# What size room and viewing distance would you use with a 57" DLP?

#### captaincrash

##### Stunt Coordinator
Hello...

... I'm sort of new to being particularly technical about my viewing - but as an old audiophile enthusiast I am sort of re-entering the fray and looking to expand my horizons with the total HD TV theater experience. I already have a 57" Epson Livingstation 3LCD rear projection HDTV (720p). And I was wondering what folks considered an optimal range for viewing... IE ... what would you consider is the closest, furthest and what would be optimal. Off hand I've seen the discussions of how a higher resolution 1080p screen can be viewed less then 2x the diagonal measure - while a 720p is OK at 2x the diagonal measure. BUT .... what do YOU think???

A long time ago I used to think you would hold a fist out at arms length and if the fist barely covered a 4x3 screen then you were at the right distance. Remember those days??? That was when we used to think that sitting too close to a direct view CRT was not good for your eyes. Yup... that goes back about 35-40 years to the late 60s/early 70s.

#### Jeff Gatie

Senior HTF Member
I have a 56" HDTV and sit 7.5 ft from screen to eyeball. It is a little close for SD but perfect for HD content. Most people will say around 10 ft, but I like the screen to fill my view and HD is perfect on my set.

#### chuckg

##### Supporting Actor
I'll second what you already wrote - double the diagonal measure (or so) for closest. Only You can determine optimal. My aging mom likes to sit about 40 feet away for her eyes, but about 2 feet away for her ears. If you can do a bit of simple geometry, you can determine when a pixel on the screen will be smaller than about 1/60 of a degree across - in other words, too small to discern with ordinary eyes.

Back in the old days, the reason for sitting across the room was to decrease the radiation from the relatively unshielded electron tubes. And to cut down on the chance of being zapped from the not-well isolated high voltage. Life used to be so much more interesting!!

#### captaincrash

##### Stunt Coordinator

... I guess I might end up experimenting a bit - and that's where some of the fun comes in, eh? First - I'll have to get the addition started - and / or I'll have to settle on the front projector I'll end up with. Sort of a what shold come first (the chicken or egg issue)... then experiment with projecting screen sizes of varying dimension on a blank wall prior to buying the screen - if that is practical at all w/o a proper screen! Then having done that I'll order the screen and layout the seating distances/placement and flesh out the theater. SO much to do - all or most of it on a whim and song!

Well... not really. I have the leading opinions on equipment here, plus all the clues and tips for completing a nice theater from so many others and .... the expectation that the final viewing distance might be 1.5 - 2x the diagonal of the final screen size I go with.

So much to do now.... and I'm now juggling whether or not I need a monster power center for conditioning and/or voltage stabilization. Those toys can be sort of pricey and there is so moch SUBJECTIVE conversation and little QUANTITATIVE analysis or DATA on it. The promotional discussions SOUND quantitative - until I start to talk to come of my engineering frineds about it. And THEY are in two camps on whether it is needed or not!

#### Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
This link to a viewing distance calculator will give you 2 numbers:

- One based on the THX concept of a 23 degree viewing angle
- One based on visual acuity

Monster Power center: The answer is ... 'it depends'.

The "Sensable Sound" took a \$700 power conditioner and let 2 reviewers use it for several days. One reviewer said it made no difference, the other said he would never run his equipment without one again.

The difference: one reviewer lived in a apartment with many other demands on the AC system including light industrial a block or two away. The other reviewer lived out in the suburbs.

The guy in the `burbs saw little difference doing A/B testing with the power conditioner. The guy in the apartment saw a dramatic difference.

Your AC power changes every hour from the power company, and then is influenced by local businesses and fellow residents. This changes often.

My advice: Find a local store with a good return policy and 'buy' a conditioner. Bring it home and do your own A/B testing to see/hear if it makes a difference in your home. Be careful to test on the nights/times you would normally watch your system. This is the only way to tell if it would help your system. Return the conditioner if you see little to no difference.

Hope this helps.

#### captaincrash

##### Stunt Coordinator
Well...

... I decided to just get one ... HOWEVER... I am sort of compromising (in part because I'm not sold on the need to splurge for the best sparkling new model or speciment - and more so because I've a ferret for value)... so the compromise was to get a Monster Power stage 4 model 5100. I got it used on eBay with an unconditional offer from the seller to refund for any reason if I'm not happy in 30 days. AND, the seller has listed several dozen of these units with differentiation on units which are cosmetic blems and units that are in clean cosmetic condition. And the seller assures everyone that they all operate normally.

So what did I pay? Well... let me begin by saying that in the eBay 30 day history all of the 5100 varients (5100, 5100 Mk 2, 5100 signature series) sell between 189 and 524 depending on whether the unit is in fact brand new sealed in a box or otherwise. Off eBay the on line price comparison engines suggest the selling prices for new 5100s is 400-800. And I won with a winning bid of only \$150 along with 2 other buyers. The listing had 4 for sale at once - and actually someone else had a lower winning bid on one of these in the listing. Their winning bid was \$147.50. AND yesterday there was one sales annomally with one 5100 selling for \$80 because the seller felt the unit was potentially defective. THAT \$80 one is the lowest priced sale - but also the seller had really bad writing skill and the posting description was somewhat discouraging on prose alone!

So - at \$175 including shipping and no sales tax - \$175 delivered is pretty cheap and virtually insignificant. I'll keep the thing whether or not I can hear a meaningful sonic difference or improvement in picture quality.

I live in a reasonably nice residential area (my neighbor is a pro football player and the family 2 doors down has a Ferrari in the garage. BUT also not too far away is a town home complex and some apartments and light industrial a few hundred or thousand yards away. So - I have no clear expectation of the condition of my power lines/supply. When it gets here I'll A/B a comparison.

At any rate, thanks for your insights everyone!