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Old 10-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #1
Immersion Immersion is offline
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Default Viewing distance/screen size, which formula?

Hi everyone. I'm currently awaiting the release date of the Epson EH-TW3200, and I'm contemplating screen size, and trying to weigh up between an 84" or 92" screen. I have heard some people say that the screen distance from your viewing position should be roughly linked to the following
Quote:
With a 1.78:1 screen, for every 10" diagonally the screen is, you want to sit a foot back for optimum viewing distance.
How closely does your setup match the ratio with regard to your viewing distance/screen size? I guess I could go for an 84" and just mount it a little closer. I will be getting an LCD with lens shift/zoom, so the placement of the projector isn't playing 100% into my placement of the screen. Can 1 foot for every 10" be too much, and result in a screen too big? Having not had a projector before, I don't want to make the wrong purchase, but I won't really know until it is mounted and too late. And the maximum I can put a 92" my viewing distance is just over 3 metres / 9.84 feet.

Thanks.
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Old 10-08-2010, 08:27 PM   #2
DrNegative DrNegative is offline
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Try this calculator out.


  • Maximum recommended SMPTE viewing distance (30 degree viewing angle)
  • Maximum THX viewing distance (26 degree viewing angle)
  • Recommended THX viewing distance (36 degree viewing angle)

Using me as an example, I type in my 150" diagonal screen, 16.5' viewing distance and I'm near spot-on (36.5 degrees) THX's optimal viewing angle recommendations (36 degrees), which would be around the middle row of a commercial movie-theater to scale. For you, 10 feet away from a 92" screen would give you almost the same angle that I have for mine.

Using your quoted formula, I would be sitting 15' away, which still wouldn't be bad either, like sitting 2/5 from the front row of a movie-theater. So it will still get you in the ball-park, but I know some who love to sit even closer than that, and some like to sit a little further away.

Another common formula is: (1.5 * screen width = seating distance), in my case 16.25 feet, again close to my current seating. That is only optimal of course, not required by any means.

In the end, it will be more your personal preference within recommended outer and inner limits. Just keep in mind that too close can result in too much neck turning, artifacts and pixelation becoming more noticeable; too far away and you or your audience may lose their "immersion" in the film.

Last edited by DrNegative; 10-08-2010 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 09:43 PM   #3
Immersion Immersion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNegative View Post
Try this calculator out.


  • Maximum recommended SMPTE viewing distance (30 degree viewing angle)
  • Maximum THX viewing distance (26 degree viewing angle)
  • Recommended THX viewing distance (36 degree viewing angle)

Using me as an example, I type in my 150" diagonal screen, 16.5' viewing distance and I'm near spot-on (36.5 degrees) THX's optimal viewing angle recommendations (36 degrees), which would be around the middle row of a commercial movie-theater to scale. For you, 10 feet away from a 92" screen would give you almost the same angle that I have for mine.

Using your quoted formula, I would be sitting 15' away, which still wouldn't be bad either, like sitting 2/5 from the front row of a movie-theater. So it will still get you in the ball-park, but I know some who love to sit even closer than that, and some like to sit a little further away.

Another common formula is: (1.5 * screen width = seating distance), in my case 16.25 feet, again close to my current seating. That is only optimal of course, not required by any means.

In the end, it will be more your personal preference within recommended outer and inner limits. Just keep in mind that too close can result in too much neck turning, artifacts and pixelation becoming more noticeable; too far away and you or your audience may lose their "immersion" in the film.
Thanks for that calculator. Fantastic, and what I was looking for, as a lot of the calculators I found were geared toward the projection distance, and not viewing distance.

I agree about being too close, as I find that far more uncomfortable than being a distance away. You have to shift your head, eyes, and always move yourself to keep up with the framing, but I will keep that calculator handy when I set up my screen.

I believe my current angle for my 42" plasma is about 33 degrees, that is when I sit in my chair at my desired distance, rather than on my bed (too far away), and for 2.35:1 films I wish I was a little closer. So I think 36 or so will be perfect. That way I can see a clear difference between 1080p/720p and be close enough to enjoy the experience, without straining myself lol.

Last edited by Immersion; 10-08-2010 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:17 PM   #4
Suntory_Times Suntory_Times is offline
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I just calculated my viewing angle, it is 40 degrees, and honestly I think it's fine. I don't have to move my head from side to side as the whole image remains in my field of vision very comftorably. I personally don't like going any bigger or smaller though. (I have tested it as well).

It may sound stange, but what surrounds your screen also seems to change my mind on this matter. If its just general 'houseware', then I tend to prefer it smaller, but when surrounded by all black, I prefer larger. Just remember, bigger is not better, and for all the recommendations, it does come down to personal opinion.
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Old 10-09-2010, 02:31 AM   #5
DrNegative DrNegative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntory_Times View Post
Just remember, bigger is not better, and for all the recommendations, it does come down to personal opinion.
I think the IMAX corporation would debate you on that.

To make a statement like that, would counter the very reason most front-projection owners were not content with their 50" HDTV and entered the hobby to begin with.

It helps with the immersion of a film and if you have a projector with the proper lumens rating, a decent sized room with a seating distance that your happy with, and enough space where more people can watch it with you, going bigger actually can be better. I had a 100" for awhile and after upgrading to a 150", I honestly don't think I could ever go back. Not that 100" is bad, it was still highly enjoyable, I just have a new perspective now after trying both. Even my non home-theater savvy friends agree after the upgrade and seeing both.

"To each his own" they say. Never dreamed I would hear it from you though.

Last edited by DrNegative; 10-09-2010 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 10-09-2010, 06:49 AM   #6
Suntory_Times Suntory_Times is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNegative View Post
I think the IMAX corporation would debate you on that.

To make a statement like that, would counter the very reason most front-projection owners were not content with their 50" HDTV and entered the hobby to begin with.

It helps with the immersion of a film and if you have a projector with the proper lumens rating, a decent sized room with a seating distance that your happy with, and enough space where more people can watch it with you, going bigger actually can be better. I had a 100" for awhile and after upgrading to a 150", I honestly don't think I could ever go back. Not that 100" is bad, it was still highly enjoyable, I just have a new perspective now after trying both. Even my non home-theater savvy friends agree after the upgrade and seeing both.

"To each his own" they say. Never dreamed I would hear it from you though.

Ohh, i'm not saying bigger isn't better under any circumstances. You just don't want to sit 1 metre asway from a 200 inch screen as the screen will be to big for it's own good. Imax has different rules to normal cinemas and is meant to take up more then your field of view, but compensates by how it is shot (65mm/70mm film with slower camera movements).
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:56 AM   #7
Deciazulado Deciazulado is offline
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Default Viewing angle in the middle of theaters

The viewing angle sitting in the middle of a proper theater is a bit wider than what the home formulas recommend, and yes you have to move your eyes and neck sometimes when experiencing the full scope of the action in theaters, like in real life, which is one of the reasons movies in theaters are so engaging.

The TAP specifies the size of the image shouldn't be less than 26 degrees in width from the last row of the theater. If we use this minimum 26 degree viewing angle size number for a 1.85 screen using that calculator the figures are:


Last row of the theater equivalent at 10 feet:

30" x 55.5" = 1.85 (63" diagonal) at viewing distance of 120 inches = 26 degrees wide = 4PH


Seat at the middle of the theater then:

30" x 55.5" = 1.85 (63" diagonal) at viewing distance of 60 inches = 49.6 degrees wide = 2PH


or going back to using 10 feet as a viewing distance equivalent to recreate sitting in the middle of a theater:

60" x 111" = 1.85 (126" diagonal) at viewing distance of 120 inches = 49.6 degrees wide = 2PH





Anyway, if you're sitting, and can't see this checkerboard pattern

checkeredpattern-1.gif

on this :



you're sitting too far away to see all the pixels (or your display doesn't reach 1080) so you're not seeing the full resolution of the format.


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ph-1.jpg

Last edited by Deciazulado; 10-09-2010 at 07:59 AM.
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Old 10-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #8
Immersion Immersion is offline
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I ended up going for a 92" 16:9 screen and it worked out fantastically. It is about the perfect fit for my room, and the distance of 9 feet is just right for 1.78:1 films, and you get the whole screen in vision without having to shift. It translates to about 40 degrees, so thanks for the calculator, I couldn't have hoped to blind buy without trialing something and having it match my setup so well.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:43 PM   #9
DrNegative DrNegative is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Immersion View Post
I ended up going for a 92" 16:9 screen and it worked out fantastically. It is about the perfect fit for my room, and the distance of 9 feet is just right for 1.78:1 films, and you get the whole screen in vision without having to shift. It translates to about 40 degrees, so thanks for the calculator, I couldn't have hoped to blind buy without trialing something and having it match my setup so well.
Awesome, good to hear. You will never want to go back to a TV again, trust me.
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Old 10-22-2010, 05:55 PM   #10
MrFattBill MrFattBill is offline
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I severely under estimated how far I am from my 121" 16:9 screen I checked the other night and I actually sit ~8ft away most of the time

Bill
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