Dilemna - DLP Rear Projection or Flat Panel? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 09-05-2008, 06:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all,

Here is my dilemna. I have a room that has about a fourteen foot viewing distance from the seating area to where the display will be. I currently have a good amount of DVD's (non blu ray) along with a Pioneer Elite DVD player (non blu ray). Originally I was thinking of doing front projector but with the amount of ambient light and windows this has proved to not be doable. I have a few questions I'm hoping you all could help me with:

How is the performance of regular DVD on a Rear Projection TV vs. Plasma or LCD? I currently have a Sony 27" XBR and am use to that performance.

Would it be better to go with a smaller plasma or LCD TV or go with a larger Rear Projection given the viewing distance? I have been considering the Mitsubishi Diamond 73". In other words, is the quality going to be the same with Rear Projection vs. Plasma at the same size or same image size given viewing distance; fourteen feet viewing with Rear Projection at a 73" screen vs. 10 feet on a 60" Plasma.

I know this is a lot of questions, but with a big purchase I want to make sure I go the right way.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions or information.

Ed
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post #2 of 26 Old 09-05-2008, 09:07 AM
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People have commented that on the very large rear projection tv, the 73" ones loose a little clarity compared to the sizes in the 60"s.

Regular dvds are not very clear on HD tvs. The larger the tv, the less clarity. Bluray would cure that problem. But with a regular dvd player on a 73" tv, clarity will be compromised.

At 14', if you go with a rear projection in the 60" family, the HD viewing will be excellent. The plain dvd, not so much. Bluray, great.

I like my rear projection dlp very much. It's a three year old bulb model, but it has a beautiful picture. No ghosting on fast action sports, etc.

I also have two LCDs but they are 720p, so it's not really a fair comparison, but the 56" DLP has the best picture.

I think for a large size tv, the LCDs are still way to expensive. So I'd get a rear projection in the 60" range, a blu ray player (it will play your regular dvds very well, and upconvert them nicely), and enjoy it for a while.
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post #3 of 26 Old 09-05-2008, 10:24 AM
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Personally, I think when comparing a similar sized RP DLP to a good plasma, plasma will trump in overall PQ. But at 14', I personally would not consider anything less than 70-73". In fact, I just bought a 73" for my 10' viewing distance, and I'm really glad I didn't go with the 65-67" options. Yes, SD at that size certainly shows it's limitations. But at 14', that's going to be minimized. But 73" is already too small to realize 1080p at 14', barely 720p.


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post #4 of 26 Old 09-05-2008, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

People have commented that on the very large rear projection tv, the 73" ones loose a little clarity compared to the sizes in the 60"s.

Regular dvds are not very clear on HD tvs. The larger the tv, the less clarity. Bluray would cure that problem. But with a regular dvd player on a 73" tv, clarity will be compromised.

At 14', if you go with a rear projection in the 60" family, the HD viewing will be excellent. The plain dvd, not so much. Bluray, great.

I like my rear projection dlp very much. It's a three year old bulb model, but it has a beautiful picture. No ghosting on fast action sports, etc.

I also have two LCDs but they are 720p, so it's not really a fair comparison, but the 56" DLP has the best picture.

I think for a large size tv, the LCDs are still way to expensive. So I'd get a rear projection in the 60" range, a blu ray player (it will play your regular dvds very well, and upconvert them nicely), and enjoy it for a while.

Thanks for the information. I have been looking at the Mitsubishi 73" Diamond. The image that I saw off of Blu Ray was quite good, however regular DVD wasn't so hot. I'm not too familiar with Rear Projection. What calibration issues are there and is it simple to do or does it require service?

Ed
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post #5 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 07:17 AM
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eyost, you can and should tweak your settings yourself during the break in period but if not satisfied with user tweaks a true calibration is the way to go to optimize your DLP's picture. It is not simple so you'd want a pro to do it.

This still will not do much for SD DVD viewing, which still won't look great on a 73" screen. Even a top notch upconverter can't help much either so sooner or later you'll be forced to go with BD or something HD. I have HD DVD and am still amazed by how good it looks. That's still the cheapest way to go HD but of course few new titles are being added to the catalog so BD makes more sense today.

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post #6 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 08:00 AM
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You will want to adjust the settings on any HD tv you get. Rear projection are not any more difficult than any other, there are plenty of user available options in their menus for you to tweak. Usually, you want to get the rear projections out of shop mode, or dynamic, or MAX or whatever the default is for store display as soon as you get it home. They all come preloaded with the "burn your eyes out" settings so they stand out in store displays. Try standard or normal, or whatever the next setting down is to start. Adjust more as necessary.

After that, you can check the thread about the particular tv you buy and many people post their settings, so you can test that. I usually just play around with the settings till I like the picture. Don't go into the Service Menu as one misstep in there and your tv is dead or really messed up. Just stick with the normal user menu adjustments, they will do fine.

But do remember, each input, component, HDMI, etc., has it's own settings. So if you use different inputs, you have to set up each one and they will be different as each type of cable offers a different picture and coloring.

I'd still recommend a Bluray player for a tv that big. Prices are coming down now so they may even give you a better deal on a bluray if you are buying such a big tv.

Enjoy your new tv!
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post #7 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyost View Post

The image that I saw off of Blu Ray was quite good, however regular DVD wasn't so hot.

When you are watching content of varying resolutions and quality, there's not much you can do about that. My first HDTV was 46"... at my viewing distance of 10', SD looked fine, but I certainly couldn't see the full benefit of HD. Now that the vast majority of my viewing is HD, or at least very high quality SD (previously purchased DVDs), I can upgrade to a much larger screen to get the full benefit of HD. When your screen size and viewing distance are fixed, you have to sacrifice perceived visual quality of SD or HD. At this point, I'd rather see the flaws in SD than give up the benefits of HD.

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post #8 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Quentin2 View Post

eyost, you can and should tweak your settings yourself during the break in period but if not satisfied with user tweaks a true calibration is the way to go to optimize your DLP's picture. It is not simple so you'd want a pro to do it.

This still will not do much for SD DVD viewing, which still won't look great on a 73" screen. Even a top notch upconverter can't help much either so sooner or later you'll be forced to go with BD or something HD. I have HD DVD and am still amazed by how good it looks. That's still the cheapest way to go HD but of course few new titles are being added to the catalog so BD makes more sense today.

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Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

You will want to adjust the settings on any HD tv you get. Rear projection are not any more difficult than any other, there are plenty of user available options in their menus for you to tweak. Usually, you want to get the rear projections out of shop mode, or dynamic, or MAX or whatever the default is for store display as soon as you get it home. They all come preloaded with the "burn your eyes out" settings so they stand out in store displays. Try standard or normal, or whatever the next setting down is to start. Adjust more as necessary.

After that, you can check the thread about the particular tv you buy and many people post their settings, so you can test that. I usually just play around with the settings till I like the picture. Don't go into the Service Menu as one misstep in there and your tv is dead or really messed up. Just stick with the normal user menu adjustments, they will do fine.

But do remember, each input, component, HDMI, etc., has it's own settings. So if you use different inputs, you have to set up each one and they will be different as each type of cable offers a different picture and coloring.

I'd still recommend a Bluray player for a tv that big. Prices are coming down now so they may even give you a better deal on a bluray if you are buying such a big tv.

Enjoy your new tv!

Thanks for the information! Yeah, technology marches on, so either get out of its way or jump on board. I'm glad Blu Ray finally settled in, so I could be "safe" with a player. The depressing part is all of the movies I already have that aren't DVD; hmm, LaserDiscs comes to my memory - oh well.

Another question regarding the RP vs. Plasma, LCD. Would either be more suited to a bright room?

Thanks to everyone for helping me!

Ed
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post #9 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 09:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darin View Post

Personally, I think when comparing a similar sized RP DLP to a good plasma, plasma will trump in overall PQ. But at 14', I personally would not consider anything less than 70-73". In fact, I just bought a 73" for my 10' viewing distance, and I'm really glad I didn't go with the 65-67" options. Yes, SD at that size certainly shows it's limitations. But at 14', that's going to be minimized. But 73" is already too small to realize 1080p at 14', barely 720p.


Wow. Interesting chart. So if I read this correctly, I should have a 100" screen for a viewing distance of 14'? Darn it - wish I could do a front projector.

Ed
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post #10 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyost View Post

Wow. Interesting chart. So if I read this correctly, I should have a 100" screen for a viewing distance of 14'?

Yes, if you go by those recommendations, you will get a much more involving experience. There's a lot that goes in to those recommendations... a few places to read:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/v...alculator.html

http://whatsonhdtv.blogspot.com/2005...alculator.html

http://www.carltonbale.com/2006/11/1080p-does-matter/

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post #11 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 10:18 AM
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Something to keep in mind in reference to screen size.

If you are one of the type of people who sits in the back half of a movie theater because sitting closer gives you a headache and eyestrain, you should go with a smaller size screen than shown above.

On the other hand, if you are one of the people that likes to sit towards the front so you get the big time IMAX "in the movie" feel, go as large as you can afford.

I need to be able to see the whole screen from my seated position. If I have to move my head to take in the whole picture, I get nauseated and dizzy constantly moving my head. My DLP is 56" 1080p and we sit 10' away. Perfect for my "back of the theater" eyes.

Just a thought.
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

If you are one of the type of people who sits in the back half of a movie theater because sitting closer gives you a headache and eyestrain, you should go with a smaller size screen than shown above.

Hmmm, I'm not sure that I agree with that. A 73" screen is 63.6" wide. At my 10' viewing distance, I'm about in the middle of the "recommended" area of that chart, yet I don't feel like the relative screen width is wider than what I experience half way back in a movie theater. Obviously, it will depend on the theater, but most of the ones I've been to seem the opposite: half way back still seems to consume more of my FOV than a 73" @ 10'.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

Something to keep in mind in reference to screen size.

If you are one of the type of people who sits in the back half of a movie theater because sitting closer gives you a headache and eyestrain, you should go with a smaller size screen than shown above.

On the other hand, if you are one of the people that likes to sit towards the front so you get the big time IMAX "in the movie" feel, go as large as you can afford.

I need to be able to see the whole screen from my seated position. If I have to move my head to take in the whole picture, I get nauseated and dizzy constantly moving my head.

Just a thought.

I think what mes444 said here is very important as many people go for way too big a screen for their viewing distance. I have a 56" DLP at 12' and I think 56-61" is just about perfect at that distance. A larger screen would be way too much for me unless I had a larger room. I'm watching Federer play in the US Open now and the display is just right and I don't have to move my head like in a ping pong match. Also at a close distance the larger pixels would give you that screen door effect.

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All things being equal, i.e., similar quality sets overall:

Bright, reflective room: LCD wins (assuming matte screen)
Off-angle viewing: LCD wins
SD content: DLP wins
HD/Blu Ray content: toss up
High motion content: DLP wins up until recently, but newer LCDs (120Hz) have got excellent motion handling capabilities
Inches/$: DLP wins...you can get more screen inches for less money w/a DLP these days

Obviously, LCDs win on thinner form-factor, more flexibility in mounting/stand options, and probably have overall better relability long-term.

I have a 65" DLP and 46" LCD. DLP is in family room, 14' to 16' viewing distance, and it's big, but I wouldn't mind a 73". On bright days I often wish we had an LCD in this room...the sunlight can wash out a DLP easier than an LCD.

If you have the room for the set and the viewing will not be from wide angle, a DLP offeres a lot of bang for the buck these days. At your viewing distance I would want at least 60" of screen, and that's a pretty penny right now for an LCD.

Oh - one more emphasis point. The one area where my new LCD (Sony KDL46Z4100) really falls down is SD content...it can go from good to horrible, depending on the source, while the DLP is much more forgiving of poorer SD feeds.
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Originally Posted by Danabw View Post

All things being equal, i.e., similar quality sets overall:

Bright, reflective room: LCD wins (assuming matte screen)
Off-angle viewing: LCD wins
SD content: DLP wins
HD/Blu Ray content: toss up
High motion content: DLP wins up until recently, but newer LCDs (120Hz) have got excellent motion handling capabilities
Inches/$: DLP wins...you can get more screen inches for less money w/a DLP these days

Obviously, LCDs win on thinner form-factor, more flexibility in mounting/stand options, and probably have overall better relability long-term.

I have a 65" DLP and 46" LCD. DLP is in family room, 14' to 16' viewing distance, and it's big, but I wouldn't mind a 73". On bright days I often wish we had an LCD in this room...the sunlight can wash out a DLP easier than an LCD.

If you have the room for the set and the viewing will not be from wide angle, a DLP offeres a lot of bang for the buck these days. At your viewing distance I would want at least 60" of screen, and that's a pretty penny right now for an LCD.

Oh - one more emphasis point. The one area where my new LCD (Sony KDL46Z4100) really falls down is SD content...it can go from good to horrible, depending on the source, while the DLP is much more forgiving of poorer SD feeds.

DanaBW,

Thanks for the information; very helpful. I assume when you and others refer to SD content, you're meaning non Blu Ray DVD and non HD source? Also, you only compared LCD, would plasma fall into the same comparison. The off angle viewing drawback of a DLP RP is a concern for me as occassionally I could see us sitting in area that is outside the sweet spot of the screen. That's what is starting to get me to look at a plasma.

Ed
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 03:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

Something to keep in mind in reference to screen size.

If you are one of the type of people who sits in the back half of a movie theater because sitting closer gives you a headache and eyestrain, you should go with a smaller size screen than shown above.

On the other hand, if you are one of the people that likes to sit towards the front so you get the big time IMAX "in the movie" feel, go as large as you can afford.

I need to be able to see the whole screen from my seated position. If I have to move my head to take in the whole picture, I get nauseated and dizzy constantly moving my head. My DLP is 56" 1080p and we sit 10' away. Perfect for my "back of the theater" eyes.

Just a thought.

Properly designed movie theaters are designed to give about 40 degrees of angle from the center of the audience with a 1.85 image.

The THX formula is designed for the same 40 degree view, thus it is NOT a chart for sitting in the front row, as people like to mistakenly throw out. People also forget about the resolution which can plays a factor in this - as well as confusing WIDTH vs Diagonal size.

The THX formula for 16:9 is:

Screen WIDTH = 0.73 x Seating Distance

Seating Distance = screen WIDTH /0.73

Using the DIAGONAL size the divisor is 0.84
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Quentin2 View Post

Also at a close distance the larger pixels would give you that screen door effect.

Obviously everyone is going to have their own subjective opinion, and I'm not trying to talk anyone into anything. Someone trying to consider what size to buy can (and should) just go Best Buy, etc., and look at various size sets at various distances. Many of the sales people carry tape measures.

But as far as any concerns about "big pixels"... if you look at the chart above, the dashed lines tagged with various resolutions are the size/distance points where a person with 20/20 vision needs to be to be able to visually take advantage of the full detail afforded by that resolution. Before getting my set, I sort of assumed that meant that if you sat closer to that distance, you'd be able to distinguish individual pixels. Now that I have my set, I see that's not really the case. If you take a real world example of something like a very fine strand of hair in an image that is roughly one pixel wide, being able to distinguish that strand of hair is completely different than being able to fully resolve a complete pixel at that distance. When you're at the limits of your vision, you don't see a line of square pixels, you just (barely) see a very fine line. The lines that make up the "screen" of the screen door effect (spaces between pixels), and the details that let you make out an actual pixel (the shape of it, the borders of it) are sub-pixel in size, and much smaller than you can make out if you're at the visual resolving limit based on the graph above. This is particularly true of DLP... the wobulation method used to creat 1080x1920 pretty much eliminates the screen door effect.

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post #18 of 26 Old 09-06-2008, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachComber View Post

The THX formula is designed for the same 40 degree view, thus it is NOT a chart for sitting in the front row, as people like to mistakenly throw out.

Exactly. In fact, the THX recomendations shown in the chart above are for the BACK row: for THX certification, they REQUIRE that the back row be no less than a 26° viewing angle, but they recommend 36. There are also max viewing angle numbers (which you would use for for the front row) that aren't shown in that chart. This spreadsheet spells it all out. For a 73", 45.4" is the minimum recomended viewing distance.

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Originally Posted by mes444 View Post

Something to keep in mind in reference to screen size.

If you are one of the type of people who sits in the back half of a movie theater because sitting closer gives you a headache and eyestrain, you should go with a smaller size screen than shown above.

On the other hand, if you are one of the people that likes to sit towards the front so you get the big time IMAX "in the movie" feel, go as large as you can afford.

I need to be able to see the whole screen from my seated position. If I have to move my head to take in the whole picture, I get nauseated and dizzy constantly moving my head. My DLP is 56" 1080p and we sit 10' away. Perfect for my "back of the theater" eyes.

Just a thought.

Mes44,

I'm like you, when I go to the theater I usually try to find a seat that will allow me to see the entire screen without moving my head. Do you know of any calculator that is available for this approach?

Ed
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Originally Posted by eyost View Post

DanaBW,

Thanks for the information; very helpful. I assume when you and others refer to SD content, you're meaning non Blu Ray DVD and non HD source? Also, you only compared LCD, would plasma fall into the same comparison. The off angle viewing drawback of a DLP RP is a concern for me as occassionally I could see us sitting in area that is outside the sweet spot of the screen. That's what is starting to get me to look at a plasma.

Ed

For SD I was referring to Standard Definition television...non HD TV. We still have a fair number of shows we like that are only in SD, so it's still relatively important for us.

Regular DVDs look good on DLP/LCD...no significant difference there.

Plasma is similar to LCD, although most plasmas have glossy screens which cause reflection problems...you'll see the window behind/to the side of you and everything else reflected in the TV screen while your watching. If you can't control light in the room I would stay away from plasmas (or any TV) w/a glossy screen. Some don't mind it, but the reflections in glossy screens drive me crazy.

DLPs vary in terms of how wide you can go before the picture drops off...you can probably get a look at the set your interested in at a local store. Go see one and walk to the sides and see how much it drops off/how soon, and see if it fits your needs. My 65" DLP (HP) has great off-angle viewing (for a DLP) and works well for us for viewing from relatively wide angles. (HP got out of the DLP TV biz, so you won't find these sets available any more).

I think that unless you want to spend a lot of money for a big LCD, a DLP is the best bang for the buck option now for your viewing distance. As I noted above, I would not want to go below 60" at 14' - you'll be surprised how quickly these sets seem to "shrink" after you've had one for a while. What looks huge in the store and when you first get it home will quickly seem normal or even not quite big enough after a while at home. I rarely find someone who says "I wish I had gotten a smaller TV."

I'm going to replace our DLP w/an LCD at some point, but right now 1) the DLP is still going strong, and 2) the big-screen (60"+) LCD sets have too much of a price premium.
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post #21 of 26 Old 09-07-2008, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eyost View Post

Mes44,

I'm like you, when I go to the theater I usually try to find a seat that will allow me to see the entire screen without moving my head. Do you know of any calculator that is available for this approach?

Ed

Just my little old eyes calculator, also known as, MLOE measure .

At 10' feet, as I said, I have a 56" 1080p, I could go up to 60" and still not have to move my head for a full view. Any larger and the head would have to start to move. But that's just me.

What you should do, for your own best opinion, is go to a Magnolia or someplace with a darkened viewing area. Take a chair and move it to the distance you will be sitting from your tv. Center seat. Find a tv the size you think you want. Sit down at your home seating distance, for about 15 minutes and watch a few different things. This is actually what I did when I bought my 56". The larger tvs annoyed me, the smaller ones were too small.

There is really no way someone else's chart or opinion can tell you what you need. The sit and watch test works the best.
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post #22 of 26 Old 09-08-2008, 12:18 AM
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You guys are really amazing and sound like you are living in 10,000 BC

Humans have the same anatomy - the eyes work together and blend the space between the two eyes - and all have the same general width of vision - unless you are somehow telling us you have 360 degree vision

It's not Rocket Science - It IS basic science for width of vision. If it were not, then everyone would need glasses specially designed for the width of their specific vision.
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post #23 of 26 Old 09-08-2008, 05:27 PM
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You guys are really amazing and sound like you are living in 10,000 BC

Humans have the same anatomy - the eyes work together and blend the space between the two eyes - and all have the same general width of vision - unless you are somehow telling us you have 360 degree vision

It's not Rocket Science - It IS basic science for width of vision. If it were not, then everyone would need glasses specially designed for the width of their specific vision.

And they do. It's called short sighteness and long sighteness.....

People eye's, like their preference in HT, screen type and the ilke, are all different. We're all unique....

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post #24 of 26 Old 09-09-2008, 12:18 AM
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And they do. It's called short sighteness and long sighteness.....

People eye's, like their preference in HT, screen type and the ilke, are all different. We're all unique....

Seggers

Nope - that affects focus - not width of vision.

The directors frame shots for what they intend you to see.

BTW, the earth is round - not flat.
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-09-2008, 05:34 AM
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Nope - that affects focus - not width of vision.

The directors frame shots for what they intend you to see.

BTW, the earth is round - not flat.

OK, I'll give on the width.

But the world is flat. I have the books to prove it!!!

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post #26 of 26 Old 09-09-2008, 06:10 AM
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You guys are really amazing and sound like you are living in 10,000 BC

Humans have the same anatomy - the eyes work together and blend the space between the two eyes - and all have the same general width of vision - unless you are somehow telling us you have 360 degree vision

Well, in their defense, there's certainly nothing wrong with different people having different preferences. Some may simply not want to be as immersed and overwhelmed with their TV. I think the relative size of the screen does affect how you perceive what you are seeing, and psychologically I could see how a smaller screen would allow you to be more detached from what you are being presented, which may be more comfortable for many people. It can also help with less than pristine images... you definitely notice more flaws on a bigger screen when dealing with lower quality feeds.

That being said, my move from a 46" HDTV to a 73" HDTV was, to me, a more significant improvement than my previous jump from a 41" SDTV to the 46" HDTV. At 10', the 46" just wasn't big enough for me to get the full benefit of the higher resolution. With the 73" I'm now seeing much more detail than with the 46", and being much more immersed by the presentation. This is a much bigger "wow" effect than my initial jump to HD.

But if you don't enjoy that level of immersion, or if you spend a lot of time watching lower quality content (like over compressed SD), then there's certainly no sense in spending the money and room real estate on something that large.

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