How Big Can I Go?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Jim_Hunt, Jun 16, 2002.

  1. Jim_Hunt

    Jim_Hunt Extra

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    My wife and I are moving to a new home next month and one of the things I liked was a nice sized family room which will be for my new home theater. The room is 14 1/2' X 27' in size.

    So how big can I go on TV size? I will usually be on the sofa facing the television. I expect there will be a small eating table behind the sofa for playing game and such. (This will move the sofa about 8 to 10 feet from the back of the room.)

    I admit I like and think big and could get the biggest in the store but want to get what would be best suited. (I am thinking a wide screen HDTV rear projection.)
     
  2. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    There's really no limit to HDTV screen size in a room like that. As long as you can get the unit through the door. Just to give you an idea... for a room 14 1/2' X 27' and with the seating area about 15ft from the front of the room, you could accomodate a 120" 16:9 front projection screen at that distance.
     
  3. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    With a 16:9 screen, seating at 1.5 to 2X screen widths is a nice balance between imersion and how bad mediocre sources look.

    I think 2X is too small; and 1.5X a bit unforgiving and have therefore been using 1.7X which would result in a 10' wide (135" diagonal) screen for seats 10' in from the back of your 27' long room. This would be 135" diagonally.

    In practice, this requires front projection. If you don't want to live with that, you might move the couch closer and get the biggest HD RPTV you can find.
     
  4. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    A couple of related questions if you don't mind...

    Does the 1.5X-2X rule of thumb only apply to HD sets? What's the rule of thumb for analog...2.5x-3x? How does resolution play into it? If my sammy analog has 800 lines resolution does that enable me to move closer?
     
  5. Jim_Hunt

    Jim_Hunt Extra

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    I have been reviewing the posts about HD RPTV and guess maybe I wasn't as prepared to make a decision as I thought.

    Here are my viewing habits...

    My wife and I enjoy watching TV. We have DirectTV and have an UltimateTV unit and regularly record shows for later viewing. We have a DVD player and maybe watch 1 or 2 movies a month and will watch a few more since our new home will be closer to the video store.

    We do watch a movies on the movie channels (HBO, Showtime, Starz) usually two or three times a week.

    I expect to get a new progressive scan DVD player for my TV as well as a HDTV decoder for DirectTV. I also plan on putting up an outside antenna for on air HDTV broadcasts. (I am 40 to 50 miles away from the stations broadcasting HDTV.)

    What should I do? Whatever I purchase will need to be good for 7+ years. I could maybe buy an inexpensive big screen (without HDTV) and wait out another 3 or 4 years. What to do, what to do?
     
  6. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Here are some guidelines from the THX specifications:

    Viewing Angle
    The optimum audience viewing angle for the Cinemascope image (2.35:1) from the screen to the farthest seat in the auditorium is 36 degrees with 26 degress as the aceptable minimum. (Applying Dolby's recommended viewing angle using the screen to farthest seat measurement results in a viewing angle of approximately 31 degrees.)
     
  7. Christian C

    Christian C Extra

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    Here is a link to a viewing distance calculator based on the above mentioned THX specs and SMPTE recommended standards. These standards were originally written for commercial cinemas but have some value for those trying to recreate the cinema experience at home.
    The distances are likely to be to close for regular NTSC broadcast material, but should be quite suitable for DVD or HD material on any decent RPTV or FPTV.
    The link is here.
     
  8. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    Great link, Chris. I got to bookmark that one.
     
  9. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    That's a great link! However, I'm being incredibly thick tonight...How do you tell the minimum recommended distance? I only see the max. distance.

    The numbers that I'm getting are suggest a much larger screen than I would have thought. My seat is 9' away.
     
  10. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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    At 9' away, you'd want a 68" wide screen, so 85" diagonal in 4:3 or 78" diagonal in 16:9.
     
  11. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Thanks Gabriel. That's what I was getting but I thought I was missing something. The screen size is so much larger than I thought was okay. I've always operated on the 2.5-3 times the screen width equals the distance away. That would give me a 36" 4:3 for a distance of 9'. That's less than half of what the site was telling me.
    I'm much happier with the answer the site is giving me! My wife is going to hate you guys for giving me this info!!
    One last thing, is this calculator primarily for movie viewing? Does watching broadcast have another set of variables that would give me another recommended distance?
    Sorry for all the newbie questions. Audio is my strength. One of these days all of the video stuff will really sink in. [​IMG]
     
  12. Tony Meconiates

    Tony Meconiates Stunt Coordinator

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    I would get a Pionner elite 720 if I were you.
     
  13. Christian C

    Christian C Extra

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    The distances are suitable for DVD or HD material on any decent RPTV or FPTV. They likely to be a bit too close for regular NTSC broadcast material, watchable but you will really see how good or bad your source is.

    Personally, my main viewing spot is closer than the THX distance at about 36 degrees. DVD's are great, cable TV is watchable but you can see defects in the broadcast quality.
     
  14. Matthew Todd

    Matthew Todd Second Unit

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    Jim,

    I just wanted to throw this out as maybe it hasn't been considered much yet.

    If you have ambient light control in the room, you may want to consider getting a FPTV rather than an RPTV. It allows a larger screen size at a lower cost if you're buying used CRT.

    I just bought an 8" CRT that will easily do anything I want to feed it for $760. That's the same I paid 3 years ago for my 32" NTSC TV! I'm going to set it up for a 96 inch wide screen.

    There are bargains out there if it's something that interests you.
     
  15. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

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    1.5-2X width applies to high quality (DVD, HDTV) wide screen sources displayed at 480p or better using a technology without visible picture structure (CRT projection scaled as appropriate for the tube size and focussing method, DLP, LCOS) at that distance or that has been defocused (LCD) to eliminate it (screen door). On a 16:9 screen sized according to that guideline, I find lower quality (DBS, VHS) 4:3 sources window boxed in the middle acceptable (they're soft and VHS color resolution is poor, but it's not unwatchable as a full-width image is). YMMV.

    Technically speaking 480p is is EDTV not HDTV, and is/was available on a few "analog sets" (VGA resolution projectors will display 480p).

    At 480i, you get combing effects that are noticeable until you get twice as far from the screen. Even if the analog resolution numbers were both relevant (DVD is good for a theoretical 540 TV lines of horizontal resolution; anything more doesn't matter) and accurate (there aren't standards for measuring it) by the time you were close enough to notice, the interlacing artifacts would have you moving back. With the interlacing problem solved, the old numbers aren't relevant; especially with better-than-broadcast quality sources like DVD.

    After ordering my projector and learning it doesn't support screens narrower than 72" with the stock lenses I was a bit worried that it wouldn't work with my 12' front row. Having lived with it I settled on an 87" x 49" screen for the permanant installation, but wouldn't mind something closer to 110" x 46" for a bigger picture on good transfers of recent scope movies if I had the room width and light output.
     
  16. Gabriel_Lam

    Gabriel_Lam Screenwriter

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  17. Jim_C

    Jim_C Cinematographer

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    Matthew,

    I don't have the ability to go FPTV at the moment. I plan on it when I build the new addition on my house. That's not for a few years though. It'll be RPTV until then.

    Thanks to all for the info. Sorry for hijacking the thread from Jim_Hunt.
     
  18. Stephen Heidt

    Stephen Heidt Auditioning

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    OK, a related question for all you experts out there.

    Here's the necessary background info that I can think of:
    Sanyo PLV-70
    Room size of 16'W x 21'L x 9'H
    Dedicated HT room (completely darkened, no ambient light)

    I am interested in determining how large of a screen I can go for with this projector. I am interested in getting as much of an immersion feeling as possible. However, I have not seen any specs on the maximum screen size for this projector before video degradation. I know that it is a somewhat personal opinion regarding what size the picture begins to visually degrade. However, I was just looking for your guys' rough estimate.

    I know that the brightness of the projector will play a very large role, and the PLV-70 is a pretty strong and bright machine. Although I have not heard of anyone who has seen the new Optoma H76, how different do you think that machine would be in its maximum size, since it is a DLP and not as bright as the PLV-70?

    Thanks for any insights.

    -Stephen
     

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