Planner Resources AV Screen Sizes - JBS

AV Screen Sizes

Screen Size & Audience Distance Magic Numbers

Two of the great mysteries of meeting planning are “how big should the AV screen be?” and far from the screen should the first and last row of seats be placed?”

Here are some guidelines we have found useful.

Screen Size: Divide the distance from the screen to the last row of seating by 8. Use the resulting number for the ideal height of the screen. For example, if the distance from the screen to the last row of seating is 96 feet, 96 divided by 8 = 12. The ideal screen height is 12 feet high. If the ceiling height allows, and you are in between sizes, so up a size. A presentation is easier to read if it is bit too big versus too small.

Screen Height Off the Floor: The bottom of the screen should be about 5 ft off the ground so the audience can see the bottom of the screen over the person sitting in front of them. By this rule of thumb, an 18 ft ballroom ceiling means the tallest screen you should use is 18 – 5 = 13 ft. As a practical matter, you don’t want the screen touching the ceiling, so a 12 ft height screen is the max for this room.

Projector Distance From Screen: The usual rule of thumb is to place the projector 1.5 times the width of the screen, away from the screen. For example, if the screen is 12 ft high, the projector should be 18 feet away from the screen.

If the projector has a removable lens, and there is not enough room to place the project the correct distance away from the screen, ask your AV supplier for a “short throw lens”. The special optics in a short throw lens, allows it to be placed about 1/3rd closer to the screen than a standard throw lens. These are especially helpful for use with rear screen projection or in tight space.

Audience Distance From Screen: For readability, neck and eye comfort, the 2 x 8 rules applies. No one should be seated closer to the screen than 2 times the screen height, nor further from the screen than 8 times the height of the screen. For example, if the screen is 8 ft high, the first row is set at 16 ft away form the screen. The last row should be no further way than 64 ft away from the screen.

Projection Screen by the Numbers
Measured in feet-inches i.e. “7-6” is 7 feet 6 inches

Screen
Height
Screen
Width
Screen
Format
Image
Height
Image
Width
Distance to
First Row
(2x image
height)
Distance to
Last Row
(8x image
height)
6 8 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
6
4-6
6
8
8
6
12
9
12
48
36
48
7-6 10 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
7-6
5-8
7-6
10
10
7-6
15
11-3
15
60
45
60
9 12 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
9
6-9
9
12
12
9
18
13-6
18
72
54
72
10-6 14 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
10-6
7-11
10-6
14
14
10-6
21
15-9
21
84
63
84
12 16 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
12
9
12
16
16
12
24
18
24
96
72
96
15 20 4 x 3
16 x 9
Square
15
11-3
15
20
20
15
30
22-6
30
120
90
120

 


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