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Viewing Distance Advice (Buy 40 or 46 inch?)

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Old 01-30-2007, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default Viewing Distance Advice (Buy 40 or 46 inch?)

We have a smaller sized area in our basement we use for tv viewing. Presently, we have a 36" - the heaviest flat tube, but superb SD tv in the world - an old Triniton, but we are moving up to HD.

Best Buy and many sites suggest optimal viewing about 2.5 times the TV's diagonal size, which makes about 100" seating distance for for a Sony XBR3 40" and 115" distance for a Sony XBR3 46". Ideally, given the room configuration, we'd sit at the closer of these 2 distances, but could manage the latter. But my wife says "let's get the bigger one."

Advice from anyone? (based on science | quality television viewing assessement, not marital self-interest )

Thanks so much for any thoughts, or experience!
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Old 01-30-2007, 06:26 PM   #2
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Just to let you in on a secret, there buddy... That 36" can display HD content, but in letterboxing only. If the set was purchased during the year of 1999. Most of the sets like Panasonic were rated has having 800 lines of Resolution. Now in my case with my CRT 36" I have Motorola DCT 6412 Phase III HDMI Dual SD/HD Tuners Digital Box, anyway that's hooked up to the CRT but through S-Video which would be 480i SD. Still I can watch Discovery HD Theater and a couple of things will be displayed but in letterbox format.

How this all happen that the Cox service rep didn't know I had one of these boxes hooked up to CRT 36" SD set with 2 line Comb Filters, so he had turned on the HD feature. He told me that when HD was shown it would look fuzzy, boy was he in correct. It looks for what a CRT can display 800 lines. But still HDTV would make it look more real 3D.

Now to answer your question. If you go to the store that you want to buy from stand in front of the set and see how far back you can go and count your sets to you see a clear picture without the micro blocking showing up.

I say 12ft should be it or more depending on where you are at?
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Old 01-30-2007, 07:52 PM   #3
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In most cases, bigger is better with TVs. Very few peopl have complained that their TV is too big! That being said, tipstir brings up a good point about macro-blocking. If you are too close to even the best TV's you will still likely see digital "effects". The recommended distances are pretty accurate. I know, you're thinking its just 6 inches right? Well, amazingly: a 46" TV is 32% larger than a 40" TV so it is pretty significant.

Make sure your seating arrangements allow you to get in the "sweet" spot for the TVs size. If you can amke the 46" work then by all means get it. Otherwise, the 40" would be the right choice.
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Old 01-30-2007, 09:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tipstir
Just to let you in on a secret, there buddy... That 36" can display HD content, but in letterboxing only.
Since he did not mention the model number you cannot make such a blanket statement. Most of Sony's 36" FD Trinitron models have been SD only models.

OTOH, Sony's short-lived 40" CRT sets were HD Ready and heavier.
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denvermtnguy
We have a smaller sized area in our basement we use for tv viewing. Presently, we have a 36" - the heaviest flat tube, but superb SD tv in the world - an old Triniton, but we are moving up to HD.

Best Buy and many sites suggest optimal viewing about 2.5 times the TV's diagonal size, which makes about 100" seating distance for for a Sony XBR3 40" and 115" distance for a Sony XBR3 46". Ideally, given the room configuration, we'd sit at the closer of these 2 distances, but could manage the latter. But my wife says "let's get the bigger one."

Advice from anyone? (based on science | quality television viewing assessement, not marital self-interest )

Thanks so much for any thoughts, or experience!

2.5 times the diagonal size is suitable for a 1366x768 set. For a 1080p set you can sit at a distance of 1.75 times the TV's diagonal size. For a 46" 1080p set that comes out to 80.5 inches. By way of comparison, for their slightly larger 50" SXRD XBR1 set (also a 1920x1080 model), the manual recommended a minimum viewing distance of 6.6 feet (79.2"). Make your wife happy.

Last edited by BrianO; 01-30-2007 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 01-30-2007, 10:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denvermtnguy
We have a smaller sized area in our basement we use for tv viewing. Presently, we have a 36" - the heaviest flat tube, but superb SD tv in the world - an old Triniton, but we are moving up to HD.

Best Buy and many sites suggest optimal viewing about 2.5 times the TV's diagonal size, which makes about 100" seating distance for for a Sony XBR3 40" and 115" distance for a Sony XBR3 46". Ideally, given the room configuration, we'd sit at the closer of these 2 distances, but could manage the latter. But my wife says "let's get the bigger one."

Advice from anyone? (based on science | quality television viewing assessement, not marital self-interest )

Thanks so much for any thoughts, or experience!
Sounds like youre talking about the KDL40/46XBR3 LCDs.
I would say 8 ft minimum. I sit 10 ft from mine and I think its a little to small. I originally had the SXRD XBR1 50 incher and it was perfect for 10 ft viewing. I would listen to the wife and go for the bigger one.

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Old 01-31-2007, 09:48 AM   #7
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FIRST AND FOREMOST . . Make your wife happy no matter what!

The distance is based on the quality of the image as stated. View HDTV and you can sit pretty much anywhere. Try to watch VCR and you better use a pair of binoc's from sitting so far away.

What yo don't want to see are the elements that create the image you are watching like scanning lines or pixels.

Once you install HDTV it is VERY HARD to sit and watch lower resolutions like cable and such.

My living room setup is STRICKLY HDTV with HD-Cable and HD-DVD. If I want to watch the History channel or such I move to the bedroom.

So not only look at the bigger set but consider going to the next size past that one...maybe all the way up to a 50" or 55". You really dont want to have to do this again for at least 5 to 8 years.

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Old 01-31-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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I know I'm new to the HD world, but all I can say is go with the bigger one.

The spot I'm in a 32inch tv would have fit with room to spare, and looked good, but I decided for the 42inch plasma and wow....

My wife was afraid of it for a few days, but now, she's adjusted and loves it.

Also, like one of the above people said, I would suggest going to the store and standing as far back as you are going to be sitting. Just gives you a good 'trial' of the spot without spending the money first.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:28 PM   #9
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Hi , I have been looking around here and learnig... but found this on another site-

Viewing distance- 16'-20'

40"LCD
43"dlp
47" Rear Pro

Sounds like those number are wrong?

So I am sitting around 16'-18' away and would like a LCD, as the room has windows and will be bright. What size do I need?

Thanks!

Ronder

Last edited by Ronder; 01-31-2007 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 01-31-2007, 12:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronder
Hi , I have been looking around here and learnig... but found this on another site-

Viewing distance- 16'-20'

40"LCD
43"dlp
47" Rear Pro

Sounds like those number are wrong?

So I am sitting around 16'-18' away and would like a LCD, as the room has windows and will be bright. What size do I need?

Thanks!

Ronder
70" min. (Sony SXRD XBR2 or the Sony 70" LCD for around 33K)
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Old 01-31-2007, 04:29 PM   #11
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I'm at 10-15' and went from a 32" Trinitron to a 46" LCD and while the old TV was fine, the new unit is PERFECT! I'm glad I didn't go with the 42".
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:55 PM   #12
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What size of LCD do you recommend for a 11 feet distance..???
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Old 03-03-2009, 12:35 AM   #13
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Link (I think your suppose to keep between the Green and Red lines)

40" looks like about 5' to 8'
46" looks like about 6' to 9.5'


A viewing distance over 10 feet away looks like a 50" minimum to bigger
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Old 03-03-2009, 04:30 PM   #14
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You beat me to it!
The rule of thumb in High def is bigger ALWAYS = Better. If you are limited by your living space go as big as you can because most regret not going bigger.
Here is a guide on TV sizing that I like to show to people.
Size Guide
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Old 03-03-2009, 09:47 PM   #15
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If your sitting 100" away which I think is what you said I would definetly go with the 46 over the 40. Ideally I would look into the 50-56 size range myself at that distance but thats just me.
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