seating distance and screen size help

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Matty Seals, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Matty Seals

    Matty Seals Auditioning

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    i'm laying out our home theater on cad right now and i'm just looking to get some opinions on the seating distance vs. the screen size...

    room size will be 15'2" wide by 23'5" min. depth to 25'2" max. depth. (final room depth hasn't been decided)

    anyways, we wanna use at least an 11' screen and have 2 rows of seating.

    right now i have the first row at 13'9" and the second row at 20'9"

    does anyone have any thought or reccomendations.

    i will email a diagram on request
     
  2. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    Matty,
    I have a 91" screen with my seating around 13" and I wouldn't want it any bigger. You propose a 11' screen and front row 13'9". The viewers in the front row will not be able to see the entire picture at one time. They will only be able to see one section at a time sitting that close. Also depending on your projector, your picture quality might have issues up close. The distance for the back row looks OK.
    If you can change the size of your room, another consideration is the acoustics. Some room dimensions are better than other dimensions. I was surprised how much a few inches make. Here is a link to a spreadsheet that I used. Frequency Response Calculator This also helps with seating locations.
    Dave
     
  3. Bryce_H

    Bryce_H Stunt Coordinator

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    Matty,
    I am finishing a room that is 16' X 23' with a 106" 16X9 screen. My first row is going to be about 12' back and the second will be about 17' Will have to play with it once I get the room drywalled, the stage and riser built, and the chairs down there. But that is what I am thinking right now. BTW, I used that calculator and it really helped.
     
  4. Ron-P

    Ron-P Producer

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    For me, this is too far back, but, this is one of those questions your going to get all sorts for answers to. The best thing you can do is place a chair in the room and use some tape on the wall to outline your screen and then move the chair around until you find a distance you like.

    My screen is 85" diagonal. The front row sits at 8.5' (or 1.20x the screens width) with the back row sits at 11.5' (or 1.62x the screens width). I much prefer the front row.

    If it's too close for some, make'em sit in the back. [​IMG]
     
  5. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Typically, it is suggested that you sit 2 times your screen width back. My 98" screen is around 7 feet wide, and the primary viewing distance is around 13 feet back. It also depends on resolution. I have the Z2, which is 720p, and even up to 10 feet I still see a damn good picture (no SDE). I have seen recommendations of between 1.5 times width to 2 times width. I am thinking of moving in a little closer, so it fills up the field of view a little more.
     
  6. Jay Mitchosky

    Jay Mitchosky Producer

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    1.5 to 2 - that's a standard rule of thumb. I used raw trigonometry when setting up my theater. Good 'ol tangent. I selected a 36 degree field of view according to THX standards. The minimum recommended is 30 degrees according to SMPTE. The extreme gets to around 40 degrees. Plug half your desired viewing angle into the tangent formula as theta. Your seating distance is the adjacent side. Half the screen's width is the opposite side. Solve for the opposite side (you'll be able to find a calculator on the net) then multiply by two for the total width. I believe that you should shoot for 24'ish degrees for the second row if at all possible. There's another standard for vertical field that is 14 or 15 degrees if I recall, measured as the horizontal plane of your vision vs. the top of the screen (more tangent!). You'll be close if you plan for your eyes being 1/3rd the way up the screen. And all of this should stress to you the importance of knowing your seating dimensions and where your eyes will end up when reclined.

    Next time you go to a theater and you sit down in your favored location pay attention to how much of your field of view is occupied by the screen. Keep that in mind as you plan your home theater. I find that the screen size in my theater (which only has the screen roughed in for reference at this point, although the rest of the room is done) is consistent with what I see when I go out in terms of what it fills up.
     
  7. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    I thought it was screen height and 3 times that measure away from the screen. Also, ideally the bottom of the screen should be eye level with the last row of seats.
     
  8. Demetrius

    Demetrius Agent

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    I am going to suggest that you not forget the surround sound speakers. The seating needs to be placed to allow space to prevent the listener from hearing a surround speaker individually. I designed a theater and the back row is too close to the back surrounds. I haven't had any complaints (I however would prefer a few more feet from the back wall).
     
  9. Brad E

    Brad E Second Unit

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    The bottom of the screen at eye level is way too high. Everyone will have to be looking up and that is not comfortable. Unless you have recliners and are always reclined, I wouldn't suggest mounting it that high.
    Although with an 11' screen, the ceiling is likely to be the limiting factor anyways.
     

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