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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My wife nearly gave me a heart attack and asked me when I was finally going to set up the home theater I have been talking about forever. I want to strike while the iron is hot and want as big a screen as possible (size matters, doesn't it). However, I am worried about the viewing distance in the room I am planning to convert and heard that SD and DVD sources sometimes look bad on 50" screens unless you have at least a 12-14' viewing distance.


Viewing distance in my room is from 7.5 feet (when room is full) to 10 feet (main viewing area/ basically me and my family). I have decided to chose between the following: Sony 50WE610 v. 42WE610 or the Samsung 56", 46" or 43" DLP. Viewing will be SD through directv, DVDs, and HDTV (air and directv). Since we still watch a lot of SD, I will probably go smaller if viewing distance is a real concern with these sets (does Samsung have a 50" DLP). I would love to get a 60" set but think that I would have to sit in the back yard to truly appreciate it.


I tried looking in stores but the feeds are either HD and look great (even up close) or are from a really bad SD feed (does all SD look this bad on these sets).


I would appreciate any advice on viewing distance that anyone has to offer. No matter what set I buy, I know I will have to buy the extended warranty having been scared by the GWIII buzzing and red blinking light of death and the Samsung high pitch whine and color wheel problems. I have been lurking on the forum and really appreciate all the information out here. I just need to move quickly before my wife realizes the amount of money the theater I have been talking about really costs (tv she might understand, components and speakers?).
 

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I view a Sony GWIII 50' from about 15' or so and it seems perfect. I have played Playstation with my son at a distance of about 6' - 8' feet and I feel it is too large a screen for that and we eventually purchased extension cables for the PS2. If you ever swap rooms, a 42" would be great in the bedroom! Bwow Chica Bwow Bwow!
 

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My couch is about 12' from my current set.


I'm trying to decide between the 50" or 60" GWIII.


Would the 50" be too small for the HT experience? The cost difference is significant. I believe CC has the 50" on sale for $[PRICE REMOVED] {AVS no-no!}
 

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Well you still have many variables. You can sit closer a 43 DLP than a 42 LCD because of the technology. The DLP has a smaller pixel grid (screen door effect) than LCD, but it cost more (We only discus MSRP here)


Do you tend to sit in the front, middle or back of the movie theater when you go? Front go big, middle toss up, back smaller.


One of the rules for screen size says that you multiply the seated viewing distance by 6 for the MAXIMUM screen size. I sit 9 feet from a 55" and it doesn't help poor signals. HD and DVDs look great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. I have asking all I know about this and a friend of mine gave me a link from CNET about viewing distances. Forum won't let me post the link because I have not posted enough.


According to CNET, optimum viewing distances on a 50" HDTV set for HDTV and DVD is 6.3' to 12.5'. According to CNET, viewing distance for 60" HDTV set for HDTV is 7.5' to 15'.


Does this sound right? It doesn't answer the question for SD, which is why I will shy away from the 60". Does the fact that I use directv with digital signal make any difference. I would hate to get the set only to find out that I need to sit in the back yard to watch SD.


Can anyone with the 50" GWIII or Sammy 46" or 56" DLPs tell me what their viewing experience is like from about 8-10' on SD and if CNET is right on DVDs (I have seen HD on these sets closer than 8' already and love them both).
 

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Use this link: Viewing Distance


Arun posted the viewing distance that THX recommends. Look for his post about mid way through page 7.
 

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I bought a 61" Samsung DLP for a 10 ft. ditance. DVD is awesome. Exactly the right size. The experience is close but not quite Movie Theater in perception. SD does not look so great - but it is not so bad either. I will take this as a trade off for a really big nice movie experience. I want the very best movie presentation possible, and will sacrifice a bit of SD pelasure anyday.


Also I assume this is a fairly long term purchase decision, and as more and more HD comes on line - you will sorely wish you bought the bigger TV. Buy the TV for the future, do not compromise in order to get better SD today.


Just MHO. You can have my 61" TV back when you pry it from my cold dead hands.
 

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A basic rule of thumb many Home Theater "experts" use is 3 times your screen width. This seems to work great from my experience. Another source...


Sony's Home Theater Guide says:

For "high definition monitor" televisions with widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio and 1080i or 480p scanning


Viewing Distance and Recommended Sony TV Screen Size


5' ----- 32" diagonal widescreen


5' 6" ----- 34" diagonal widescreen


7' ----- 42" diagonal widescreen


8' 6" ----- 51" diagonal widescreen


9' 6" ------ 57" diagonal widescreen


11' ----- 65" diagonal widescreen
 
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