Max front row viewing angle? 72 degrees too high? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-20-2020, 03:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Max front row viewing angle? 72 degrees too high?

I know screen size has probably been discussed enough here but I am getting confused on how to get decent viewing angles for all rows. Currently planning a 28' long x 19' room with (2) rows of reclined seating and a back bar stool row. The problem is that I was planning for the best row or "king" chair to be the center row. The result is a very high viewing angle for the front row. For instance, with the AT screen 3' off wall for speaker placement, allowing 4' off the back wall for sound, and spacing 7' between recliner rows, would give a 200" screen size at 10' viewing distance (72 degree) for front row and a 17' view distance (46 deg) for second row and a 21' viewing distance (38') for the bar stool row. I based this off of an ideal viewing angle of 45 degrees for the king's seat.

If I lowered the ideal viewing angle from 45 to 40 degrees for the center row, it would give a screen size of 170". This would put the front row at 63 degrees and back row at 33 degrees.

Am I going about this correctly? I can always buy a bit of room by reducing the space behind the screen or moving the bar stools to maybe 3' off the back wall. However, no matter what I do I still have to have the 7' between reclining rows which makes the angles so different.

Are most of you making the front row the King's chair to allow smaller viewing angles in further rows? Perhaps eliminating the ability to recline so rows can be less spaced? Or, just live with 60-70 degree viewing angles in the front row?
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post #2 of 2 Old 01-20-2020, 04:03 PM
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It is the age old problem of home theater and the reason I turned my room 90 degrees and have a longer single row of seats. I find off angle as less problem as under immersive. And seating side by side as more social.

I know there are many reasons why people want multi rows and if you read Rob Hahn’s comments in the thread where his theater won Home Theater of the Decade he said he made his second row the king seat and only put in the front row for a visual for him to not feel he was in the front row. I know that sounds crazy but he is an A list Hollywood film cinematographer and built a money is no object theater. In a real commercial theater there is almost no change in immersion between one row and the next. It is because the screen is enormous and the spacing of rows small. At home we can’t have a 60’ high screen so we have to compromise.

If it was me and I like immersion I would make my front row king and I would make my seating distance close to 2 times the height of a CIH screen. You can figure the angles. Only I would want CIH+IMAX as my screen size and for IMAX movies that height would work out to 1.5 Times the IMAX screen height. Then for my second row I wouldn’t use reclining seats I would use regular upright commercial theater seating and that would compress the second row making a decent level of immersion. These seats are now perfect as overflow seats and you will find lots of people don’t want high immersion. The back row beer drinking seats will also move up and gain a little. Now with the IMAX screen sizing when I hosted a super bowl party I would jump the resolution of 16:9 TV up to the full IMAX 16:9 size. The front row will love it as it will be like sitting on the 50 yard line. I would then sit in the middle row and the guys in the back at the beer row wont believe how great and immersive the image is.

Doing this type seating you can also lower the screen a little and not need as tall of a riser and the first row can watch reclined or not reclined and if you don’t have 12’ ceilings you wont feel crammed in the back.

It is the only way I know to work 3 rows.

The really nice advantage is in watching Dunkirk or Aquaman or the new Amazon movie The Aeronauts from the front row will be like real IMAX.
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