We all want a cozy environment in our homes, especially in the room that will have the big, flashy flat screen TV and home theater. The average American (over the age of 2) spends about 34 hours of TV watching a week. Obviously, TV and home theater placement is a big part of our daily lives.
There is a current and ongoing trend that is popular but perhaps not beneficial in more ways than one. Both professional and ergonomic specialists have long discouraged mounting televisions above the fireplace because of the unnecessary stress it places upon the neck and shoulder muscles (think front row seat in a movie theater). Experts advise that the top of the screen should be between 15-35 degrees from the horizontal plane of your eye level (aim for 15 degrees), which means above a fireplace is too high.
On top of personal interference, it may affect the warranty on your TV if it is a working fireplace. Electronics and heat do not mix, and a TV generates plenty of heat on its own. The smoke moving up the fireplace will eventually develop a hazy film on the components inside the cabinet of a TV. In turn, materials can degrade quickly and the added heat can significantly reduce the lifespan of a TV.
While you may have a TV above the fireplace, or know someone who does, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Perhaps the fireplace is rarely used or the TV is rarely used (I’m assuming the first one is more common). However, the topic is definitely something to think about for any future home theater decorating endeavors.