3 Quick Tips for Proper Home-Theater Screen Height

For best physical comfort for your clients, position the screen or flat panel so the lower one-third of the image is 48 inches off the floor.


Positioning a flat panel or projection screen in a home theater is a little like holding a fine glass of wine in your hand, according to David Rodgers, marketing manager for Elite Screens. It needs to savored.

“Viewing a home theater projection screen is a 'sensual' experience just like fine wine. You don’t drink wine like water; you savor it.  And you don’t hold your wineglass by the bowl or rim. You hold the base or stem so that there are no unsightly fingerprints on the glass and your fingertips don’t warm the vintage wine beyond its optimal tasting temperature,” says Rodgers. 

He equates that sensual experience to watching a movie or TV show in a home theater.

“It’s not entirely about seeing the film. It’s not even entirely about seeing the film with superb dynamic range, optimal color saturation and D65 color temperature. The physical comfort of your body while watching a film should be equally as important as the picture quality itself,” he says.

With that in mind, Rodgers offers three quick tips for screen position while watching the video.

1. Keep a Level Head

Make sure your client's head is comfortably level. You do this by knowing what the person's eye level is. The average person’s eyes are between 42 and 50 inches from the floor when seated. 

A safe “sweet spot” to work with is to assume about a 48-inch average for everyone.

2. Follow the Lower One-Third of the Screen Rule

Your client's eye level should align with the boundary line between the top two-thirds and bottom one-third of the screen.

With eyes aligned one-third of the way up on the screen, the least amount of eye, head or neck movement is required for the viewer to take in everything happening on the screen. So if your client's eye level is 48 inches, this should also align with the bottom one-third measurement of the screen’s height.

3. Comfort and Perception Are Paramount

Comfort and perception greatly enhances the viewing experience. A properly mounted screen prevents the viewer from encountering perceived visual distortion. The image appears naturally as a person's eyes would see it in real time.

It also prevents unnecessary neck and eye fatigue from disrupting your ability to sit through the feature presentation.

Watch this video from Elite Screens that helps explain the positioning even more. 

About the Author

Jason Knott
Jason Knott:

Jason Knott is Chief Content Officer for Emerald's Connected Brands. Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990, serving as editor and publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He joined CE Pro in 2000 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of that brand. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He has been a member of the CEDIA Business Working Group since 2010. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California.