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Viewing Comfort

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Antonio S, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Antonio S

    Antonio S Well-Known Member

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    Like many of you I've been holding off a bit longer to upgrade my present viewing equipment. In the meantime I've been blanketing the home theater equipment forums, in order to bring myself up to speed on whats available. Examining everything including crt front projection.
    Asked myself a question this morning that kind of brought my thinking to a stop. "Is bigger really better?"
    Yes, watching a cavalry charge on a seven foot screen has to be fantastic but, isn't watching a two to three foot head, a bit removed from reality. And, the largest portion of any movie is two or more individuals speaking dialog.
    I'd really like to know what some of you have found to be your optimum viewing size. Especially would like to hear from the movie buffs.

    edit: 'cause I kant spel.
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    You need to focus on viewing RATIO, not screen size. Screen size is irrelevant, you can have a giant screen and then sit very far away from it, and have a similar experience as with a smaller screen that you sat the same ratio from.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Well-Known Member

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    Have you ever said that to yourself when watching a film in a commercial theater? If not, then why ask the same thing regarding a home theater?

    But I do agree with you that the bigger-is-better mindset is not necessarily the correct one (said the KD-34XBR960 owner).
     
  4. Antonio S

    Antonio S Well-Known Member

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    Heh, thanks Jack, I needed that.
    Can't dispute Mr Wiggles words of wisdom. My viewing options for the immediate future however, are unfortunately, fairly fixed. Nine to ten feet from the source. This would equate to an optimum screen size of 72" or six feet. If one is to use the ratio of the viewer, sitting one and one half times the screen length, from the screen. This is information obtained from a home theater source. I do not warrant its accuracy.
     
  5. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of viewing comfort, and not to derail this thread, is there an optimum viewing height for the screen. I was drawing out my projector dimensions on the wall today, 97" diagonal.

    I basically centered the "screen" (blue painters tape for now[​IMG] ) on the wall.

    The gap between the top of the screen and the ceiling is the same as the bottom of the screen and the floor.

    My screen is perfectly centered on the wall but I was thinking it might be to low.

    So should it be higher or am I good to go?

    Thanks!
     
  6. GregDas

    GregDas Member

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    Antonio...

    I used 1.5 x screen width as the formula, (or 1.618 for you DaVinci Code fans...) so my screen is 45" x 80" (92" diag.). This put my distance @ 120", second row about 15'. For my preference 10' is great for watching movies, but I admit to sitting more in the second row for TV programming... this is how I adjust the viewing ratio. It allowed me to put a good sized screen on the wall.

    Joel...

    I'd raise it a bit. I mounted my screen about 16" down from the ceiling. I was worried that too much lower would necessitate raising the back row of seats even higher to get viewing clearance. Of course, for reference my ceiling is at 8', yours may be different.

    Greg
     
  7. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    1.5 SW is fairly close for many displays, but I too find this a good viewing ratio for quality content, especially HD content. I do not find 720p digital displays sufficient to support viewing this close, I prefer 1080p digital displays or CRT displays at 720p or higher.
     
  8. Bob Maged

    Bob Maged Well-Known Member

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    Conventional wisdom says your eyes should align approximately one-third of the screen height up from the bottom of the screen. Placing your screen significantly higher or lower can lead to neck strain from looking up or down too much. Check out the following site for lots of good information: http://www.myhometheater.homestead.c...alculator.html
     
  9. Antonio S

    Antonio S Well-Known Member

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    Not a problem. I was more or less thinking out loud.
    Got pretty good and usable info, for very little effort.
    Many thanks.
    Appreciate the link Bob.
     
  10. Joel...Lane

    Joel...Lane Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Bob[​IMG]
     
  11. David-Wright

    David-Wright Well-Known Member

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    I tend to disagree with some of the "experts" in this regard. For picture size I really do think bigger is better. The response I get when people walk into my HT is "Wow that picture is huge". They don't say, "Gee wouldn't this be better on a 42" plasma".

    Try this, go big until you find it too big, excessive pixels or not quite able to take in the whole picture. Then reduce the size until it gets comfortable.

    The big picture gives you the emersion feeling of a theater or even IMAX. Anything less is just TV.
     
  12. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Well-Known Member

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    But it all comes back to how far you are from the screen. Imax doesn't look so big if you're half a mile away.

    Emersion is much more tied to the viewing angle, the absolute size is less relevant.
     
  13. David-Wright

    David-Wright Well-Known Member

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    exactly, that is why I will intentionally violate some of the rules of thumb. I wouldn't use a strict formula. If you always moved further back when you made the screen bigger then there really wouldn't be any advantage. But have you ever felt that movie theater feeling by holding your game boy 6" from your face?

    My new projector is so much better than my old one that you can sit much closer and you don't see pixels. The only time I feel it is too close is watching Tv shows like Amazing race, that have a lot of jittery camera movement. But my projector has several modes. So with the touch of a button I can cut the picture down to less than half its size for those occasions.
     
  14. Antonio S

    Antonio S Well-Known Member

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    Heh! Forgot about this thread. I am glad that its generated some useful information for those of us that are betwixt and between.
    I'm going to have to do some serious interviewing of displays when decision time comes around.
    (To be very honest, the thought of looking up at Lee Van Cleefs nostrils on a 96" screen close up, in my favorite "Spaghetti Western", kinda gives me the creeps.) (whew!)
    Apologies to Mr Van Cleef.
     

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