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Reply to "MOVIES: What are you watching?"

Of course it's better to see Dune on a movie screen, but I'm not yet comfortable going to a theatre. Streaming it is fine if your television is set at the correct distance and height. Also you need to be able to darken the room enough so that it replicates a movie theater. When watching a "letter boxed" film the black bars should disappear and you should only see the rectangle of the actual picture.

So let's talk about how your TV should be placed. First if you put it above your fireplace, it's time for a change. You do not watch a movie with your head tilted up (unless you unfortunately got stuck in the first couple rows of a theater.) The height of the television should be with your eyeline being at least 10% to 20% above the bottom of the screen. Again think of where your eyeline is in a theatre where you sit 1/3 the distance back from the screen to back of the theatre. BTW did you know you should be sitting 1/3 back in a movie theatre?

Now what about the distance to the screen? The odds are you are sitting too far. There are two different organizations who recommend distance to screens, both for movie and home theatre. One is the older SMPTE (Society of Motion Picture & Theatre Engineers) standard. For them the ideal viewing angle to the screen is 30 degrees. This has since become the stand for home theatres. However, THX (Lucas's company) also has standards for their certification for movie screen. They recommended a slightly closer 36 degrees. I have a 75 inch and sit very close to the THX recommended 8.5 feet.

This is a calculator you can use. You only need to fill in questions 1 & 2. If you can't get close enough, or think the THX recommendation is too close, then at least try for the SMPTE distance.

Last edited by The Old Man
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