The Best Viewing Distance for a 60'' Plasma


Modern 60 inch flat panels offer finely-detailed and dense images, suitable for high definition content. Unlike older televisions that possess visible scan lines and other artifacts from the interlacing process, flat panels display all of their pixels at once. As a result, viewing distance is largely a matter of preference. However, as a starting point to work from, there is a standardized procedure designed to get you within a comfortable distance.

Determining Content

  • Decide what type of material you normally watch. Lower resolution sources, such as basic cable and videocassette, also have more artifacts and negative picture quality attributes than high definition. If this is the type of material you normally view, you may choose to sit further away from the set than if you watch predominantly high definition content.

Doing the Math

  • The standardized procedure for determining viewing distance for a flat panel is to take the screen size inches, and multiply by that 1 1/2 to 3 times. Convert that to feet, and there is your ideal viewing distance. For a 60 inch plasma, that range becomes 7 1/2 to 15 feet. Remembering the rule of content, for high definition material, you an sit closer without seeing visible distracting artifacts.

Lighting Sources

  • Depending on where the set is mounted relative to your normal seating position, you may have a window or interior illumination shining light on the screen. If this is the case, adjusting the distance from the set may reduce the visibility of this light source on the screen. Real-world elements such as this tend to trump distance measurements, since it directly affects your viewing enjoyment.

Viewing Angle

  • Plasmas fortunately have little problem maintaining solid blacks and accurate color, even when viewed at an angle. However, screens may seem smaller as the viewing angle increases. Adjust the seating along the perimeter of the viewing area, so that all viewers have a good view of the 60 inch plasma.

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