Television over the fireplace. To do or not to do? That is the question.
I have seen many houses, and over the course of my real estate career have seen many televisions over the fireplace, and I can’t help but wonder why. Why would anyone hang their television over the fireplace?
Since the onset of the flat-panel screen, the area over the fireplace has become a convenient place to put the TV, saving valuable floor space, but is that necessarily the best place? If your house is full of windows and built-ins, the space over the fireplace might be your only option. But if you can avoid it, here’s why you should:
Heat and electronics do not go together. You could easily damage that big lovely flat-screen TV and void your warranty.
Neck strain. Watching a TV that high above your head is like sitting in the front row at the movie theater, looking up for two hours. This is not good for your neck. Experts recommend the top of the screen should be between 15-35 degrees from the horizontal plane of your eye level (aim for 15 degrees). When you look at a screen from an angle of over 15 degrees, you are not getting the full color and clarity you get when you look at the screen straight on.
If you’re buying a new house, think about the best room for the TV. Maybe the room with the fireplace is not the best choice. But if that’s where you want it, consider having custom cabinets or shelving built on either side of the fireplace at the appropriate height for the TV. A big black void in the room is never attractive, so, if possible, incorporate doors that can cover the screen when it’s not in use.