Sunday, June 12, 2005

Viewing Angle Calculator

Here's another calculator somewhat like my Viewing Distance Calculator. Except that this one computes the viewing angle in degrees for each viewing distance from 1 foot through 15 feet. You simply enter your diagonal screen size in inches. Then click on the Calculate Now button. For each increment in viewing distance of one foot, below it will appear the number of degrees subtended at your eyes' retinas by the two sides of the screen. (The asssumption is that the display is an HDTV with a widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9 or 1.78:1.)

Enter diagonal screen size in inches:inches
1 foot:2 feet:3 feet:4 feet:5 feet:
6 feet:7 feet:8 feet:9 feet:10 feet:
11 feet:12 feet:13 feet:14 feet:15 feet:
Viewing angles in the range between 26° and 36° are usually considered best for HDTV. For 1,920-horizontal-pixel 1080i HDTV, 31° gives you a seating position at which each pixel subtends 1 minute of arc on your retinas — the theoretical optimum, in terms of human visual acuity.

For 1,280-horizontal-pixel 720p HDTV, the theoretical optimum viewing angle is 21.5° — but you can probably move closer with no noticeable ill effect.

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