Screensize vs. Viewing distance

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John Kilbourn, Sep 9, 2001.

  1. John Kilbourn

    John Kilbourn Auditioning

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    Is there a general guideline for the ratio of screensize to viewing distance. In particular I have a viewing distance of 14 feet from the screen and trying to decide on a 54 inch or 61 inch RPTV. I would appreciate any opinions regarding which one would be best at this distance both for use with cable and DVD.
     
  2. Nicole P

    Nicole P Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello John,
    This article recommends a viewing distance of 5 to 8 times the height of the video screen. I think this must be for larger displays.
    In my experience 3 to 4 times the height is comfortable for a smaller screen.
    Others have mentioned 1.5 times the size (diagonal) of the screen.
    Rough guides but I hope they help.
    Cheers,
    Nicole P
    [Edited last by Nicole P on September 10, 2001 at 12:50 AM]
     
  3. Steve Berger

    Steve Berger Supporting Actor

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    Viewing distance is purely a function of the number of lines in a given height. 30 years ago they told us (TV technicians) that the nominal viewing distance of NTSC broadcast was 10 times the measured height of the screen. Later they said that RPTVs were 8 times due to the defocusing of the beam (spreading) as it hits the back of the screen. Recently someone decided that 8 and 6 were the multipliers to be used probably due to better power supplies allowing less overscan. A progressive scan TV should allow about a 4 times multiplier.(twice as many lines) If you anticipate adding a set-top converter for digital broadcast in the near future I always advise the largest set that will fit because of the lower height of the subsequent letterboxed image, likewise if you plan on a lot of DVD viewing. (a lot of widescreen images) If you are looking at conventional 4:3 set then either would probably work. Sometimes the 60"+ sets have heavier, bulkier cabinet designs and a significantly higher cost. If you are looking at 16:9 digital sets then in my personal opinion 61" may be too small to take proper advantage of the closer nominal viewing distance.
     
  4. Sean M

    Sean M Stunt Coordinator

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    It depends on the resolution of your source. For regular, interlaced tv, 3 to 4 times the screen height is plenty. For progressively scanned material at 480P, 2 - 2.5 times the screen WIDTH is an appropriate seating distance, for anything 540p or higher, including 1080i, then 1 - 1.5 times the screen width is the absolute minimum. Of course, in all instances you can sit farther away if you like, and that's really what it boils down to: at what distance to the flaws in the picture (there are always flaws) become unnoticeable enough for you to be happy? For me, with my current setup (94" diagonal screen and a Sony VPH-1271 projector) that distance is about 2.5 times the screen width to minimize scaling errors.
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    "Experience is the one thing you can't get for nothing." - Oscar Wilde
     

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