projector screen size making the right choice

Choosing the right projector screen size for your home theater can be one of the most important steps to setting up your home theater for prime enjoyment.

Choosing a home theater screen size that is too small will make your room look small and in many cases you will order a larger screen in a year or two.  Which means you have bought two screens in stead of one in a short period of time.

Choosing too large a screen size will have you sitting too close to the screen.  This will have your head swiveling back and forth to keep up with the action on the screen since your eyes can’t take all the screen in from where you are sitting. So you can end up with a stiff neck and a home theater that you don’t enjoy as much as you should.

So if is very important to get the correct projector screen size for the room you will be using as your home theater.

You want to consider the over all size of the wall that in your screen will go on and then the projector screen size viewing distance.

You will want to measure the height and width of the wall you plan to put your projector screen on. You then need to decide if you will also be placing speakers on this same wall as the screen . If you will be putting speakers on the wall will they be below the screen beside the screen or both.

Pittsburgh Steelers home theater room with correct projector screen size

This is one of our customers football themed rooms with speakers beside and below the screen

Of course if you are using our acoustical screen material you can put your speakers behind the projector screen.  Then your sound will come directly through the screen material and your whole wall space is freed up to maximize your screen size.

If you will be placing speakers around the screen figure out the size of the speakers and where you will place them. You can mark this with masking or painters tape on your wall. Then measure the space in-between the speakers and this will be the maximum area available for your screen.

For instance if you end up with a space 75″ tall by 104″ wide then a 110″ diagonal screen in 16:9 format is the biggest that will fit in that area. The 110″ diagonal screens total size is 61″ by 103″. So you would actually have more height available but the width of 104″ is what would limit your screen size.

Now you need to consider projector screen size viewing distance.

This is the suggested starting seating distance for a particular screen size. Now this isn’t measured from the front of your seat.  It is actually measured from where a persons eyes would be when seated.  And this is based on what the human eye can see at distance.  In other words you want to be able to watch the entire screen from where you are sitting with out having to move your head side to side to keep up with the action.  I’m sure most people have gone to your local theater for a crowded show and ended up with a seat closer than you would like.  This isn’t fun but you are only there for about 2 hours.  That is the difference with a home theater. You may watch back to back movies or if you watch sports you would watch football or basketball for most of the weekend.  If you are too close this can become very uncomfortable on your neck.  This does tend to affect us adults more than kids.  My kids sit closer than they should and it doesn’t bother them. But it would bother my wife and myself.

Below a projector screen size chart for 16:9 screens and their suggested starting seating distances.

  • 92″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 8 feet
  • 100″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 9 feet 3 inches
  • 110″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 10 feet 6 inches
  • 120″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 11 feet 8 inches
  • 130″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 13 feet
  • 140″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 14 feet 3 inches
  • 150″ diagonal screen suggested starting seating distance 15 feet 6 inches

So lets use this example:

You have available wall space of 85 inches by 133 inches and your room is 22 feet long.

You plan on having 2 rows of seating one at 15 feet and another at the back of the room.

You could then use up to a 140″ screen which is has a total size of 76 inches by 130 inches and its suggested starting seating distance is 14 feet 3 inches.

You don’t have to go with the absolute largest size so a 130″ screen would also work.  I personally wouldn’t want to go any smaller than the 130″ screen.

projector creen sized correctly per room size and seating distance

Projector screen sized correctly per room size and seating distance.

By figuring your available wall size and projector screen viewing distance you can figure out the right projector screen size for your home theater.

If you would like more help with this we will be glad to answer any question by email, through our chat or by phone at 423-285-3333 M-Sat 9-9 Eastern.