Tech Tip: Change These TV Settings to Reduce Eye Strain

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If your TV is smart, I have bad news. It probably monitors everything you do and sends this information to advertisers.

You can stop it, at least to some extent. Tap or click to change the settings on your TV to stop this invasion of privacy.

The same is true for your streaming devices and services. Tap or click to limit tracking on Netflix, Amazon, Roku, Hulu, and more.

Take care of your health, take care of your health. Here are some tips to help minimize eye strain, neck strain, and eye strain.

1. Lighting matters

“You’ll ruin your eyes!” We’ve all heard it as children, sitting in front of the TV, right? Watching TV probably won’t cause permanent visual impairment, but it can lead to eye strain.

A soft, dimly lit room is the best way to watch TV. Open windows, bright lights, and other sources of distracting light make your eyes work overtime.

You also don’t need a bunch of fancy smart lighting or gadgets. Close the blinds, turn off the lights in the house, and use incandescent bulbs rather than LEDs if you prefer not to use full blackout.

Lamps and other light sources can cause annoying reflections and glare. Choose ambient light sources that are subdued by diffusing domes or lampshades.

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2. Smart formula to know if you’re getting too close

When it comes to eye health, you should sit far enough away from the TV so that your eyes are not overexposed to glare.

Secret Formula: Measure the width of your TV and multiply that number by five. This is the approximate distance you should be aiming for in your home theater, living room, or any other area that has a TV. Now it’s harder to stick to this formula with larger TVs.

The size of the room, the shape and number of spaces you should set up, and other factors such as window placement also come into play. Some give or take is okay. Aim at least 10 feet away if you can.

Friends relaxing on the sofa in the living room and watching a movie on TV

Friends relaxing on the sofa in the living room and watching a movie on TV

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3. Check screen height

A TV set too high or too low can cause eye and neck strain. It is most comfortable to watch TV when you sit at eye level. So how did you set it up? Use a laser pointer or a long measuring tape to find a line of sight from the best spot in the house.

Have a friend or family member lightly mark the spot on the wall with a pencil. If you are working alone, try to remember where the marker went during the experiment. The center of your TV screen should be approximately where you marked.

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4. Reduce brightness

Bright, concentrated blue light is harmful to the eyes. This is why looking at your phone in a dark room can be so frustrating.

Is your TV backlit? OLED? What HDR capabilities does it offer? All this affects what brightness is better. Your eyes will also give you many clues. Do you catch yourself squinting when the room is dark? The TV is probably too bright.

Read your TV’s user manual or open the settings menu to find the brightness. Don’t rely on just one of the presets. Adjust up and down and see what works best for your space.

Take some time to play around with color temperature, HDR settings, and image saturation.

Your TV settings can damage your eyes.

Your TV settings can damage your eyes.

Keep your technical knowledge

My popular podcast is called “Kim Commando Today”. That’s a full thirty minutes of tech news, tips, and tech calls like you from across the country. Look for it wherever you get your podcasts. For your convenience, click on the link below for a recent episode.

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Find out about all the latest technologies at The Kim Commando Show, the nation’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and gives advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. Her daily tips, free newsletters and more can be found on her website at Komando.com.