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View Full Version : What size TV should I get for this area? (pic included)


Autotelik
04-15-11, 07:10 PM
Got a new place. The area above the fireplace has a recess for a TV. I plan on having my sofa on the right side of the pic, facing the TV and fireplace. The viewing distance will be around 15 feet. I wanted to buy a new 55inch Samsung LCD, but the wall recess there has a length of 46 inches wide. That means I would not be able to mount a 55inch TV in there (I looked at the specs online for the 46 and 55 inch Samsungs).

If I really wanted to put a 55 inch above the fireplace, should I use a mount that extends the TV out of the recess area? Is that pretty safe to do (extending the TV out would place more stress on the mount)? And is there a reliable wall mount that would let me do this. Just a big bummer that the recess is so damn small.

Thanks.
(unrelated, but that's not the real floor. they've got paper over the wood floor)
http://i920.photobucket.com/albums/ad41/Alzarius/livingroom.jpg

bse
04-15-11, 08:11 PM
I'm no help to you, but congrats on your new place, looks very nice!

Sdallnct
04-15-11, 08:16 PM
It really depends on why you want a TV here and how you will be using it. IMO,

Is this your main or primary viewing area? Meaning, will you have a basement or other place to put a large tv, surround sound, etc?

If this is not your only or main TV area, than I'd get a TV that would fit in the space.

If this is you only or main TV area, then yea, I'd figure out a way to go as big as possible. At 15' you can easily go 55" or bigger. Sure there are mounts that would work. You could also pretty easily frame in that space and let the TV hide everything.

Autotelik
04-15-11, 10:23 PM
It will be the main viewing area, since I don't have a basement or other space to make into a real theater room. I guess I'm just aiming for a TV in that area because that's how I wanted the sofa arranged (against the wall on the right, looking at the fireplace). Otherwise, the other option would be to have the TV up against the wall in the middle of the pic between the two windows, and have the sofa facing it, but that would mean having the sofa in the middle of the living room (which is kind of small to begin with).

They prewired a cable outlet in that recess, thinking that's where most people would put their TV. Maybe I will go with TV in the middle wall between the windows, and just hang artwork in that recess.
But if I do go with mounting in the recess, anyone with recommendations for a good sturdy mount that extends out like an arm?

Spottedfeather
04-15-11, 10:39 PM
I've always heard that it's not too good to put tvs right above a fireplace because of the heat from the fire.

Autotelik
04-15-11, 11:24 PM
Hmmmm good point. It's a gas fireplace. I haven't tested it, so I'm going to turn it on a while and see if the heat transmits to the recess area above it.

tdoane78
04-16-11, 11:18 AM
Hmmmm good point. It's a gas fireplace. I haven't tested it, so I'm going to turn it on a while and see if the heat transmits to the recess area above it.

Not sure about the OP's fireplace, however most modern construction the trim with the ledge on top is extremely resistant to heat. I've got a 65 incher over mine.

-Tim

Spiky
04-16-11, 01:47 PM
I would say don't put it above your fireplace because it hurts your neck. Screens are actually supposed to be below your eyes, not above.

tdoane78
04-16-11, 08:01 PM
I would say don't put it above your fireplace because it hurts your neck. Screens are actually supposed to be below your eyes, not above.

I haven't noticed any eye or neck strain -- any link on the reasoning why? Thanks!

-Tim

Spiky
04-17-11, 12:41 AM
Stop for a moment. Sit or stand, doesn't matter, but assume correct vertical posture for your back. Next, just stop looking at stuff and find your natural position if you aren't doing anything else. Perhaps close your eyes to assist. Now, open them and analyze your neck's posture, your line of sight.

The average line of sight for people will be angled just slightly down, maybe 15-20 degrees.

Putting your head/neck constantly at a different angle than this normal angle can cause strain. The correct positioning for a computer monitor, which you are likely looking at for hours on end if you are an office worker, far longer than TV, is for the eyes to be approximately level with the top of the monitor. Although, you should move your head every few minutes, also.
http://backandneckpainresources.com/31/frequent-headaches-neck-strain-could-be-the-culprit/
http://www.ergoadvocate.com/eye-strain-neck-pain-monitor-is-too-high/
http://office-ergo.com/eyestrain-neck-pain/

The recommended TV positioning by both THX and SMPTE is for your eyes to be about 1/3 of the way down the screen from the top. Or, within the middle 1/3 of the screen vertically. This sounds different than the recommendations for monitor use above, but the angles are actually very similar, and viewing of movies/TV is different from that of office monitor use. (you tend to look at the middle of a TV screen more, while working means you look everywhere on the screen)
http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/

If you can design your seating to allow resting your head while tilted backwards, that can help. But it's still not ideal, your neck will tire faster at the wrong angle, even with support.

Spiky
04-17-11, 12:55 AM
But for the mount question, try Monoprice (http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=109&cp_id=10828). They have several types of mounts. If your TV choice happens to fit into the recess, you could just go with a simple tilt wall mount. If the TV is too big, or you want swivel ability anyway, they have more expensive tilt/swivel models where the TV can be pulled out from the wall.

Their prices are ridiculously cheap compared to other mount brands. But their quality is just as good. I have 2 in my house right now, and have helped other people buy them, too.

tdoane78
04-17-11, 05:51 AM
http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/


Spiky --

Thanks for the quick research, THX seemed to be the best of the one provided, with Auto's 15 ft viewing distance that's well within the 15 degree upward angle bubble. (however it's been a decade and a half since my last geometry class or that fireplace is over 8 feet tall and auto bought a house for giants). Interesting stuff.

-Tim

SterlingBen
04-17-11, 08:09 AM
I would just put an awesome picture there about the fireplace (on a hinge if you want and you could keep stuff back there) and have the tv over there between the two windows. Or get a projector and have a retractable screen over there.

Spiky
04-17-11, 10:06 AM
Spiky --

Thanks for the quick research, THX seemed to be the best of the one provided, with Auto's 15 ft viewing distance that's well within the 15 degree upward angle bubble. (however it's been a decade and a half since my last geometry class or that fireplace is over 8 feet tall and auto bought a house for giants). Interesting stuff.

-Tim
Did you measure that to the top of the screen, or bottom?

Ever since I put in the big screen, it's been higher than the perfect recommendation, too. When sitting in my chair, my eyes are just about level with the bottom of the screen, and it is 44" tall. I had to have place for big speakers, too. ;) (actually, the biggest reason for my screen position is trying to position the projector at the same time)

But because of that I tend to recline the chair when watching, giving me a better angle. I can tell the difference in my neck in a few minutes, actually. I would definitely want a recliner for something above a fireplace. For in and out TV viewing it's not a big deal. But when you sit for 2 hours for a movie without moving much, that's different.

Hmm, THX recommends a 120" screen for my seating distance. Maybe I should upgrade. :D

slimdude
04-17-11, 09:24 PM
Not sure about the OP's fireplace, however most modern construction the trim with the ledge on top is extremely resistant to heat. I've got a 65 incher over mine.

-Tim

I'll still would be skeptical about mounting an HDTV above a fireplace, even though the mantel is heat resistant. What about behind the back wall, where the chimney is built. Is that heat resistance as well? When the fireplace is in use, will the sound of wood, and illumination from the flames distract the TV viewing?

chino77
04-18-11, 01:15 AM
i would cover the hole with a picture or mirror and put the tv somewhere else. who the hell wants to look up when watching tv? i blame interior designers for this. they dont think about watching tv, just what makes the room look good.

Spiky
04-18-11, 10:03 AM
More specifically, I would blame people (and their designers) that think they want a TV, but don't want it to "look" like a TV room. So, "let's shove it up there as if it's a painting, maybe people won't notice". And then it caught on, because it "looks cool". I'd say either have one or don't.

Personally, I don't even want a TV in my living room. There is one right now, sorta. (a 19" LCD) But that's because my family got bigger and the house didn't.

Numanoid
04-18-11, 12:38 PM
Ugh. You don't want to know what I think about TVs over the fireplace.

Between the windows is where I'd put it.

slimdude
04-18-11, 03:52 PM
If I were you, I would put the TV on another wall, except above the fireplace. It's better to be safe, than sorry! And besides, as others have stated, the TV will be too high if its mounted above the fireplace anyway. A TV should be mounted, or on a stand at eye level.

taa455
04-19-11, 03:18 AM
Congrats on the new place! 55" would be too large on that wall over the fireplace, not to mention too high as others have said. Put the TV between the 2 windows at eye level of your seated position. You won't regret it.

tdoane78
04-19-11, 04:57 AM
I'll still would be skeptical about mounting an HDTV above a fireplace, even though the mantel is heat resistant. What about behind the back wall, where the chimney is built. Is that heat resistance as well? When the fireplace is in use, will the sound of wood, and illumination from the flames distract the TV viewing?

Luckily the OP has a gas fireplace which doesn't have the issues you mention.

-Tim

Spiky
04-19-11, 10:02 AM
It has most of the same issues. Why wouldn't it?

DaveNinja
04-19-11, 12:29 PM
I argued with my wife for years against putting the tv above the fireplace. I figured it would hurt my neck because it was too high. then over the years i realized i never sit with perfect posture on the couch for 2 hours while watching stuff. I'm always laying back, putting my feet up or laying sideways. This is was a problem because then the screen was too low and i ended up getting a sore neck from looking down for too long. Also, with 3 kids, they were always running around and blocking the screen.
we got a new tv last month and put it above the mantle (the fireplace hasnt been used in many years; it was converted into a padded bench). The new location also turned out perfect for watching in the day time without having to worry about window reflections.

so, i'm just throwing out there that if you watch tv from a reclined position, you may like the tv up higher.

tdoane78
04-19-11, 06:21 PM
It has most of the same issues. Why wouldn't it?

No crackling of the wood with a gas fireplace.

If the heat from the venting system would affect the TV attached to the wall you have more serious issues with the drywall being heated then a TV overheating.

The illumination issue would be much worse being from the side and at the same height of the television versus being above with the lip of fireplace mantle between the fire and flush to the wall TV.

Spiky
04-19-11, 10:47 PM
Thanks. Good thoughts.

Autotelik
04-20-11, 01:01 AM
Cool. Nice thoughts everyone. Pretty big consensus on not putting it above the fireplace. I think I will put it between the windows for now on top of a media console, since that won't require mounting at all. If I don't like it then, I can always re-arrange it later to the fireplace and purchase some mounts. Yeah, I agree with you guys about having to look up from the couch to the TV at an angle - a true pain in the neck. But I also wanted the couch to be flush against the right wall to look directly at the fireplace in order to save some room.

I think I'll try not mounting it for now. :up:

Ash Ketchum
04-20-11, 02:32 PM
Oh, for the days when I had a portable b&w 20-inch set that I would wheel around to wherever it best fit in the room where I was sitting or I simply moved it into the bedroom to put on top of the dresser. I saw more movies then and enjoyed them more, esp. since in the pre-cable, pre-video, pre-internet days I didn't know when I'd ever get to see them again. So I paid attention and took notes during commercials. And if something I wanted to see was on in the middle of the night, I went to bed early and set the alarm.

Spiky
04-20-11, 10:01 PM
That's called an "iPhone", now.