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Real-world difference between a bigger screen vs sitting closer? - Page 2

post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

I have never been fooled into believing that my screen is larger than it really is just by sitting closer. Although you may fill the same field-of-vision as a larger screen that way, your eyes have to focus on a nearer plane and your brain automatically compensates for that to calculate the size.

With that said, there are legitimate reasons for choosing to install a smaller screen, such as increased brightness and contrast, less visibility of artifacts, etc. Your ideal screen size will have to hit a sweet spot between a large immersive size and just plain good picture quality. You often have to compromise on one to get the other.

I totally agree Josh. You just get a brighter, punchier, denser and often perceptually (and sometimes objectively) better contrast the smaller you make your projected image in a room. That's why I often watch at smaller sizes and I can totally see someone opting for a smaller size to retain those attributes, and moving closer to their screen if they want greater immersion.

Though I watch all sizes, I've found with my RS55 and ST-130 1.3 gain screen, that 112" wide is a sweet spot for scope films, in that it feels really large and immersive, but also retains some nice density, sharpness, contrast and punch to the image. (Those latter attributes of course increase as I go down to 109" wide, 105" wide or 99" wide). I sometimes watch scope up to 125" wide and on really good clear transfers it can still look excellent, but I do notice what I'm sacrificing most of the time when I opt for the larger image.
post #32 of 70
Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z

I have never been fooled into believing that my screen is larger than it really is just by sitting closer. Although you may fill the same field-of-vision as a larger screen that way, your eyes have to focus on a nearer plane and your brain automatically compensates for that to calculate the size.

With that said, there are legitimate reasons for choosing to install a smaller screen, such as increased brightness and contrast, less visibility of artifacts, etc. Your ideal screen size will have to hit a sweet spot between a large immersive size and just plain good picture quality. You often have to compromise on one to get the other.


I totally agree Josh. You just get a brighter, punchier, denser and often perceptually (and sometimes objectively) better contrast the smaller you make your projected image in a room. That's why I often watch at smaller sizes and I can totally see someone opting for a smaller size to retain those attributes, and moving closer to their screen if they want greater immersion.

Though I watch all sizes, I've found with my RS55 and ST-130 1.3 gain screen, that 112" wide is a sweet spot for scope films, in that it feels really large and immersive, but also retains some nice density, sharpness, contrast and punch to the image. (Those latter attributes of course increase as I go down to 109" wide, 105" wide or 99" wide). I sometimes watch scope up to 125" wide and on really good clear transfers it can still look excellent, but I do notice what I'm sacrificing most of the time when I opt for the larger image.

I watch 2.35:1 at 118" wide and 16:9 - 106" wide. Much larger and I give up too much brightness and punch. Sitting 12' away it looks great. I'd love a larger screen, but I'd need a 4K projector with 2000 calibrated lumens........... eek.gif
post #33 of 70
Interesting discussion!

On a related note, one of my big complaints about 3D is it does not seem as large as a 2D image. A 2D IMAX image is breathtaking in it's size (I'm talking REAL IMAX, lol). But for some reason I never get that with 3D IMAX. I guess it's because the brain is tricked into thinking the image is a bit closer and smaller rather the full height of screen when it's in 2D...

I used to only go to IMAX because it was significantly more impressive/immersive than my HT. But now they almost never show 2D (at least near me) so haven't been to the theater in almost a year..
post #34 of 70
If somebody has already mentioned this and I missed it, I apologize. In distances that we deal with in the home theater, the inverse square law is at work in a strange way in this comparison. None of us sit dead still throughout a movie. We may turn to another person, shift our sitting position, etc. The farther you are away from a screen (given the same field of view occupied), your movement will have less affect on your perception of the screen size and perception of depth, etc.. Move just a little when you are close, and things change more significantly (field of view and depth perception). In simple terms, the sweet spot is bigger with a bigger screen, and you may be more comfortable.
post #35 of 70
Thinking of VR goggles as the size comparison cues are removed...the brain is fooled.
post #36 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam Man View Post

If somebody has already mentioned this and I missed it, I apologize. In distances that we deal with in the home theater, the inverse square law is at work in a strange way in this comparison. None of us sit dead still throughout a movie. We may turn to another person, shift our sitting position, etc. The farther you are away from a screen (given the same field of view occupied), your movement will have less affect on your perception of the screen size and perception of depth, etc.. Move just a little when you are close, and things change more significantly (field of view and depth perception). In simple terms, the sweet spot is bigger with a bigger screen, and you may be more comfortable.

Yeah, that makes sense. Forgot about that. Thanks.
post #37 of 70
Thread Starter 
I actually forgot to move my sofa back after my smaller screen experiments this week. We watched a movie tonight with the screen back to normal and I didn't want to stop it to move the sofa back. So a 124" wide scope screen from an eye distance of around 9ft.

It was surprisingly pretty awesome. Only problem was that at that distance, I felt like the screen was a little too high.
post #38 of 70
^^^ Too high with the viewing angle?? C'mon now. Haven't you seen all those "HT" photos with the family watching a 50" flat panel mounted waay up above the mantle on their fireplaces....... biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif
post #39 of 70
Thread Starter 
I always cringe whenever I see a tv over a mantle. In fact I cringe at most home theaters, since it seems very rare anyone follows the "eye level should be at 1/3 of screen height from bottom of screen" rule of thumb, probably because they have multiple rows of seating to worry about. My screen is 15-16" off the ground and it seems perfect to me.
post #40 of 70
On our recent vacation we stayed at a place with the flat screen mounted above the fireplace.

Brutal. Just brutal. Ridiculously unergonomic to watch.
post #41 of 70
There is another trade-off which, is how comfortable the room size feels vs. the screen size. I don't have the money to afford a home with a 20 seat theatre, but even if I had one, I wouldn't want to watch TV or movies by myself or even with one or two guests. The room itself would feel too large and uncomfortable. My HT is < 14' wide and the screen, in 2.35:1 mode, is about 120" wide. To me the screen is enjoyable to watch at that size, and the room feels comfortable with a guest or two, or by myself. I'd not want things twice the size, but I wouldn't want them less than 3/4 the existing size either. In fact, I don't want the screen any smaller than it is for 16:9 material (which works out to about 90" wide), but that still leaves a pretty good range within which to work.
post #42 of 70
Quote:
On our recent vacation we stayed at a place with the flat screen mounted above the fireplace.

Brutal. Just brutal. Ridiculously unergonomic to watch.
For casual viewing I bought a 60" plasma earlier this year. Mounted it, then lowered it twice. The centre of the screen now is just above eye level when I sit down. It looks a little silly mounted on the wall that low, but I'd much rather not have to look up at the screen while I watch it. It always makes me shake my head a little when I see how high some people mount their screens.
post #43 of 70
Quote:
In fact I cringe at most home theaters, since it seems very rare anyone follows the "eye level should be at 1/3 of screen height from bottom of screen" rule of thumb, probably because they have multiple rows of seating to worry about. My screen is 15-16" off the ground and it seems perfect to me.

That is how I designed my theater, and how I recommend people design theirs !
post #44 of 70
Do you lay your center channel on the floor or do you have AT screens ?
post #45 of 70
You know this is actually about seating more than anything else. It is quite okay to have a plasma above a fireplace as long as the seating is angled so that when you sit-back you are naturally looking at it and not having to strain your neck. Some sofas are extremely uncomfortable if the plasma is down low, and you cannot lean back and look at the plasma without straining your neck the other way. In many smaller houses, there are less choices were the screen goes. It isn't always done for effect, it's often done because the fire place is in the way of the only place the screen could go!

I don't think one size fits all here. You need to match the seating with the screen height so that a comfortable seating position equates to a comfortable screen height. Personally I prefer the bottom of the screen to line up with the eye line, rather than 1/3....but that's just my preference.
post #46 of 70
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jj-34 View Post

Do you lay your center channel on the floor or do you have AT screens ?

Center channel is on a stand that's about 12" tall with the speaker laying horizontally on it and angled upward to it's pointing directly at me.
post #47 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

That is how I designed my theater, and how I recommend people design theirs !

Is that based on trying to achieve ergonomic viewing lines for home theaters with multiple seating rows? If not, what is the actual rational for your "eyes level with bottom 1/3" of the screen?

I think that's generally a recommendation born of trying to achieve decent sight lines for multiple rows and/or ensuring some baseline for ergonomic comfort an immersion (e.g. don't mount your screen at too high an angle).
But I don't see why an eyes-to-1/3-screen-height would be an optimum recommendation. Why not the eyeline centered to the center of the screen, if that can be achieved?
post #48 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by curttard View Post

Center channel is on a stand that's about 12" tall with the speaker laying horizontally on it and angled upward to it's pointing directly at me.

My center channel is below my screen as well, just off the ground, and angled upward toward the viewer. My two reasons for angling upward were:

1. it raised the tweeter/drivers angle toward the viewer to keep clarity and better match the angle of the head-height L and R speakers.

2. I angled it upward so that I can not see the top of the center channel from the viewing seat, only the front face of the center channel. This is beneficial in ensuring the center channel completely "dissapears" from sight with lights out watching a movie. With a center channel right below the bottom of the screen, even the darkest velvet covering the speaker will light up enough to be visible during brighter scenes. But if the center channel is covered in black velvet, and angled so you can't see it's top, then the top reflection (as meager as it is) never becomes visible at all, and the front face of the speaker receives no direct light from the screen, making it completely dark. This is the only way to make a center channel placed close to the bottom of the screen truly "disappear" into blackness for all movie scenes.
post #49 of 70
I only have 1 row of 4 seats that spans the exact width of my 142" 16:9 screen. The height is practically ceiling to floor with a bit of room below for my center channel. At 14 feet from the screen, the image is immersive and wish I had more room for an even larger screen.

I was recently at a friends house where I installed a 110" and seating is a bit closer at 10-11 feet. it's just not the same feeling and my brain is always aware i'm looking at a smaller screen.

I dream of the day to have a HT like Wolfgang who has a 7+ meter screen. just amazing.

Rico4KStack1920x10809.jpg
post #50 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Harkness View Post

This is the only way to make a center channel placed close to the bottom of the screen truly "disappear" into blackness for all movie scenes.

 

From my experience a center channel mounted under the screen will never disappear (audio wise). I found pointing it over your head (versus directly at you) can help a little but not much. Unless you use Dialog Lift (virtual or Presence speakers) you'll find yourself staring at the floor while trying to enjoy a movie. Talk about the room never disappearing...

 

I used virtual Dialog Lift and finally had to go with Presence speakers and the improvement is far better than any paint job. :) Years ago I lowered my screen and found my eyes at roughly 1/3 up the screen height works great. Much more comfortable as I can easily take in the entire image.

post #51 of 70
Quote:
But I don't see why an eyes-to-1/3-screen-height would be an optimum recommendation. Why not the eyeline centered to the center of the screen, if that can be achieved?

Eye level at the centerline of the screen would work too. But lets just say for sake of arguement that ideally your eye level should be somehwre between 1/3 of the way up the screen ( from the bottom ) to around the 1/2 way point. Anywhere within that range will be the most comfortable viewing experience overall. Don't you think Rich? People tend to mount flat screens way too high, so that watching movies makes my neck feel like I'm an anti-aircraft gunner, scanning the skies. I recommend avoiding that with projection screens at all costs.
post #52 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

From my experience a center channel mounted under the screen will never disappear (audio wise).


Yes, that's my experience too. It's one of the compromises of my system. But in my room, an AT screen set up would have made for other compromises.

But as far as "never disappearing" it is quite variable and depends on the particular sound and mix of any movie. The quality of some dialogue can make it seem stuck lower than the screen, other times it appears to be coming from the screen. And, again, depending on the mix, the sound can seem to be all coming from the screen. I wish it were more consistent, but...compromises...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles R View Post

I found pointing it over your head (versus directly at you) can help a little but not much. Unless you use Dialog Lift (virtual or Presence speakers) you'll find yourself staring at the floor while trying to enjoy a movie.

I'd never heard of Yamaha's Dialogue Lift. Just looked it up. Interesting. Unfortunately I doubt I could accommodate it in my set up.
post #53 of 70
I've found that with my new 11.1 setup and NEO:X, dialog sounds much better and " centered ", even though I have my center above my screen. Watched " Django Unchained " last night and the soundtrack ( and dialog ) sounded great. But many things including screen postiioning, size, and speaker positions can be a compromise. I chose not to compromise the screen surface by using an AT screen,. Choose your poison..........
post #54 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post

Eye level at the centerline of the screen would work too. But lets just say for sake of arguement that ideally your eye level should be somehwre between 1/3 of the way up the screen ( from the bottom ) to around the 1/2 way point. Anywhere within that range will be the most comfortable viewing experience overall. Don't you think Rich? People tend to mount flat screens way too high, so that watching movies makes my neck feel like I'm an anti-aircraft gunner, scanning the skies. I recommend avoiding that with projection screens at all costs.

the reason i'd consider going higher is because I usually watch movies fully reclined. i'm basically looking down my nose to watch movies right now(my screen is mounted lower than optimal due to room characteristics). it's comfortable if I sit up, but I never sit up. you can kind of see what i'm talking about in the pic zombie posted above. check out the girl sitting middle front. that's about the minimum recline I tend to watch movie at. and you can already see her head is pointed pretty much straight at the very TOP of the screen.
post #55 of 70
There are always exceptions. In my case I have no recliners in my theater, and prefer to sit up. I found people in recliners tend to fall asleep ( at least with the amount of wine they drink at our house ). smile.gif
post #56 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by fierce_gt View Post

the reason i'd consider going higher is because I usually watch movies fully reclined. i'm basically looking down my nose to watch movies right now(my screen is mounted lower than optimal due to room characteristics). it's comfortable if I sit up, but I never sit up. you can kind of see what i'm talking about in the pic zombie posted above. check out the girl sitting middle front. that's about the minimum recline I tend to watch movie at. and you can already see her head is pointed pretty much straight at the very TOP of the screen.

This is why I mentioned above that the "correct" height is tightly related to the seating. My sofas naturally have a recline on them....if I lean back, I am looking up slightly. If the screen was centered at head height it would be a disaster as I would be straining my neck downwards. What you want is that when you sit back against the seat, that if you imagine a line starting from the back of your head towards your eyes, continuing to the screen, hits near the middle of the screen. And that can vary enormously depending on the type of seating, or desired recline.
post #57 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonStatt View Post

This is why I mentioned above that the "correct" height is tightly related to the seating. My sofas naturally have a recline on them....if I lean back, I am looking up slightly. If the screen was centered at head height it would be a disaster as I would be straining my neck downwards. What you want is that when you sit back against the seat, that if you imagine a line starting from the back of your head towards your eyes, continuing to the screen, hits near the middle of the screen. And that can vary enormously depending on the type of seating, or desired recline.
I agree with this for the most part, but people should be careful how they apply this line of thinking. Most seats with small amounts of recline (e.g. your standard sofa or chair) do not have ANY head support... just because your torso is slightly reclined, does not mean your head is slightly reclined. Your head is this big heavy thing cantilevered out from your shoulders when you are reclined... the natural tendency is to level your head to reduce neck strain. Without head-support built into the chair (or the use of pillows!), your head will still be level when using most seating. Having said that, a proper recliner with head support and a moderate recline angle would be fairly straining if the screen were too low. Came across an interesting read recently regarding human vision and how we process visual data... turns out we see more detail 'below the horizon', being more worried about lions than pterodactyls and such wink.gif
post #58 of 70
I had my sofa custom made and ensured it had a tall enough back to allow reclining, with some head support, to be comfortable for long movies. I also got all meticulous about the height of the 2 ottomans in front of the sofa, and my choice of ottoman height and screen height were done in concert, so that when I'm reclined on the sofa the screen was as low as it could go for centering to my vision when reclined, but just above the line of
my feet when they are up on the ottoman, so even with my feet up they never get in the way of any of the image. As particular as that stuff sounds, it's part of the pleasures of designing your own home theater room, to get all the little things right.
post #59 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougri View Post

I agree with this for the most part, but people should be careful how they apply this line of thinking. Most seats with small amounts of recline (e.g. your standard sofa or chair) do not have ANY head support... just because your torso is slightly reclined, does not mean your head is slightly reclined. Your head is this big heavy thing cantilevered out from your shoulders when you are reclined... the natural tendency is to level your head to reduce neck strain. Without head-support built into the chair (or the use of pillows!), your head will still be level when using most seating. Having said that, a proper recliner with head support and a moderate recline angle would be fairly straining if the screen were too low. Came across an interesting read recently regarding human vision and how we process visual data... turns out we see more detail 'below the horizon', being more worried about lions than pterodactyls and such wink.gif

LOL - never considered my viewing preferences should be based around lions and pterodactyls....personally I am more afraid of a pterodactyl sweeping down from above and carrying me away smile.gif

You are right of course. My seating does support the head but of course many sofas do not.
post #60 of 70
anyway, here is the article I mentioned about human vision (in comparison to a camera)... fun read: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm
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