Binoculars for Watching TV

This question was sent to me from a new BBR Patreon supporter Paula, who is looking to get some binoculars to help her watch television:


I don’t know if this is even in your wheelhouse or not, but I really am desperate for some help!

I sustained chemical damage to both of my corneas in January of this year, so the year has been dedicated to saving my vision. I had a cornea transplant on the eye that had essentially no vision and that was successful. Now wear scleral contact lenses that give me 20/40 vision, which allows me to drive.

However, I am not able to read without a magnifying glass. My question for you is regarding watching TV without my contacts in. My contacts tend to get foggy by the end of the day and I just take them out because I am frustrated.

Is there a pair of binoculars that would help me watch TV and perhaps even read the words on the TV at the 10 ft distance? My vision is currently 2400/2200 without my contacts, so not great!

Thanks for your help! Hope your holidays are merry and bright!


Hi Paula,
Firstly, I am really sorry to hear about the damage to your eyes, but the good news is that whilst there aren’t any specifically designed TV binoculars that I know of, I do think I have a couple of ideas that may work very well for you:

Vixen SG 2.1x42 Widefield Binoculars

Vixen SG 2.1x42 Widefield Constellation Binoculars

Very small and easy to use, these Vixen binoculars have an incredibly wide field of view and a low 2.1x magnification, and whilst they are primarily designed for taking in wide-angle views of the stars at night, I think they also make the ideal instrument for many other uses, especially indoors and at closer ranges and thus could be perfect television binoculars for you. 

Indeed I did try them out by watching television when I tested them and for me, they worked great. 

Small Size, Low Power
To start with they are nice and small and thus easy to hold and the low 2.1x magnification with a wide view is I think ideal in that it means you can take in the whole image on the TV without having to pan the view about even from a relatively close distance. The problem with “normal” binoculars is the magnification is usually just too high to be able to take in the whole image on the TV unless you sit very far away from it which is not practical.

Very Close Minimum Focus Distance
The advertised minimum close focus distance is only 6.6ft / 2m, which is already excellent, but I found that by fully extending each of the eyepieces, I was able to focus on objects only 2ft / 60cm away!

For those people purchasing the Vixen SG for stargazing, this will obviously be of little consequence, but this extremely close minimum focal distance opens them up to a bunch of other potential uses including watching television, but you could also use them at places like an art gallery or museum.

Current Price & Where to Buy: Vixen SG 2.1x42 Binoculars

Helios Star Field 2x40 Binoculars

Lower Cost Alternative

Helios Star Field 2x40 Binoculars

Whilst these Helios binoculars may not quite match the Vixen’s in terms of the overall optical quality, they do cost quite a lot less (approx £95 in the UK). However, I have not seen them for dale in the US.

I have not tried them out myself, but from the looks of it, they do seem to possess the same core design features and thus I think could also make a good option and so may be worth seeing if you can find them should you be shopping on a tighter budget.

Current Price & Where to Buy: Helios Star Field 2x40 Binoculars

More Options:

The other option I have listed below is a little more powerful (4x magnification), which means that, depending on the size of your TV, you may have to sit a little further back to be able to take in the full image without having to move the binoculars about:

Pentax VD 4x20 WP Binocular & Monoculars

Pentax VD 4x20 WP Binocular & Monoculars

With its ultra-wide field of view (1525ft @ 1,000 yards / 175m @ 1,000 meters), ultra-close minimum focus distance (0.5m /1.6ft), these Pentax binoculars, I feel are another option well worth considering when looking for binoculars to watch TV with.

This is especially true if you want something that looks and feels more like a standard pair of binoculars… although you can split these in half and convert it into two monoculars or place them end-to-end and form a single 16x Spotting Scope!

As I say, I have just tested my personal pair out and was able to get the full view of a 35 inch TV from around 10ft / 3 meters away.

Current Price & Where to Buy: Pentax VD 4x20 WP Binoculars

Kabuki Glasses

Kabuki Glasses

Primarily designed as an opera/theater binocular, I initially thought these Japanese-made Kabuki Glasses, would offer an interesting solution as a TV binocular, especially as you can wear them and thus free up your hands, which if you are viewing television for longer periods, they may make it far more comfortable for you.

However I have just checked and whilst they have a very wide field of view and a low 4x magnification, their minimum focus distance is 10m (32.8ft) which for using them at the opera and sporting events is perfectly fine, but for most will make them unsuitable for viewing the television which is a shame.

Anyway, I hope this helps and please let me know what you think. 

Kind regards,

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good day
Please where can we purchase binochular to watch tv in South husband has 30% eyesight

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x