So, you just bought a brand spanking new 3DTV, but the picture doesn’t look as good as the commercials promised. What’s wrong? Is it the TV, the 3D glasses, your room? This week at CEDIA Expo in Atlanta, THX is introducing a number of tips for the CEDIA community to get the most out of 3D projection systems and flat panel TVs. This includes guidelines for screen size, home viewing angles and room layouts.

Tip 1—Bigger is Better

Typically, larger screens offer a more immersive 3D experience because they fill your line of sight, allowing you to focus on the picture, without distractions. THX believes a TV or Projection Screen should create a field of view no larger than 50 degrees and no smaller than 36 degrees. This helps maintain the 3D effect with the right balance of crisp, sharp images.

A bigger screen positioned further away from the viewer is better than a smaller screen positioned close to the viewer. Why? In the real world, when objects move closer to you, your eyes must cross to focus on them. The same goes for objects in 3D movies and broadcast programs. As 3D images appear to move off-screen, toward you, your eyes must cross to maintain focus. If the screen is positioned farther away, your eyes will remain more relaxed, tricking the brain into believing the 3D effect.

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Tip 2—Seating Angles are Critical

When depth is added to a movie or broadcast event, objects on-screen must demonstrate movements that are natural for viewers to believe the 3D effect. For instance, if an action hero dives behind a car to dodge a bullet, the timing and motion needs to be believable. If the viewer is sitting too far off-axis, away from the center of the screen, the 3D effect can appear unnatural—distracting you from the storyline.

THX recommends creating a seating area within a 30 degree zone, with a maximum viewing angle of 45 degrees. This ensures a direct line of site to the TV or projection screen.

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Tip 3 –Avoid Visual Distractions

Furniture, lighting and other objects in your line of sight can negatively impact the 3D experience and cause viewer fatigue. As a rule, THX recommends creating a clean, 120 degree open space between the main seating area and the screen. Avoid ambient light reflecting on the screen from windows or overhead lights. Glossy bezels and shiny screen surfaces can also lessen the 3D effect.

Get more 3D design and set-up tips at a THX Video Calibration training course. Registration is available at: