Unique and Unusual Ways to Display Your TV

It’s been a month since I learned this will be the final season of Desperate Housewives, and I’m still not over it. After having endured the loss of Monk, 24, Lie To Me, and Brothers and Sisters, I had been consoling myself with the fact that soon it would be time for Desperate Housewives, House, Modern Family — and oh yes, Castle. Now DH is going away, and I don’t intend to miss a single second of it.

In honor of the new TV season, I have all kinds of great info on where your flat-screen should go, how big it should be and how not to miss so much as an eyebrow lift by your favorite TV character.

Hey, don’t touch that dial! Read on for more ways to get your TV placement right.

Place the TV at eye-level. For the best viewing angle, place the TV low so that when you are seated, your head is even with the middle of the screen. You’ll be most comfortable if you can sit looking straight ahead, rather than up or down at the screen.

Should the TV go above the fireplace?

Not if you can help it, but here’s what to do if you can’t. I admit to absolutely hating the current trend of placing TV niches above the fireplace. Hate it, hate it, hate it. But if you are stuck and that’s the only place your TV can go, put the TV on a wall mount or stand that will let you angle the screen down. That’s because the screen is best viewed straight on rather than from an angle.

If you are remodeling or building and still feel you must put your TV above the fireplace, consider a narrow, rectangular fireplace placed very near the floor, like the one in the photo above. It will allow you to have lower and much better placement than putting your TV above a tall fireplace with a high mantel.

Won’t the TV be at a bad angle if it is to the side of the fireplace?

Not if you can angle it toward the viewers. The TV cabinet to the left of the fireplace gives more of a straight-on view.

Give yourself some adjustability to get the best viewing angle. This little TV shelf slides forward, and I bet they can angle the TV toward the center of the room.

There are all kinds of mounting brackets for slim, flat panel TVs. You won’t miss a minute of your favorite show when you can angle the TV straight in to a great room, then turn it toward the dining area. If you’re going to eat and watch TV anyway, you can at least sit at the table instead of eating on the sofa.

How big should the TV screen be?

Bigger is better — pretty much. Lots of people say they wish they had a bigger TV, but have you ever heard anyone complain that their screen is too big? I didn’t think so.

The best size for your TV depends on how big the room is, what you are watching (high def or not), how far away you’ll be sitting, and what you can afford. Add personal taste to the mix and there’s no easy answer.

Here’s a loose guideline on viewing distances I pulled together from several sources. The optimum distance for you and your TV may vary:

Screen sizes and general viewing distances:
26″ screen = 3 to 5.5 feet
32″ screen = 4 to 6.5 feet
37″ screen = 4.5 to 7.5 feet
40″ screen = 5 to 8.5 feet
46″ screen = 6 to 9.5 feet
52″ screen = 6.5 to 11 feet
58″ screen = 7 to 12 feet
65″ screen = 8 to 13.5 feet
70″ screen = 9 to 15 feet

What’s the best seating arrangement for my home theater?

Place as many seats as you can looking straight at the screen, rather than fanning seats out to the sides.

This home theater was wide enough to add more seats to the side, but we made a second row instead. At the movies, everyone wants to sit in the middle for the best view, and it’s the same for TV.

We built a custom riser that curves around the back of the front row so that the people in the back can see over the heads of those in front. The window is covered with black drapes with room-darkening lining.

What should I do about windows?

Consider your window treatments carefully. Notice how in the photo above, we can see glare from the window on the TV screen. Notice also that they have nice, opaque and possibly room-darkening lined drapes to cover the window. (Pulling the drapes closed also keeps nosy neighbors from knowing how many hours of TV you really watch.)

Avoid placing your TV in front of a window, or opposite a west-facing window. Glare or the difference in light from the windows and your screen can cause eye strain. The outfits they wear on Desperate Housewives cause enough eye strain all by themselves!

If you love nighttime soaps, you know that in a split second, a sneaky sideways glance can tell you that two characters are having an affair, or a tiny cough lets you know that someone has suddenly become terminally ill.

So what do you do if you don’t want to miss a single second?

Not a problem! A small flat panel TV can be built in to a small niche in your cabinet so you don’t miss anything when you are cooking.

Or, it can go in the backsplash so you don’t miss out while rinsing a dish.

Or above the refrigerator so getting up to get a snack doesn’t leave you in the dark about the latest plot twist.

Keep up with the show while you’re brushing your teeth or shaving.

Don’t miss a single romantic moment on The Bachelor while you soak in a bubble bath with champagne, candles and rose petals.

Watch Dancing With the Stars while you’re under the real stars!

Got you covered even at bedtime.

Are you an action addict?

Don’t miss a single explosion, car chase, or gun fight with multiple screens! The more action the better!

Okay, I hope this helped you get all set up for the new shows for fall and your favorites that are coming back.

Tell us: What show are you excited to see, and where will you be watching?

Leave a Comment