How Big is Too Big?

As the resolution has increased for video monitors, I have been using a 32" 1080 HDTV for a computer monitor, which seems to work just fine.

In fact, now that I am becoming a bit far sighted, I am wondering if I might even use a BIGGER HDTV for both cable TV and PC applications, streaming video etc etc.

Have any of you experimented with using one or more 1080 screens, 32" or more?

How about an array of screens - 40? 46?

Thanks for any ideas.
Yep, running all of a Mac Mini (which can output native into 1080p), DVD and cable into a 46" Sony. Streaming NetFlix, all music ripped lossless, the internet at your fingertips, any other software-based platform you can dream up, the whole shooting match -- and very common these days (and the basic premise behind HTPC, home theater pc, applications). So yes. Definitely.

That sounds like a lot of fun and glad to hear it is working for you.

For my next system, I have actuallly been thinking of an array of 3 x 46" LCDs, mainly because only a 46 Samsung which had an unusually clean and thin bezel and case to my liking....

Funny how you find so many things on the web which suggest that anything bigger than 26 is too big, "like watching tennis" etc etc.

Perhaps people were just jealous when the bigger 1080 monitors were still prohibitively expensive?
"46 Samsung which had an unusually clean and thin bezel"

Could you tell me the model?
No such thing as too big. As long as you can see the entire screen, you should be fine. Sometimes I hook my laptop up to my projector and movie screen and cruise the web or answer emails.
You might also want to look into a good pair of glasses

A good question as I have been trying to figure that out myself since seeing one in the store.

I believe it was a UN46C6500VF or a UN46C6900, but looking at the specs, I cant figure out why the 6900 costs more and apparently weighs almost 10 pounds more....the only obvious spec is a higher contrast ratio.

For both, however, or the one I noticed in the store, they have a more elegant and expensive looking brushed aluminum bezel, rather than the typical black plastic.

Re "thin" I am also referring to the back to front dimension, where from the side they are significantly thinner than say, most of the Sonys I saw.

This I thought might help make my desktop a bit less crowded.
I use a sony 32 inch lcd, and sometimes a 37 inch lcd as a monitor. Works great. The 37 I have in my bedroom and I use it to read books via Kindle for the PC. Wonderful bedtime stories. Viewing distance is about 10 feet.

Years ago, I toured Microsoft offices in Washington and was taken back by the number of LCD monitors that were used in arrays of three. Most of the screens were 30 inch. I was told that the arrays significantly increased productivity of the programmers.
Thanks Cwlondon- I'm helping my sister find a TV and trying to get as large a screen as possible to fit into a small space made for a older standard style sreen.
Both the manufacturers and the motion picture industry recommend much larger sized screens than one would think, claiming that it is much easier on the eyes. My viewing distance is 9 or 10 feet, and they recommend 50" as the minimum for that distance. I didn't believe it until I tried it, and I am definitely a convert. It is so much easier on the eyes with the larger screen size, and that is reason enough for many.

You make a good point.

A question I have always wanted to put to the forum is why do so many discuss the simple, screen dimension when it seems we should all be discussing screen size plus viewing distance which when combined might give a "perceived" screen size.

A drive in movie theatre screen might look like a postage stamp from sufficiently far away, yet a notebook computer can create a cinematic experience if it is close enough to your nose.

So instead we should discuss perceived screen size, and the factors that would optimize that viewing experience?

I am not clear on why your set u would be easier on the eyes. What factors contribute to optimizing the perceived screen size?

I work in a business where we are immersed in data and information constantly, might also monitor news and television on one or more channels, and have multiple PC applications, emails and IMs all open at the same time.

So I am trying to configure an array that I can comfortably use for long hours every day.

A final note, I am having an industrial designer help me suspend the montiors from ceiling brackets, so using 46" or even bigger monitors will not require a bigger desk surface, or affect how far away I must sit.


Yes, I am sure this is true and have found even two monitors or bigger monitors to be very helpful with respect to productivity.

I believe microsoft also did some work to try and better understand what configuration(s) of multiple monitors best enhanced productivity.

I am thus always surprised when people think it is over the top or eccentric to have more than one screen.

Glad this is of interest to others.
You can calculate THX recommended screen sizes here. The recommended screen size for a given viewing distance is often a lot bigger than you might think.

I started with 42", then 50", now 60". Bigger is often better, and it's not just Freudian. Having said that, strictly following the THX guidelines can result, IME, in a screen size/viewing distance that allows you to see the limits of the image's resolution (i.e. pixels), which I find very distracting. So you have to let your eyes make the final judgment.
For TV I thought I went a little and my wife thought I went way over board with a 60" plasma. The second it was powered up we were both very happy. Its corner placement puts seating 7'-10' away without a complaint from anyone.

Our 27" iMac is a bit much and had to be moved back some.

Thanks for the THX calculator....

Not understanding all the viewing angle calculations, it seems:

For a 55" screen, THX recommends 6.1 feet
For a 46" screen, 5.1 feet
For a 40" screen, 4.5 feet and
For a 32" screen, 3.6 feet

These distances are similar to my preferences and make sense to me for an immersive, cinematic experience.

But it seems that most people sit significantly farther away from their screens that that.

Maybe their parents told them it would make them go blind?

Yet reason that an array of 46 or even bigger monitors might make sense for computing, despite being counterintuitive.
Cw - I agree that most people sit much farther from their screens than the THX guidelines recommend. I sit at 9 feet from a 60" screen, so I too am farther away than the guidelines, but probably closer than most viewers.

I find the distance at which I can start to see pixilation, then move back a couple feet. That maximizes the impact of the screen's size while not allowing me to see the limits of the image's resolution.

Of course, the higher the source resolution, the closer you can sit without seeing the limits of the image's resolution. This may explain why people sit so far from their screens - they developed their habits with low resolution images, which require farther viewing distances to avoid seeing the limits of the image's resolution, and they have not adjusted their habits as high resolution sources have become more common.
You really need to ask HER. In Texas, they say size does matter.
Re Ask HER

I just asked my wife, and she thinks I sit too close to the screen.

I have just asked her to sit at the most comfortable distance from our 40" HDTV. Using a tape measure, this is +/- 9 FEET!

I nonetheless look forward to an array of 46" screens approximately 3 feet away.