A lot of people grew up hearing their parents nag them about sitting too close to the television set or watching it in the dark.

Since the first television set was introduced in 1939, there's always been a lingering doubt that viewing a TV screen up close or in the dark might result in permanent eye damage.But the facts suggest otherwise. Recent studies show that sitting close to a TV or watching TV in a darkened room has no detrimental effects on the eyes at all.

A general rule for restful TV watching, says Video Magazine, is to view any TV picture from a distance equal to four times the screen's height or three times its diagonal. Therefore, a 25-inch TV screen can be comfortably viewed from a distance of about 6 feet. On the other hand, a 4-inch Sony Video Walkman screen looks pretty good from about a foot away.