Does watching too much TV cause eye strain? While sitting too close to the TV won’t likely cause you any lasting vision damage, it’s safe to say that an optimized viewing environment can make for a more enjoyable experience.
Part of making a home theater incredible is finessing every gadget and feature to your liking. Tap or click here to elevate your home theater with these five great soundbars.
But if you’re worried about health, why not do what you can to minimize eye strain, neck strain and eye fatigue? Here are a few tips on how to perfect your entertainment system.
Home theater lighting and eye strain
A mellow, dimly-lit room is the best way to watch anything on your TV. If your eyes compete with open windows, glaring track lights, and other distracting illumination sources, you may not be able to relax as thoroughly as you would otherwise.
Our advice? Keep things simple. Draw the blinds, turn off the house lights, and stick to incandescent over LEDs if you like to dim lighting instead of going full-on black-out mode. Dark curtains are a must, especially if your home theater is on the bright side of your house when you usually chill.
If there’s errant light in your entertainment area, you’re more likely to mar the image on your screen with unwanted reflections and other forms of glare. Choose ambient light sources muffled by diffusive domes, lampshades, and other fixture additions that keep things atmospheric.
Smart lighting is fantastic, and you can use smart plugs to control traditional analog bulbs right from your smartphone without even leaving your seat. Why not make it easy?
TV viewing distance and eye strain
Experts recommend sitting somewhere far enough from the TV so that your eyes won’t be exposed to large amounts of TV glare. The secret formula: multiply the horizontal screen size by five. This distance is the ballpark you should shoot for in your home theater.
Of course, the size of the room, the shape and number of seats you have to configure, and other factors like window placement will also impose themselves on this ideal viewing distance. Some give or take is fine, so feel free to nudge your seating arrangement.
TV screen height and eye strain
A TV installed too high or low can cause eye and neck strain. You’ll find the most comfortable viewing experience with the TV around eye level. So, how do you set it up? Use a laser pointer or a long measuring tape to find your direct line of sight from the best seat in the house.
You could have a pal or family member lightly mark the spot on the wall with a pencil. If you’re working alone, do your best to remember where the marker hit during the experiment.
Next, install the TV’s center as your point of reference. When mounting your TV on the wall, this will be relatively simple. However, you may need to shop around for the best possible fit if using a stand or table.
TV brightness and eye fatigue
It’s the same reason they tell you not to use your phone in bed. Bright, concentrated, and blue-leaning light is harsh on your eyes. While you’re not typically taking a nap in your home theater, a screen that’s too bright isn’t conducive to lulling yourself into the romance of an incredible new watch.
Is your TV backlit? An OLED? What HDR capabilities does it bring to the table? Look into your model’s user manual or the company website. You should be able to find the instructions you need to fine-tune these settings to your liking, making for a much more comfortable viewing experience.
TV sharpness, judder and stutter control, brightness, contrast, and more may all play a role in how great your TV is to watch at length. Take some time to play with color temperature, HDR settings, and image saturation to find the right balance for you and your family.
Be observant about how you feel during dark scenes, bright scenes, scenes with lots of moving elements or cuts, and everything in between.
Many TV manufacturers offer default screen and brightness settings as a starting place. Specific picture profiles for very dark rooms, for example, or settings catering to your average day-time ambient brightness level.
Once you find one that works, continue making minor adjustments until you have no qualms. Every person is different, and there’s always something you can improve upon. Your eyes will thank you later on down the line.
Benefits of a finely tuned home theater
You could be dealing with eye strain without even knowing it. Once you flip the switch on any of these simple home theater solutions, the difference will be more than obvious.
Never discount the power of a calibrated television set, a comfortable arrangement, and a well-thought-out space. Plus, your theater can save you tons of cash, otherwise spent seeking a professional theater experience.
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