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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.
Thank you for that useful information Bud.
 

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I'm right around 3x screen height for scope and think it's great... 50" Height / 128" Diagonal at a little over 12' viewing distance. I think 2.5x would be the max I could go comfortably and 2.7x might be the sweet spot... I would love to do so, especially for a little more 16:9 size, but I have both width and height limitations due to an outset wall bump in the front of the room, pitched ceiling, and a cap on throw distance.

Prior to going scope, I had a 106" 16:9 screen (again, due to the front height restriction. I had to give up my B&W towers and center speaker and go with in-walls behind an AT screen to make room for scope. Even if the speakers had ended up being a downgrade (I already had Sonance Cinema .5 THX-Select in-walls behind the screen from a previous DIY Spandex AT screen), it would have been 100% worth it for the added immersion. Luckily I was able to upgrade the Sonance in-walls to Monoprice THX-LCR Ultra in-walls and keep top-notch HT sound quality along with the scope screen upgrade... the only downside is they're not quite as enveloping for 2ch music listening and required the addition of a 3-channel (Emotiva XPA-3) amp due to my Marantz AVR getting extremely hot driving the 4ohm (3.2ohm dips) load (even in 4ohm mode).


 

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I'm right around 3x screen height for scope and think it's great... 50" Height / 128" Diagonal at a little over 12' viewing distance. I think 2.5x would be the max I could go comfortably and 2.7x might be the sweet spot... I would love to do so, especially for a little more 16:9 size, but I have both width and height limitations due to an outset wall bump in the front of the room, pitched ceiling, and a cap on throw distance.

Prior to going scope, I had a 106" 16:9 screen (again, due to the front height restriction. I had to give up my B&W towers and center speaker and go with in-walls behind an AT screen to make room for scope. Even if the speakers had ended up being a downgrade (I already had Sonance Cinema .5 THX-Select in-walls behind the screen from a previous DIY Spandex AT screen), it would have been 100% worth it for the added immersion. Luckily I was able to upgrade the Sonance in-walls to Monoprice THX-LCR Ultra in-walls and keep top-notch HT sound quality along with the scope screen upgrade... the only downside is they're not quite as enveloping for 2ch music listening and required the addition of a 3-channel (Emotiva XPA-3) amp due to my Marantz AVR getting extremely hot driving the 4ohm (3.2ohm dips) load (even in 4ohm mode).


Based on that I would say you are a person that is most comfortable in the back 1/3 seats when you go to a commercial theater. If you do the angles and relate them to screen height I believe you come up with 2.5X as the center seating or the most common seating and the range of normal seating is between 2.0X & 3.0X Most theaters do go deeper than 3X though 3.5X and even 4X are not uncommon in Cineplex theaters.

It is sometimes misleading when people walk into a large commercial venue they don’t always try and figure out the size of the screen and then relate to a row of seats that suit them. Especially as some theaters now have odd AR screens and do presentation like CIW. People just know from past experience they like the middle row say so they try and find a seat in the center close to the middle row.

Rodger Ebert once wrote that all the movie critiques used to all sit in the front row and as he got older he moved to the back row. Someone asked him why and he said when he got older he had to use the bathroom more and the exit was in the back.
Seating distance is important if immersion is important for the person watching media where immersion plays a part. That IMO doesn’t mean less immersion in any way spoils the experience. This is why I set up to do variable immersion. For me some media is made better with high immersion others is actually made worse. Most people don’t want to think or adjust immersion so they select a distance that is conservative. Also two or more rows at home is very hard to do if selecting immersion is an issue. I find that even though variable immersion can’t give two rows the same immersion it can help with blending the two rows to work best given a particular movie. :)
 

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At my local theaters, I'm usually in the 3rd or 4th row of the stadium seating section, which is probably between 1/3 and 1/2 of the theater depth... at the IMAX screen there (which isn't full-size) I'm usually right at 1/2). I'm pretty confident in my recollection because I used the heck out of MoviePass up until the day it died.

In my home theater, I'm 3x limited at 125" 2.35:1 due to the width restrictions of the room. I might be able to squeeze a 138" 2.35:1 into the width I have, but I don't have the throw distance to support it, and the top edge of the screen location is limited by a pitched ceiling section, so it would force my natural eye-line higher on the screen as a percentage of height (and it's already a little higher than optimal, unless I'm reclined, which I am 90% of the time).

Projector alignment has been fixed since these pictures were taken...

3053791


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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.
I do like concept of CIH and 2.35:1 AR for movies but one challenge with CIH is that 16:9 content shrinks proportionally with black bars to both sides. The benefit of CIW is that one can have the best of both worlds. I'm a huge fan of documentaries (e.g. Planet Earth I/II) and they're all 16:9 productions.

What, in your professional opinion/experience, is the best view angle or range for such a setup considering 4K res.

Has THX updated their view-angle recommendations based on 4K and the AR factor?

What would be your recommendation for CIW?

I suppose wall to wall 16:9 setups for both flat and scope content are subject to room height.
 

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I do like concept of CIH and 2.35:1 AR for movies but one challenge with CIH is that 16:9 content shrinks proportionally with black bars to both sides. The benefit of CIW is that one can have the best of both worlds. I'm a huge fan of documentaries (e.g. Planet Earth I/II) and they're all 16:9 productions.

What, in your professional opinion/experience, is the best view angle or range for such a setup considering 4K res.

Has THX updated their view-angle recommendations based on 4K and the AR factor?

What would be your recommendation for CIW?

I suppose wall to wall 16:9 setups for both flat and scope content are subject to room height.
I can tell you what I like and I deviate a little from this. It is a presentation method called CIH+IMAX where you use a 16:9 screen for IMAX and the rest is CIH. I like a method closer to CIA+IMAX that’s showing content as constant image area plus IMAX being the full screen. Like you I make exceptions for shows like Planet Earth and Game of Thrones and even some sports and play them the size of IMAX even. I nicknamed my presentation method PIA personal image area.
The short answer is I like scope movies 2X image height and I like IMAX 1.5X the 16:9 screen height. Doing that gives me a max area that everything else fits within. Having a screen area large enough to suit my immersion level doesn’t preclude when I have guests that don’t like my level of immersion I can’t go smaller for them. :giggle:
 

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Thanks Bud - Most of the content I watch is either scope or flat. The ideal solution would be to go flat in conjunction with auto height masking. My question revolves more around the ideal angles or distances that would work for both flat and scope assuming CIW. Most view angles specifications are for scope but it seems like those angles need to narrow down a bit for flat. The idea is to come to a middle ground that works for both. Between 40 to 50 degrees I guess with a front row allowing for wider angles
 

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Thanks Bud - Most of the content I watch is either scope or flat. The ideal solution would be to go flat in conjunction with auto height masking. My question revolves more around the ideal angles or distances that would work for both flat and scope assuming CIW. Most view angles specifications are for scope but it seems like those angles need to narrow down a bit for flat. The idea is to come to a middle ground that works for both. Between 40 to 50 degrees I guess with a front row allowing for wider angles
Well for the last 80 years or more the movie industry was geared to making movies and playing them in commercial theaters and for most of that time there was no such thing as 16:9. After the age of Academy movies (1.37:1) and they were displayed very immersive in the movie palaces across the country for those that wanted to see them that way. Then came the age of Scope theaters. Movies were made in both 1.85 flat and in scope and the direction/cinematography were such and the theaters built to show them as CIH. The theaters were built that way and the movies crafted to be shown that way. To this day that standard still holds true for almost all movies. Then along came IMAX in the 60’s with a giant 1.44:1 AR and they made special movies just for that venue with special cinematography to fill our FOV fully but in a way our central vision wasn’t overly jarred around. More recently IMAX reinvented itself and became more mainstream and crossed over to regular cinema with its 1.89:1 AR.

Then there is home theater that covers all the above and a whole lot more and where 16:9 TV comes to the mix. Broadcast and streaming, hard media that could be motion pictures intended for theaters or something made for TV.

Sorting out the presentation for this and the immersion is what I did for myself. Even what is motion pictures IMO is changing over how it was done for 80 years now in the world of digital.

I personally don’t feel the old rules always hold in today’s world and I’m in a minority for now anyway. There are a lot of people doing CIW because it is simple and it is how TV does it. Likewise a lot of people are holding true with CIH and working around media that wont fit it. It is all fine. You just need to find what suits you best.
I even started a thread on PIA presentation and for the most part it wasn’t taken well. :unsure:
 

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My issue is that view angles for CIW between flat and scope cannot possibly be the same. For CIH it’s not a problem at all.
 

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So much is room dependent. I have caps on height (pitched ceiling) and throw distsnce. Going CIH was an easy decision since I'd already hit my height cap with a 106" 16:9 screen, so increasing immersion by utilizing the width I had made sense.
 

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Assuming I have a 3.5m (137.8 inches) wide 16:9 screen (158.1 inches diagonal). My front row centre has a view angle of 52 degrees my second row centre has a view angle of slightly less than 40 degrees. To make this work I will need to raise the second row by 50cm (20 inches). Vertical view angle is well within 15 degrees for the back row but sits at about 22 degrees from the front row which is well within the 15-25 degrees tolerance.

I know these specifications will work well for scope (2.35:1) but what about watching 16:9 content from the from row at 52 degrees?

The whole point about going 16:9 for the screen is to maintain the image width at all times which would not be the case if I were to go scope.
 

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Assuming I have a 3.5m (137.8 inches) wide 16:9 screen (158.1 inches diagonal). My front row centre has a view angle of 52 degrees my second row centre has a view angle of slightly less than 40 degrees. To make this work I will need to raise the second row by 50cm (20 inches). Vertical view angle is well within 15 degrees for the back row but sits at about 22 degrees from the front row which is well within the 15-25 degrees tolerance.

I know these specifications will work well for scope (2.35:1) but what about watching 16:9 content from the from row at 52 degrees?

The whole point about going 16:9 for the screen is to maintain the image width at all times which would not be the case if I were to go scope.
The point I was making is that flat content 1.85 should be the same height as scope and not as wide. That is if you want presentation like it has been in theaters for many years. When an image should be as wide as scope and taller in a 16:9 frame is when it is IMAX.
 

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The point I was making is that flat content 1.85 should be the same height as scope and not as wide. That is if you want presentation like it has been in theaters for many years. When an image should be as wide as scope and taller in a 16:9 frame is when it is IMAX.
Hi Bud, I understand. I've been in a cinema where they projected scope on an IMAX screen and it looked pretty good because it was end to end on the screen horizontally as opposed to being centralised with blank bars to the left and right as would be the case when projecting 16:9 on a scope screen. I'm trying to establish the ideal or recommended screen angles for 16:9 screens, as in the closest position where one could still enjoy the movie. I like to sit in the middle or two-thirds away from the screen towards the back when I go to the cinema.
 

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Mixed aspect ratio is definitely an annoyance on CIH, at least when it's 2.35:1 that opens up to IMAX 16:9. I definitely wasn't expecting it on S2E1 of The Mandolorian and ended up just leaving it scope with spillover the first time I watched it.
 

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Hi Bud, I understand. I've been in a cinema where they projected scope on an IMAX screen and it looked pretty good because it was end to end on the screen horizontally as opposed to being centralised with blank bars to the left and right as would be the case when projecting 16:9 on a scope screen. I'm trying to establish the ideal or recommended screen angles for 16:9 screens, as in the closest position where one could still enjoy the movie. I like to sit in the middle or two-thirds away from the screen towards the back when I go to the cinema.
If all you watch is 16:9 the answer is easy, but if you throw in scope and IMAX it becomes more complicated. Think of CIW projection as being a huge TV. As is often said Do you want to watch the latest action blockbuster in scope smaller and less immersive than a TV show. It is not filmed with cinematography to be replayed that way. It is clear from those that buy a 60” TV and then play a blockbuster scope movie only to find out the picture is less tall than watching Wheel of fortune.

Flat movies are shot to be played on scope screens and yes you can sit closer if when you went in to watch a flat movie but people don’t. If you like to sit halfway back you sit there and watch flat and scope at different angles. IMAX1.89 is shot another way. it is shot like a scope movie in width with extra height. In fact IMAX1.89 movies are scope safe if you have a scope screen you can chop the top and bottom off without destroying the movie. The extra height is important in that it gives you a more visual immersion.
IMO if you want a 16:9 screen that’s a good thing and it should sized for IMAX. There is nothing saying if you watch wheel of fortune you have to project it that large. An IMAX sized screen is large enough to hold everything properly except for a few 2.55 or 2.76 movies that are out there.
 

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To do mixed-aspect IMAX as mentioned above, you have to have a lot of wall real estate and be willing to NOT use it when you're watching non-IMAX 1.78/1.85:1 content. I'd say you'll be hard-pressed to find many folks, AVS or otherwise, that are going to leave that IMAX screen space unutilized... especially if there's not some motorized masking system for both horizontal AND vertical to create the flat 1.78/1.85:1 image area (and you don't see many folks implementing those).
 

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To do mixed-aspect IMAX as mentioned above, you have to have a lot of wall real estate and be willing to NOT use it when you're watching non-IMAX 1.78/1.85:1 content. I'd say you'll be hard-pressed to find many folks, AVS or otherwise, that are going to leave that IMAX screen space unutilized... especially if there's not some motorized masking system for both horizontal AND vertical to create the flat 1.78/1.85:1 image area (and you don't see many folks implementing those).
 

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Mixed aspect ratio is definitely an annoyance on CIH, at least when it's 2.35:1 that opens up to IMAX 16:9. I definitely wasn't expecting it on S2E1 of The Mandolorian and ended up just leaving it scope with spillover the first time I watched it.
It is ether frustrating or a special treat in my case as I have a stealth screen wall that has no size or AR. When AR changes I just enjoy it knowing that’s what the director wanted. I right size everything on the type of show I’m watching and then let r rip.
 

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I don't think I could handle a lack of borders/masking... every time I watched a movie at my buddy's house (same projector, borderless painted wall) it drove me nuts. I finally convinced him to at least do a 4" velvet tape border and we've both far happier since.
 

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To do mixed-aspect IMAX as mentioned above, you have to have a lot of wall real estate and be willing to NOT use it when you're watching non-IMAX 1.78/1.85:1 content. I'd say you'll be hard-pressed to find many folks, AVS or otherwise, that are going to leave that IMAX screen space unutilized... especially if there's not some motorized masking system for both horizontal AND vertical to create the flat 1.78/1.85:1 image area (and you don't see many folks implementing those).
I did 4way masking for 3 years and mine was manual it took about 5 minutes to set it up. I got to where I would set it for special shows and sometimes not for all this streaming stuff. Of course Dunkirk switched in theaters without masking the scope parts and there is no way to mask up and down mid movie. I showed Dunkirk to friends and family a half dozen times and after the movie I asked them how annoying the change in AR back and fort was? They all said what! When I explained it they said they didn’t notice and one guy said it didn’t happen and I had to re-show a part for him to watch. He correctly said who watches the boarders in a movie?

After that I tossed the idea of masking and it took me a few days to get used to it and I have yet to have one person say anything about it.
The idea that if you have area you have to use it I never understood. With the whole wall being a screen I can go larger than what I like IMAX at but why would I? Last time I did was the last time I showed The Hateful Eight.
 
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