According to a poll by the folks at Gizmodo, many viewers are sitting too far from their HDTVs to enjoy the full resolution of a 1080p display. Referencing the Lechner Distance Chart at hdguru.com, the Gizmodo poll determined that 60 percent of viewers were sitting more than six feet from 1080p/1080i screens under 40 inches in size. In the 40- to 52-inch class, 43 percent were sitting more than eight feet from the screen. And for sets over 52 inches, 35 percent were sitting from 8 to 10 feet away, and another 30 percent more than 10 feet away.
In all these cases, that would not be enough to get the full benefit of the set’s resolution. When owners of 720p sets (still considered HD) were surveyed, a larger proportion were sitting at the optimum distance. Even if you’re sitting too far from your display, that’s likely to be better than sitting too close, which would make video artifacts and pixel structure more detectable. Before shopping for a new TV set, it would help to know what the viewing distance will be, so you can choose the size that will give you the optimum resolution and best overall impact.