Proper viewing distance?

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Hi folks, I've been toying with purchasing a flat-panel HDTV-capable
screen for a while now. I was in a local electronics retailer today and
was just browsing the various LCD and Plasma displays when one in
particular caught my eye due to the color and sharpness of the picture.
This TV was the 32" Sony Bravia (the black 2010 black model, not the
older silver model).

Now, I don't have a ton of money to throw at this, and as it's kind of
a spur-of-the-moment deal, I am looking to keep it under $1500. The
shop wanted $1300 for the Bravia. My only concern is whether the 32" is
large enough or not. I am looking to mount the screen above my fire
place (live in a raised ranch and do not currently have a TV in the
upstairs of the house due to space constraints). Viewing distance is
going to probably be between 8 and 9 feet. Some calculators I have
found online seem to feel that is fine, and others tell me I need a
much larger TV.

I will be watching a mixture of things on it - as much HD as my cable
company can provide me with, but lots of SDTV signals for things that
are not yet available in HD. I was hoping you folks here, having more
expertise than I do, could tell me whether I will be throwing my money
away, or if the 32" Bravia will be large enough. Any feedback is
welcome!

Thanks,
Will


Re: Proper viewing distance?



Will wrote:
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You will NEVER feel it's big enough, that's the nature of the beast.
Just make the decision whether you'd rather have size or quality and
balance that out with your budget. I have a 32" in my living room that
we just upgraded from a 27". I have a 92" in the home theatre room.
Both seem like they could be a bit bigger when I'm watching them...
that'll never change!

The Bravia does have a beautiful picture and an excellent review by
this month's Consumer Reports magazine. I would hazard a guess that
you'll be quite happy with this tv... assuming you can convince
yourself to be happy with the size.

Just my $.02! :-)


Re: Proper viewing distance?


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Well I spent a bit more than I wanted, and ended up splurging for the
40" Bravia (KDL-40S2010).  Believe it or not, Circuit City had the best
deal I could find locally, at approximately $1800.  Will I wish I'd
bought something even bigger?  Probably.  But the more I thought about
it, the more I realized that if I was going to be spending that much on
the 32", I should at least get something I would be happier with for a
longer time.  Everything I read about the Bravia was excellent, so I
guess I'll see what happens.  Thanks for taking the time to reply!


Re: Proper viewing distance?



Will wrote:
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You will enjoy this tv. You aren't installing a full home theater, just
a tv in the living room. The picture will be great and the size will be
fine. Do yourself a favor however and find a copy of Digital Video
Essentials or Avia to calibrate the image. Most tvs are calibrated to
look good under the florescent lights of a big box store. Callibrating
it to the light in your living room will offer up an even more
enjoyable image. As a rule, they turn the reds up so faces will stand
out more. You really notice the difference once you've set it up for
your own room.

Enjoy your new toy! :-)


Re: Proper viewing distance?


With HDTV, you can sit as close as 1.5 times to screen width, which
gives you a 37 degree viewing angle. This is practically identical to
the THX recommended 36 degree viewing angle, but puts you just 42" from
the screen (and probably a bit close to the fire). SMTPE recommends 30
degree, which places you at 52" away (and probably still a bit close
for your living space). The maximum distance THX recommends is a 26
degree viewing angle, which puts you at 5' (roughly 2x's screen width
and still too close). Therefore a 32" LCD is better suited for a
bedroom or a workstation, not a living room.

Sure you will use "mixed signals," and yes, standard definition will
look awful at even 2x's screen width; but you do not buy an HDTV for
the standard def crap, no more than you should upgrade to a V8 when you
are concerned about gas mileage.

At 8' I would recommend at least a 50" screen. Since money is an issue,
why not consider a front projector? They are by far the best bang for
the buck. The main caveats are ambient lighting (need room darkening
shades for good picture) and bulb cost ($300 every 3000 hours or so). I
recommend an extremely affordable 720p projector from Sanyo or
Panasonic.

A big plus is that you wouldn't be putting expensive electronics over
your fireplace, just a screen which you could even make yourself.
Another plus is you can adjust the zoom on a projector; therefore with
HD, you can go with a 50" image and when you are forced to view regular
def, you can reduce the image size so you do not see the enormous
individuals pixels.

Good luck!


Will wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


Re: Proper viewing distance?


With HDTV, you can sit as close as 1.5 times the screen width, which
gives you a 37 degree viewing angle. This is practically identical to
the THX recommended 36 degree viewing angle, and puts you just 42" from
the screen (probably a bit close to your fire). SMTPE recommends 30
degrees, which places you 52" away (and probably still a bit close
for your living space). The maximum distance THX recommends is a 26
degree viewing angle, which puts you at 5' (roughly 2x's screen width
and still too close). Therefore a 32" LCD is better suited for a
bedroom or a workstation, not a living room.

Sure you will use "mixed signals," and yes, standard definition will
look awful at even 2x's screen width; but you do not buy an HDTV for
the standard def, no more than you should go for the V8 when you are
concerned about gas mileage.

At 8' I would recommend at least a 50" screen. Since money is an issue,
why not consider a front projector? They are by far the best bang for
the buck. The main caveats are ambient lighting (need room darkening
shades for good picture) and bulb cost ($300 every 3000 hours or so). I
recommend an extremely affordable 720p projector from Sanyo or
Panasonic.

A big plus with a front projector is that you wouldn't be putting
expensive electronics over
your fireplace, just a screen which you could even make yourself.
Another plus is you can adjust the zoom on a projector; therefore with
HD, you can go with a 50" image and when you are forced to view regular
def, you can reduce the image size so you do not see the enormous
individuals pixels.

Good luck!


Will wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it


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