Originally Posted by Greyimporter
I definitely didn't like sitting in the front row at the theater but it's not the same thing.
Sitting in the middle at the theater was best because it put you in the middle of the screen. With the huge screens and tiered seating at the theater, sitting on the front row often had your head facing the bottom of the screen and having to look up to watch...
At home my screen goes from floor to ceiling which is around 7ft in my basement. Sitting on a regular couch puts my head nicely in the center. I can comfortably see a 17ft wide screen from way less than 2x screen height. 3x screen height would completely ruin the immersive effect of the large screen.
Moving back when the screen gets larger defeats the purpose imo.
I suspect that those kind of guidelines are just lingering from the old standard def CRT days where a screen didn't have to be that large before you started to see large gaps between scanlines. I haven't been bothered by a visible pixel structure from my seating position since before the 720p days so I'd say they're obsolete.
A screen would have to get far larger than my house would allow before I could see pixels from the couch on a 1080p or 4k projector.
I totally agree with your analysis of at home vs commercial theater immersion and screen placement. Also the tie in to older SMPTE and THX standards for large commercial venues and bringing those specs home in the days of IMAX immersion with amazing resolutions that no longer limit.
My first theater 20 years ago was 720p and it was in a low ceiling basement of 6’4” and I selected a 6’ tall image just 2 inches off the floor. Regular seating put my level eyes close to midway on the screen and gave the feeling of being way up in an IMAX stadium but still having a highly immersive image. nothing like front row seating in a conventional theater.
A lot of the rules or rules of thumb are based around multi rows and clearing the heads of those in rows in front of us with shallower sloped theaters. At home if you opt for a single row theater that I like best placing the image high only helps if you like serious reclined viewing. And again home seating does stuff commercial seating never did.
I went with a variable immersion method because as much as I like immersion and really like IMAX immersion, I don’t always like it and some of my guests don’t like or are not yet used to the immersion I like. Projectors do what TV can’t and that is change image size and location so why not use it for more than CIH. I watch with Immersion levels between 1.5 and 3.0 screen height seating distance. But the bulk of my solo viewing is 1.5 to around 2.2 SH SD.
As an example with scope movies I often add in some additional vertical offset down as I enjoy the movie more lower as it allows it to be shown a little more immersive.
After having all this freedom of size and placement with a stealth screen wall it would be very hard to go back to a fixed AR/Sized screen.