What's the ideal height for a screen - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-29-2001, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm in the early early planning stages for a room. I've figured out that, for a 100" diag 16:9 screen, using the Sharp 9000U DLP projector, the throw distance cannot be less than 14'1".

Now, assuming I have a 9 foot ceiling, and I am sitting on an ordinary sofa 12 feet away from the screen, what is the ideal HEIGHT of the screen? How low should the "rectangle" that represents the image hang?

Because I will have the screen hanging on top of a desk and set of speakers (necessary due to the shape of the room and furniture in it), there is a limit to how low it can go. I'm trying to figure out what the ideal height is, since I am assuming that if you hang it too high you'll be looking up constantly which might be fatiguing ...
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-30-2001, 11:09 AM
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I dont know if there is an ideal height, but the bottom of my first screen hung 4 feet off of the floor. This was done due to line of sight problems with the projector's location.

I am in the process of building a 96x54 in screen and I think we will have it sit about 4 feet of of the ground with the projector inverted on a shelf.
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post #3 of 15 Old 11-30-2001, 12:21 PM
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You hit on the key element here - "fatigue".

There is no one height that is perfect. It will vary from one installation to another. The key is that all seats should have good sight lines and the center of the screen is should be about eye level.

Room size, projector throw and placement, number of seats, rows of seats, screen size, height of viewers...... these will all have an effect on screen placement.

Simple answer, everyone should be able to see the screen and look at it for 2+ hours without getting a pain in the neck. Reed.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-30-2001, 02:43 PM
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The suggestion I've seen says eye level should be 1/3 from the bottom of the screen. For your 100" diag. screen this would be ~16" from the bottom. Measure your eye level while sitting on your couch and then subtract the 16". This would give you a good starting point. To check this for myself, when I visit the theaters, I find that I sit on a row that yields this result.
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-30-2001, 07:29 PM
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Clouseau,

As I have read your posts, you have no ordinary room whereby any suggestions from the masses here would be fruitful.

Unfortunately, (and at best) the recommendations are speculative. Really, who really has experience with such an odd set-up.

You look to be spending a fairly significant sum on equipment. That is good!

However, to analogize your situation, Russ Herschelman has a column in Stereophile Guide to Home Theater. The prologue to his monthly series on home theater design is (and I paraphrase)...............

"Jack is a guy who spent $250,000 on his set-up (equipment) and realized after it was all installed that it sounded terrible....". Jack's response was...."but I bought the best gear money can buy................"

You are heading down Jack's path.

Bottom line, the set up makes or breaks the equipment.

Get a pro to help with your room. Your room has many issues. The cost of the designer will certainly be small relative to the budget you have for your equipment.

Without an expert, you are in store for many headaches and utter disappointment. Don't be cheap. Do it right. You will reap rewards.

Jeff

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-01-2001, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if I agree with you here. First of all, I'm not spending $250,000. If I had that kind of budget, the room would be HT only.

This is going in a 500 square foot home. That's right, 500 square feet. It's going to include a bathroom, a kitchen, a closet and 1 room. This 1 room has to serve as a bedroom, office, living room and office.

I don't expect to get a perfect setup, I'm just getting some pointers, and many of the suggestions have been great. I subscribe to the Stereophile guide to home theater, so I have been reading those columns for over a year.

I don't have ANY budget for doing any kind of wall treatments. I can only dream about the Casablanca right now. I will be SLOWLY adding components piece by piece as I can afford them.

I am quite aware that the best way to do HT is to get a big space, put in a second set of walls and soundproofing, treat the whole space, etc., but that just isn't realistic for me.

I've seen plenty of setups in all the HT publications where dual purpose rooms are used, and that is what I will have.
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post #7 of 15 Old 12-01-2001, 03:08 PM
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The $250,000 was obviously a reference to a large RELATIVE investment which you are about to make. That's all.

I understand your constraints.

My point is this. In one sentence you say you have no room in your budgets for wall treatments (or room design, I assume). However, you talk of purchasing very expensive, quality equipment.

If you have read the Herschelmann articles, you would have learned that the guy bought very nice equipment, like you getting the Sharp PJ and Casablanca you dream of. After he got all this great stuff, it sounded bad and the buyer was dissappointed. This is what I mean by you traveling down a similar road.

The point of the series and my point as well, is that if you do not address this challenging room set-up first, your future $8000 Casablanca will sound no better than a mediochre surround processor. You won't be getting the absolute best out of your investment.

Do what you will, but if you attend to the foundation for good sound (room design, sound absorption, etc.), you can be confident that your future, expensive audio upgrades will be their very best and not hampered by a poorly designed room. Your room has a multitude of challenges that perhaps you aren't even aware of (ergonomics aside).

In short, expensive equipment won't correct a bad room. It is similar to the democratic philosophy that throwing money at social issues corrects them. Money only positively reinforces the bad behaviors. You must correct the behaviors first, then money can be earned.

Yeah, there is no immediate gratification in forking out dough for a non-tangible such as room design fees and materials, but good things come to those who wait!

Be patient.

Jeff

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-01-2001, 03:24 PM
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gives the same recommendations as C Clark posted above. 1/3 up the viewable screen even with the line of sight. I'm using those recommendations for my screen installation.
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post #9 of 15 Old 12-02-2001, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for adding to my point, Jack. This is the best advice we can give.

Jeff

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-18-2001, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info.

I'll have to scale the screen down to 84" to fit in the room. That means I can't get a perf screen. The screen has to be 44" off of the ground to clear my front speakers, so I guess it won't be ideal in terms of height. I did some measurements, and when sitting down, my eyes are at about 44" height.
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-18-2001, 06:15 PM
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Clouseau2,
Then you are going to be looking up all the time. This may be OK if you have a way to recline and or have a head rest. I have learned this the hard way myself. My HT has three rows of seating. I really became partial to the front row when I had very soft couches in each row. I used home made foot stools and was almost laying back to watch a movie. I replaced this with AI cinema chairs and I found that this looking up at the screen made my neck tired after only 15 minutes! I had my wife who is a seamstress make custom head rests for the front row and I'm in hog heaven again. There are solutions but be ready for this problem right off the bat.
Art

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post #12 of 15 Old 12-20-2001, 07:58 AM
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You can always mount the screen last. Project on the wall where it will go and sit back and watch a movie. Adjust the image up and down till you find the most comfortable position for YOUR room, YOUR seats, and YOUR judgement on comfort. Then mount the screen permanently.

Funny, I used to think my 32" tv was big. Now my 92" screen is starting to look small !!
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-27-2001, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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I spent a long time moving things around, and I
think if I shove all my gear into one gigantic
rack, I can fit the 84" screen in between the
speakers and have the bottom of the screen sitting
right above the center channel speaker, which would be approximately 32" off of the ground.

Still not ideal, but a whole lot closer ...
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-27-2001, 09:51 PM
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My screen bottom is about 34" above the floor.

I have 9' ceilings and sit 12 feet back. I have yet have any complaints from anyone. I do think that 1/3rd suggestions of others here is the best idea even though I am a little higher than that.

I definitely wouldn't put it any higher than 34". It used to be 41" up and that was too high. I was trying so hard to keep the line of sight of the projector good that I created some serious neck pains for me and others.

You also mentioned it being on top of a desk and I would have to warn you to make sure that the desk and whatever is on it is dark. Any white papers or such could reflect bright portions of the image back on to the screen.

-Mr. Wigggles

The Mothership is now boarding.
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post #15 of 15 Old 01-07-2002, 02:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by MrWigggles


You also mentioned it being on top of a desk and I would have to warn you to make sure that the desk and whatever is on it is dark. Any white papers or such could reflect bright portions of the image back on to the screen.

-Mr. Wigggles
Yup, the desk is unfinished pine right now, I plan on staining it black as part of this project...
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