Originally Posted by AlanBuck
Actually there is quite a significant difference between 52 and 57, so weigh things carefully before you jump in. I can tell you that I would not want more than a 50-52 inch or so at 8 feet. Anything larger would be too big at that distance for MY taste.
I would agree with you if your majority viewing was SD - but if that's the case the person would be wasting their money getting a HT in this day and age for SD.
If a person has an HD DVD/BD, subscribed to HD content with Premiums and that is your majority viewing 8 feet is actually a great distance for 1080i on a 57" and matches up with both my calculators and the panels I've owned - an SXRD 60" at 8.5' was perfect for HD viewing and immersively WoW-riffic but admittedly an issue with SD but I watch very little SD.
For those unwillingly to maximize source content to match the TV's capability up to 1080P (primarily 1080i) then yes you'll be viewing Turdvision with 480i SD as that math limits what any large panel can do with it especially after getting accustomed to 600% improvement of good HD - but you'll be in HT Heaven with HD on a 57" from 8'. To me 1080i is the Rodney Dangerfield of HD with this obsession to get to 1080P - 1080i usually looks amazing on my panel or any Native display I've seen and affords much closer viewing rewards. JMO.
If in doubt go to the store and spend time at 8' to see how it impacts you but realizing 57" doesn't look all that large in the store but once in your home will suddenly seem to grow but within 10 days or so the size becomes normal and the immersion remains, at least it has with mine excepting that a 45" cannot make up for a loss of 15" with that immersion.
Budget the source content with appropriate HD Material otherwise why bother? When I view my Sharp which is native 1080i that doesn't take 1080P fully- but yet in dot-by-dot mode I can get right up to the screen without noise, or pixels on a 45" and a 57" displaying 1080P native is easy for "HD" especially at 1080i(p).