Size Matters

One of the most challenging decisions a new home theater enthusiast has to make (among many challenging decisions) is how big to make the screen. Whether you are using a projector, an LED TV set, or a high end plasma HDTV, you still have to make some basic decisions right up front about the size of your room, the seating arrangements, and the optimal size of the screen. While you can find all kinds of advanced mathematical formulas for determining ideal screen size, an easier way to go about making the decision is to consider where you like to sit in a traditional movie theater.

Most people sit about two thirds of the length of the room back from the movie screen, which works out to about 1.5 to 2 times the width of the screen. If you are one of those people, then measuring the distance from where you sit in the room to where the screen will be and cutting that in half will give you a sense of where to start. Anything less that 1.5 is going to feel like you are sitting on top of the screen, and while this can be exciting for a brief time, it is visually tiring. Think of the times you had to sit in the front row at the movie theater and how hard that was on your eyes and neck. Finally, consider basic aesthetics. If all you see when you walk in the HT room is the TV, it’s probably too big.