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Viewing height of TV?

Old 02-14-01, 01:48 AM
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Hey all. I am thinking of getting a new set (I would tell you it's Plasma...but the last thread went south quickly!)

The issue at hand is that the set will be sitting above a fireplace mantel about 40" off the ground to the base of the set. Viewing will be 15' feet away at couch level. You will be noticeably tilting your head back a bit to view the screen.

Right off, it feels a little awkward, but I also see that this looks like a common height for other home theaters using screens.

Do you think this is a mistake or is it something you get used to?

The trade off of having it lower, is that it would be quite off centered from the sitting area and the speakers.
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Old 02-14-01, 02:11 AM
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I saw an installation like this in a This Old House series from a year or so ago, and it looked VERY awkward... I certainly wouldnt want a setup like that. This set appeared to be like 4.5 - 5 feet off the ground though.

I've looked at lots of pictures of setups with screens, and I dont recall them being setup where you would have to tilt your head back.

And for the price of a plasma, you could buy a nice DLP projector and a pull down screen
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Old 02-14-01, 02:31 AM
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So that's why you're looking at plasma. 40" is pretty high. The bottom of my RPTV screen is 22". 15' back is quite far, so the neck angle might not be too great, but the picture will be small. I don't think I'd want that for my primary movie-viewing set. I look at my 53" set from 8-10 feet away and it doesn't look all that big.

How about staring at the location on the wall for about an hour to see what it does to your neck? And I agree about the projector. But you need it quite dark.
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Old 02-14-01, 10:12 AM
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Even though it seems high, your seating position is far enough back that it reduces the angle at which your head has to be to view the display. The only issue I can see is that for long periods of time, like TV viewing and stuff, it maybe fatiguing.

Also, if you're planning on using the fireplace, I'd be concerned about the buildup of soot on the screen. Even on well ventilated fireplaces, some smoke makes its' way out and up.

I would never put a display over a fireplace in any case.
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Old 02-14-01, 11:29 AM
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Well, I've noticed that most TV stands put the TVs about eye level from a seated position, give or take.

I have my own preference, derived from museum installations... I prefer that my horizontal line of sight be about 1/3 down from the top of the screen. That has proven to be quite ergonomic for computer monitors as well. When modest size paintings (or photographs) are hung in museums, they are typically placed so that a person of average height (I think it's about 5' 8") looking straight ahead will line up with 1/3 down the painting (or 2/3 up).
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Old 02-14-01, 12:10 PM
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Old 02-14-01, 01:24 PM
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Re: Brighness on projectors

The main reason I mentioned the DLP projector was because I was under the impression that they would be bright enough for a lit room. Perhaps I was wrong here? There are also D-ILA projectors that are even brighter than DLP, but from everything I've read on AVScience, they take a little bit of tweaking to get looking right, the fan can be noisy, and the bulbs are pricey ($1000 per bulb, and they only have around 1000 hours of life)

I still stand by my suggestion of some sort of projector and screen if you are going to be spending that much money. With a pulldown screen you could get it long enough it would come down to eye level, and the digital projectors are small enough you could just build a box on your ceiling that is the same color and texture, and it would hide away pretty well.

Granted, a setup like this would be overkill for TV, but from what I've seen of a TV signal on a Plasma screen, that might not be the best choice either (TV looked suckekekeke)

Good luck

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Old 02-14-01, 10:11 PM
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Thanks for the replies. After reading them and doing more research, I have concluded that I have too many concerns about plasma, specifically how long a life can be expected under the conditions I would use, specially with 80% of the use being to watch 4:3 source cable/broadcast stuff...also because I don't like stretching pictures.

I have changed my room layout instead and will buy the Panasonic TAU.

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