Forget about those old photos of Aunt Margie or the antique clock on the mantel over the fireplace, that space has now become the prime location for the TV. And as they say, “necessity is the mother of invention,” which is why MantelMount was created. For integrators, the solution solves a myriad of potential problems related to screen height, viewing distance and viewing angle.
“MantelMount was born out of necessity to solve the problems that are inherent with needing to put a TV over a fireplace,” says Lee Marc, CEO, on this week’s CE Pro Podcast. “These days you’ve got fireplace mantel pushing 4.5 to 5 feet; you’ve got 60- to 80-inch TVs that have come down in price considerably, and you have a lot more modern homes being built with an open concept. They have an open kitchen wall with the family room, and one wall is usually the backyard. And really, the only place to put your TV is over the fireplace.”
Marc explains that the combination of the large TV and tall mantel unfortunately can leave residents with their necks cocked upwards dramatically.
“It can feel like you are sitting in the front row of a movie theater,” he notes. “The problems associated with that can be eye strain, chronic neck pain, and chronic back pain. You are also going to degrade the quality of the TV. People spend all this money to get a clear, beautiful picture and then they watch it at an angle that degrades the picture quality.”
Marc gave some good tips for mounting a TV over a fireplace.
Height: The perfect height for a TV is eye level, which will vary based on the height of the couch and height of the individuals themselves. You want to come up with a measurement of where on the wall will be the center of the TV based on where your eyes will be. That would be ideal if there was not a fireplace to consider. He says the ideal height for a 55-inch TV is to have the center of the TV roughly 61 inches off the floor. For a 65-inch TV, it should be 65 inches off the floor, and for a 70-inch TV, it should be roughly 67 inches from the floor to the center of the TV.
Distance: A good rule of thumb for seating distance is to take the diagonal size of the TV and divide it by 0.55. So, for example, a 65-inch TV divided by 0.55 equal 118 inches, or 9-feet, 10-inches away. For a 55-inch TV, that means an ideal seating distance of 100 inches, or just over 8 feet away.
Angle: TV angle is another issue. Ideally, the viewer is looking directly at the TV, but that is why the MantelMount allows for swivel and tilt. Marc says viewers really don’t want to have more than a 15-degree angle in terms of tilt. From the side, he recommends no more than a 40-degree angle from the screen.