Tech tip: Change these TV settings to reduce eye strain

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

You can turn that off, at least to some degree. Tap or click the settings to change them on your TV to stop this privacy violation.

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

With your privacy rules covered, keep your health in mind. Here are some tips to reduce eye strain, neck strain and eye fatigue.

1. Lighting is important

“You will ruin your eyes!” We’ve all heard that when kids were sitting in front of the TV, right? Watching TV likely won’t cause permanent damage to your vision, but it can strain your eyes.

The best way to watch TV is in a quiet, dimly lit room. Open windows, bright track lights, and other distracting light sources keep your eyes working overtime.

You also don’t need a set of fancy lighting or gadgets. Draw the blinds, turn off the house lights, and stick incandescent bulbs over LED lights if you’d rather not use a full-dimming mode.

Bulbs and other lights can cause annoying reflections and glare. Choose muffled ambient light sources with diffused domes or lampshades.

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2. Smart formula to see if you are too close

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

Secret equation: Measure the width of your TV and multiply this number by five. This distance is the pitch you should capture in your home theater, living room, or anywhere else you have a TV. Now, it’s hard to stick to that formula with larger TVs.

The size of the room, the shape and number of seats you have to configure, and other factors like window placement also play a role. Some give or take is good. Aim for at least 10 feet if you can.

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

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

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3. Check the height of the screen

Mounting the TV too high or too low can cause eye and neck strain. The most comfortable viewing experience is when the TV is around eye level when you are sitting. So, how do you set it up? Use a laser pointer or a long tape measure to find the direct line of sight from the best seat in the house.

Ask a friend or family member to lightly mark the spot on the wall with a pencil. If you’re working alone, do your best to remember where the sign came from during the experiment. The center of the TV screen should be located around the place you selected.

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4. Reduce the brightness

The bright, focused blue light is harsh on your eyes. This is why staring at your phone in a dark room can be so annoying.

Is your TV backlit? OLED? What HDR capabilities do you bring to the table? All this affects the best brightness. Your eyes will also give you a lot of clues. Do you find yourself staring when the room is dark? The TV is likely to be too bright.

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

Take some time to fiddle with the color temperature, HDR settings, and image saturation as well.

TV settings may hurt your eyes.

TV settings may hurt your eyes.

Keep your technical knowledge going

My popular podcast is called “Kim Commando Today”. It’s thirty minutes of tech news, tips, and callers with tech questions like you from all over the country. Find it wherever you get your podcast. For your convenience, click on the link below for an up-to-date episode.

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What digital lifestyle questions do you have? Connect to Kim’s national radio show and tap or click here to find him on your local radio station. You can listen to or watch the Kim Komando Show on your phone, tablet, TV or computer. Or tap or click here for Kim’s free podcast.

Copyright 2019, WestStar Multimedia Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Catch up on the latest tech on The Kim Komando Show, the country’s largest weekend radio talk show. Kim takes calls and provides advice on today’s digital lifestyle, from smartphones and tablets to online privacy and data breaches. For her daily tips, free newsletters and more, visit her website at Komando.com.

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