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Was is your opinion of viewing distance versus screen size?

916 Views 13 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  snowcat
I will be buying a new Tv in the next couple of weeks. It will be my first HDTV. MY house was just built and my great room is set up so that my viewing distance will be about 8-9 feet from the TV. I am looking at a 57" CRT. Do you think that that distance is sufficient or should I go smaller?

What distance do you view your TV at and what size is it?
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I am in the same boat in a way... looking at sitting 8 - 11 feet away, and looking at a 52" TV, but the wife wants the 46" version...
I sit 10 feet from a 60" widescreen. Definitely NOT too close.
The SMPTE guidelines for what they call "subtended angle" or the amount of your vision occupied by the image suggest that 1.5-2 times the screen width is the viewing distance most folks find comfortable.

This assumes that your interest is "home theater" or being fully immersed in the picture and sound and 100% occupied. This is distinctly different from that part time activity called "watching TV" for which most people find greater viewing distances to suffice.

I sit 8-9 feet from my 90" HD front projection screen and I'm comfortable.

Personally, I sit about 8 or 9 feet back from a 50" TV and I find that this is more or less the right size / distance for me. I suppose I could have gone a little bit bigger, but honestly, the bigger they are, the more they tend to exaggerate defects in the source material, which makes watching SD content a pain.
I'm in the same boat as Slordak; 50" DLP TV and about 9-10' away. Very comfortable distance.

61" DLP and 10-11ft away. It been fine for me. My guess is: as large and as close as u can get for HT with out discomfort is the best advise.
We sit 10-11 feet away from a 56" DLP. At first I thought it would be too big, now I sometimes wish I had the 61"! Seriously, the 56" is perfect for that distance. Lodey, I had the same situation with my wife until we saw the 46" and 56" side by side. The difference is staggering. The 46" looked tiny. SD TV broadcasts will go away completely in a couple of years, so buy as big as you can fit into your budget, space, etc. You never want to say, "Damn, I wish I bought the bigger TV".
i sit 6 to 8 feet away from a 53" rpcrt for movies, depending on where the wife puts the couch. for just "watching tv", we have a table and 2 chairs right behind the couch, so add 3 feet or so.

Originally posted by Gary McCoy

I sit 8-9 feet from my 90" HD front projection screen and I'm comfortable.

You're making me drool! I sit 8-9' back from my meager 50" and have found that I want a 60" instead. General rule of thumb is one thing, but ever notice how people sit scattered throughout a theater? Some like to be almost on top of the screen, others as far as humanly possibly away. They usually have sets on display with a couch in stores, so that would probably be a good place to start. It would certainly help with the visualization side of things. Remember that when looking at all the nice 16x9 displays, the actual 4x3 SD you will watch on that 40 some-odd inch display will be equal in size to a smaller 4x3 tv. There are calculators out there that will show you the 4x3 equivalent of your 16x9 display. I think my 50" 16x9 was something like a 36" 4x3.
My Sony 60 manual says MINIMUM 8 ft. I'm at 10, which is perfect. I thought about a 50", but happy I went 60.
I sit 9.5 feet from my 65" CRT and it is a great experience.

I think it depends as much on the space as distance. If you have a small room with low ceiling, you want to be farther away or the set will feel overwhelming. If you have a large room with high ceiling, you can sit closer. And make sure you have adequate ambient lighting. I sit 9' away from a 65" CRT RP. Feel fine. I could even sit a bit closer if it were convenient.
I have a big room (25'x25'), but the couches are only about 9' away from the screen (the back area is a kids play area / extra seating for parties). I had a 50" 4:3 set, and it actually seemed a bit small. I moved up to a 57" HD CRT, and it is perfect. :D

I guess it is possible to get too big a screen, but I don't really see how at that distance.
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