Need advice/opinions on HDTV Viewing Distance decision

lawrinson18

Auditioning
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Oct 3, 2006
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Andrew Sogn
Would love some comments on this issue I've been wrestling with. Call me a HT newbie, I suppose. I'm currently DIY renovating (wiring, drywall, lighting) my family room to be a home theater but I haven't bought the TV yet. I have settled on a wall-mounted plasma, but I'm wrestling over the size decision between 50" and 55." I've even settled on which model of which size I would buy (Panasonic TH-50PX60U 50" or Hitachi 55HDS69 55", for anyone familiar with the models). Through research and reading plenty of reviews and consumer ratings, I'm convinced either set will be of excellent quality. I'm not even worried about the price difference. My issue is that I'm working with a small room and I'm wrestling with the recommended viewing distance issue. I obviously want as large of a screen as I can get but I don't want to go too large that I start seeing pixels and other "digital artifacts."

The primary seating will be about 10.5 feet away from the screen. All of the recommended seating distance charts I've found (except for the THX standard which must only apply to film, not digital displays) recommend the 50" for my space but I made wood panel mock-ups of both sizes and the 55" just feels so much more impressive in the space - I feel like it would get me closer to a real movie theater immersion experience. Who thinks I can get away with that size and who thinks I am better off going with the smaller set?
 

homthtr

Supporting Actor
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Sep 5, 2006
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Steve
shouldn't be any problem with the 55". Yes there are formula's etc., but when it comes down to it if the 55" feels better for you I would suggest you stick to it. I've got a 60" with 10" and love it!
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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6,531
I watch a 56" at 7 feet and it is just about the limit for SD and fantastic for HD. 55" at 10 feet is no problem, just resist the urge to say "Man it is too big!!" when you finally get it installed. This goes away in a few days, trust me.
 

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 22, 1999
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5,182
You can also take a tape-measure to the local AV store, measure out 10.5 ft and watch the larger screen for 10-20 minutes.

But other than buying a TV that is too big for a shelf/cabinent, few people regret getting a slightly larger size.
 

lawrinson18

Auditioning
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Oct 3, 2006
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Andrew Sogn
Fantastic, I really appreciate the input, guys. Obviously, you've all given me the answer I wanted... but hey, that's a good thing! I'll be a lot more comfortable going with the bigger set now.
 

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