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View Poll Results: Which number is your calculated value closest to (see instructions)?
2 2 2.99%
3 7 10.45%
4 21 31.34%
5 23 34.33%
6 6 8.96%
7 4 5.97%
8 1 1.49%
9 or abbove 3 4.48%
Voters: 67. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-2010, 05:35 AM   #21
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Put me in ERD50's camp. Sons-in-law are just the opposite and don't seem to care. I keep pointing out that Jennifer Aniston is not 4' 2" tall and weighs 240 lbs., and I don't want to see her that way, but nobody cares. When our 32" Panasonic CRT got zapped by an electrical surge, I purchased a 40" Samsung LCD--should have gone bigger, but I didn't want the TV to be all encompassing. When I first fired it up on a regular program, I got out the tape measure and it was the same square inches as the old 32", so I guess I didn't lose anything.
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Old 03-10-2010, 07:10 AM   #22
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Go with a minimum 42" Al. You will never look back.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:40 AM   #23
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T-Al ..... what are you figuring? Optimal distance or preferred distance?

Just the other day I realized that If I sit on the coffee table (in front of the couch where I normally sit) I can follow the hockey puck so much easier. I normally rely on watching the players to see which spot on the ice they all move toward.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to watch future games sitting on the table.

Maybe for the playoffs
We have a home theater with a projection tv where the screen is just over 100", that's the place to watch a hockey game! When we move in a year or so, will really miss that room.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:11 AM   #24
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50" TV, viewing distance of 14', rounds up to 4.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:29 AM   #25
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We finally bought a flat screen TV last month (CRAZY! Our 21" JVC was still working fine after 25 years, no need to change anything!). We now have a 47" LG and I view it from 9 feet away (so, a "5" on T-AL's scale). We'd considered a 42", but figured our eyes wouldn't be getting any better in the coming years, and we intend to hang on to this thing for a long time. Amortized out over 15 years, a bigger screen cost just $1.50 more per month (that's the kind of math/rationalization that gets folks in trouble . . . ). It's a nice size, and we sure don't need anything bigger. It was cool to watch the winter Olympics on a big screen. We're still DVD (Netfix) and over-the-air broadcast only, none of that newfangled sat-o-lite or cable for us!
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:40 AM   #26
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Some day I want to join those who chose "9 or above"!! Wow. Can you imagine? It must be like you are right there and could reach out and touch the actors. I am all for large size when it comes to TV's, though I am not used to sitting much closer to a TV.

Right now I have a 42" Hitachi plasma TV which I watch from 11-12 feet away (depending on if I am leaning forward a little with a pillow behind my back, or not), so I selected "4".
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:46 AM   #27
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the group that absolutely cannot stand the 'stretched' picture
I'm sure that I couldn't accept that either. I went to my sister's house, and she complained that on her HDTV, that she'd had for months, things seemed a little distorted. I showed her that she could choose to have bands on the side, and suggested that in the future she read the manual.

We can't get any signals over the air here.

Good advice here, thanks. Maybe we should get something we can return if it is too small/large (e.g. Costco). Or maybe I'll cut up a cardboard box and draw something on it to help decide.
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:04 AM   #28
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Also, if you don't have an HDTV, sit this one out.
I thought this was going to be a poll about "How cheap will an HDTV have to be for you to cave in and buy one?"

Spouse's 32" CRT started misbehaving about eight months ago so we scurried out to pick up a $50 Craigslist replacement. The first TV sensed its replacement waiting on the livingroom ready circle and decided to straighten out (literally) so now we have two 32" CRTs. I figure she's good until 2020.

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One low-cost solution is to get a 32 inch HDTV, and put it up high.
Another low-cost solution would be to build a custom-designed table or cabinet that incorporates the TV and the contents of the entertainment center. Spouse is still more attached to her 1980s MDF wall units than to any of them newfangled HDTVs...

I guess the only number that counts is the one you & Lena measure at the HDTV showroom. You'd think that they'd have courtesy tape measures and recliners available for customer testing.
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programming?
Old 03-10-2010, 10:24 AM   #29
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programming?

If you’re watching high definition programming you’ll want a bigger screen, easily 42”

DVDs will also look great on a bigger screen, especially progressive scan and blue-ray.

If you’re watching regular SD material on a HD screen it’s gonna look lousy, and the bigger the screen the worse it will look. The low quality signal will stand out.

What matters the most are your viewing habits. My informal polling of friends and family members over the past half-decade shows that “less-good” programs in HD are always preferred over “better” program in SD.

With a 42" screen at 10’, the programming you really like, in HD, is gonna look fantastic...
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Old 03-10-2010, 10:45 AM   #30
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My informal polling of friends and family members over the past half-decade shows that “less-good” programs in HD are always preferred over “better” program in SD.
Are you suggesting that HD marginal content is preferred over top-rated content on SD. I am not so sure that I agree.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:27 AM   #31
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42" and sit about 8 feet away--just far enough to not have to wear my glasses and just far enough to not get a headache by being way too close = 5.25 in the poll.

My vision is 20/60 and, since I see pretty well without glasses close up, I try and not wear them any chance I get....but, I'm always forgetting I don't have them on, start the car, realize I don't have glasses on to drive, stop the car, go in the house...well, you get the idea.
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Old 03-10-2010, 11:52 AM   #32
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Are you suggesting that HD marginal content is preferred over top-rated content on SD.
Uh... I said "less bad" vs "better". IOW, when the difference in program quality is not great the choice is always the HD content.
Quote:
I am not so sure that I agree.
It's not their opinion, it's their preference.

SD programming is quite poor - lousy color definition. It was more than adequate for 17" tv sets 40 years ago. HD programming is not just higher resolution, it's also greater and more precise color definition. HD content is increasingly available - this should be considered before a choice is made.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:04 PM   #33
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A few points...

1) I believe that this distance to HD size oversimplifies the case.

Is it just as good to sit 5 feet from a 32 inch screen as to sit 10 feet from a 64 inch screen ? In my opinion - no.

Based on this single factor we could all buy a small HDTV and sit really close to get the best viewing experience. I don't believe that this is the same experience.

2) You can overdo the HD size thing. Imagine sitting in the front row of the movie theatre. it is somewhat uncomfortable for some people as they have to work to take in all of the picture. The same is true for too large HDTVs in your house.

3) MichaelB: Of course HD is preferred over SD considering all the issues.
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Old 03-10-2010, 12:35 PM   #34
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46" at 12 feet, so HDTV score of 3.8. When I bought the HDTV to replace the old 27" CRT, I thought it was enormous. Now I could see getting a 56" or 60". Not sure I would say that 3.8 is too low...but if I was going to change, it would be to a higher number, not lower.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:23 PM   #35
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We have a 50" plasma we watch from abot 11.5 feet. My wife says it's big enough, so I went ahead and voted...
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:35 PM   #36
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32", about 9' away in my favorite chair... guess that would round up to 4.

Exactly the same here. I'm happy enough with that.

In bedroom where DW watches TV, 20", about 6' away from her recliner, rounds down to 3. She's happy about that but I'm not telling her about this poll
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:39 PM   #37
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we replaced a 36 inch crt with a 62 inch rear projection. It is in a fairly large room and we sit about 14 to 15 feet back. We have watched a lot of really bad TV in our life. Arm Forces TV in Germany came with multiple images, ghost and lots of snow. Once you get into a tv show most of that does not seem to make much difference, until you watch a really big HDTV.
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Old 03-10-2010, 03:12 PM   #38
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Have had a 50" Plasma for about 2 years and watch it from about 8 feet. If you like sports you will be amazed how much more you can see with the High Def and the plasma.. I have a 32" LCD in my overhead in my RV and watch it from about 8 feet and the 32" is definitely acceptable. Bigger question is Plasma or LCD or LED. Personally I like my Plasma over the LCD but that is a personal preference.
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:41 PM   #39
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12' from a 65" DLP is working for me

I have it hooked to the computer for the monitor, gyroscopic mouse and wireless keyboard with media center...

I can post here and watch American Greed all at once while laying on the couch
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:51 PM   #40
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We have a 42" at 9 ft. which is pretty comfortable.
A couple years back a friend of mine bought a TV based on one of these "Online calculators". He choose a 32" HD LCD with a viewing distance of 8 ft. This TV seems tiny to me and he is in the process of upgrading to a bigger one.
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