How far should the sofa be from the TV or HD and 4K screen?


To make the most of the advantages and features of your HD, 4K or even 8K TV screen, positioning it at the right distance is certainly an important factor.

A survey of Canadian adults reveals that only 4% of respondents watch TV from the right distance.

Most people think that the bigger the TV, the more you should sit down to see the picture correctly.

This has not necessarily been the case since the arrival of HDTVs in living rooms.

Why respect a certain distance?

We invest in televisions designed to deliver a quality picture. To do this, we must respect some parameters such as the lighting of the room, the inclination of the screen and the distance that separates it from the place where we sit (recoil distance).

We must therefore respect a minimum and maximum distance that should separate the 2 elements.

The minimum distance corresponds to the distance that allows you to take advantage of the smallest details offered by the resolution of the TV without seeing the pixels that form the image.

The maximum distance corresponds to the distance beyond which the visual field is no longer sufficient for the visual experience to be immersive.

If there could be a universal distance to be respected, it would be much more practical for removals and the installation of new appliances, but that’s not the case. On the other hand, there is a fairly simple rule for knowing how many meters should separate where you sit from where you place your giant screen for the viewing experience to be optimal.

Most manufacturers and retailers agree on this setback distance, but it varies slightly depending on the location you’re referring to.

In any case, the notion of personal preference also comes into play; if you feel like you can’t see anything, you better fit your needs.

How far should the TV be?

To establish the distance that should separate the TV from the sofa, we will need 2 things: the size of the screen diagonal and its resolution. There are other techniques that require different elements, but this one is quick and easy.

The first step is then to determine the size of the diagonal of the screen (without considering the edge of the device, only the glass screen).

To do this, we start from one corner and go to the corner on the opposite side.

diagonal of the television screen

Depending on the screen resolution, we multiply the diagonal size from 2.5 to 7 to get the recoil distance.

  • Full HD TV (1920 x 1080 resolution): 2.5 to 3 times the diagonal of the screen
  • HD TV, HD Ready (1366 x 768 resolution): 4 to 6 times the screen diagonal
  • Standard resolution TV (720 x 576): 5 to 7 times the screen diagonal

For example, for a 40-inch diagonal Full HD 1080p screen, you’ll need to position yourself between 100 (40 x 2.5) and 120 inches (40 x 3) farther, which is between 2.54 and 3 meters.

As we can see, the higher resolution the screen, the closer we can get to it without fear of seeing pixels. The less it is, the further away one will have to be to see a sharp image.

For 4K and 8K screens, we rather calculate based on screen height (and not diagonal). It is recommended to step back about 1.5 or 2 times the height of the TV. You will find that you can be much closer than you thought. An 85-inch screen puts a sofa just over 2 meters from the TV.

Pull out your meters and put your living room to the test!

By the way, as they say, all good rules are meant to be broken!


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