I have been trying to figure out 1) how large of a screen to buy and 2) where should my sweet spot be?. I am looking at getting a 16:9 screen since that is most of what we watch but we will also watch some movies. I have a pre-existing dedicated home theater room that has a raised platform for the second row of seating. The distance from eye to the screen is about 10.5 feet on the front row and 16.5 feet on the back row. After several weeks of viewing at different sizes I think that I am looking at a 126" screen but by using the THX standard of .84 times the distance from screen, I would be needing a 106" screen based on front row and 166" on the back row. This is a difference of 60" of screen size based on the two rows so I split the difference down the middle and and added a couple of inches to get me to the next standard screen size of 138". I set my projector to display a 138" image on a sheet and it was too large for high action on the front row so I went to sizes down to 126" and it is much more tolerable on the front row but seems small on the back row. I prefer an immersive feel so I want to maximize the size but don't want to make it uncomfortable for people on the front row. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated and any personal experience with a similar situation would be very helpful. Thanks in advance
My seating is slight further back than yours (11' 5", 17' 6") and I have a 144" wide x 81" tall (16:9) screen (From Carl's place).
My initial thought was this would be to large and I would shrink my projected screen then use panels to create crisp border - easier to do this than the opposite - once installed though my first though t was "hmm maybe I should have gone larger)
In reality what I have found is this is good size in front row for scope movies and 2nd row is great for 16:9 football and baseball.
I also find myself using front row for 16:9 movies and don't find it to be tiring (most of the action is in the center area). If I had gone smaller so as to be "comfortable" in front row 16:9 I think my 2.35:1 movies would have been too small (I like to "be in the action" and find that I sit ~ 10 rows back in local movie theater)
I sit around 9-10ft from a 140" 2.37 screen and I love it!
No point building to some studio calculation and being disappointed every time you watch it.