Originally Posted by Jacob B Ruben,
I mean "the overall optimum viewing distance".
I want the first row to be optimum - to be completly engulfed in the movie, but without severe eye strain or having to move the head from side to side.
What I don't
want is a compromize making 1th row so close it causes eye strain and second row too far to be good. First row center must be the perfect seat :-) as the HT primarily will be used by me and my wife. Second row must be "good".Anyone:
Screen distance from floor...?
...Thanks in advance,
Don't know if this will be helpful at all, and maybe you've heard all this already, but, first, I'll make my general point: Is there any way that, prior to purchasing a screen -- or prior to finalizing your seating distances --you can set up something temporary (blackout cloth, wall, foamboard) and tinker around with projecting different sized images and watching them from various distances (and here I mean for many hours, not just a few) to decide on what you feel works best for your setup and preferences?
I suggest this because there have been many posts across different threads (many of them in the "projectors" forums), in which AVS members have talked about what they find to be the optimal viewing distance. Despite the general recommendations that various organizations (e.g., THX) make about optimal seating distance, time and time again it boils down to the reality that there are substantial differences across people in how close they like to sit to the screen just as in a movie theatre some folks like to sit in the front rows, some in the middle, some in the back. For the life of us, when my wife and I go to our IMAX theatre, we can't believe how some folks rush down to the front rows to watch a movie on a 80' wide screen that's six stories high! Eye fatigue, neck cranking, etc. Well, it works for them, but we head for the back two rows because that's more than big enough and plenty "engulfing" -- for us.
Aside from individual differences, another factor is that for some folks perceived "image size" shrinks over time. At first, my wife, for example, thought that a 6' wide image from 13' viewing distance was too big. Now an 8.5' wide projection for a 2.40 movie seems just fine to her. More specifically, in our small "HT" room (19'2" x 12'5" x 7.7" ceiling height) our viewing distance is 13' to the image. For TV (16x9) we now feel most comfortable watching an image that is about 86" to 89" wide (48--50 high), so our viewing distance is about 1.77 screen width. For 2.40 movies we like the image about 102-104" wide (x about 44" high), so about 1.5 screen width. We find the height on the 16 x 9 to be more of a perceptually limiting factor than the width, in terms of the image feeling "right" or "too big".
For you or many other members, these images sizes might be too small, or stated differently, if the images couldn't be made any bigger (which they can't, in our room), they would want to sit closer. But when we have friends over, even with our seating distances they often find the images to be almost too big, because they aren't used to it.
Finally, if "optimal" is taken to mean the single best viewing distance, then obviously you'll have to choose between setting your first row versus second row at the optimal distance, or as you note, choosing a compromise between the two. You've mentioned that you want your first row to be at the optimal distance. Some AVS members with multiple rows state that they normally watch from their second row because in their rooms that's the row that's set at the optimal distance; other's have the optimal distance in their first row. It just depends on their room setup and how much depth they have to play with (given a choice, I'd rather have the first row at optimal distance). So all of these are reasons why it might pay to experiment with various seating distances and/or projected image sizes prior to finalizing your screen/seating decisions.
Just one question: If the first row, center seat, is going to be the "primo" seat, who gets it when you and your wife watch together
Anyway, it sounds like you're going to have a great HT, and best of luck.