TV Viewing Distance Guide

Final Flash

Active Member
I totally agree with Exemplar, a fantastic article:thumbsup:
Very useful and educational.
Thanks for sharing your knowlegde with us Steve!
 

stevos

Distinguished Member
What do you mean by "worth it"?

Do you mean worth it in order to see the detail or that beyond that screen size your experience is lowered?
 

Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
worth it in order to see the detail
Beyond the specified distance, there is no advantage in having a higher resolution because you can't tell the difference.
 

amardilo

Distinguished Member
Very useful article. So odd many places don't explain this stuff a clear as this.

I sit about 8 feet away from my 32" TV that can do 720p but not 1080p so it seems like I'm actually in a OK spot. Although I would always like a bigger TV :D
 

True Romance

Distinguished Member
Hold on you all need an article to tell you where to sit when watching TV? Surely your own eyes will tell you whats good and whats not. Also how many households have a choice where they can sit or locate their sofas/chairs, not many I'd guess? Good if you live in a large house but for the rest of us in an average UK home a waste of time.
 

crabby09

Active Member
To be honest True Romance... I feel the main reason for this sort of article is buying power... You can ensure that the screen you are going to get is pitched correctly for your room.

So, for example... I can only justify a 4k telly if it's more than 65 inches in my room... So, in my shoes I'd prefer a 1080p OLED than a 4k LED (check out the LG OLED article).

crabby
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
The science is clear. If you have 20/20 vision you need to sit at exactly 3 x screen heights. Further away and you can't see all the detail. Closer and you might see the pixels.

In real life we don't sit looking at black and white eye charts, so you will probably be able to get away with just a tad closer.

But that's not all. We might want the image to be more immersive. But at what stage is it too immersive?

Human vision is only clear (for detail) from 30-35 degrees, with everything out side being in the periphery of your vision, and not clear detail...but we move our heads a little when viewing...but don't like to do so too much.

It all has to be taken into consideration.

Steve W
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Closer and you can't see all the detail. Further away and you might see the pixels.

Think you've got that backwards old chap.
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
The science is clear. If you have 20/20 vision you need to sit at exactly 3 x screen heights. Further away and you can't see all the detail. Closer and you might see the pixels.

So presumably this has to be a function of resolution - 1080p? At 4K can we sit at 1.5 screen heights and still not see the pixels? At sufficient resolution you wouldn't be able to see the pixels even with a magnifying glass.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Hold on you all need an article to tell you where to sit when watching TV?

It's more to save those people unaware from buying needless upgrades. If they aren't going to see the better resolution due to their seating location/distance from screen, then it's pointless buying that swanky new 4K TV etc.
 

Andreas21

Banned
You must remember this only takes resolution into concideration and not the other benefits of BD vs DVD and 4K when it comes vs BD.

I also find this to be bullsh*t after owning the VW1000/1100 for 2,5 years and the chart is not accurate even when it comes to resolution according to my experience. And you must concider it a guide not the absolute and definete thruth! It is correct in theory but not in real life as I can se ("perfect" eyesight) a clear difference from 4m+ with 1080p vs 4K with only resolution to be the major difference on a 100" screen. I have tested this countless times and always come to the same conclution. Even if only the resolution is the difference between 4K BD and BD there will be a differece in picturequality in favour of 4K!
 
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imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
Interesting - what sort of source material do you compare them with?
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Andreas, the science isn't wrong. It's the same theory that they use for eye tests. Last time you were on a plane, the bloke who was flying it had his eyes tested using that science.

I have (naturally) poor eyesight, but once corrected (wearing my glasses or contacts) it's better than 20/20 - lots of glasses wearers are the same.

If you're seeing an improvement with 4K before you should, that doesn't mean decades of accepted eyesight science wrong - it just means something else is going on.

What 1080p/4K comparison are you using?

Steve W
 

catonic

Standard Member
^ ^What does that chart have to do, scientifically or otherwise, with viewing moving images on a screen at any resolution and at any viewing distance?

And thats just for starters!! :facepalm:
 

Andreas21

Banned
Pecker I am not saying the science is wrong, what I am saying is that there is a visible difference between 1080p and 4K with just the resolution at greater distances than the chart is showing. Because even with only a difference in resolution you get other benefits in the picture than only smaller pixels. You get a slight better sence of depth and so on and this is visible from greater distanses.


I have Timescapes in both native 4K and 1080p and I have side by side tested with high end 1080p projectors and the VW1000/1100 and the difference is easy to see from 4+m away. Another test that is very easy to do with the VW1100 is to turn RC on and off with 1080p source material as this is very near the difference between native 1080p and native 4K. But the difference is bigger with real native 1080p on a 1080p projector and native 4K on a 4K projector. And whn you get wider colorspaces and 10 or 12 bit the difference will be even bigger. But of corse you can just watch the charts and say I am wrong, but my real life experience I value a lot more than any chart.

And I have a question to you: Have you done the same side by side tests I have done with native 4K and 1080p projectors. If not I recommend you do it and see for your self.
 

Andreas21

Banned
^ ^What does that chart have to do, scientifically or otherwise, with viewing moving images on a screen at any resolution and at any viewing distance?

And thats just for starters!! :facepalm:

This is exactly my piont, this chart is only for resolution and not with moving pictures. And the resolution gives us other positive benefits than just smaller pixels.
 

Pecker

Distinguished Member
Andreas, as I've said there may be other factors coming into account.

But the science is solid, and if you have no better than 20/20 vision and can see more detail in the 4K clip on a 100" screen at 4m, then that's to do with the 4K version being better in other ways - maybe less compressed, better compressed, whatever, but if all other things are equal you would not be seeing more detail.

I remember when HD arrived seeing a number of demos with HD on one side and 'simulated SD' on the other - the simulated SD was clearly knobbled. This may (or may not) be what's going on here.

The acid test is not carefully-crafted demo material. It will be with a comparison of real-world material, say a footie match broadcast on Sky in both HD and 4K, flicking between the channels, or a 4K version of Lawrence of Arabia vs the current Blu-ray Disc.

I don't value the experience of atypical material at all. We're not going to buy 4K to watch some nature documentary, carefully shot in 4K, thousands of hours of footage shot, only the clearest bits used, and released as a 4K demo, with a 1080p version available as a comparison. It's difficult to know where to begin picking holes in that.

We're going to buy 4K displays to watch films, sports, and high quality TV drama - I bet that'll account for over 95% of viewing. And that's what we need to see compared.

Anything else is smoke and mirrors.

Steve W
 

imightbewrong

Distinguished Member
The acid test is not carefully-crafted demo material.

This, this and this again. Isn't it funny how 'latest high res demo material' never looks anything like real material. An actual bd side by side with the same (reference) movie on 4k is something I am both excited and nervous about seeing :)
 
D

Deleted member 654460

Guest
I respectfully eschew conventional wisdom on this viewing distance business....first we had the debunked 'retinal display' concept from Apple iPhone and now Quad HD display is the way to go..UHD on 5.5 phone display coming....

The wisdom was then used by critics to debunk 4k TV as the eye can't tell the extra sharpness at a 'conventional' viewing distance? Not that it is wrong but too deterministic a view in how we view the box.

If you have a sharp display....(350 plus PPI;430 plus PPI on smart phones)the incentive is to sit 'closer' to marvel at the realism. Still, the tendency would also be to gravitate to a particular distance from the TV like with the best sit placement in a Cinema whether they show 4k or not. Even Sony's own digital cinema test show statistical significance that viewers can tell the difference.

I think in the long run the eyes will catch on and be able to tell 4k from 1080p with the proportionate viewing distances in the home
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Interesting article.

Pleased to see that it's not really definitive in the home as:

1. You may not have your TV correctly set up or professionally calibrated anyway.

2. The ambient lighting in your home is a factor.

3. As is eye strain.

I think I probably sit just outside the "maximum effectiveness" zone (50" 1080p screen about 9 feet away), but I really wouldn't want to sit any closer than that, I think I'd find it too fatiguing.

Even if the opportunity were to arise for a 65" OLED, I'd still sit the same distance, it's what feels right for me.
 

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