Will I get a crick in my neck from watching a TV over the fireplace?
November 15, 2007 9:43 AM   Subscribe

My wife wants to get a plasma/LCD TV and mount it over the fireplace. That just seems way too high to watch comfortably, though. Does anyone have any experience with a TV mounted that high? Will the kids be able to watch it if they're sitting on the floor? Does angling it help?
posted by adverb to Technology (24 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you use the fireplace, the wall in question will get quite warm because of the flue. I'm not sure that kind of temperature exposure would be good for the TV; it could wreck it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:47 AM on November 15, 2007

A friend of mine has one mounted over the fireplace and it is hard to watch. You have to sit far from the TV or lay on the couch with your head pointed at the screen. Your kids' necks will be sore if they sit on the floor as the watch. To nullify the effects, you can give them books to have them point their heads down for awhile.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:48 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]

FWIW, I think it looks tacky to have a big black rectangle hanging over the fireplace.
posted by HotPatatta at 9:49 AM on November 15, 2007

There are two places where you typically see plasmas mounted high: bars and waiting areas. Neither is for comfortable viewing. I'd worry about making your living room seem like one of those places.
posted by General Malaise at 9:51 AM on November 15, 2007

it's pretty high, likely to lead to a way sore neck. It's also often difficult to route the electronics around the brickwork (unless it's a fake fireplace and has no chimney).
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:57 AM on November 15, 2007

If you're sitting down, you want the TV at roughly eye level.
Plus, mounting a plasma above a fireplace usually voids the warranty.
posted by demiurge at 9:58 AM on November 15, 2007

Agreed with all above. A friend has a 50" plasma above his fireplace and I much prefer gaming on his 32" set upstairs as a result.
posted by Pantengliopoli at 9:59 AM on November 15, 2007

If you're sitting down, you want the TV at roughly eye level.


Tell your wife we at the Metafilter AV Club must regrettably overrule her. This is unacceptable.
posted by poppo at 10:04 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

How high is your fireplace? Surprisingly, this makes a difference.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:14 AM on November 15, 2007

Best answer: The setup my parents have at their house is above the fireplace and it seems to work out but it does get uncomfortable to sit on the floor for any extended period of time. So if you've got kids who sit and watch TV from the floor I'd say no to mounting above the fire place... If not go for it, and if you're concerned about an ugly back box hanging over the fireplace maybe set it up as a digital picture frame using an old PC? Just a little heads up tho, make sure the TV isn't wider than the fireplace otherwise it makes everything look funny. I'll be home from school in less than a week if you want some pictures for how it looks just leave a message. Good luck with your decision tho.
posted by Sgt.Grumbless at 10:18 AM on November 15, 2007

A friend has a big plasma over his fireplace, and it works aesthetically if you are standing up, but I find it unpleasant to watch when seated. Tellingly enough, he actually watches most of his tv on his MacBook or iPhone.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 10:36 AM on November 15, 2007

Best answer: My dad, against the advice of the rest of the family, mounted the TV over the fireplace. I'm not a fan of the way it looks, but I was expecting it to be a lot more uncomfortable than it is. It's not bad when sitting on the couch.

An unexpected annoyance is that since the TV is so high, you have to hold the remote up above your head to get the signal to reach. This may be specific to our setup, but as a result, I watch the smaller, older TV when I'm visiting.
posted by LittleLisi at 10:38 AM on November 15, 2007

Check with who you are buying the TV from - most should tell you that fireplace mantle mounts are not advisable. I think it has to do with the heat and the small amount of smoke that makes it out and seeps up.
posted by doorsfan at 10:47 AM on November 15, 2007

In addition to the potential heat issue and the height, I would be afraid of some sort of soot or gaseous residue floating out of the fireplace and coating the TV, inside and out.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2007

Ergonomically, it's a bad idea. The top of the TV should be at eye level.

The explanation from our workplace ergonomics people, who tell us to keep our computer monitors at eye level, is that there's a lot more muscles on the back of your neck than in the front, where your windpipe and esophagus are. So it's easier to look down (with the muscles on the back of your neck supporting your head) than to look up.
posted by russilwvong at 11:00 AM on November 15, 2007

It actually could be a good alert. If your neck starts to hurt it's time to turn the tv off and go outside or read a book. I like the idea of making television watching as uncomfortable as possible for the kids. That's why I only own a B&W tv with rabbit ears. Just kidding, and if you don't know what either of those terms are referring to - GET OFF MY LAWN!
posted by any major dude at 11:19 AM on November 15, 2007

I blame those stupid commercials for making us all want flat-panel TVs on our ceilings, because I know I wanted one, until I found out how ridiculously hard wiring it up so the cable box for the HD is close enough without being an eyesore, etc.

As for hanging the TV over your fireplace: It's heavy. Really heavy. Mine weighs 98 pounds. It's too high. Nthing the comments about eye level. Actually, you think you have your head up higher than you do when you watch TV. Most of us have awful posture, and even having the TV above eye level will give us a crick in the neck.
posted by misha at 11:39 AM on November 15, 2007

Not only that but, as a contact lens wearer, looking upward and not being reclined tends to dry my eyes out. That's why I get pissed when all the good seats in center and back of a theater are taken.
posted by chef_boyardee at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2007

Well anyway, even if it isn't too high, and it's not a used fireplace, it's still kind of gauche. I think for secondary sets, in the kitchen or bedrooms, higher mounting is sometimes acceptable, but placing the tv in a place that is traditionally reserved for special things, just because it matches the dimensions sort of is not artful, and yecchy.

Something about our sense of balance seems to want something under the plasma. I suggest a sofa table or shallow media storage unit. Plasma lifts, plasma masks... it seems like a lot of people are actually uncomfortable with something about the flat, gray presence of these screens. I think it's an interesting disavowal of the disappearance of "the apparatus." This is how I managed to shoehorn film theory into work at a home autoamtion company. ;)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2007

There are plenty of info about this if you google.

You need to keep in mind the temperature above the fireplace as you don't want anything to melt. but usually it's not an issue

check out the viewing distance calculator

posted by kfs27 at 12:45 PM on November 15, 2007

I mounted a TV above a fireplace and it works pretty well. The height wasn't ideal but we got used to it.

It is indeed a bad idea to mount a TV over a fireplace you actually burn stuff in. I hid my subwoofer in the fireplace behind a decorative screen.
posted by Xazeru at 1:43 PM on November 15, 2007

Best answer: FWIW, tv above the fireplace is one of this home design magazine's "DON'Ts".
posted by onlyconnect at 1:55 PM on November 15, 2007

My folks have the TV mounted above the fireplace, but on this stand that can be easily pulled outward and tilted along several different axes. It's really easy to adjust.
Sorry if this is redundant, I didn't read the whole thread.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 7:33 PM on November 15, 2007

Husband's Aunt has TV mounted above fireplace = several hours of SUCK at holidays.

Don't do it! Uncomfortable, low-class, all around bad idea.
posted by lisaici at 10:03 PM on November 20, 2007

« Older Content management for dummies   |   Is there a way to rent a car without a credit card... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.