If you do not buy your home theater in one box, as many people do, then you will have to select a screen at some point or another. However, not only that, but you may be faced with deciding between a TV-cum-monitor unit and a drop down canvas screen.
It really all depends on the dimensions of the room you want to use as your home theater. If you are going to convert the box bedroom into a movie theater, then a 28 inch TV screen might be enough for you, but if you are going to use a long room and people might be quite a few yards from the screen, then a projector and drop-down screen would almost certainly be the right answer.
However, for most people, a normal TV screen would be sufficient. There are various types of television sets on the market at the moment, so we will take a look at them in turn later. Firstly, I would like to talk about the dimensions. It has been standard practice for hundreds of years to place a painting five times the diagonal of that painting from the viewer's eyes. In other words, if a painting or a screen or a window, is two feet diagonally, then the best place to view it from is ten feet away.
This is a general rule, it is not written in stone. Personal preference and eyesight come into it too. Therefore, if you used a 28 inch television set, the optimum viewing distance would be about 12 feet away. So, 28 inches would be ample for most spare bedrooms, but maybe not for a converted attic or basement. This relationship between screen and room size is the most important to get right, otherwise the rest is a waste of money.
It all boils down to: do you like to sit in the front of the movie house or at the back? [We are only discussing viewing the film here]. If you like to be dominated by a huge screen, then the proportions I gave you must be decreased, otherwise they should be about accurate. Assess yourself: how far do you like to sit from your TV? Is it more or less than 5:1?
There are basically three kinds of view screens and they are: plasma, rear projection and front projection screens. The first is the modern flat screen TV, the second the conventional TV and the third a system with a projector.
These televisions give the best quality, especially for watching movies that are formatted for wide screen viewing. They have a much larger viewing area than traditional televisions and they also come in a wide variety of sizes in order to adapt to many types of home theater needs. The biggest problem with these beauties is the price, but that is dropping every month too.
Rear Projection Televisions
This is the standard cathode ray tube TV that we have all been watching since were born. Their major problem is that they are lumpy, but that was not a problem for decades, so if it suits your room, do not let it be a problem to you now,
This is what you see at the movies or on old Cine 8mm - the drop-down projection screen. But, do not write it off. It still produces high-quality images and for larger rooms, it is really the only screen for your home theater.
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