Recommended seating distance question.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Daniel Mc, May 8, 2002.

  1. Daniel Mc

    Daniel Mc Agent

    May 5, 2002
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    I've read several times that one should sit at least three times the distance from the screen as the screen's diagonal distance. Does anyone feel this guideline can be bent? I'm looking into a Toshiba 42H81, but my room only allows me to sit about 80 inches at the most from it. By the above rule (which, I don't know if it differs for widescreen TV's) I would need to sit at least 126 inches away. What do you guys think?
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

    Mar 16, 2000
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    Calgary, Alberta
    Real Name:
    Michael Chen

    The rule for HDTV's is 1 to 3 times picture height ... at this distance, you can see all of what your TV is resolving in terms of detail.

    The further back you sit, the less important resolution and image detail become since you see less and less of it.

    Kinda like only needing a TV that does 900 lines instead of 1200 if you sit beyond the 1 to 3 guideline. At a certain distance, even VHS resolution looks good to you and cannot be differentiated from HDTV material.

  3. Marc Rochkind

    Marc Rochkind Second Unit

    Aug 26, 2000
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    Agree with Michael, and also I would add that this is the problem with HD 4:3 sets with vertical compression (16:9 mode). There isn't a single seating position good for both low-resolution 4:3 and high-resolution (e.g., DVD) 16:9, so you have to keep moving your chair.

    On the other hand, with a 16:9 set, the 4:3 image is smaller relative to the widescreen image, so the same seating position tends to work for both.
  4. Drew Eckhardt

    Drew Eckhardt Stunt Coordinator

    May 10, 2001
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    1.5-2X picture width works well for scaled DVDs.

    Personally, I like about 10 feet (1.7X) from a 6' wide screen (diagonals in 4:3 and 16:9 formats would be

    90" and 81" respectively) for the balance between cinematic scale and sharpness.

    Less than 3.3 picture heights (about 1.8X picture width) is required to visually resolve 1080 line sources.

    Conversely, scaled Echostar and VHS sources are less objectionable 2.5-3 widths out. This is a good argument for wider (16:9, 1.85:1 or even 2.35:1) screens on which DVDs/HD are big and DBS/VHS are small.

    And on 32" interlaced sets, it seems to take about eight feet to avoid noticing the combing artifacts.

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