The Ultimate Display Size Cheat Sheet

No matter the size of your company or conference and presentation room, you’ll want to have the right-sized display screens and signage. A correct setup ensures that all viewers can read and clearly see and engage with content.

With that said, display screens and signage come in all varieties. To get started, we’ve outlined some general guidelines for setting up your displays and presentation rooms. By including the correct screen size and appropriate viewing distances, presentations and their messages will be conveyed much more effectively.

Choosing a Display Size

To determine how large your screen should be, take the distance of the farthest viewer into account. From there, following a simple guide comparing display size to the farthest viewer can help determine the appropriate display size.

Larger conference rooms and larger companies might have more seats in their presentation rooms. Still, looking at the farthest-viewer distance can help determine the best display size, as larger rooms will naturally call for larger screens.

Display size Distance to farthest viewer
55 inches 27 feet or less
65 inches 27-32 feet
75 inches 32-37 feet
86 inches 37-43 feet

For distances beyond this outline, consider using a video wall for clear visibility.

Viewing Distance

When determining appropriate viewing distance, some methods are very technical, while others follow a general rule of thumb. However, no matter the determination method, the content type being displayed on signage can help determine the appropriate distance for viewers.

The viewing distance of the furthest viewer should be used when calculating the appropriate distance. While the InfoComm International global commercial audiovisual association releases extensive information and standards on display sizes and distance, following some general rules should ensure that viewing distance is optimized for all viewers.

Video Content

While video content can be more lenient in terms of comfort level and distanced viewing, the maximum seating distance should be eight times the display’s image height. Here’s an example using a 55” monitor (27” screen height).

27” x 8 = 216” or 18 feet

For video content in this example, the farthest viewer should be positioned no more than 18 feet from the screen.

Text Content

Many conference rooms and presentations include content that incorporates both video and text, graphics, charts, and other visually conveyed material. Therefore, the calculation above is best reserved exclusively for video content. For text and presentations that include PowerPoint, Excel, Word, or webpage content, viewers must still be able to read the content clearly and comfortably.

The above calculation should be multiplied by a factor of 6 for PowerPoint presentations with a large font or by a factor of 4 for presentations that include detailed or text-heavy content such as graphs and charts, CAD drawings, or passages of text.

Viewing Angle

While distance might come to mind first, viewing angle is also important, especially in wide rooms that might require extra signage and multiple display screens. Viewers should be seated within 45 degrees to each side from the center of the display screen. Positioning viewers outside of this range could cause them to strain or be unable to see the entire screen. 

The top of the screen should be positioned within 30 degrees above eye level to avoid strain. 

Distance to the First Viewer

Conference rooms often position front-row viewers quite close to the display screens. However, in general, the closest viewer should not sit closer than the width of the display screen itself. So a 48” screen should have viewers positioned not closer than 48 inches. With larger display screens in presentation rooms and lecture halls, it’s important to pay attention to the minimum distance between the screen and the first row of seats. In general, the first row of viewers should be positioned not closer than 2 times the screen height. So, for a large eight-foot screen, viewers should not be closer than 16 feet.

Room Construction

With all of these industry calculations in mind, it is also very important to consider the construction of the room. For example, no matter the depth of the room and where the farthest and closest viewers are located, the display size is also limited by the room’s ceiling height.  Typically, you always want to allow for at least 40” between the bottom of the display and the floor. So, your display height is going to be determined by that measurement. Remember to keep these questions in mind:

  • Are there any obstructions on the walls?

  • Are there hanging lights that may obstruct the image?

  • Is the room a strange shape?

  • Are there any pillars or columns in the room?

  • Are the floor and ceiling leveled?

  • Are there various seating levels (such as in an auditorium)?

  • What is the furniture layout?

All of this needs to be taken into account along with the standard industry recommendations.

Keeping Connected with Haverford

Knowing the right size and setup basics for your conference and presentation rooms is key. Haverford provides a variety of audio-visual installation services for commercial spaces, and we would love to help you make sure that your setup is complete and comfortable for viewers and presenters.

Bringing collaborative technology and presentation tools to meeting spaces and all kinds of companies is one of Haverford’s specialties and just one of many services we offer. 

Contact us to schedule your free site survey or to go over questions and ideas to help you create the best presentation space possible.