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TVs & Home Theaters forum

General discussion

Viewing distance

by Bill Osler / March 18, 2009 12:01 PM PDT

As I noted before I'm a complete newbie at this HDTV stuff.
Right now all I'm getting is standard definition signal.
Before buying I looked at information about suggested viewing distances and such and I looked at screens in a store, but that's really artificial because I don't know what their source quality is and anyway it involves watching for short periods of time. My best guess (maybe wrong) is that for a viewing distance of about 7-9 feet my 52" HDTV LCD screen would give an angle of vision similar to a movie theater, which I thought would be a good thing.
Unfortunately, much of our available cable programming is still standard definition. The set top box upconverts to 1080i but watching standard definition at 8-9 feet is still a bit weird because of upconversion artifact and pixelation.
I'm wondering whether I bought too big a screen. OTOH I haven't been able to test it on any real HDTV material yet.
This is a huge change because I've been watching a 27" standard definition screen at about 7 feet. I wonder if some of the weirdness is just getting used to seeing something larger.
Any suggestions?

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Collapse -
never too big
by mamontano / March 18, 2009 9:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Viewing distance

I wouldn't regret it at all. With an hdtv that size
you don't have to worry about stretching and zooming
non 16:9 material. You can can make some adjustments to
reduce the affects of sd by reducing backlighting,
brightness, etc. (movie mode on my samsung) and not stretching
and zooming non hd sources this helps some. Do you have
plans to add some hd channels or buy blu-ray? I started
with a 26" - wasn't enough, went with 32" - still not enough
and this if for my bedroom. I realize now 42" would probably
have satisfied me - i hope.

Collapse -
only you can say because
by jostenmeat / March 19, 2009 6:28 AM PDT
In reply to: Viewing distance

personal preference is everything. That said, the formats you watch, native rez's, visual acuity, quality of display, etc, will all play a role. I think you might have a 30 degree viewing angle, or less. 30 deg is SMPTE recommended for 16:9 viewing. The wider the AR, like 1.85:1, 2.40, etc, you will be able to sit closer. I use a 42 deg viewing angle. OTOH, I know folks with well over a 50 deg viewing angle with those "widescreen" anamorphic setups.

Some helpful links.

plug in #s to compare sizes of tv's in question
http://www.tvcalculator.com/

plug in #s to find viewing angle
http://myhometheater.homestead.com/viewingdistancecalculator.html

a nice tweaking of cartonbale
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v471/tha_trixta/resolution2.png

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