Believe it or not, proper placement can have a huge effect on your TV’s performance. Both image and sound quality can be significantly reduced by putting the TV in the wrong place. You don’t want to, and you definitely don’t want to . A slight seating shuffle, or adjusting your preferred pedestal placements, could yield better picture quality or allow for a larger TV.
I can’t come to your home to help with ideas (sorry), but I can give you some do’s and don’ts when it comes to TV placement, to point you in the right direction (i.e., toward the screen).
Before you get the idea of a 22-inch LCD stuck in the corner of the ceiling,, or putting an 84-inch smack in the middle of the room, keep the following tips in mind.
Do’s: 5 things to do before you set up your new TV
Do check TV height
While there’s no set height for TV placement, ideally you don’t want the TV to be too high. Staring up at a TV is like sitting in the front row of a movie theater. It’s not ideal, not comfortable and not conducive to long viewing sessions. Generally speaking, you want the center of the TV to be about eye level, or even slightly lower. This is true whether you’re mounting the TV or putting it on a stand. For more on this, check out:
Do check the distance from your couch to your TV
It’s unlikely anyone reading this is going to be sitting too close to their TV. Sitting closer to your TV has two benefits: It fills more of your field of view (so it’s more immersive), and you can see more resolution (the image is more detailed). If you can’t or don’t want to sit closer, you can alternatively get a larger TV. Check out this article onfor more info.
Do look out for sources of TV glare
Room lighting and reflections are the no. 1 killer of TV images according to a study I just made up. The fact is, nearly every modern TV has a reflective screen, and I don’t care how awesome your lamps are, they’re not as interesting as what’s on TV. Sure, you can just turn off the lights (or close the blinds), but sometimes that’s not easy or possible. If it isn’t, check out our piece on.
If you’re thinking of wall mounting, keep in mind all the Do’s mentioned so far. Plus, if you’re thinking of getting an LCD, make sure you get a wall mount that’s able to pivot or adjust. With few exceptions, LCDs have worse performance if you’re not sitting directly in front of them. Being able to pivot or move a wall-mounted TV so it’s aimed directly at your eyeballs will be a huge improvement in picture quality (compared to the same TV not aimed at you). It’s worth mentioning at this point that.
Do consider more than style
When it comes to TV stands, there are countless options. Consider the TV height in addition to whatever style you like. Most stands are fairly uniform in height, and a few inches above or below ideal isn’t going to matter, but a large TV on a tall stand isn’t a great idea.
Do consider safety, especially if you have young kids
Turns out that falling TVs injure a lot of kids every year. Find outif you’ve got kids or lively pets.
Don’ts: 7 common TV placement mistakes
Don’t mount your TV too high
A TV at the correct height is going to look really low when you’re standing. Which is fine, since most of the time you won’t be standing when you’re watching it.can literally be a pain in the neck. If you want a good laugh, there’s an entire subreddit devoted to pictures of people who have mounted their TVs too high.
Don’t mount a TV above the fireplace
Seriously. Don’t. For the above reason and more (not the least of which is that heat is the enemy of all electronics). Even if you never use your fireplace, mounting a TV above it is almost always too high to watch from a couch.
Don’t feel limited by a cabinet, bookcase or entertainment center
If you have a cabinet, bookcase or entertainment center where your TV has always been, it’s worth considering losing it. That’s a big ask, especially for a new TV, but consider two things. First, it not only limits the size of the TV you can get, but the quality. If your cabinet can only fit a 42-inch TV, know that the better TV tech like local dimming, OLED and Mini-LED are almost exclusively available in larger sizes. If they can be found in smaller sizes, there are usually only one or two models. Second, depending where the TV’s speakers are located, a cabinet could severely reduce the TV’s sound quality and volume. (If you have a 5.1 speaker system or soundbar, this won’t be an issue.)
Don’t put your indoor TV outside
Don’t. There are TVs made for just that. Or, if you don’t want to spend the money on a TV designed for outdoors, just know that any TV you leave out there isn’t likely to last long (even if it’s under an awning). Best to bring it in when you’re not using it.
Don’t feel you need a ‘real’ TV
For kitchens and bathrooms, something like aor might get you everything you need without the size and hassle of a full-size TV.
Don’t sit too far away from your TV
However, you can get a larger TV to compensate. At 10 feet away, you could get the largest TV on the market and still not see pixels.
Don’t put your TV at a weird angle
If you have to turn your head to see the screen, it’s just going to lead to sore necks. Twisting your head a bit may not seem like a big deal, but keeping it that way for hours at a time can be a pain — literally.
Let’s take two rooms as examples. First room: You have a great TV, mounted high on a wall near the corner, with the sofa and adjacent lamps, on the other side of the room in the other corner. These poor folks have a small-seeming TV, lots of reflections, and stiff necks from turning and looking up at the TV. Second room: The TV is mounted at eye level, the sofa is 8 to 9 feet away, and there are no lamps to reflect on the screen. In which room would you want to watch a marathon of?
Proper placement can determine a significant portion of the overall enjoyment of a new TV. It’s worth considering adjusting your room to be more conducive to comfortable TV viewing. Not only will you gain potential picture and comfort improvements, but in the process, you might free up more space for other things. Like a rug that really ties the room together. Or that life-sizeyou’ve always wanted.
Once you’ve got the placement figured out, here’s how to. Or, if you’ve already got it set up, here are some important , including . If you’re having trouble hearing dialogue, there are .
Note, Jan. 18, 2022: This article was first published in 2013 but has been updated with new info, links and images.
As well as covering TV and other display tech, Geoff does photo tours of cool museums and locations around the world, including nuclear submarines,, medieval castles, epic 10,000 mile road trips, and more. Check out Tech Treks for all his tours and adventures.
He wrote a bestselling sci-fi novel about city-size submarines, along with a sequel. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and his YouTube channel.