Veiwing distance.....

I am in a 13X19 room, screen is on short wall, my speakers are 9 feet apart and I have a Sony XBR WEGA 30 inch wide set, my question is for ideal viewing ditance for movies, not casual viewing wich dictates couch is close to back wall, but should I pull my couch up for movies? thanks for your continued help....Chad
I have a 65in.rptv same dimension as your short wall.In front of this tv I have a 92in auto screen that comes down for those "un-casual" viewing moments. Pull the couch up--way up!!
For a 30in widescreen TV, you need to be between 2 to 3 metres away for optimum viewing. Too close, you could get a headache and too just not as as fun.
I would try different distances. I have a low tolerance for being too close. People differ in this respect. If you have to move your eyes back and forth a lot to see all the action at once, then you are too close. that is what gives you the headache.
Dr. Chung

Why mix inches with metric? You seem to be suggesting a viewing distance of about 2 to 4 times the width of the screen, which is in line with the usual recommendations.

I have a 36 XBR with a 30" wide screen, and would prefer being closer to the 2 times the width for viewing, but that is too close for listening with external speakers, and I want to be able to enjoy either stereo music or video without moving the chairs, so I let good stereo imaging drive the viewing/listening distance. I do not use the center channel for music. My front LR speakers, center to center, are about 7.5' apart and 3.5' from the wall behind them, in a room 14' X 19', so my viewing distance is about 9', or 3.6 times the width (3 times the diagonal), which I consider a bit too far for an enveloping video experience with progressive scan movies or HDTV.

I suspect 9' may be too much separation for Chad's 30' wide (36 XBR?) screen. My audio system, even with stereo music, generates a soundstage that dwarfs the video from the 36 XBR, so I plan to move to an 80" X 45" front projection screen, where 9' would be 2.4 times screen height (1.35 times screen width).

If I cant move my speakers any closer together, what is the best happy medium for sight and sound in your guys' opinion?
A bias light might help with fatigue.

It depends on whether you care about stereo music. If not, and assuming you use a center channel, let the video consideration be your guide, say 2 to 3 times the image diagonal, but I'd prefer 6' (2 X) rather than 9' (3 X ) for a 36 XBR.

In my experience, good sound is much easier to achieve for movies than for music. My Sony ES receiver was fine for movies, but lacked transparency and openness for music, so I returned to my high-end separates, and moved the receiver to a secondary system.

OK thanks, I will try pulling the loveseat up to 6 ft for movies..I just want to be as close as makes sence for a good movie experience.....thanks alot all!
5 feet for standard definition (seating distance is 2.0x to 2.5x times horizontal screen width for standard definition. 1.5x to 2.0 for high definition or 35mm) You might not like to sit that close, but for a real cinematic experience, these numbers are accepted to be best. I sit 12.33 feet back from my 80inch wide (92inch diag) screen. Which works out to a seating distance 1.85 times the width. It's just about perfect. At first it was overwhelming, but now I'm used to it.

I suspect some audiophiles are just trying to *not* justify a front projector [or at least a 65 inch]. ;-)
With DVD or better source material

In the absence of objectionable projection artifacts 1.5 widths on a 16:9 screen is a nice compromise trading a good sense of immersion against loosing some sharpness on standard definition sources. Good transfers look _exceptional_. Low quality ones are OK. 4:3 DBS is not unwatchable. This gets you a seating distance of 39". You need to think in terms of small movie screens not big TVs. That subtended field of vision will match what you get when you go to a THX certified theater meeting the recomendations and sit in the _FARTHEST_ seat from the screen.

You will be unable to visually resolve 1080 line HD at a seating distance beyond 46".

3 heights works better. This gives you a seating distance of 42" for 1.85:1 sources and 33" for 2.35:1 scope movies. This is not close enough to require moving your eyes to see the image.

When you play with those numbers you'll find that seating distances beyond what you have in a modest living room require two-piece projection equipment. Front projection will require light control. Both space and financial costs are expensive for two-piece rear projection.

With a CRT projector (no visible projection structure) I find that 11' from a wall mounted 87"x49" screen (100" diagonal 16:9) is a good compromise although 9' works better for nice scope transfers. If I wasn't stuck with my space and speaker placement constraints I'd run a 103 x 44" screen for my seating distance.

This is in a 13x19' room. My speakers are 8' apart and 4' off the front wall thus forming an equilateral triangle with my listening position. You don't have to choose between acceptable speaker placement (60 degrees in my case) and a reasonable sized visual field (36 degrees). Getting the box out from between my speakers was also the best thing I've done for my 2-channel sound stage.
You might put your TV stand on casters so you can move it.
Moving the couch is alot easier than a 175lb tv, plus it sits in a WAF wood the cart cant even be a thought lol thanks ALL
What I used to do with my TV (36 inch 4:3 direct view CRT) was pull my chair up so that I was less than 5 feet from the screen. Then I would just change the speaker toe-in to greater toe-in. But I still left the speaker distance alone (still 9 foot apart, 2.5 feet from the rear wall). After all, I was "just" watching "movies." So I didn't think it was too critical.

Although I like Drew's idea of putting the TV stand on casters. But for me, I had my entire system on the stand, so pulling it out wouldn't have been easy when dealing with speaker cables. But that certainly let you not have to re-adjust your speakers.

If I cant move my speakers any closer together, what is the best happy medium for sight and sound in your guys' opinion?
This site may help:
2 to 3x's the width of the set back should be fine for most anything on that set. It will of course be better on 480p dvd and better material. I don't think I'd sweat anthing beyond this range for your size set. I mean, we're talking 30"!...not 60" plus.
However, the audio, that's another matter. Simply placing your couch on the back wall WILL YIELD you bad sound...that's garanteed. You have boomy unatural sound for certain. Really, you should start with your seating spot(s) at the 2/3's room distance, and the speakers at the 1/6 width/deepth possitions for 2 seats. If you do a stereo single seating position option instead, things change. Basically, it's whatever yields "flattest" frequency response, and maintains a good stage width/perspective.
I just have reservations about your sound quality, that's all. Your video, I don't worry about, because it's easy to figure for that...2 to 3x's the width is fine, or 1.5 to 2 x's the diagonal, and it's fine for most.
P.s., an easy trick most should use to figure best speaker locations, is to first get the seats away from the walls, more out in the 1/3's or 1/5 positions from width/deepth. Then, put speakers "bass woofer/port" where your ears will be. Then play some bass steady music, while you crawl around where you in the general area your speakers should go, listening for most solid, smoothest, even response. It will also measure right, and can/should be checked with a sound level meter and test tones.
The bass will sound fast, powerful, and accurate, not like a boom box. This should be done for all speakrs.
Good luck
At the risk of belabouring the point, I think the site I offered will provide "ideal" ratios. Ratios are ratios after all. I do agree that for most people (just not typical neurotic Audiogoners)the 1.5 to 2 X diagonal screen size to distance will work just fine. While Chadnliz have been using their speakers along the short wall, its been my experience that when using speakers parallel to the long wall, that the listening position is best when seated near the opposing wall. The problem then is with frequencies that have faster reflections off the back wall.This easily remedied with some simple room treatment. Its been my experience that bass response is actually superior in this configuration.