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A couple of months ago I got a 32" LCD TV for my bedroom and soon I will get one for my Home Theater. I had planned on getting a 40 - 42 inch set but now I want to get a 46 inch set. My viewing distance is 8 1/2 to 9 feet. I have seen and used several different charts and calculators and they give different results. Would a 46 inch LCD TV be ok for my viewing distance?
 

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I can't believe people continue to ask questions like this. Everybody has their own personal preference. Here's an idea: Why don't you just walk into your local TV store, take a tape measure with you, step back 8 1/2 to 9 feet from the various size panels, and then make up your own mind?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoilerJim /forum/post/15569637


I can't believe people continue to ask questions like this. Everybody has their own personal preference.


Here's an idea: Why don't you just walk into your local TV store, take a tape measure with you, step back 8 1/2 to 9 feet from the various size panels, and then make up your own mind?

+1. That is, in part, what I did to determine my TV size.
 

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One store I was in actually had distances marked off in front of a 46". I think it was circuit city or hhgregg. I agree with above poster that it is really a matter of personal preferece but in my opinion 46" would be a minimum.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodyjoe /forum/post/15572183


One store I was in actually had distances marked off in front of a 46". I think it was circuit city or hhgregg. I agree with above poster that it is really a matter of personal preferece but in my opinion 46" would be a minimum.

At least one of the Circuit City stores in Indianapolis has those markings on the floor.
 

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I have a Sammy LN46A750 which I watch at a distance of exactly 9.5' from seated position to the screen. This size works quite well and I have no complaints. Going to a larger set in the this particular room environment, not being a dedicated home theater room, I think would result in the TV overdominating the space visually with its sheer size so I am very content with the 46". I think at a distance of 8' give or take that a 46" display would work quite acceptably. But going by the adage that bigger is always better if your wallet tolerates the price upchuck and the room will accomodate a larger set without engendering feelings that it's size overwhelms the space then go for it.


IMO, unless the set(s) you are looking at in the showroom are actually indiviually placed in a typical room viewing arrangement with represenative seating and lighting, i.e. not just stuck up the walls en masse as at BB or in a warehouse like envronmnet, then I don't think standing in front of them even marked off at an exact distances provides a good way to judge the issue of size. I found that when looking at a specific set in that type environment the surrounding screens tended to overpower/interfere with the one I was tyring to assess when it came to trying judging viewing size reactions. Surrounded by much larger sets and a 46" looked too small. Surrounded by smaller sets the 46" seemed gargantuan.
 

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Ace,

When considering optimal viewing distances, keep in mind that it is much like calibrating your TV. There may be "optimal" settings, technically, but ultimately it is your own preference and enjoyment that counts. However, your viewing distance isn't quite as critical a parameter as calibration would be. Poor calibration is likely to be more noticeable than a viewing distance that's off by a couple feet. So for viewing distances, there is really more of a range of distance that should work well enough for most folks, and not getting the exact optimal distance isn't going to ruin your enjoyment.


Having said that, when considering what is optimal, keep in mind that it may vary with who you ask. For example, THX would recommend a distance that results in a 36 degree angle of view. This means that if your eyes are the point of a triangle, and the two sides of the TV form the base of the triangle, the angle at your eyes would be 36 degrees. This is a slightly wider angle of view than the 30 degrees the SMPTE folks suggest. In other words, optimal distance for THX will result in your field of vision being a bit more "full" (the TV dominates your view more) of the TV than if you used the 30 degree distance. So clearly there is some fudge factor in what folks think is optimal.


But, to answer your question, for a 46" diagonal 16x9 TV "optimal" THX 36 degree viewing is about 5.1 feet. As you move further back, at about 6.2 feet you hit the SMPTE "optimal" distance. At your distance of 8.5 feet your angle of view would be about 22 degrees, and that should be well within the margins for acceptable viewing, though a bit less than what THX suggests as a minimum (for them 26 degrees is minimum) angle. So while a 46" TV may not be "optimal" for an 8.5 foot viewing distance, if it looks good to you, it's fine. If you want an "optimal" TV for that distance, you'd need about a 63" set for SMPTE and a 76" set for THX.


So, generally speaking, the idea is to fill up as much of your field of view with the TV as you can, to a practical limit that varies with who suggests it. I tend to prefer not to be too close, as I feel it causes viewing fatigue to have a TV that stretches beyond your field of view so that you have to shift your eyes all over constantly. So if your angle is a little smaller than "optimal" that doesn't bother me quite as much as being too close.


Hope that helps. In any case, enjoy what you get.
 
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