Home Theater Screens – The Bigger, The Better!

Everyone knows that bigger is better, right? Well, it certainly seems to be so with televisions. Walk into any electronics store these days and you’ll see them pushing their biggest televisions possible. Right now, 60″ is about the biggest consumer model you can get, although larger televisions certainly exist.

Is bigger actually better for home theater systems? If you’re trying to create the ultimate home theater, then it definitely is. Think about the last time you went into an actual theater. Even though you may currently have a “big screen” television at home, you still went to the theater to see a movie. Aside from having the newer movies, theaters have an advantage over home televisions because their screens are so much bigger. IMAX, for instance, is popular because of their huge screens. When you go into an IMAX theater, you are immersed in the movie experience because of the large screen, 3D effects, and great quality surround sound.

When you build a home theater, you want to create that same immersive experience. 3D is currently still kind of a gimmick, although you can purchase a 3D capable TV. Getting good sound quality is also something that you will want to worry about. In order to create the immersive screen experience, though, you have to get a large screen. How “immersive” the experience feels depends not actually on the size of the screen so much as how far you are sitting from it. There is a certain percentage of your field of view that the screen needs to take up in order to really be considered to be a true theater experience. Theoretically, two identically sized televisions in different sized rooms will appear to be different sizes, because of how far back you are sitting. Of course, to get the optimal size screen to have a true theater experience, you have to a larger screen than you are actually likely to get (60″ isn’t good for sitting more than a few feet back). Even though you won’t end up with what true home theater geeks consider to be a “theater” experience, you can get closer the larger screen size you have. Keep in mind, then, that the reason a bigger screen is better is because it fills up more of your field of view, thus creating a more immersive experience.

One way to expand far beyond the limits of conventional televisions is to get a projector. While these can be quite expensive for a good, high-definition one, they can also allow you to expand far beyond what you would otherwise be able to do. Nicer projectors with brighter bulbs can go up to 100 or even 150 inches. Projectors do have to be used in a room with pretty good ambient light control (i.e. you have to be able to get it really dark), but that can really contribute to the immersive theater experience.

For a dad trying to build a home theater, there are quite a few different things to consider. Because of the high cost of building a home theater, you will often be on a budget and that may limit the size of TV you can purchase. Getting a larger screen may not be worth limiting other things for, but it is definitely nice to get the largest screen that you can afford.