves below it. It cannot exceed the native resolution of the screen and the source, but can be massively lower. And so, you better sit further away.”

Roland Seibt, deputy editor-in-chief of the “Video Homevision” magazine

Is the TV Viewing Distance important?

“There is a clear trend towards ever larger TVs. However, since the apartments are not getting any bigger, TVs with Ultra HD (UHD) resolution are an interesting alternative and also play an increasingly important role in our product planning. These TVs offer the possibility of integrating TVs with a screen diagonal of 46 inches or larger in almost any room. The optimal seat distance is half that of a Full HD TV, so users of large TVs can see a sharp, detailed picture even in smaller rooms with a smaller seat distance to the TV.”

Frank Eschholz, Product Manager Visual Solutions at Toshiba Europe


Viewing Distance for 65-inch TV

Based on our TV Viewing Distance Chart, the best viewing distance for a 65-inch TV is 8.2 feet for 4K resolution, 13.5 feet for HD resolution, and 16.4 feet for SD resolution.


Viewing Distance for 75-inch TV

For a 75-inch TV, according to our TV Viewing Distance Chart, the ideal seating distance is 9.5 feet for 4K resolution, 15.7 feet for HD resolution, and 18.7 feet for SD resolution.