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-   -   What's your Screen Size vs. Viewing Distance ? (http://www.avsforum.com/forum/23-screens/1303841-what-s-your-screen-size-vs-viewing-distance.html)

rana_kirti 01-04-2011 01:48 AM

Hi People,

Hope everyone had a Great Start to the New Year....!!!

1. I'd like to know your Projector Screen Size vs. Viewing Distance...... Pretty Simple

2. Also do you wish you had a bigger/smaller screen from the distance you are sitting at right now ?



BMLocal175 01-04-2011 06:48 AM


Mine is about 9ft with a 47". I've had it for going on 4 years and never had a problem with it. It is small for that distance and will be upgrading to a 65" when I find the right price.

StevenC56 01-04-2011 08:02 AM

Originally Posted by BMLocal175 View Post


Mine is about 9ft with a 47". I've had it for going on 4 years and never had a problem with it. It is small for that distance and will be upgrading to a 65" when I find the right price.

I think the OP is looking for input from people with front projection set ups.

Gunaa 01-04-2011 09:19 AM

120" Screen and 14' seating distance. Very comfortable.
Screen Aspect ratio 16:9
PJ Casio xja240.

NicksHitachi 01-04-2011 09:24 AM

Originally Posted by rana_kirti View Post

Hi People,

Hope everyone had a Great Start to the New Year....!!!

1. I'd like to know your Projector Screen Size vs. Viewing Distance...... Pretty Simple

2. Also do you wish you had a bigger/smaller screen from the distance you are sitting at right now ?



Originally Posted by Gunaa View Post

120" Screen and 14' seating distance. Very comfortable.
PJ Casio xja240.

Also might want to include aspect as that is very important.....

inspector 01-04-2011 12:43 PM

Sitting 12' from a 16x9 110" JKP Affinity Cinema Contour Dalite Screen, .09 g.

PJ Epson 9500 UB.

Room is 11'x17' w/5 Bello theater seats.

StevenC56 01-04-2011 01:10 PM

Originally Posted by inspector View Post

Sitting 12' from a 16x9 110" JKP Affinity Cinema Contour Dalite Screen, .09 g.

PJ Epson 9500 UB.

Room is 11'x17' w/5 Bello theater seats.

2 rows of seats?

jayn_j 01-04-2011 01:39 PM

Still playing with seating configuration. Currently sitting 11' from a 120" 16:9 screen. Might go back to 10' as kids are complaining we are too far back.

Room is 12'x20'

jautor 01-04-2011 02:53 PM

Good thread (not a new topic, I know). I'm finishing my theater now, with 3 rows - 1st is ~10' from screen, 2nd (main row) is ~16', and third is a bar table at 18'. I'm planning on a 136" 2.35 (108" 16:9) CIH setup. I've played with a temporary setup to see if the front row is "too close"... The main row is great, and the front row is big, but didn't seem to be uncomfortable. Adjusting the zoom to simulate a 128" 2.35 or smaller didn't really seem to make much of a difference, but certainly was a negative impact to the main/back rows.

jayn_j - sounds like you're about the same ratio for my front row, and you obviously don't see an issue!


inspector 01-04-2011 03:31 PM

Originally Posted by StevenC56 View Post

2 rows of seats?

Right. Door is at the rear right side. When you walk in, to your left is 2 theater seats on a 9" platform. The front row has the 3 seats...perfect, for me that is...with the sweet spot the middle seat!

mgkdragn 01-04-2011 03:35 PM

110" Carada, 16:9, 1st row 12' back when fully reclined ..

I'm drinking wine and eating cheese, and catching some rays, you know.

mizedog 01-04-2011 09:49 PM

I'm running a 4x8 sheet of Do Able board which nets about 98" 16:9. First row, non-reclining couch at 11-12', second row is at 16-17'. No problems.

Not sure if you're looking for impressions, or examples, but here it goes. It's big enough to make overhead shots, like flying over a cliff exhillerating. Beach sceens have depth so you feel more like you're there. Watching home runs on MLB is much more fun than on my 42" LCD TV upstairs since you can feel the height and distance of the ball's path. I would like to have a 2.35 screen that is no more than the 48" high of the current board.

sneill 01-05-2011 02:32 AM

Hi Folks,

Check this existing/older thread http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ht=screen+size

It’s slightly more structured asking forum members to answer the following in order
1) What projector are you using?
2) What is your throw distance?
3) What is your seating distance?
4) What screen: size brand and gain?
5) If you were buying a new screen would you go bigger, smaller, or same size?

It would be great if those who replied here & read this thread could provide their feedback on that older thread.
I find if everyone responded in the above 5 questions in that order it makes the thread very easy to review and get an idea of forum members experiences.

Rana – apologies if this sounds like I’m dumping on your thread, nothing could be the opposite…
I’m currently deciding on screen size for my 1st HT room (very basic) and find this information very interesting, nothing like hearing forum members real world experiences.
I hope my response if interpreted in a positive manner.

rana_kirti 01-05-2011 03:50 AM

No worries there sneill... :-) whichever works out best for everyone...!! We are all here to help each other... I'm in the same place as you.. Best of luck with your setup

sneill 01-05-2011 01:08 PM

Originally Posted by rana_kirti View Post
No worries there sneill... :-) whichever works out best for everyone...!! We are all here to help each other... I'm in the same place as you.. Best of luck with your setup
Thanks Rana,

I wonder if a Mod could merge the 2 threads as very useful information to what I'm sure is a common question for those trying to decide on screen size.

rana_kirti 01-21-2011 05:37 AM

thanks for the input guys....

so i decided to do some test run on the wall with my projector today in search to decide the perfect screen size for me... I went through many threads, forums, discussions but realsed i had to test it for myself as to what size i like best. Here are my findings and i'll let you all know straight away that i'm little clearer on this but still confused....

Projector is a Optoma HD65 720P.

I have the option to sit from around 12 feet upto 15 feet. I sat at 15 feet.

I first marked on the wall different sizes diagonal 110" & 119".

I started with a 1.78:1 movie. From 15 feet this looked quite big at 110" and looked humongous at 119". I think in this situation i liked the 110" better.

Then i tried a 2.40:1 movie. From 15 feet this gave letter box on my screen/wall marking and the image height reduced.

I tired an action sequence with fast moving scenes and from 15 feet i think i was able to absorb a 110" sized marking better than a 119" sized marking.

Then i tried a slow scene with people talking and in that also i found my eyes were able to absorb a 110" sized marking better than a 119" marking.

My Observations/Findings....

1. I seem to be able to absorb entire frame more completely of a 110" screen within my vision from 15 feet. The 119" screen seemed slightly more than i could handle.

When i re-watched the same scene again and again changing back and forth to 110" and 119" i just felt that i can see more in the smaller screen and also more clearly.

Like in action sequences when i first saw a 119" and then a 110" i felt i saw some things on 110" which i missed seeing on the 119"

Also in slower scenes which just involved the face of the person i could see the whole face better and more clearly on a 110" than a 119"

2. The 110" did sometimes feel that i was watching a large plasma because everything was withing my vision where as the 119" felt more like a movie hall.

3. The price difference between a 110" screen and a 119" screen is less than 5 % and the mind always says get bigger though that might not always be a correct thing to do.

4. Installing a 119" has a benefit that i can keep mount the projector beoyond where the fan is on the ceiling. If i do a 110" then the mount rod comes in the path of the fan in which case i'll have to remove the fan or do some other thing like redcing the blade size.

5. My wall allows 119 as max size and my viewing distance allows 15 at max although the room is 19 feet in length so my minds saying go as big as you can go.

6. I also wonder what what kind of effect the 119" will have compared to a 110" as far as "Bulb Brightness" is concerned. Will the image get dimmer sooner on the larger screen as the bulb gets older and will i have to replace the bulb sooner with a larger screen. I mean is 119" very big vs. a 110" when considering "Bulb Brightness" ?

From the replies i have seen above i can see that a lot of people are siiting much closer to a larger screen than what i found myself to be comfortable with with my brief 3 hr experiment.

Do people always wish they had got a bigger screen a few months after getting thier screen because they eventually get used to the screen size they got.

Could it be that i get a 110" screen and 3-6 months down the line have a feeling that i should have got a 119" specially when my wall allows that size ?

newfmp3 01-21-2011 07:49 AM


first row 12'

second 16'

110" feels just right. I prefer to sit in back row. Had a chance to jump to a 120, but I feel 110" is a sweet spot. Also, most Budget PJ's get quite a bit dimmer approaching the 120" and above mark.

R Harkness 01-21-2011 12:55 PM


Welcome to the torment of trying to choose a projector screen.

A lot of us discovered once we got into front projection that choosing the exact screen material and screen size could be even harder than the decision on what projector to buy, for many of the reasons you are finding out.

You are on the right track: projecting images on to your wall to investigate the image size you want is pretty much the best you can do in making this decision. And everyone is different in what they prefer. But of course it's not only about image size preference; you have to consider other technical criteria such how bright your projector is and how bright an image you want.
You're right - the bigger screen will tend to require more light horsepower, which can have consequences over time as bulbs dim. And that brings in questions of what screen material to buy. If you are going for a larger screen
then you may have to go with a screen with some gain. But if you have a challenging room for projection, e.g if you have bright decor that might reflect light back to the screen and wash it out, you may wish to go with a "speciality screen" that is darker...but if you do that you may not be able to go for the 119" screen as it would be too dim.

So, lots of things to think about.

But sticking with the concept of sheer image size and viewing comfort, it seems you have just begun testing this issue at your home. I'd advise you to keep testing a while longer. Why? Because we tend to adapt to different image sizes over time. When I started projecting images on my wall, from around an 11 foot viewing distance, I felt that a 92" diagonal 16:9 screen would be as big as I needed. Compared to my TV it just felt so huge and cinematic. But the planning for my home theater took quite a while and during that time I continued to test watching movies at various image sizes.
I found that I adjusted pretty fast to larger image sizes. I was projecting bigger and bigger and bigger images. And once I viewed a movie at, say, 110" diagonal, going back to a 92" diagonal, or even 100" diagonal image felt small and less cinematic. More like a "big plasma" as you put it.

I even enjoyed CinemaScope movies at up to 10 feet wide. Here's a post I made in my home theater build thread about how much indecision I went through when trying to mark which image size I wanted:


And as you can see from that post I ended up going to a fairly unique Variable Image Size set up, where I just vary the image size to my whim.

Having lived with this system and having experienced my choice of image sizes I can say a few things: I often view 16:9 images at between 102" diagonal and 110" diagonal (although for some occasions much bigger).
I find 105" diagonal a pretty good sweet spot for image size and image vividness in terms of sharpness and brightness.

However, to get that real "cinema" effect I find moving up to 110" to be significant. From an 11 foot viewing distance a 110" diagonal 16:9 screen image seems to be a sort of "sweet spot" image size in terms of feeling large enough to enter that "Cinema" feel, beyond a giant plasma vibe, yet retaining an excellent sense of brightness, image density and sharpness, so you still get a "holy cow" level of clarity from a great source.

I've used that size numerous times and neither I nor a single guest has ever felt overwhelmed at all. We had a bunch of guests to watch Toy Story 3 at that size and it just felt great.

Now, you are talking about sitting at 15 feet and that's a significantly greater distance, reducing immersion in the image. You may want to try that image size while sitting closer for a movie or two, to see if you adjust.

If I didn't have the choice of different image sizes and had to choose a 16:9 screen of only one size, I have a feeling I'd go for 110" from my 11 foot distance, since it's a good sweet spot for a "wow" feeling for watching movies and also because 2:35:1 movies wouldn't be as compromised in impact as they would at a smaller size.

ETA: When I say I like the 110" screen size I tend to be thinking of Hi-Def/Blu Ray movies as a source. There are now so many movies available on Blu Ray that it's hard for me to even find time to watch the few DVDs I have left. However, if you happen to view a lot of DVD movies you may want to take those source limitations into account, in terms of screen size. (But then again...HD/Blu-Ray is the future for quality movie sources, so plan for that as well).

FWIW. Best of luck.

darthray 01-21-2011 08:42 PM

Screen 114"
First row 10ft(main)
Second 14" (popcorn galery as I call it)

Love it, wish I could have went BIGGER!


HD in Ohio 01-23-2011 11:41 AM

We have a 136" 2.35 (112" @ 1.85) screen and have two rows of seating. I like the front row at 10' from the screen. My wife prefers the back row at 17' from the screen.

rana_kirti 02-16-2011 05:55 AM

a week ago i did the whole 110 vs 119 experiment all over again and at 15 ft i just preferred the 110 over 119. The 1.78:1 movies at 119 just looked too big at 15ft and looked perfect at 110.

the 1.85:1 movies looked good at 110 and i can move to 14 ft if i want to have a similar size to distance ratio as compared to 1.78:1 movies.

an important factor is that there are just too many movies at 1.78:1 and at 119 it was just to big for my eyes at 15 ft.

yes if the all movies only existed at 1.85:1 then i might have gone for 119. It's quite strange that i find a smaller image more comfortable at 15 feet as compared to a lot of people here.

So i called my mom and dad to do this experiment with me. And after 30 mins of playing 1.78:1 and 1.85:1 movies back and forth at both 110 and 119 size even they felt they were more comfortable with 110 and found the 119 too overwhelming.

So it's gonna be 110" for us.

Thanks to all for their inputs on this.

rana_kirti 02-28-2011 04:52 AM

guys as you all know from my posts above i did the 110" vs 119" at 15 feet experiments for a long time and concluded to get a 110" screen.

Now today i talk to the dealer and he has been selling audio video for 30 years. I tell him i want a 110" screen for my 15 ft distance and i tell him about my experiments and he tells me... Listen son....

"I've been in this business for 30 years and i have installed 1000's of screens. Almost all people have come back to me and said they wished they had gone bigger and a lot of them eventually do upgrade to a bigger screen."

He said although i preferred 110" to be more comfortable over 119" at 15 ft i would eventually in a few weeks adjust to the bigger 119" and get comfortable to that size even if i find it slightly too big right now after my experiments.

Now it's not like he's trying to oversell me the bigger screen because the price difference between the 110" and 119" is only 6% which is practically nothing.

We had a long conversation for about 2 hrs and he told me to reconsider 119" before i place the order for 110"

Now this has me confused all over again..... I experimented and found i was more comfortable with 110" from 15 ft and found 119" to be a little too big. It's that i felt on the 110" i could follow all that was happening on the screen with lesser effort and in 119: i had to move around my eyes more....

But he said i would get adjusted to 119" in a few weeks after a few movies....!!

What do you guys say...?

1. Did you feel you should have gone bigger after a few weeks/months of using your screen ?

2. Is he correct that my eyes will adjust to 119" in a few weeks...?

need some feedback from your all personal experiences on this.....

jayn_j 02-28-2011 12:21 PM

120" iis the biggest I could fit in my room and still have room for speakers. I sit 11' back. It seemed huge at first, but now I would go larger if I had the room. We are discussing moving the front row closer.

IMHO, at 15' back you will regret it if you choose the 110" screen. What seems big to you now, will look a lot smaller a month in. If I were doing it, I would be trying to figure out how to stuff a 135" in there.

repomambo 02-28-2011 03:32 PM

Sitting 11 ft away from Dalite 106 HP screen with a HD65 and Loving it !!...what a difference going from 92' .8 gain grey Draper

loonybass 02-28-2011 07:16 PM

i have a 240" screen and my seating starts at 16ft, for me the bigger the screen the more fun.

jayn_j 02-28-2011 09:20 PM

So there you have it, sports fans. 9 out of 10 HT builders prefer bigger screens

StevenC56 02-28-2011 10:52 PM

Seymour Center Stage 105" wide (114" diagonal) 2.35 retractable screen on the way. Front row seating @ 7.5', rear row seating at 12.5'. (14" riser)

Balbolito 03-01-2011 12:07 AM

113" from 15 ft away 1 row. SI Black Diamond 1.4 16:9. had a custom 106" regular fixed screen before it and am happy i moved to the bigger one now.

Benito Joaquin 03-01-2011 11:19 PM

The problem is what if you hadn't tested it out for yourself and all you had to go off of was his 'expert' opinion. I'll say this....i agree with him and it's sort of true. But that only goes for people that don't take that extra step in setting up a sheet to get an idea of image sizes. two piece projection is a very personal thing.

Just to give you an idea, there are a very good amount of high end dealers that do some amazing set ups that use this calculation to get them started when trying to determine what screen size to go with in relation to viewing distance. They take the image height and multiply it by 3.33. That will give you a very good idea of where to start. Most dealers take that calc and simply go a little bigger and that's how they determine the best screen size. But that's more for clients that aren't that involved in the build of the theater.

It appears to me that you've done your homework and put in the extra effort to try to find out what is best for you....you've done your job, stick with what is most comfortable with you.

If you can't decide, play it safe. Go with the bigger screen and be prepared to mask it down on your own if you simply can't get used to it.


Warbie 03-02-2011 03:14 AM

13ft from 120" 16:9. 16:9 feels a touch too large, scope a touch too small.

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