Fascinating to read some of the opinions in this thread.
I recall when I was first dating my wife I had a 55" Sony Wega TV, Klipsch RB-75's in a Stereo setup. I gradually added a center, surrounds an a subwoofer as finances permitted. My wife at the time poked fun at me for this huge sound system in my small apartment. Luckily I rented above someone's garage and I could utilize it to it's full potential without bothering any neighbors. I'll never forget when my Outlaw 990 went out and I had to send it in for repair and my wife constantly complained about the lack of sound when watching movies and she couldn't wait for the 990 to return.
This is the wega:
(55" - no complaints from the wife)
Later I upgraded to a 61" Samsung rear projection TV and it seemed massive in my apartment. However the overall viewing experience was fantastic.
Samsung 61" DLP. My wife made fun of me for the massive TV, but never complained when watching a movie that it was too big.
(61" wife complains it's too big)
In my first home I installed a retractable projector in family room and the surround sound speakers were in the ceiling in order to blend into the room and not be an eyesore. This screen was 140" and to everyone that came over it was awesome. We could entertain in the room and convert it into a theater room. Great for sports too but outside ambient light did create a problem so we had to manually hang up curtains to block the light. Nevertheless it was great viewing experience.
As mentioned earlier in this thread I built a dedicated theater, which is pictured in my avatar, and have a media room and bar in the adjacent room. The dual setup is fantastic. Most of our friends have kids in the age range of our own so when the families come over the kids can watch a movie in the theater while the adults have cocktails and such in the bar. There's a dart board, pool table and tv etc.
Anyway so we're currently in New Zealand, wife's from here, and we had our Sony 65" Z9D in the family room. My wife and I found that it was a bit of a nuisance to have the tv in the family room since we like to read after dinner and the kids want to watch a show (only 30 minutes a day of screen time allowed). We moved the TV into what they call here formal lounge or living room in the USA and the with the door closed we have piece and quiet. This is the setup that works here for us, but the funny thing is my wife told me the 65" Sony is too small and she misses the theater. She told me I should have bought the 75", but it wasn't available at the time.
(65" wife complains it's too small
- don't go there)
Remembering the days of living in a small apartment being teased about my big TV and Speakers to my wife complaining about a 65" tv being too small and missing our theater is rather amusing to me. I'm lucky that she gives me free reign with my hobbies, but also that she appreciates the outcome. To say she thinks the TV is too small is almost an understatement. She's not at television person but she enjoys a good show like Game of Thrones or a good movie as in The Green Book. However she's told me several times she almost prefers to save the movies until we move back to Colorado then watch them on the 65" tv. Yes we have surround sound etc, but going from a 134" Scope screen with surround and atmos in a dedicated theater is a much different experience than in a living room. However we do what works for us.
(134" wife and kids prefer this)
I agree with the comments on TV show's and movies. I do think there are some excellent movies being produced but the majority are bad. It's one of the reasons I stopped going to the local cinema because I was annoyed that I'm forking over $60 for a night at the movies only for it to be not worth it. Weeding out the good and bad is not easy because everyone has their personal tastes and you can only take online reviews so far. I almost never agree with rotten tomato reviews, but my tastes tend to be inline with Ralph Potts here on AVS. I also find IMDB reviews to be more reflective of my tastes.
I cut the cable cord 14 years ago and was doing Netflix rentals and OTA only. Today I buy movies and do streaming only, no OTA. I stopped watching sports (I know, the horror), because there were too many commercials and athletes started getting political which was an annoyance. Plus riding up the cable tier to get the games you want is a bunch of baloney (I'm froogle).
Anyway with shows like True Detective, Games of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Yellowstone etc, I find the quality of content amazing. My years of surfing are over and I rather watch nothing than surf.
My ideal situation:
In the end if I didn't have room for a dedicated theater I'd probably buy an 80" plus tv and put somewhere that hopefully isn't too tacky.
In saying that I find a formal living room today to be somewhat pointless. We have formal living rooms and dining rooms in both of our houses and we hardly use them. The formal living room in NZ is only used for watching TV and the one in COS is only used on Christmas Day for the most part. My wife and I would like to build a house someday and when we do we're going to have a massive family room, media room and theater room but no formal dining or formal living room. Our kitchen currently seats 10 which is fine and we'd do the same type of thing if we built a home, just one dining area. We're not fancy or formal people and neither are our friends so we find the formal area's to be wasted space. Now a media room with a pool table, dart board, tv, bar is going to be the most used room in the house besides the kitchen area.
oh and guy with the Galaga video game machine, you sir are awesome. I'd like to own one of those and some pinball machines for my media room some day. Funhouse here I come.