Imagine you’re next in line at the theater, ready to buy a ticket to that movie you’ve been anticipating for a long time, only to learn seconds later that the only seats left are in the first row. You think back to how painful it was the last time you sat there for two hours, when you came out of the experience with a sore neck. Your head was tilted and you had to continuously turn it from side to side to take in the whole screen.
The same concept applies when you’re setting up your own home theater. You wouldn’t want to sit too close to the screen and thereby make the viewing experience difficult, nor would you want the audio to be distorted because of it.
Contrary to some of the myths that we believe, the best viewing distance has less to do with resolution, and more to do with how much your eyes can take in comfortably without moving your head. The audio/visual company THX recommends the ideal viewing angle of 36 degrees to avoid doing so. As a result, with a fixed angle such as this, the bigger the screen size, the farther you should be seated.
Below is a chart that you can use for reference:
The next time you’re debating on where to sit for a movie, keep in mind how by choosing the best viewing distance based on the screen size, the overall enjoyment of your viewing experience could be drastically enhanced.