DON'T GET IT ...screen too large = eye strain???

Recently I was reading a post on, where they were discussing proper screen size - and referring to 2.35:1 screens and such, as well. In the article (and I've heard this point/argument made before) they mentioned that too large of an image can cause eye-strain, due to your eyes having to move back and forth across the screen to track the action (and uses the "tennis match" analogy) - inferring that a smaller image keeps your eyes more "at rest", with less need for excessive movement.
I DON'T GET THIS AT ALL!!!! Infact, if anything (and I've never heard anyone EVER complain at a tennis match that they're eyes hurt, nor anyone at a movie theater sitting in the "nose-bleeds"), our eyes are constantly moving around CONSTANTLY in our day to day lives. I actually find that sitting with your eyes "fixed" in one position (like when you're staring at a computer all day) IS WAY MORE STRENUOUS, and that keeping eyes moving in a sitting like this, would be LESS straining!
Anyway, I don't necessarily agree with their position.
I have heard that movies are usually shot with much less camera motion (largely), as compared to tv programming. And that that excessive motion can give you a head-ache, and such. But I 've NEVER EVER heard anyone say their eyes are tired from having to pan back and forth across a large screen image!
Anyone else have any feedback on this, or opinions?
I think it's an important enough topic to helping people consider their PJ setups, screen sizes, proximity to screen, etc.
I've never heard of eye strain from excessive muscular use. There must be an optometrist somewhere here in Audiogon with an opinion on this.

I find that an excessively large screen relative to your sitting position is not enjoyable because you can't take it all in, so to speak. You can't see the forest for the trees. I guess the audio equivalent would be to eliminate an instrument or two from the original music during mixing. Or use a tone control and turn the treble or bass all the way up or down so that some instruments essentially disappear or are masked. You can hear some of the instruments, but not all of them.
I read that article with interest as well. I think the author was trying to put into layman's terms the concept of "how big is big enough" for front projector systems. Personally, I feel the answer is "it depends" - on many variables, including personal preference, which he alluded to in his article, but more importantly I think the choice of projector plays a crucial role in answering "how big"? the screen should be.

I have an Optoma H31, which is "only" a 480p DLP projector. Through research at and other reviews, I learned that for this model you need to sit back at least 1.75x the screen width for all pixellation and screendoor effect to disappear, so I based my decision to use a 92" diagonal 16x9 screen and it works great in my theater. At that screen size and sitting back about 12-13' it results in a seamless image that is truly compelling and you still get "3 1/2 fists" of immersion (hold you fist at arm's length and count how many widths you get across the screen) If you move up to 8 or 9', you the image is still watchable but it starts to look a little grainy. However, at the correct distance, in a darkened room, it looks like a giant plasma screen due to the excellent contrast ratio and deep black capability of the H31.

With the advent of 1080P projectors at real-world prices where pixelezation is much less of an issue, I suppose it's possible to sit "too close" where eyestrain could be an issue watching a feature length movie. I once sat too close to an IMAX movie screen and got a headache after 20 minutes -jz
i have a 110" screen and sit 11' from it and after two years, i've never had eye-strain (that i know of)...althought after a few beers it may be eye
I dont think bigger is always better, while I could go larger with my projector I run 90' and sit 10ft away, there is such a thing as too much IMO and the entire crowd that believes in buying the largest you can possibly do and afford is (in another of my opinions) driven by the needs of retail sales, not always whats best for any given consumer.
I don,t agree with the size of the screen being a problem . I think it is more the distance you sit from the screen would be a better explanation . From the proper distance your brain will see more of the whole picture as your eyes won,t have to move slightly either right or left or dialate as rapidly. Sometimes being to close causes your eyes to fixate or localize on one spot . Think of it in these terms , if a woman was standing 15 ft away totally naked from you , then another woman was standing naked 3 ft in front of you which one would you remember the color of her hair ......without assuming she is an interior designer who's carpet matches her drapes that is .
Yeah let me clarify. Basically I don't understand their inferring that a setup where you are sitting to close in approximation to the relative screen size, is the issue....
I agree. I don't like to sit front row at a movie. Interlacing and with only 24 frames a second and with films with excessive movement make it uncomfortable to sit too close.
The distance is an issue for what they call "screen door affect" where you are so close you can see the pixel structure. Before HD the distance was much greater so you couldnt see the flaws of the screen, now the idea has shifted into sitting as close as you possibly can tp the largest screen possible to get the movie theater affect, and I think at times that theory is flawed and can just be too big.
I have a projector and a 240" inch screen (12' high and 16' wide). I sit 25 feet from the screen and it is thoroughly enjoyable. I've had if for a year and I've never experienced any eye strain. The only reason I didn't get a bigger screen was that my room couldn't accomodate it. Nothing wrong with going big if executed properly.
"The distance is an issue for what they call "screen door affect" where you are so close you can see the pixel structure" (Chadnliz)

Actually, in this case, they were siting other issues, pertaining to eye-strain - not over-exposed pixel structure (which is another issue). And really, they were stating that the pixels have become so dense (especially in a 1080p anamorphic application) that, in many of todays projection technology (particularly Lcos and LCD tech, that pixel structure has become somewhat of a non-issue. Basically, you can scratch that as an issue, with certain pj setups!
In fact, if anything, I find that the screen "texture" itself is more of a distracting issue, sitting too close to the screen (regardless of size), than the actual possible visibility of any pixels!!!
What I find is that those darn "glass beads" and sparklies are distracting from a pure image, in a "white field!" Any time I see a large white patch on the screen during a sceen, and I'm sitting close to a screen, I can see the actual surface of the screen glistening! Anyone else see this?

"I have a projector and a 240" inch screen (12' high and 16' wide)" (Mitch4t)

Hey Mitch4t, what projector and screen (type and gain?) are you using with an image that big? I'm just curious.
I actually like the idea of being able to do a screen that big, but I find that home projection technology and quality of screen at higher gains makes such a screen size a dicey proposition. So what are you using?....
Mitch4t, never mind. I see your system now. My bad.
Anyway, besides the acoustic nightmare with your speakers relfecting off those bare walls, doesn't that supremely large mirror on the side wall DISTRACTING AS HELL!?!...while watching movies that is?! I mean you can see a double image off the screen to the right, distracting your viewing experience, yes?
Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeiks! Um, ok. Hope that works out for ya man. Peace- lol
I get asked the question about the mirror and the sound reflection. Not a problem at all. The system truly sounds incredible. When I first completed the system, I hung a 15 ft high and 40 ft long drop cloth to block the mirror image reflection for fear of being distracted. I don't use the cloth any longer because no one ever notices the reflection. As far as the sound reflection from the mirrors, I have a very thick carpet and lots of thickly upholstered furniture in the room, along with thick drapes covering a 12' x 12' rear window.

I just added the Marantz BD-8002 blu ray player, which gives me access to the new hi def sound formats. The Realta chip in the Marantz is the real thing, just an incredible picture. I've used the Toshiba HD XA2 with the vaunted REON chip for a year...the Realta chip markedly improves upon even that unit. Nine full range speakers in the system....the sound and picture is totally immersive. watch a movie in hi-def audio and video at my place is an incredible experience.

In my place, bigger is far.