You’ve signed that lease and unloaded the U-Haul, now you’re ready to arrange the living room furniture. But before you decide where to put the couch, you’ll need to figure out where your TVs go to create the optimal viewing distance, angle and placement to perfect your experience.

Your viewing environment

Deciding where to place your living room television – likely the most-used and most important set in your house – isn’t just about where it looks best but involves several factors.

Sound: Especially if you do not have external or Bluetooth speakers, the sound direction of your television is critical. Be sure there are no walls or shelves that block the direct flow of sound from the set to your most used viewing spot (i.e., your sofa). You should also try to avoid placing the set on or against a wall shared with a bedroom as that could be disruptive to anyone trying to catch some zzzz’s.

Light: Make sure you do not place your television underneath any recessed or track lighting as the glare will be bothersome. Additionally, try not to place the set opposite large windows or exterior sliding doors as the sunlight will bounce off the screen, making it impossible to see and possibly reflecting it back into your eyes.

Viewing: If you like to entertain, it is best to place the set where it is viewable to as much of the room as possible, to serve as many people as possible. Position the television to be best seen in the primary viewing area (the place on the couch you or your immediate family are most likely to sit), but be sure the angle isn’t so severe that it can’t be seen from other seating areas such as barstools and Barcaloungers. Like to watch TV while you cook? Placing your set in a spot where it can be seen from the kitchen as well is a bonus.

Television placement logistics

Now that you know where you want your living room television, there are a couple other factors to consider.

Height: How high on the wall (or on a stand) should your television be mounted? Most people tend to place their televisions too high on the wall. A typical couch sits about a foot-and-a-half off the floor, and an adult’s eyes while sitting comfortably are about two feet above that. Therefore, the optimum set height (to the center of the screen) to match your sightline is about three-and-a-half feet above the floor.

Distance: There are as many theories as to how far you should place your couch from your TV as there are channels on your cable. But the most basic accepted optimal viewing distance is found with this simple formula: television size (diagonal measurement) divided by seven gives you the ideal number of feet away from your primary seating area. For example, a television with a 36” screen should be about 5 feet away from your couch. A 60” TV should sit about 8½ feet away. Your mileage may vary.

Time to chill

Now that you know where you’re going to place your living room television, you can start setting up your sectional and your coffee table and pretty soon you’ll be settling in for a night of Netflix and popcorn.

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