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Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Posted by beache (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 30, 10 at 11:37

We purchased a 50" plasma on Saturday. Can't wait to get it, but for now I have to concentrate on buying something to sit it on. I've narrowed it down to two consoles. One sits the TV at 30" and the other at 24". So many of these consoles are only 24" high which seems really low to me, since our current TV sits at 29". But since that height is so common, maybe there is a reason...?

Is there an optimal height for TV viewing? The three options seem to be: wall mount, which I don't want to do; 24" which seems kind of low, or that in-between height of 27"-30".

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

The ideal height, which has been the accepted industry standard, is considered to be that the center of the display is at eye level from the viewing position.

Since this often appears aesthetically too low when wall mounting, the placement all of the sudden has now been "called acceptable" to have the display at eye level to the bottom of the screen.

So sit in your favorite chair, love seat, or sofa and have someone measure from the floor to your eyes! This is your basis for creating the most comfortable height for viewing.

While initially everyone wanted the "magazine look" of a wall mount, console placement has finally become more of an "accepted option" by the magazine editors - and it's also less expensive to setup/install!

Obviously, all this depends on the amount of television you actually watch and what feels comfortable for you.

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Thanks! We actually did just that. While I really thought 24" was too low, when I made a template of the new TV out of cardboard and tried it at different heights, the 24" really was the best for us. Now to decide which console!

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Now to decide which console!
Have fun shopping! I will add that a friend bought an fancy sleek looking console and the shelves are made of a heavy dark colored smoke glass. She hates it as it shows every speck of dust and is impossible to keep dusted.

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

I would also agree about the dark glass. Always dust. The console I bought had a 3 way design. I could have a mount to attach the TV to on the stand, install the mount on the wall above the stand, or just place the TV on the stand with no mount. I chose the mount on the stand as i felt that the TV seemed more stable, and with kids and dogs in the house, didn't want to risk the chance of it falling over. It was adjustable and what helped us decide was to sit in the chair, and recline back and make sure our feet were not in the way. We ended up putting it a tad higher than planned.

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Powertoolgeek, thank you for bringing up a very important point which I neglected mention.

Almost all major brand flat panel televisions come with a short wire-rope cable that should be installed when using the base mount. One end is attached by a screw through the wall into a stud. The other end is attached to a recommended threaded hole on the back of the display using the included hardware.

It is attached at a high point to prevent the television from falling should it be bumped in to.

Also, wall mounts usually have a locking mechanism that should be slid in place after the television is installed.

Too often, in both installations, the safety restraints get overlooked.

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

We are having trouble finding a table at the right height for my hubby. He watches TV from his recliner, so he's tilted back a bit even if he's not "reclined." And he wears trifocals! Comfortable height for him is at least 35-36 inches.
Ideally we want a fairly simple table, perhaps with a couple of drawers, about 48 inches wide, not very deep. And not overly expensive for what it is. We've been looking for months.

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Costco's web site carries a fair amount of home entertainment furniture that is not in their stores. Go to and click on "Furniture", then "Home Entertainment".

RE: Choosing a TV console--optimal height for viewing?

Thanks for the tip, Kudzu9! You're right, there's a much better selection online than in the stores. Unfortunately, the only ones there with the right height that will fit in our space are the "media chests," which are more furniture than that wall can handle and more money than our budget can handle! :-(

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