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screen dimensions

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I know this is a popular section so hope this second location post is not ill received...

I have read the sticky regarding the calculator, discussed recommended screen sizes with several very knowledgeable people, and discussed it with several forum members on here.

I really need to conclude this and make a decision on my screen dimensions, so wanted to get additional feedback because of the varying responses.

Please give your unbiased opinions.

Room dimension: 19' length x 15' width x 10' height
Seating distances: 10' from screen row 1. 15' from screen row 2.
Preferred source material AR: 50/50% or perhaps 60/40% (2.35:1 / 16:9)
Throw distance: flexible
Screen: still to purchase, however material will be acoustically transparent as speakers will be from behind.
PJ: still to purchase
Room type: fully light controlled, dedicated media room, no other use.
Sweet spot seat: 2.35 content probably front row center. on 16:9 content probably 2nd row center.

Cause of confusion:

Some confident, seemingly exprienced and quite convincing forum members have suggested a CIH setup with "as wide a [cinemascope] screen as you can fit." Presuming they mean a maximum of 13' wide i.e. 156" wide screen in my 15' wide room, this equates to an 87" image height viewing 16:9 content. At both 10' and 15' that seems crazy. Taking it down to say 12' wide i.e. 144" wide screen equates to an 81" image height viewing 16:9 content... again isn't that crazy? I question the final image quality many of these people (presumably using $3k-$5k projectors with or without A lenses) are getting. How is the detail, vibrancy of colors, black levels, brightness, etc? How about when they are watching 3D? I have my doubts on that.

The "professionals" (i.e. those that design and install HT's for a living) and reviewed my room in detail suggest a 10' wide screen. One suggested a 10' 16:9AR screen, and another a 10' 2.35AR screen or maybe he said to push it, go 11' on the 2.35AR screen. Again, differences exist here. A 10' wide 16:9 screen means an image height of 67" whereas a 10' wide 2.35 screen means an image height of 51". HUGE difference there.

I've pulled out a basic projector (however it lacks zoom and image shift) and tested varying image sizes to the best I could make it work. This screen dimension decision is very hard for me to make up my mind. In my eyes, the 10' or 11' wide screen image seemed appropriate and I could see myself watching a 2 hour+ move on it. However, does it give that "i am sitting in a movie theater" feel? No. Does it look impressive or makes an impact or statement that I'm in a mini theater of sorts? no. It gives a more "i'm in a film screening room/art movie theater" feel.

This is my first home theater. I know enough to know by now that the PJ/screen size/screen gain/ambient light/throw distance combo has a real impact on the final image quality.

Ideally, a thoughtful recommendation of the 1) screen dimensions (and gain) and 2) PJ would be very appreciated. I understand everyone has go their own opinions but I have also read a statement (do not know if it is true) that people will usually say they wish they went bigger (on screen size) and not the other way around.
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by violator_1977 View Post

I know this is a popular section so hope this second location post is not ill received...
I have read the sticky regarding the calculator, discussed recommended screen sizes with several very knowledgeable people, and discussed it with several forum members on here.
I really need to conclude this and make a decision on my screen dimensions, so wanted to get additional feedback because of the varying responses.
Please give your unbiased opinions.
Room dimension: 19' length x 15' width x 10' height
Seating distances: 10' from screen row 1. 15' from screen row 2.
Preferred source material AR: 50/50% or perhaps 60/40% (2.35:1 / 16:9)
Throw distance: flexible
Screen: still to purchase, however material will be acoustically transparent as speakers will be from behind.
PJ: still to purchase
Room type: fully light controlled, dedicated media room, no other use.
Sweet spot seat: 2.35 content probably front row center. on 16:9 content probably 2nd row center.
Cause of confusion:
Some confident, seemingly exprienced and quite convincing forum members have suggested a CIH setup with "as wide a [cinemascope] screen as you can fit." Presuming they mean a maximum of 13' wide i.e. 156" wide screen in my 15' wide room, this equates to an 87" image height viewing 16:9 content. At both 10' and 15' that seems crazy. Taking it down to say 12' wide i.e. 144" wide screen equates to an 81" image height viewing 16:9 content... again isn't that crazy? I question the final image quality many of these people (presumably using $3k-$5k projectors with or without A lenses) are getting. How is the detail, vibrancy of colors, black levels, brightness, etc? How about when they are watching 3D? I have my doubts on that.
The "professionals" (i.e. those that design and install HT's for a living) and reviewed my room in detail suggest a 10' wide screen. One suggested a 10' 16:9AR screen, and another a 10' 2.35AR screen or maybe he said to push it, go 11' on the 2.35AR screen. Again, differences exist here. A 10' wide 16:9 screen means an image height of 67" whereas a 10' wide 2.35 screen means an image height of 51". HUGE difference there.
I've pulled out a basic projector (however it lacks zoom and image shift) and tested varying image sizes to the best I could make it work. This screen dimension decision is very hard for me to make up my mind. In my eyes, the 10' or 11' wide screen image seemed appropriate and I could see myself watching a 2 hour+ move on it. However, does it give that "i am sitting in a movie theater" feel? No. Does it look impressive or makes an impact or statement that I'm in a mini theater of sorts? no. It gives a more "i'm in a film screening room/art movie theater" feel.
This is my first home theater. I know enough to know by now that the PJ/screen size/screen gain/ambient light/throw distance combo has a real impact on the final image quality.
Ideally, a thoughtful recommendation of the 1) screen dimensions (and gain) and 2) PJ would be very appreciated. I understand everyone has go their own opinions but I have also read a statement (do not know if it is true) that people will usually say they wish they went bigger (on screen size) and not the other way around.

The suggestion of a 13' wide CIH setup does not give you an 87" high 16:9 aspect ratio image. Since they are suggesting CIH, they are talking scope screen. A 13' wide 2.35 scope screen would give you a 66.38" high scope and 16:9 image. If you go to a 12' wide 2.35 scope screen your image height would be 61.27". To make a decision on the screen, we have to know all the pieces of the puzzle. Need to know about the room. Also need to know what projector is being considered. Also need to know what screen fabric. The first thing to start with is the budget. From there we can see what projectors and screens fit the budget and work with your room, to give the desired results. If you do your room correctly, then a 11' to 13' wide image should very much give you that, at the movie feeling. If you would like to discuss this more in depth, shoot us an email.
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post #3 of 19
IMHO I would buy the projector first. Shine the image on the wall to see what size you want and then go from there. I am not an expert but I have been looking into the Epson 5010 and 6010 projectors. They are all around a good projector with good blacks.
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by violator_1977 View Post

Some confident, seemingly exprienced and quite convincing forum members have suggested a CIH setup with "as wide a [cinemascope] screen as you can fit."

The reason for that suggestion is if you look around the forum (and from personal experience), pretty much everybody wishes they had, or could go bigger, but almost no one thinks they went too big (regardless of aspect ratio). Now that said, there are other considerations....
Quote:
Presuming they mean a maximum of 13' wide i.e. 156" wide screen in my 15' wide room, this equates to an 87" image height viewing 16:9 content. At both 10' and 15' that seems crazy. Taking it down to say 12' wide i.e. 144" wide screen equates to an 81" image height viewing 16:9 content... again isn't that crazy?

As Mike noted, a 13' scope screen is only 65" high. For the 15' seating distance that's right on 3x screen heights which is far from crazy, and the front row would be about 2x screen heights. Both are well within industry (THX/SMPTE/Fox) recommended viewing distances.
Quote:
I question the final image quality many of these people (presumably using $3k-$5k projectors with or without A lenses) are getting. How is the detail, vibrancy of colors, black levels, brightness, etc? How about when they are watching 3D? I have my doubts on that.

Now that's the real kicker there. 13' is pretty close to a perfect screen size for that seating distance IMO, but then the question is how do you light it. If you're talking AT, you're looking at around 1.0 gain or so, my SMX is supposedly 1.16 gain. At that screen size you're looking at about 71 square feet of screen area, which means you'd need on the order of 1100 Lumens to hit 16ftL. That's a pretty tall order if your budget is $5k, though the W7000 might be able to do that in a reasonably calibrated mode. Budget here is key to knowing if that's a reasonable screen size to light.
Quote:
The "professionals" (i.e. those that design and install HT's for a living) and reviewed my room in detail suggest a 10' wide screen. One suggested a 10' 16:9AR screen, and another a 10' 2.35AR screen or maybe he said to push it, go 11' on the 2.35AR screen. Again, differences exist here. A 10' wide 16:9 screen means an image height of 67" whereas a 10' wide 2.35 screen means an image height of 51". HUGE difference there.

I think you've got to take "professional's" opinions with a grain of salt. Just because they sell things doesn't make them professionals. There's a couple HT installers in my area, I don't know that I'd weigh their opinions very highly just because in my area I think they typically go "small scale". But I'd weigh Mike (or any of the AVS folk's) opinions pretty highly because I know they deal with "big scale" HTs enough to understand those. To put it another way I think a lot of "normal" installers (thinking in my area) hardly know of scope setups and would tend to think 96" is big.
Quote:
I've pulled out a basic projector (however it lacks zoom and image shift) and tested varying image sizes to the best I could make it work. This screen dimension decision is very hard for me to make up my mind. In my eyes, the 10' or 11' wide screen image seemed appropriate and I could see myself watching a 2 hour+ move on it. However, does it give that "i am sitting in a movie theater" feel? No. Does it look impressive or makes an impact or statement that I'm in a mini theater of sorts? no. It gives a more "i'm in a film screening room/art movie theater" feel.

Sounds to me like you just answered your own question, you don't find 10' wide impressive and you should go bigger (if possible). Have you tried it at 13' wide?
Quote:
This is my first home theater. I know enough to know by now that the PJ/screen size/screen gain/ambient light/throw distance combo has a real impact on the final image quality.
Ideally, a thoughtful recommendation of the 1) screen dimensions (and gain) and 2) PJ would be very appreciated. I understand everyone has go their own opinions but I have also read a statement (do not know if it is true) that people will usually say they wish they went bigger (on screen size) and not the other way around.

1) Figure out what screen size you really want. Don't be affraid to go big. Don't worry about how to light it. Don't worry about any of that, just figure out what you want.

2) Do your research on what it takes to light that desired screen, what projectors are available, and if they're in your budget.

3) If the screen size is unrealistic due to projector budget constraints, scale it down, but consider "unorthodox" options like putting in the larger screen but masking it down to the capabilities of the projector you choose so that you can always unmask later if you can afford a brighter/better projector.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Considering THX recommended specifications here: http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/
and here: http://www.avforums.com/forums/13220179-post3.html

A 10' seating distance at 2.4 screen widths (in order to get a 40 degree viewing angle at 16:9 and 50 degree at 2.35:1) results in a 50" high screen.

13' wide screen = 66" image height. Equates to 134" diagonal 16:9, equates to 1.78 screen widths at 10 feet if my math is correct.

Should I go with something in the middle (10 and 15' seating distances)
?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

The reason for that suggestion is if you look around the forum (and from personal experience), pretty much everybody wishes they had, or could go bigger, but almost no one thinks they went too big (regardless of aspect ratio). Now that said, there are other considerations....
As Mike noted, a 13' scope screen is only 65" high. For the 15' seating distance that's right on 3x screen heights which is far from crazy, and the front row would be about 2x screen heights. Both are well within industry (THX/SMPTE/Fox) recommended viewing distances.
Now that's the real kicker there. 13' is pretty close to a perfect screen size for that seating distance IMO, but then the question is how do you light it. If you're talking AT, you're looking at around 1.0 gain or so, my SMX is supposedly 1.16 gain. At that screen size you're looking at about 71 square feet of screen area, which means you'd need on the order of 1100 Lumens to hit 16ftL. That's a pretty tall order if your budget is $5k, though the W7000 might be able to do that in a reasonably calibrated mode. Budget here is key to knowing if that's a reasonable screen size to light.
I think you've got to take "professional's" opinions with a grain of salt. Just because they sell things doesn't make them professionals. There's a couple HT installers in my area, I don't know that I'd weigh their opinions very highly just because in my area I think they typically go "small scale". But I'd weigh Mike (or any of the AVS folk's) opinions pretty highly because I know they deal with "big scale" HTs enough to understand those. To put it another way I think a lot of "normal" installers (thinking in my area) hardly know of scope setups and would tend to think 96" is big.
Sounds to me like you just answered your own question, you don't find 10' wide impressive and you should go bigger (if possible). Have you tried it at 13' wide?
1) Figure out what screen size you really want. Don't be affraid to go big. Don't worry about how to light it. Don't worry about any of that, just figure out what you want.
2) Do your research on what it takes to light that desired screen, what projectors are available, and if they're in your budget.2.3
3) If the screen size is unrealistic due to projector budget constraints, scale it down, but consider "unorthodox" options like putting in the larger screen but masking it down to the capabilities of the projector you choose so that you can always unmask later if you can afford a brighter/better projector.
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by violator_1977 View Post

Considering THX recommended specifications here: http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/hdtv-set-up/

That's based on a 16:9 screen.

I was thinking of that exact picture you posted. You'll notice that THX doesn't have a minimum recommended distance.
Quote:
A 10' seating distance at 2.4 screen widths (in order to get a 40 degree viewing angle at 16:9 and 50 degree at 2.35:1) results in a 50" high screen.

Screen widths doesn't really matter IMO, you want to look at screen heights (since that's the constant in Constant Image Height). For that, SMPTE's range is 2.00-4.00 picture heights for seating distance. If you go the full 13' wide, that's a height of ~5.5', so a seating distance (per SMPTE) of 11-22', so maybe your front row would be a little close, but your back row would be right at about 3 picture heights.

Of course that's all just theory to show you that 13' isn't "crazy", the important thing is that you make it as big as you want and as your budget (to light it) allows.
post #7 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

That's based on a 16:9 screen.
I was thinking of that exact picture you posted. You'll notice that THX doesn't have a minimum recommended distance.
Screen widths doesn't really matter IMO, you want to look at screen heights (since that's the constant in Constant Image Height). For that, SMPTE's range is 2.00-4.00 picture heights for seating distance. If you go the full 13' wide, that's a height of ~5.5', so a seating distance (per SMPTE) of 11-22', so maybe your front row would be a little close, but your back row would be right at about 3 picture heights.
Of course that's all just theory to show you that 13' isn't "crazy", the important thing is that you make it as big as you want and as your budget (to light it) allows.

Thanks for the info.

SMPTE, FOX, THX... which standard is most used by commercial cinemas... if any? Which of the three is typically adopted by most, or do most find to be most relevant?

Thanks
post #8 of 19
With a two row theater, many people set up their screen size so that they are happy with the scope image size from their second row. Then they use their first row for viewing the smaller 16:9 image. If you are like most people this works great most of the time, since the theater is rarely ever used to capacity.
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post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

With a two row theater, many people set up their screen size so that they are happy with the scope image size from their second row. Then they use their first row for viewing the smaller 16:9 image. If you are like most people this works great most of the time, since the theater is rarely ever used to capacity.

That is exactly what I did. I went with a 140" wide (not diagonal) 2.40 aspect acoustically transparent screen, so 58.5 inches heigh. Scope movies are impressive in the back row, but almost too much in the front row. Viewing distance in front row is 10.5 ft. Back row is around 16.5 ft. 1.78 movies look great in the front row, but a little less impressive in the back row. We watched "Bambi" Sunday night - 1.33 AR, looked good from front row. We are using a JVC X70 in high lamp mode. It's plenty bright, but only 150hrs on the bulb.
post #10 of 19
Your room dimensions and seating locations are very similar to mine. I have a 10' wide screen in scope (53" height) which gets to a 108" diagonal 16:9. I wouldn't want to go any larger from the front row, and from the middle row it's perfect, IMO...

Jeff
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by willscam View Post

That is exactly what I did. I went with a 140" wide (not diagonal) 2.40 aspect acoustically transparent screen, so 58.5 inches heigh. Scope movies are impressive in the back row, but almost too much in the front row. Viewing distance in front row is 10.5 ft. Back row is around 16.5 ft. 1.78 movies look great in the front row, but a little less impressive in the back row. We watched "Bambi" Sunday night - 1.33 AR, looked good from front row. We are using a JVC X70 in high lamp mode. It's plenty bright, but only 150hrs on the bulb.

I have this exact screen in my theater using a JVC HD250 with front row eyes at 13'. We love it!

Stace
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by violator_1977 View Post

Thanks for the info.
SMPTE, FOX, THX... which standard is most used by commercial cinemas... if any? Which of the three is typically adopted by most, or do most find to be most relevant?
Thanks

I'd say it really doesn't matter, it's your theater, so do what you feel is best, the "standards" are just a good sanity check/starting point, but there's nothing saying you can't set up your HT for a 1 picture height seating distance, or even a 5 picture height seating distance if that's what you prefer.

I'm somewhere in the 3-4 picture heights range (can't remember where exactly, I think actually a bit closer to 4) and I wish my screen were bigger, or I sat a bit closer.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post

I'd say it really doesn't matter, it's your theater, so do what you feel is best, the "standards" are just a good sanity check/starting point, but there's nothing saying you can't set up your HT for a 1 picture height seating distance, or even a 5 picture height seating distance if that's what you prefer.
I'm somewhere in the 3-4 picture heights range (can't remember where exactly, I think actually a bit closer to 4) and I wish my screen were bigger, or I sat a bit closer.

Like Stanger89 said, it has a lot to do with personal preference. I sit 2.5 screen heights away and I feel that is large enough (for me) for 16:9 content and has a big wow for scope movies.
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post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

Like Stanger89 said, it has a lot to do with personal preference. I sit 2.5 screen heights away and I feel that is large enough (for me) for 16:9 content and has a big wow for scope movies.

What size screen is that?
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLE355 View Post

What size screen is that?

I have a 107" wide curved 2.40 aspect ratio screen, viewing from 9 to 9-1/2 feet. Screen Excellence EN4K fabric.
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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLE355 View Post

What size screen is that?

Just remember that the important thing is the relative height, eg the ratio (2.5 heights) in Mike's case, because everyone's absolute seating distance is different.
post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by violator_1977 View Post

SMPTE, FOX, THX... which standard is most used by commercial cinemas... if any? Which of the three is typically adopted by most, or do most find to be most relevant?

In terms of seating distance from the screen, those standards are irrelevant for commercial cinema. The front row is maybe .5 screen heights away, and the back row is two or three screen heights away. When you go to the theater, where do you normally try to sit, assuming there are enough empty seats for you to have your pick? You should probably pick a screen size based off where you like to sit in a theater. Go out and watch a movie this weekend, and when you do, take note of where you are sitting, and think about the ratios involved.

As for me, I agree with the general concensus - get as big a screen as space and budget allows!
post #18 of 19
Just my $0.02 worth, If it were my room, I would divide the room length (after you take into consideration the depth you lose due to the AT screen) and divide that by 3.68. This will give you an "ideal" height. Times that by 2.37 to find the screen width. Again take the screen height and times that by both 2 and 3 and there are your closest and preferred (SMPTE) seating distances leaving room behind for Back Surround and even your projector. I have not actually crunched any numbers here. This is just an easy guide that works in most rooms.
post #19 of 19
Your room size is close to mine, here is my layout and screen size 130" diag 2.35:1.
We love the immersion feel in the 1st row, some future date when I upgrade to AT screen I'd go max 140" diag 2.35:1

At 10' for 1st row and 15 feeet for 2nd row are you sure your 1st row seats reclined will not run into the legs of people in the 2nd row?
I've got 6' between rows and that allows people to walk between also.
HT%2520Plan%25202x4%2520Seats-Riser-acoustics.JPG

Image
HT%2520Scope%2520screen%2520wall.jpg
Edited by mtbdudex - 8/14/12 at 3:54pm
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