What's the "correct" viewing distance?

Discussion in 'Displays' started by EricRWem, May 3, 2005.

  1. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I've been getting a lot of differing views on this.

    When I upgrade my display here in the next several months, I'm looking at about a 10 foot viewing distance. I was thinking 60 inches would probably be quite sufficient if I go DLP, LCD, or LCOS.

    Any thoughts on this, one way or the other?

    Lighting will be taken care of. I have blackout curtains and the colors are fairly subdued in the room. Glare will not be an issue.
     
  2. John S

    John S Producer

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    10' on a 60" is a 2 to 1 viewing ratio and pretty much right on with recomendations for ED. (480p DVD)
     
  3. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    I have also seen 2 to 3 times the vertical height recommended as the viewing distance.

    Eric what you might want to do, is to bring a tape measure to a showroom and actually test out that distance with the display you're looking at.

    The number I keep remembering (for me [​IMG] ) is 8 ft or greater for a 42" EDTV. Closer than that, and you'd want an HDTV. (You'd see the bigger pixels of the EDTV set.)
     
  4. Craig

    Craig Second Unit

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    With DVDs and Hi-Def TV, you should be fine. I sit about 11 feet, eyeball to screen, from my 56" widescreen set and don't have any problem at all with DVDs, they look great. Regular cable or satellite doesn't look as good, but is watchable. If you find something in the 60" range that you like, I say go for it.
     
  5. James Phung

    James Phung Second Unit

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    Seating distance is all subjective. People base seating distance on the closest distance you can sit before seeing "screen door" effect. With 480p displays, people recommend that you sit 2x the width of the screen. With 720p displays, you can sit closer at 1.5x. I barely notice screen door at less than 2x with my 480p 4805, and I am not bothered by it so I sit closer.
     
  6. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    I should have specified that this will be an HDTV situation, but already Im seeing great food for thought here, as expected. [​IMG]

    Obviously, I'll do my best during my demoing to take into account distance as best I can. It gets tricky, as oftentimes the store situation is vastly different from what the home situation would be.



    Crutchfield's A/V Advisor lists a chart like this, and based on my experiences, it seems fairly close to what I would expect.

    Standard (analog) TVs with 4:3 aspect ratio
    Screen size Suggested viewing distance


    27" 6.75 ft
    32" 8 feet
    36" 9 feet
    40" 10 feet
    45" 11.25 feet
    50" 12.5 feet
    55" 13.75 feet
    60" 15 feet



    HDTV-capable TVs with 4:3 or 16:9 aspect ratio
    Screen size Suggested viewing distance
    30" 6.25 feet
    35" 7.3 feet
    40" 8.3 feet
    45" 9.4 feet
    50" 10.4 feet
    55" 11.5 feet
    60" 12.5 feet
    65" 13.5 feet

    By this, going 60 would put me "over the top" as it were. [​IMG]
     
  7. John S

    John S Producer

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    Hmm, interesting.. That goes against what I read consistantly about reccomedations.

    2 to 1 for ED, which is what you get on DVD's. So I'm not sure I understand your "this will be an HD only situation"
     
  8. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    i tell my customers 2 to 3 times the screen size. so on a 50" tv, you want to be about 100-150" back -- ballpark it at 12ft.

    however, i always tell people they need to realize just how big a 60" tv is. it's pretty darn big - we're talking five feet diagonally. if you get one that is too big for your viewing distance, it's akin to sitting at the front of a movie theater ... the size of the screen overwhelms you.

    of course, i have a 60" myself, but i'm sitting pretty far back....somewhere around 15' i think...
     
  9. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    That's exactly my concern, Ted. Have to watch out that I don't go "too big." I think 60 is probably a safe ceiling for me, if I read all of you right.

    John: My confusion, not yours. [​IMG]
     
  10. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Hey, does anyone make the suggestion in terms of viewing angle? (That doesn't take into account pixel size, but ...)

    For example, if I sit in the front row of the theater, the screen is too big because you are so close you can't "absorb" all the info on the screen at once. But as you move back, you can "process" all that same info easier, because the viewing angle is decreasing. ??
     
  11. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

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    kevin, i don't think that's really a viewing angle thing. i think you're describing more of a peripheral vision thing....???

    since you're farther away from the screen (regardless of angle), you eyes can take in more of the picture.
     
  12. John S

    John S Producer

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    My closest seating is 10' from my 60" seems great.
     
  13. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    John, what display do you have?
     
  14. John S

    John S Producer

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    Philips 60" CRT RPTV uhhhh the model number escapes me right now, I've had if for a few years now.
     
  15. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Ted- Right: as the viewing angle goes up (if 0 deg is from the center line), more of your peripheral vision gets used. So it's a combination of both, if the viewing angle is too high (you are too close to a large set), or if the pixels are too large for that viewing distance, the picture won't look that great.
     
  16. Bob McElfresh

    Bob McElfresh Producer

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    This Viewing Distance Calculator has 2 different ways of suggesting seating distance.

    The first is based on visual acuity. The others are based on giving you a 30-36 degree viewing angle.

    Enjoy. [​IMG]
     
  17. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Sweet. [​IMG]
     
  18. EricRWem

    EricRWem Screenwriter

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    Awesome, Bob! [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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