Flat Screen Math: 1 + 1 ≠ 2

The proliferation of new technologies in audio visual systems and the push in consumer markets for larger, brighter, cheaper flat screens has been a real benefit to your average consumer and NFL fan. Those 60”, 70”, and 84” flat screens can bring real life to the NBA playoffs or World Series.

As with all consumer electronics this trend has transitioned from the home to the office. Conference rooms, huddle rooms and training areas are frequently fitted with a flat screen with a flat or tilted mount. Ease of use and little maintenance, as well as low installation cost make OLED, LCD or LED panels a good choice for many of these situations. Then, there are the other situations. Moffitt Technology employees frequently take on the role of advisors in a Church, training room or other venue where a flat screen is just not the answer. Why, you might ask. Simple, image size. You see, a certified Audio Visual professional will always develop a recommended image size based on a few industry standard calculations. The primary factor is the distance of the farthest viewer from the screen. The formula we use varies, but in general if you take the farthest viewer in the number of feet and divide by 6 to arrive at the height of the screen. Therefore, if the farthest viewer is 30 feet away you will need a screen height of 5’ or 60”. If using a HD screen with a 9:16 aspect ratio you would have a screen diagonal of 122” to achieve that height. That is one large screen! Flat screens in that size range are in limited production and typically impractical (85” flat screens start at about $8000.00).

We are then frequently asked, can we not just use two smaller flat screens with one on each side? With thought we can determine that this does only partially solve the problem. While it does move the screen closer to some viewers, the furthest viewers still struggle to see the smaller image. The viewer that is 35’ to 50’ back will simply not be able to see a 50” or even 60” screen in a manner useful for normal worship or training. This situation still requires a projector. In the end, a large venue projector will do a much better job.

If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to email russ@moffitt-tech.com.  And, contact us if you’d like some advice about selecting  equipment, staying on budget, avoiding pitfalls, and generally getting good advice to help you nail your project.

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