CIH screen size for 2 row theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 17 Old 03-14-2020, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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CIH screen size for 2 row theater

Struggling to decide if I should go with 130" vs 140" wide 2.40 screen (side mask to 16:9). I can't optimize the SH ratio to come close to satisfying both row conditions.



See the attached drawings (just discovered cinema-tools.com - awesome calculator!).



130" gives SH 2.07 for front row (great!), 3.18 for second row (too small)

140" gives SH 1.92 for front row (too close?), 2.95 for second row (barely acceptable)



When masked to 16:9, the horizontal FoV angle really nose dives:

--130" : 46' and 31' (row 1 and 2, respectively)

--140" : 49' and 34' (row 1 and 2, respectively)



My front row distance is 112" (9'4") screen to eyes, and cannot go any further back. I assume row two will be 5' behind that (172") to allow clearance given the reclining seats (Seatcraft Equinox)



Any suggestions on this layout?
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Last edited by blake; 03-14-2020 at 08:16 PM.
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post #2 of 17 Old 03-14-2020, 05:49 PM
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Go get 4 yards of blackout cloth (54+ inches wide). You can hang it with tumb tacks and see what you think at the differen sizes. I just did this in my space and it really helped us pick the right size.
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post #3 of 17 Old 03-14-2020, 05:59 PM
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Five foot between rows is about minimum I have even seen six used.

I have been saying for a long time my preference would be say one long row of 4 seats compared to two rows of two. For me the off angle condition isn’t as bad as the lack of immersion.

The other thing I see talked about is do you make one row perfect and then let the chips fall where they may for the backup seating or do you try and do as you are doing find a workable compromise for both rows. Screens under 160” it is tough to find a solution where one row isn’t going to be a back of the theater seat. One solution is to make the second row regular upright theater seats and without recline the row distance can be compressed. Saying your normal viewing might be two people and then you sometimes have guests you could decide if you want to give the good row over to the guests and you take the overflow seating.

Upward visual angle is also a concern reclined front and upright second and then if you do IMAX the screens bottom needs to be lowered and toes not in view first row and heads second row.

I use a variable method and I will barely mention it as it is frowned upon. But I adjust immersion on mine and my guests needs. If I used it with a two-row setup I would then be able to change what row was best and if I had a couple people that liked IMAX immersion I would put them in front and the less immersion people could take the second row.

The truth be known most people that don’t watch tons of movies like you will having a home theater will be impressed around 3X just fine.

Rob Hahn told me a while back he has 3 rows but the first row was put in way too close and not intended to be used as he wanted the feeling of not setting in the front row. He likes the visual of seats in front of him. It just goes to show you what extremes people will go to in search of the proper visual setup.

Bud
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post #4 of 17 Old 03-15-2020, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
Five foot between rows is about minimum I have even seen six used.

I have been saying for a long time my preference would be say one long row of 4 seats compared to two rows of two. For me the off angle condition isn’t as bad as the lack of immersion.



The truth be known most people that don’t watch tons of movies like you will having a home theater will be impressed around 3X just fine.

Rob Hahn told me a while back he has 3 rows but the first row was put in way too close and not intended to be used as he wanted the feeling of not setting in the front row. He likes the visual of seats in front of him. It just goes to show you what extremes people will go to in search of the proper visual setup.
That's why I have one row 6 seats wide - and since it's a sectional sofa, 8 people can fit fairly comfy. Off axis seating is not a problem. Everyone gets a front row seat too. No nose bleed section !
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post #5 of 17 Old 03-15-2020, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Craig Peer View Post
That's why I have one row 6 seats wide - and since it's a sectional sofa, 8 people can fit fairly comfy. Off axis seating is not a problem. Everyone gets a front row seat too. No nose bleed section !


How many screen heights back are you and how did you decide this ? Don’t some people want more/less immersion ?
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post #6 of 17 Old 03-15-2020, 03:18 PM
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How many screen heights back are you and how did you decide this ? Don’t some people want more/less immersion ?
I've had a home theater for 17 years. Trial and error, and I've been in the current theater for over 12 years. With 1080p and now 4K, I've slowly moved closer over the years. From around 14' to my current 9' 8" or so. No one has complained about it being too close. If they did, I'd show them the door.

Click on my theater thread link for screen size info.
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post #7 of 17 Old 03-15-2020, 05:20 PM
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How many screen heights back are you and how did you decide this ? Don’t some people want more/less immersion ?
I’m a single row of 4 seats and the off center is no problem also. My seating distance is 8’ and I like anywhere between 2x - 2.25x seating for most content. IMAX around 1.5x – 1.75x. Different people do like different immersion and that is why I run Variable and do back off my solo numbers above. As if I showed the Mrs. the door I might be in the doghouse watching movies on a 19” TV.

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post #8 of 17 Old 03-23-2020, 06:48 AM
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My last house had a 130" wide 2.07 CIA setup. The rows were 94 and 166" from the screen.

16:9 - The first row was 1.5x screen height and the second was 2.64x screen height.
2.35:1- The first row was 1.7x screen height and the second was 3x screen height.

It was great in either row. My wife loved the back row, I loved the front row. We would trade off where we watched. No guests ever complained about the image being too big.

My new room is a bit bigger. If I stick with a 2.07 screen, I'm planning to keep the same angles. If I go with a 2.0 or 16:9 screen, I'll likely keep the width ratios, but increase the height of the screen. With a 16:9 screen, I'd probably use the same area for 16:9 as if the screen were 2.07:1. The only time I would use the full height is if I had a variable aspect ratio, IMAX, or HD 4:3 movie.

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post #9 of 17 Old 03-24-2020, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by timgrady View Post
My last house had a 130" wide 2.07 CIA setup. The rows were 94 and 166" from the screen.

16:9 - The first row was 1.5x screen height and the second was 2.64x screen height.
2.35:1- The first row was 1.7x screen height and the second was 3x screen height.

It was great in either row. My wife loved the back row, I loved the front row. We would trade off where we watched. No guests ever complained about the image being too big.

My new room is a bit bigger. If I stick with a 2.07 screen, I'm planning to keep the same angles. If I go with a 2.0 or 16:9 screen, I'll likely keep the width ratios, but increase the height of the screen. With a 16:9 screen, I'd probably use the same area for 16:9 as if the screen were 2.07:1. The only time I would use the full height is if I had a variable aspect ratio, IMAX, or HD 4:3 movie.

Tim

So you didn’t find 1.7x SH for your 2.35 fatiguing / uncomfortable given how close you are?

Did your wife not like the front row here because of too much vertical or too much horizontal field of view ? Or both.
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post #10 of 17 Old 03-24-2020, 05:26 AM
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So you didn’t find 1.7x SH for your 2.35 fatiguing / uncomfortable given how close you are?

Did your wife not like the front row here because of too much vertical or too much horizontal field of view ? Or both.
When you are under 8' from a 130" wide screen, it's definitely big. The vertical height isn't that impressive for 2.35"1, but the width is. The width isn't that impressive for 16:9, but the height is. It made both presentations compelling and I thought it was a very nice compromise. I did itch for something a little bit bigger though...

I should clarify that my wife would happily watch in either row and did frequently, but when left to her own devices would choose the rear row. She never complained about it being too big.

There were even times we sat on the floor in front of the front row and watched. Very big, but watchable.

Tim
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post #11 of 17 Old 03-24-2020, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake View Post
So you didn’t find 1.7x SH for your 2.35 fatiguing / uncomfortable given how close you are?

Did your wife not like the front row here because of too much vertical or too much horizontal field of view ? Or both.
I think the thing to remember or at least think about with immersion is it is not important to take in the whole image and the frame clearly in your vision. We don’t do that in our daily life walking around or driving our car etc. There is a lot that is in our vision but not in our critical vision we direct our vision to what we want to see in our normal life and immersive viewing is kind of the same. Directors of scope movies tend to keep the action centered in the screen area and if it does move to the side it is rarely moved to both sides like a tennis match would be. The sides for the most part are to fill out our vision just like what we do all day walking around. IMAX takes the next step and fills out above and below. That’s why they say IMAX is scope safe and that area gets cropped off in scope theaters.

If you are used to watching TV from across the room then your movie viewing has been trained to be different than cinema.

This is why I can watch an IMAX movie 1.5X SH but watching regular TV 1.5X SH would make me sick, even though the ARs are close to the same the cinematography is much different.

Bud
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post #12 of 17 Old 03-25-2020, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bud16415 View Post
I think the thing to remember or at least think about with immersion is it is not important to take in the whole image and the frame clearly in your vision. We don’t do that in our daily life walking around or driving our car etc. There is a lot that is in our vision but not in our critical vision we direct our vision to what we want to see in our normal life and immersive viewing is kind of the same. Directors of scope movies tend to keep the action centered in the screen area and if it does move to the side it is rarely moved to both sides like a tennis match would be. The sides for the most part are to fill out our vision just like what we do all day walking around. IMAX takes the next step and fills out above and below. That’s why they say IMAX is scope safe and that area gets cropped off in scope theaters.

If you are used to watching TV from across the room then your movie viewing has been trained to be different than cinema.

This is why I can watch an IMAX movie 1.5X SH but watching regular TV 1.5X SH would make me sick, even though the ARs are close to the same the cinematography is much different.

Should screen height multiples still be used in estimating / discussing TV content (on a 16:9 screen) ? Or is this “2-3x SH” is optimal rule of thumb better reserved for only scope format ?

For example, a 140” wide CIH scope screen (which I am considering) will give a 1.9x SH ratio for scope at 9.5 feet away, which may be okay given what you have stated about cinematographers framing the action centrally. But masking this screen down to 16:9 still gives 1.9x SH, but of course the width is now much narrower (103”).

So , is a 16:9 screen for TV content at 1.9x SH “okay” in this case since your horizontal field of view has dropped from 62 (scope) to 49 (16:9) degrees? Or is it nauseating ?!
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post #13 of 17 Old 03-25-2020, 01:58 AM
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When you are under 8' from a 130" wide screen, it's definitely big. The vertical height isn't that impressive for 2.35"1, but the width is. The width isn't that impressive for 16:9, but the height is. It made both presentations compelling and I thought it was a very nice compromise. I did itch for something a little bit bigger though...

I should clarify that my wife would happily watch in either row and did frequently, but when left to her own devices would choose the rear row. She never complained about it being too big.

There were even times we sat on the floor in front of the front row and watched. Very big, but watchable.

Tim
Yep, and if you want to actually appreciate 4K resolution, this is where you really need to be sitting. I'm 7' from a 120" wide screen so it's probably about identical to you.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake View Post
Should screen height multiples still be used in estimating / discussing TV content (on a 16:9 screen) ? Or is this “2-3x SH” is optimal rule of thumb better reserved for only scope format ?

For example, a 140” wide CIH scope screen (which I am considering) will give a 1.9x SH ratio for scope at 9.5 feet away, which may be okay given what you have stated about cinematographers framing the action centrally. But masking this screen down to 16:9 still gives 1.9x SH, but of course the width is now much narrower (103”).

So , is a 16:9 screen for TV content at 1.9x SH “okay” in this case since your horizontal field of view has dropped from 62 (scope) to 49 (16:9) degrees? Or is it nauseating ?!
IMO it is not a case of TV being nauseating if shown too immersive it is more of a case of it not being made better. There is a wide array of what we call TV and actually TV is really anything that is not cinema. GOT is TV but it is very much more like cinema than watching an old rerun of The Andy of Mayberry show or the nightly news.

There is another factor I will bring up and I haven’t heard it talked about much in the last 10 years. Back in the day we used to have 720p projectors and guys like me were figuring out ways to hook them to our cable box. We liked to watch sports and movies off HBO. There was always a debate about using the HT for TV and such as watching it big and immersive spoiled the theater magic a little when playing a blockbuster movie and it was the same size or with CIW of the day even smaller.

I still think that is true today maybe even more so. I have my screen area sized for IMAX so that means I can watch The Good Doctor that same size if I wanted. I don’t and I zoom down to a little less than even the size of a CIH 1.85:1 flat movie. Partly because of the cinematography of TV and partly because I want to make that 1.85:1 motion picture a little more special in terms of immersion just like I want to limit my IMAX size for things really IMAX. It is not like I’m not watching The Good Doctor both larger and more immersive than people would even that have an 80” TV at home.

@markmon1 is correct if you want full benefits of 4K you have to sit very close in terms of immersion. I disagree rather on if you should though. Soon everything will be 4K and for me it great it is, but for me that resolution is there for when you need it, and I don’t need to sit closer just because I can. I let the media decide for me how immersive seems correct for me.

The bottom line for me is I can’t view anything larger than my screen size but given zoom I can view it smaller. So I size my max area and then do a variable presentation size down from that.

Bud
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post #15 of 17 Old 03-25-2020, 09:06 AM
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Watching a movie is not the same as walking around outside. That analogy is absurd. While it may be true that some directors or cinematographers tend to center characters or objects in a scope frame, not all do. Others regularly place important content at the extreme sides.

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There are always exceptions both in movies and in real life. People have car crashes when there is a girl in a bikini riding her bike on the shoulder of the road and we don’t pay enough attention to the tractor-trailer to the other extreme of our daily driving around vision to our right.

It is not absurd at all to understand what our human FOV is and making a determination as to how much or little of it we like to use when watching a movie.

I have been told here for years here that human FOV is close to a 2.35:1 rectangle. I have also been told here that 2.35:1 was selected because that is the comfortable human FOV. I have been told here that humans prefer to not move their eyes when viewing motion pictures and seating distance should accommodate that. None of that is true.

Seeing how Josh has been kind enough to supply a picture of an old western movie anyone reading try this. When I view his photo on my monitor I’m at a seating distance of 7X the height of the image. Take your eyes and focus on the cowboy on the right. Without moving your gaze from that cowboy try and see how much detail about the cowboy on the left you can see? It is even hard to see the cowboy in the center and that is with a viewing distance of 7X.

We see the whole image because our eyes scan exactly the same way in motion pictures they do in daily life, and they look for detail that is critical to our quest for information in the moving image. It is the reason when we watch a movie twice we see different things the second time and the third time. Sure we know the story line the second time and that changes things but there is always more visual to be seen.

It is why when a boom mic drops into the picture by accident it draws our attention away from something else and spoils the shot. Our eyes scan and look for movements.

The movie Josh shows is cleaver cinematography no different than the idea behind the three-ring circus. It gives us more than our vision can discern at once and builds anxiety. Nonetheless the director knows what he is doing and he knows we can’t focus on all three cowboys at once. Just like real life do you look at the girl or do you pay attention to the truck.
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post #17 of 17 Old 03-25-2020, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blake View Post
Should screen height multiples still be used in estimating / discussing TV content (on a 16:9 screen) ? Or is this “2-3x SH” is optimal rule of thumb better reserved for only scope format ?

For example, a 140” wide CIH scope screen (which I am considering) will give a 1.9x SH ratio for scope at 9.5 feet away, which may be okay given what you have stated about cinematographers framing the action centrally. But masking this screen down to 16:9 still gives 1.9x SH, but of course the width is now much narrower (103”).

So , is a 16:9 screen for TV content at 1.9x SH “okay” in this case since your horizontal field of view has dropped from 62 (scope) to 49 (16:9) degrees? Or is it nauseating ?!
In my opinion, this is precisely why CIH is the best presentation method: the multiple of screen height works for every AR. Once you've worked out a screen size/viewing distance that is comfortable for you, at whatever multiple of screen height you find appealing, that setup will work really, really well for all aspect ratios from Academy to 'Scope and everything in between.

If you find 1.9x SH appealing for 'Scope content, it will also look great for 16:9 content.
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