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The amazing reality is that 10" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance is almost the easiest way to describe things. Yeah, no calculations really necessary.

In surveys here (AVS) it seems that 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance is almost always the preferred screen size.

Yeah, some like it larger (a lot) some like it smaller, but not many do.

I know I like about 10" per foot of viewing distance myself. I'm sure this thread will have a bunch of others chiming in with their screen size and viewing distance. Especially those who enjoy their 13"+ diagonal for each foot of viewing distance.

While I think you did emphasize 'personal preference', it would have been good if you recommended that people buy a projector first, set it up on a coffee table, and actually watch at a few different sizes before buying a screen. That's always a good rule for so many. This way they can decide on their personally preferred screen size before investing in a screen. While I love my 16' to 161", others may want to be 18 or 19 feet back and others may want the same screen from 12' away. Try before you buy should always be the direction taken.

Really informative video overall.

I have some stuff coming up with Projector Central and YouTube which should be fun as well. Hopefully as things progress we can bounce some ideas off each other.
 

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The amazing reality is that 10" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance is almost the easiest way to describe things. Yeah, no calculations really necessary.

In surveys here (AVS) it seems that 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance is almost always the preferred screen size.

Yeah, some like it larger (a lot) some like it smaller, but not many do.

I know I like about 10" per foot of viewing distance myself. I'm sure this thread will have a bunch of others chiming in with their screen size and viewing distance. Especially those who enjoy their 13"+ diagonal for each foot of viewing distance.

While I think you did emphasize 'personal preference', it would have been good if you recommended that people buy a projector first, set it up on a coffee table, and actually watch at a few different sizes before buying a screen. That's always a good rule for so many. This way they can decide on their personally preferred screen size before investing in a screen. While I love my 16' to 161", others may want to be 18 or 19 feet back and others may want the same screen from 12' away. Try before you buy should always be the direction taken.

Really informative video overall.

I have some stuff coming up with Projector Central and YouTube which should be fun as well. Hopefully as things progress we can bounce some ideas off each other.
Thanks!

Yeah it's definitely personal preference which I did try and emphasize. I do often recommend guys shoot on a blank wall and try different sizes out but it's good to have a starting place and to see what THX recommends.

The 10" per foot is actually 40 degrees as it's the same as taking the feet and adding a zero as I mention in the video.

It just felt like a good topic for a video.
 

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Thanks!

Yeah it's definitely personal preference which I did try and emphasize. I do often recommend guys shoot on a blank wall and try different sizes out but it's good to have a starting place and to see what THX recommends.

The 10" per foot is actually 40 degrees as it's the same as taking the feet and adding a zero as I mention in the video.

It just felt like a good topic for a video.
It was/is a good topic. I did the write up on Projector Central for that exact question.

https://www.projectorcentral.com/pr...ing-Distance-for-My-Home-Theater&entry_id=784

Always the emphasis is on personal preference.

But, I think that THX be damned. What do people actually like when it comes to home theater?

The answer is that it is 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance, overwhelmingly, by actual home theater owners.

The fact that this also happens to match up with THX is not as much coincidence, but proof that THX did their homework and really found that people seemed to like that 10" of diagonal for each foot. Thumbs up to THX for solid research. Interesting that reaching up to 12" (or a bit beyond) is so often the case, but I think this may be as much for movie lovers who want the larger cinemascope images.
 

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It was/is a good topic. I did the write up on Projector Central for that exact question.

https://www.projectorcentral.com/pr...ing-Distance-for-My-Home-Theater&entry_id=784

Always the emphasis is on personal preference.

But, I think that THX be damned. What do people actually like when it comes to home theater?

The answer is that it is 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance, overwhelmingly, by actual home theater owners.

The fact that this also happens to match up with THX is not as much coincidence, but proof that THX did their homework and really found that people seemed to like that 10" of diagonal for each foot. Thumbs up to THX for solid research. Interesting that reaching up to 12" (or a bit beyond) is so often the case, but I think this may be as much for movie lovers who want the larger cinemascope images.
Awesome article Paul!

Another thing I wanted to show was that even the guy with the flat screen can still get have an immersive experience by simply sitting at the right distance. I know sometimes those that can't fit a projector feel left out but small setups can be just as awesome.
 

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The amazing reality is that 10" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance is almost the easiest way to describe things. Yeah, no calculations really necessary.

In surveys here (AVS) it seems that 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance is almost always the preferred screen size.

Yeah, some like it larger (a lot) some like it smaller, but not many do.

I know I like about 10" per foot of viewing distance myself. I'm sure this thread will have a bunch of others chiming in with their screen size and viewing distance. Especially those who enjoy their 13"+ diagonal for each foot of viewing distance.

While I think you did emphasize 'personal preference', it would have been good if you recommended that people buy a projector first, set it up on a coffee table, and actually watch at a few different sizes before buying a screen. That's always a good rule for so many. This way they can decide on their personally preferred screen size before investing in a screen. While I love my 16' to 161", others may want to be 18 or 19 feet back and others may want the same screen from 12' away. Try before you buy should always be the direction taken.

Really informative video overall.

I have some stuff coming up with Projector Central and YouTube which should be fun as well. Hopefully as things progress we can bounce some ideas off each other.
10.76" per foot (106" 16:9) for viewing 16:9 content, but 12.91" per foot for Cinemascope/2.35:1 content (still on a 16:9 screen).
1080p display on mostly 1080p sources.
 

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@cdy2179

Thanks for starting a thread and making the video on screen sizing and relating to THX standards. It is a topic near and dear to me also and the common advice here is to try a white painted wall and see what you like. That’s not bad advice and is how most of us started our journey into HT.

The second bit of information is normally something related to screen width in terms of angles or width of the screen per foot of seating etc. I have told people to go to a commercial theater and sit in the seat they like best and take a tape measure or piece of string and while seated stretch out your arms and get a measurement of the screen edge to edge and then go home sit where you will sit and with that same arm length system have someone stick two pieces of tape on the wall. That width will relate to the same level of immersion you liked at the real theater.

For 70 years after the Academy AR age of motion pictures we accepted the presentation method of CIH constant image height and the two dominate movie ARs were 2.35 scope and 1.85 flat and both the theaters and the producer/directors filmed with cinematography intended to be seen as CIH. That makes height of the screen the driving factor not the width. Conversion of the standards tells us roughly preferred seating distance should be between 2x and 3x screen height. I think you will find doing the math 2.5x screen height is about the center of THX / SMPTE specs. There is no method of doing CIW on a 16:9 screen that does justice to both movie ARs without moving your seating. In fact the scope movies should be the blockbusters are shown smaller and that’s just wrong. No amount of compromise can correct that.

Changing one row in a 50 row commercial theater changes your immersion factor very little but at home one row can equal the difference between front of the theater and back. some people compromise on two rows, IMO people should make their front row the perfect immersion and then let the back be what it is. Or better yet I much prefer say a single row of 4 than 2 rows of 2. I actually turned my room 90 degrees for that reason and find it much more social as well.

We now have other things to conceder like IMAX (Dunkirk, Aqua Man, etc) and things like Prestige TV and sports we often watch in our theaters at home. Not to mention if you are like me my FP home media room is the place for everything I watch except for breakfast news in the kitchen. The media room has the best sound and the best image and the most comfortable seats so if I want to watch The Connors or Survivor or NFL that’s where I’m going. So screen size has to factor in all these non classic movie formats as well. If you could have any seat in the stadium for the Super Bowl or the Worlds Series I doubt many would pick a 45 degree FOV of the whole playing field. People would pick the sideline seats and twist and turn their head to take it all in. I know that’s not a 100% accurate comparison, but my point is reality is very immersive in our vision and we are used to it in daily life. We learn to view what is critical and filter out the rest. That is also to a large extent how IMAX works and why it has its own cinematography method and why the screens can be so large.

Then there is the idea that sitting 10’ from a 100” screen is the same experience as 20’ from a 200” screen. It is equal immersion true but even with the lights out and no visual tells in your vision our binocular vision can tell the difference because with depth perception comes relative size perception. It isn’t huge maybe but the test would then be try sitting 2’ from a 20” screen and of course that will never be a big screen experience.

Because of all this and the fact that not all people like the same immersion as seen by getting to a commercial theater early and watching people come in and pick a seat. I have relatives that come often for movie night and they are just back row type people and I would hate to force them into immersion the way I like. I adopted a presentation method of variable immersion based around a screen size dictated by IMAX being the largest and most immersive thing I currently have to watch. I personally use a DIY painted stealth screen wall not unlike what we used to advise people to try first. Mine is a dark neutral gray .5 gain that allows me to skip masking and allow my projector to mask itself. Modern projectors at reasonable prices now have all kinds of programmable features for zoom, shift and focus allowing variable immersion within a 16:9 frame. It is also now with great resolutions to adjust image size with simple scaling as another method.

I started a thread on my method if you care to read it. I call it PIA personal image area. It gives me with just one row of seats the ability to duplicate any row in any theater including IMAX in terms of immersion. :D

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/117-...personal-image-area-sub-sets-cih-ciw-cia.html
 

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@cdy2179

Thanks for starting a thread and making the video on screen sizing and relating to THX standards. It is a topic near and dear to me also and the common advice here is to try a white painted wall and see what you like. That’s not bad advice and is how most of us started our journey into HT.

The second bit of information is normally something related to screen width in terms of angles or width of the screen per foot of seating etc. I have told people to go to a commercial theater and sit in the seat they like best and take a tape measure or piece of string and while seated stretch out your arms and get a measurement of the screen edge to edge and then go home sit where you will sit and with that same arm length system have someone stick two pieces of tape on the wall. That width will relate to the same level of immersion you liked at the real theater.

For 70 years after the Academy AR age of motion pictures we accepted the presentation method of CIH constant image height and the two dominate movie ARs were 2.35 scope and 1.85 flat and both the theaters and the producer/directors filmed with cinematography intended to be seen as CIH. That makes height of the screen the driving factor not the width. Conversion of the standards tells us roughly preferred seating distance should be between 2x and 3x screen height. I think you will find doing the math 2.5x screen height is about the center of THX / SMPTE specs. There is no method of doing CIW on a 16:9 screen that does justice to both movie ARs without moving your seating. In fact the scope movies should be the blockbusters are shown smaller and that’s just wrong. No amount of compromise can correct that.

Changing one row in a 50 row commercial theater changes your immersion factor very little but at home one row can equal the difference between front of the theater and back. some people compromise on two rows, IMO people should make their front row the perfect immersion and then let the back be what it is. Or better yet I much prefer say a single row of 4 than 2 rows of 2. I actually turned my room 90 degrees for that reason and find it much more social as well.

We now have other things to conceder like IMAX (Dunkirk, Aqua Man, etc) and things like Prestige TV and sports we often watch in our theaters at home. Not to mention if you are like me my FP home media room is the place for everything I watch except for breakfast news in the kitchen. The media room has the best sound and the best image and the most comfortable seats so if I want to watch The Connors or Survivor or NFL that’s where I’m going. So screen size has to factor in all these non classic movie formats as well. If you could have any seat in the stadium for the Super Bowl or the Worlds Series I doubt many would pick a 45 degree FOV of the whole playing field. People would pick the sideline seats and twist and turn their head to take it all in. I know that’s not a 100% accurate comparison, but my point is reality is very immersive in our vision and we are used to it in daily life. We learn to view what is critical and filter out the rest. That is also to a large extent how IMAX works and why it has its own cinematography method and why the screens can be so large.

Then there is the idea that sitting 10’ from a 100” screen is the same experience as 20’ from a 200” screen. It is equal immersion true but even with the lights out and no visual tells in your vision our binocular vision can tell the difference because with depth perception comes relative size perception. It isn’t huge maybe but the test would then be try sitting 2’ from a 20” screen and of course that will never be a big screen experience.

Because of all this and the fact that not all people like the same immersion as seen by getting to a commercial theater early and watching people come in and pick a seat. I have relatives that come often for movie night and they are just back row type people and I would hate to force them into immersion the way I like. I adopted a presentation method of variable immersion based around a screen size dictated by IMAX being the largest and most immersive thing I currently have to watch. I personally use a DIY painted stealth screen wall not unlike what we used to advise people to try first. Mine is a dark neutral gray .5 gain that allows me to skip masking and allow my projector to mask itself. Modern projectors at reasonable prices now have all kinds of programmable features for zoom, shift and focus allowing variable immersion within a 16:9 frame. It is also now with great resolutions to adjust image size with simple scaling as another method.

I started a thread on my method if you care to read it. I call it PIA personal image area. It gives me with just one row of seats the ability to duplicate any row in any theater including IMAX in terms of immersion. :D

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/117-...personal-image-area-sub-sets-cih-ciw-cia.html
I definitely agree with all of that. Like I say in the video it really comes down to preference. In the previous video ep 12 I hit on screen format and basically it comes down to how you use the room. For me it's rare that anything else is viewed other that 16:9 so I can pretty much not even worry about other formats all together. Of course that's just me based on how I use the room.

My channel is geared more toward the guy wanting to learn and some episodes are basic and some a little more advanced. I'll be doing an episode on 2.0 screens using masking as well which is much more flexible to different aspects and different width preferences for those that do watch different aspects enough to make it worth it.
 

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My opinion after reading on this site and others for 15+ years is evolution is taking place in all aspects of home media. Flat panels are approaching true big screen performance and of course people will be used to CIW as that is what TV is. Some people believe FP is a dying thing and when TV reaches 100” and it has, maybe just not cost effective yet projection will go the way of B&W TV.


I’m not of that mindset as most people don’t want a piece of electronics so huge taking up an entire wall. I really never thought I would see people hauling home 70” TV sets in the back of the daily driver, but I don’t see it when the size gets so big it wont fit thru the front door or being able to move it up stairs and such.

I really think the stealth aspect of FP is the future. I have been a fan of it for many years. Equipment can be hidden even speakers and big subs. Projectors can also be hidden or disappear. And the ugly part of it all is that big silver gray rectangle on the wall with a big black rectangle around it.

The idea of having a 16:9 screen or a 2.35:1 screen based on what you mostly watch is erroneous. IMO the screen/screen area needs to match the AR of the projector and the largest image you will ever want to watch. When I had a 4:3 projector years ago I had a 4:3 screen and because I watched all the original IMAX movies and 4:3 TV sports I sized it for IMAX. I have asked a dozen times during big game sports viewing parties what size do you guys want the image? Every time the answer was a resounding as big as you can make it or IMAXed. That doesn’t mean I want to watch some 50s TV show like Perry Mason that size.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My opinion after reading on this site and others for 15+ years is evolution is taking place in all aspects of home media. Flat panels are approaching true big screen performance and of course people will be used to CIW as that is what TV is. Some people believe FP is a dying thing and when TV reaches 100” and it has, maybe just not cost effective yet projection will go the way of B&W TV.


I’m not of that mindset as most people don’t want a piece of electronics so huge taking up an entire wall. I really never thought I would see people hauling home 70” TV sets in the back of the daily driver, but I don’t see it when the size gets so big it wont fit thru the front door or being able to move it up stairs and such.

I really think the stealth aspect of FP is the future. I have been a fan of it for many years. Equipment can be hidden even speakers and big subs. Projectors can also be hidden or disappear. And the ugly part of it all is that big silver gray rectangle on the wall with a big black rectangle around it.

The idea of having a 16:9 screen or a 2.35:1 screen based on what you mostly watch is erroneous. IMO the screen/screen area needs to match the AR of the projector and the largest image you will ever want to watch. When I had a 4:3 projector years ago I had a 4:3 screen and because I watched all the original IMAX movies and 4:3 TV sports I sized it for IMAX. I have asked a dozen times during big game sports viewing parties what size do you guys want the image? Every time the answer was a resounding as big as you can make it or IMAXed. That doesn’t mean I want to watch some 50s TV show like Perry Mason that size.:)
Yep I've always like it big too. Big and immersive but stop at the point of fatiguing. 20 years ago I used to actually build my own DIY 4:3 projectors using LCD panels , Fresnel lenses, over head projector lenses and Metal halide lamps. There were forums dedicated to it like DIY subs have today only a much smaller community. Back then a 50" projection TV was considered huge and I was at 110" on a pull down screen with my DIY setup.
 

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Projections going the way of B + W TVs is a bit of a stretch. Just like TVs, they are advancing rapidly as well. The shortcomings of a projector are being wiped away as we speak. Ultra short throw is perfect for someone that would be mounting a display. Lasers provide long shelf life, an excellent image, no burn-in, no flash lighting like LED (which should be fixed in the next few years), and will only get cheaper. UST also can be designed to be a total home theater package. Throw in a wireless sub and two satellites, you have an entire home theater in one device. They are already packing soundbars, isn’t too far fetched.
 

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Projections going the way of B + W TVs is a bit of a stretch. Just like TVs, they are advancing rapidly as well. The shortcomings of a projector are being wiped away as we speak. Ultra short throw is perfect for someone that would be mounting a display. Lasers provide long shelf life, an excellent image, no burn-in, no flash lighting like LED (which should be fixed in the next few years), and will only get cheaper. UST also can be designed to be a total home theater package. Throw in a wireless sub and two satellites, you have an entire home theater in one device. They are already packing soundbars, isn’t too far fetched.
Unless you want to have some lights on.
Watching things in the dark is a serious limitation that is unlikely to be overcome.
 

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Projections going the way of B + W TVs is a bit of a stretch. Just like TVs, they are advancing rapidly as well. The shortcomings of a projector are being wiped away as we speak. Ultra short throw is perfect for someone that would be mounting a display. Lasers provide long shelf life, an excellent image, no burn-in, no flash lighting like LED (which should be fixed in the next few years), and will only get cheaper. UST also can be designed to be a total home theater package. Throw in a wireless sub and two satellites, you have an entire home theater in one device. They are already packing soundbars, isn’t too far fetched.
Read most of the high end folks with FP theaters remarks in “The Wall” thread.

I like you hope FP stays around for a very long time but as noob says people want big screens and they also want the lights on. So many threads dealing with what can I do with this ambient light. It used to be there was this huge advantage in screen size. do you want 110” projection or 42” TV now it is 85” and a lot of people are feeling that’s big enough at home.

The things about FP that I like have little to do with size, but that is not what is talked about. Just look at the push for HDR in FP.
 

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The amazing reality is that 10" of diagonal for each foot of viewing distance is almost the easiest way to describe things. Yeah, no calculations really necessary.

In surveys here (AVS) it seems that 10" to 12" of diagonal per foot of viewing distance is almost always the preferred screen size.

Yeah, some like it larger (a lot) some like it smaller, but not many do.

I know I like about 10" per foot of viewing distance myself. I'm sure this thread will have a bunch of others chiming in with their screen size and viewing distance. Especially those who enjoy their 13"+ diagonal for each foot of viewing distance.

While I think you did emphasize 'personal preference', it would have been good if you recommended that people buy a projector first, set it up on a coffee table, and actually watch at a few different sizes before buying a screen. That's always a good rule for so many. This way they can decide on their personally preferred screen size before investing in a screen. While I love my 16' to 161", others may want to be 18 or 19 feet back and others may want the same screen from 12' away. Try before you buy should always be the direction taken.

Really informative video overall.

I have some stuff coming up with Projector Central and YouTube which should be fun as well. Hopefully as things progress we can bounce some ideas off each other.
Do you have a link to the survey?
 

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Do you have a link to the survey?
IMO a survey taken 5 years ago will be much different than taken today. I also think if you ask the question of immersion to most people a week after getting a proper FP theater room at home and 6 months later you will find quite a few that have went more immersive or wished they did.

I honestly can’t answer such a survey because my likes change day to day media to media. When you try and use viewing angle as the measurement it neglects CIH presentation and when you use height as a multiplier of seating distance it neglects IMAX and that is just with say modern motion pictures. All the other media we watch falls into many categories for me when I talk immersion. Resolution and age and quality of the media is a big factor IMO when it comes to fully enjoying a piece of media.

All setting a standard does is set a safe standard for immersion it IMO will be the lowest immersion everything you watch will be fine at. There is little wrong with watching something under-immersive. It plays perfectly fine and is enjoyable to watch, it is just not all that it could be as an immersive experience. :)
 

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After many testing, I prefer the 50º viewing angle. I feel the immersion is fantastic that way
 

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By the way is 50º viewing angle the THX recommended for 4K content and does it apply to flat and scope?
 

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Flat and Scope should really be watched around the same height not the same width.
I agree bud, just wondering whether there are any recent researched standards that govern viewing distances for flat and scope at 4K as a guideline. I understand that preference plays a role too.
 

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I agree bud, just wondering whether there are any recent researched standards that govern viewing distances for flat and scope at 4K as a guideline. I understand that preference plays a role too.
For CIH I recommend a method based on image height.

This is not scientific but based on what I see the most people moving to over the last few years.

2.5X the screen height (flat/scope) is about like the center row in a commercial theater. the most common seats are between 2X and 3X screen height seating distance.

With 4k I’m noticing more people closer to 2X than 3X.
I myself like 2X for flat and scope and 1.5X for IMAX.
 
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