Considering FP - viewing distance and screen help?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by DaveGTP, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Hey FP folks,
    I am in the market for an AV upgrade. I really had my heart set on a 42" commercial Panny plasma for about $3k, but the responsible side of me keeps kicking in. I would have (barely) the fundage to cover the plasma (if they ever come into stock). I've been thinking about alternatives for some time (spending less money and paying off a credit card).

    I'll be honest here. Video upgrade was spawned by the desire to see LOTR bigger than the widescreen image on my 27" Zenith like 2 years ago. Widescreen is important to me, but realistically secondary (despite my love of LOTR), as most anime is and continues to be 4:3, all my legacy games are 4:3, and most current games are still 4:3.



    I started thinking about going FP with the X1 at this point. Not sure if I'm susceptible to rainbows or not at this point (anyone know how to easily check? Will eyeing up the giant DLP at CC tell me?). WAF is non-existent: the fiancee has been the one that has always wanted to build a theater room, she's more of a movie buff than me!

    We're renting a house and at this point, a HT room isn't an option at this time (but it is in our future someday). We'd have to put up some decent drapes to control light, good to see sunlight, but light levels are controllable (plus we are normally not awake/home during daylight anyway - most of our watching is night.


    I thought about CRT RPTVs, and I figured some light control would be necessary for any of the technologies except CRT/Plasma. Plus with the 4:3 sources....I figured if I'm going to have to control the light level, I might as well do it all the way and get a giant screen out of the bargain.


    I measured - the room is about 16 ft x 12 ft. I have a few questions...


    1) Right now we are set up the shorter way. Ditching the TV and moving to a screen flat against the wall would give us about 10-11 ft viewing distance (and a chair quite a bit off axis, say 30 degrees off center). Is that too close to set up a decent FP screen? There's 11 ft width of wall to work with (and it's the only wall without windows, doors, etc).

    2) The alternative to the 10-11 ft distance would be to flop the room 90 degrees. We would have to get a pull-down screen, which would be going down over the extra-large 4.5 ft wide doorway to the dining room. Any issues with hanging a screen with empty space behind it? I was actually wondering, as well - we have a chandelier on a dimmer switch in that room that we currently use for a bit of indirect light for the living room when watching stuff - would it work as a rear-bias light for the screen?
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Neil Joseph
    1) Obviously, there are other factors like the image throw (what size of image you can get with the PJ located at a certain location), resolution, screen door effect, and overall picture quality of the projector you decide to choose but, in general, from a seating location of 11' and with a wall wifth of 11', you can aim for a maximum screensize of about 100" as a ballpark figure. With the X1, you might just be far enough away to not see screendoor effect (pixel structure) but other X1 users can testify to this. Would at least one seat in your chair/couch be at 0 degrees? If so, then that would be the "captain's chair" [​IMG] with the other guests sitting off centre but 30 degrees would not be a problem. (same as sitting to the side in the local cinema).

    2) My previous setup used a pulldown screen but I had a wall behind it. Still, I did not appreciate the ripples that were present in the screen, something that becomes more evident to viewers the further off-axis they are. The alternative would be a tensioned screen that retracts out of the way but this would be a more costly option.
     
  3. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the reply, Neil.

    1) According to the infocus website calculator (I found the link today), leaving the room organized as is the shorter way, if I assume a 10-ft throw distance to the wall, I get a minimum size of about 67" diag and max of 80" - with a 53" to 63" width. Some reading implies that the maximum comfortable viewing distance should be 2x the width? So 53"x2 = 106", or 8 ft 10 inches, would be the minimum comfortable distance?

    2) If I set things up the shorter way, I think I could do a DIY fixed screen or cheap fixed tensioned screen and just mount the thing on the wall (as long as it looked tolerable). If I flipped the room sideways for the bigger screen/throw distance, I would have to go with a pulldown screen (because it would be hanging over the big doorway to the dining room).

    The da-lite high power screen seems to be recomended for non-tensioned (searching around AVS forum's screens forum). I couldn't find much details on cheap tensioned screens - comments are that they are about a thousand bucks??
     

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