Choosing the Right Sized Screen for Your Theater or Media Room

Choosing the Right Sized Screen for Your Theater or Media Room

Viewing Distance, Viewing Height, and Screen Size The first question we are frequently asked is “just what size screen should I buy?”  There a variety of reputable sources to ask this question and tons of research has been done by SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers) and THX (Tomlinson Holman and George Lucas’s company for movie standards).  Of course the distance you sit from your screen and its size will also translate into your viewing angle. When HDTV was being developed as a format, the final research indicated a 30 degree viewing angle was optimum for the 1080i standard of HDTV.  The testing suggested viewers felt a pleasant level of presence and immersion when the viewing angle was 30 degrees or greater.  To put this into perspective, SMPTE suggests a 65” diagonal HDTV set should be viewed at a recommended distance of about 104 inches (8 feet 8 inches).  For viewing movies, THX recommends a viewing angle of 36 degrees.  Again, for some perspective, this puts the ideal distance from a 65” HDTV set at 88 inches (7 feet 4 inches) or less for viewing movies.  What does this mean for the consumer?  On first take, it means most people are sitting way too far away from their sets for an immersive experience!  We think that is totally true.  If you really want the true home theater experience, you need a big front projection screen, period!  However, let’s not forget that a 65” HDTV set is still a lot more fun to watch than an old 36” tube non-HDTV!  We suggest you buy the biggest and best television (because big and not good is unpleasant) picture you...