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Did I go TOO big??


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#1 of 32 Eric*B

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Posted September 09 2003 - 12:23 AM

Ultimate Electronics delivered my 55" Mitsubishi Silver Series RPTV yesterday. The picture is GREAT! After making the initial tweaks (turning down brightness/contrast, adjusting basic convergence), my wife and I were excited to toss in a DVD and watch our first movie on it.

Wow - were we disappointed to find that we almost couldn't find a comfortable position to watch the movie. The main seating area is about 120 inches from the screen. It just seems like we had a hard time seeing all of the picture without moving our eyes around. I checked out some of the distance calculators and I think I'd have a migraine if I sat at the recommended Max THX viewing distance of 6.7 feet!!!!

Do these things just take some getting used to? Or do I need a smaller television??? I'm just a little bummed that here I am with the new HDTV I've been waiting for and I'm not really looking forward to watching it tonight.


#2 of 32 Mitch Stevens

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:18 AM

WOW! You're sitting WAY too far away in my not so humble opinion. I have a 65" Widescreen, and I'm sitting 8 feet away, and I can see the entire screen just fine. Although, it does take just a tiny bit of getting used to at first. When I first got the TV, I was sitting 11 feet away, and it was perfect, but about 2 weeks later, I found myself sitting 8 feet away, and I could see everything just fine. You're eyes just have to adjust to the larger picture. Since when you're watching 1.85:1 movies you're not seeing any black bars, you're watching a 55" Widescreen picture, and it can be difficult viewing at first.

Don't worry, it's completely normal. I went through the exact same thing. Besides....THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS TOO BIG! Believe me, in about 2 months, you're going to wish you had gone for the 65".

#3 of 32 BenSC

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:47 AM

When I first went Front Projection I had the same issues where I seemed fatigued watching movies. I too found that after about 3 or so movies I had grown completely used to it. It's like learning to sit closer to the front in a movie theater.
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#4 of 32 Jason Charlton

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:50 AM

I'm afraid I have to disagree with Mitch, IMO, there is such a thing as too big. In my experience, everyone has a certain "comfort zone" that can vary widely from what so-called viewing distance calculators tell you is "correct".

I have a 57" 16:9 display and sit at just about the same 120" as Eric (maybe a tad less), and for me it's an ideal viewing distance - despite several people telling me I *should* move another 3 or 4 feet closer. I've watched TV on a 65" set at about 8 feet and did not enjoy the experience much at all (granted, this was standard def. material, and the owner of the set DESPERATELY needed to calibrate his picture). I actually felt nauseous and even got a bit dizzy.

Which brings up another point, Eric, since there can often be a large disparity in picture quality from source to source, you'll likely discover that watching standard definition material is better at farther distances than nice, progressive scan DVD material. Since few stores offer a standard def. signal in showrooms, people are often surprised when they get their new sets home and hook them up to cable and suddenly notice all the grain and digital artifacts, and are sorely disappointed.

I will agree with Mitch in recommending you give yourself a bit of time to adjust (especially if you've just upgraded from a 27" or so display), but if after a few weeks, you still aren't comfortable, don't feel bad trading down to a smaller set. Also, have you properly calibrated the set with Avia or Video Essentials? A properly calibrated picture will probably be much easier on your eyes than out-of-the-box "torch mode" settings.

Everyone has their preferences, just be sure to do what makes you most comfortable and satisfied with your purchase/investment.

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#5 of 32 Eric*B

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Posted September 09 2003 - 01:59 AM

Thanks for the input everyone.

No, I haven't calibrated the TV yet, I need to get a DE disk (going to look for a deal on one this afternoon). I did do the basic, built-in calibration and de-torched (lol - this should be in the HTF dictionary) it.

We'll give 'er a couple days and maybe we'll adjust to it. We upgraded from a 32" 4:3 set, so this is a lot more television than we're used to.

I want to be happy with a 55" - maybe I'll just use Visene and Tylenol for a couple days until I'm broken in Posted Image

P.S. - if I DO trade to a smaller model, any suggestions for going back to the store and getting them to work with me? I did keep the box, etc.


#6 of 32 Ron-P

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:25 AM

It's not too big. I sit 9' away from my 80" screen and love it. Don't go smaller, you'll regret it later. I started with a 46" Mits and after about 4 months, it was too small.


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#7 of 32 Craig

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Posted September 09 2003 - 02:47 AM

You're about the right distance IMO. I'm about 10 feet from my 56" Tosh widescreen, and really enjoy it.

Don't compare this to viewing a 32" TV, think about viewing a movie at a theater. If you're midway back in a theater you still have to move your eyes around to focus on various parts of the picture. Remember, you didn't get a bigscreen just to end up with the same viewing experience you had with a regular TV.

#8 of 32 Neil Joseph

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Posted September 09 2003 - 03:18 AM

First off, you lose 2ft with a RPTV that you wont lose with front projection. I sit 12ft away from a 96" 16x9 screen. The quality of display will certainly affect how far you feel comfortable sitting from the screen and I agree that it is something that one can get used to as well.
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#9 of 32 Bob~M

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Posted September 09 2003 - 06:11 AM

I really think it's irresponsible to make the blanket statement that it's impossible to get a screen that's too big. If that were true, everyone in the movie theater would be fighting over the front rows.

Instead, you see folks choosing to sit in various rows to accommodate their personal preferences, eyesight, field of vision, etc.

Just the same, people may choose screen sizes based on those same preferences.

The best advice, I think, is to see if you get used to it during the return period. If you don't, return it and get a smaller one. YOU are the only ones you have to please in this matter. Enjoy!

#10 of 32 DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 09 2003 - 07:22 AM

Fact 1: You can't get a screen too big.

Fact 2: You *can* sit too close.

It's finding the most comfortable seating distance that's the key. But as long as you can do this, the bigger the screen the better.

Even if we move farther away from a larger screen so that it proprtionally stays in the same viewing angle...a bigger image stimulates our brains differently. Our brains know that the image is larger and farther away...and it produces a different emotional effect than sitting closer to a smaller screen.

I routinely sit about 12 feet back from a 100" diag screen at my friend's house (1.5 viewing distance) and it works great IMO with good source material.

Bad transfers require I sit father away. My partner doesn't like to sit as close however...preferring a 1.75:1 viewing distance. Everyone has a comfort zone, but be open to it changing after you get used to your new screen!

I used to think my 34" direct-view 16x9 was "Way Too Big" to sit close to. It was overwhelming to watch a movie even from about 8 feet back. Now, after getting more used to front-projection, I come home and movies on my my direct-view look like a diorama-in-a-shoe-box!

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#11 of 32 Andrew Bunk

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:05 AM

I just got a 57", and I started off about 8' away, and it definitely felt too close. I only had about a foot more I could move back, but that definitely helped. I may try moving a bit closer once I get my backlighting set up, but for now, the screen seems more than big enough...
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#12 of 32 Bob~M

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Posted September 09 2003 - 08:34 AM

It is quoted:

Fact 1: You can't get a screen too big.
Fact 2: You *can* sit too close.

Contradictory? Given that most people can sit only so far back from their screen before they go out a window or through a wall, you can indeed get a screen that's too big for any given viewing distance range. How big is too big? Depends on individual preferences and tolerances, there's no blanket answer.

#13 of 32 Andrew Pratt

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Posted September 09 2003 - 09:17 AM

Quote:
I really think it's irresponsible to make the blanket statement that it's impossible to get a screen that's too big. If that were true, everyone in the movie theater would be fighting over the front rows.

Quote:
Fact 1: You can't get a screen too big.
Fact 2: You *can* sit too close.

Contradictory? Given that most people can sit only so far back from their screen before they go out a window or through a wall, you can indeed get a screen that's too big for any given viewing distance range. How big is too big? Depends on individual preferences and tolerances, there's no blanket answer.

True but by the same logic there's only so large a screen most people and get as well. Basically it boils down to get the largest screen you can reasonably sit far enough away from. For most rooms the limit will be the screen size not viewing distance.

#14 of 32 DaViD Boulet

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Posted September 09 2003 - 10:11 AM

Right...obviously if you have a maximum distance you can sit then at some point you'd reach a max screen-size given the logic.

I only meant to point out that it's not the "screen size too big" that's the issue...it's how far away we can sit that's the real issue.

What's the difference?

As I stated, sitting farther away from a larger screen produces a more "film like" experience than sitting closer to a smaller screen. It's just the way our brains work. Your brain gets more of an "wow" when it *knows* that the image is larger. Personally, I think it has to do with how our lens and bi-focal vision focuses on the image. Our brains compute the distance/bi-focal vision thing and react to a larger image differently than focusing on a near-by smaller object that my fill the same field of vision.

All things being equal...you wan the biggest image you can get even if it means you'll move your seating back to adjust.
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#15 of 32 Bob~M

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Posted September 09 2003 - 03:30 PM

David, I do think you're right about distance being our friend in terms of a comfortable viewing experience. When the screen is more distant, your eyes don't have to move as far off "center" to move around and catch the action. Closer screens mean you're making larger movements with your eyes, and may contribute to fatigue.

#16 of 32 Bob Maged

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Posted September 10 2003 - 02:57 AM

Another thing to consider is that sitting farther back from a larger screen will allow for a wider seating area. The 15" diag. computer monitor I'm typing this on takes up much of my field of vision, but it is only ~20 inches from my eyes. My 94-inch-wide projection screen fills a little more of my field of vision but sitting ~11 feet away allows several other people to share the view.

#17 of 32 Eric*B

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Posted September 10 2003 - 06:24 AM

Update -

Well, I have begun to get used to the new screen size. One thing that has helped greatly is getting a progressive scan DVD player - seems there's a lot less eye fatigue with the image is crystal clear Posted Image Now if I could just figure out how to switch between 480p and 1080i (my TV will do it, just can't figure out how - I think it automatically upscales the 480 image....still have some reading to do Posted Image


#18 of 32 Chris Hicks

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Posted September 11 2003 - 12:10 PM

so am I safe getting a 57" with a distance of about 9' between myself and the set? when I want to the store to size shop, I stood around 5 feet or so away and the pic looked fine. I know I was standing but the tv was on a platform and almost the same height as if I was sitting on my couch with the set on the floor. could this be different in my own room?

#19 of 32 Eric*B

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Posted September 11 2003 - 03:39 PM

Hi Chris,

From my own experience, I can say that I would not go that large, especially if you plan on viewing any non-HD material (regular cable broadcast, etc). We pretty much go into the bedroom on our old 32" tv to watch cable now. When you combine the poor picture quality along with the stretch distortion, it's just uncomfortable for me to watch cable programming at 12' on my 55". Am still thinking about going down to a 48".

Hope this helps,
Eric

P.S. - also keep in mind that TV is going to look *much* larger in your home than it does in a large viewing room at a store.


#20 of 32 Jason Charlton

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Posted September 12 2003 - 12:38 AM

Chris,

Eric reiterated a good point - allow me to drive the point home yet again. One of the most important things to do when auditioning big screen TVs is to view standard definition material on it BEFORE you plunk down the cash. Not all stores will be able to do this for you. You'll probably need to make an extra effort to find a place that will hook up regular cable for you (or satellite, if that's what you have at home). I did most of my shopping at Tweeter, and these guys REALLY went out of their way to let me FULLY audition my set before purchasing it. Most HDTVs will look spectacular with progressive scan or HD material, but there is a large variance over how different sets handle standard def material.

The quality of the picture has a HUGE effect on the most comfortable viewing distance. The crappier the picture, the more your eyes will "fatigue". Therefore, it stands to reason that your minimum viewing distance will be dictated by the standard def signal (unless you watch DVDs more than 50% of the time).

For me, 9' from a 57" display would be too close. I'm at about 11-12' from my 57" and it's just about right for me. Of course, that's not to say it's too close for you, but SD material at that distance MAY not be acceptable for you.

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