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Ed's AV Handbook
Batting practice for the AV Professional
and primer for the novice

Chapter 6  Page 6

The Room, Speaker, &
The TV

TV illustration

Picture this your speaker system is perfectly placed.  You have successfully managed acoustical problems in your quiet room.  You are in a perfect seating position to listen and view your re-mastered UHD HDR BluRay disc of Animal House.  Yet something is missing from our audio/video picture.  It's missing the picture.  For this discussion, a TV includes video displays that range from a dedicated home theater projector focused on a 100+ inch screen to a 40 inch TV sitting in a family room.

Room lighting

High dynamic range UltraHD & HD television offer exciting potential for dazzling images.  However, the potential color gamut and video resolution of HDR enhanced video depend upon a darker room.  You might ask how dark?  There are two scenarios.  Each has a different answer.

The first scenario is a front projection system displayed on a 100+ inch screen in a completely dark room.  Light from any other source will compete with the projected video.  Much as a movie theater omits windows, and why a drive-in movie theater closes in the daytime, this home theater system should eliminate competing light.     Do you see the picture?  Block all light.

The second scenario uses a direct-view large TV.  In a completely dark room, this type of TV can cause painful eye strain in a relatively short period.  This discomfort is due to the iris of the eye, opening, and closing as scenes change from dark to light.  To demonstrate the issue, turn your back to a TV in a darkened room.  Observe how the intensity of light changes.

A neutral color light with a brightness control can solve the problem.  Place the lamp behind the TV aimed towards the wall.  Adjust the brightness until a small amount of ambient light reflects off the wall.  The reflected light will reduce the range of motion in the iris and allow the eye to relax.  This action permits many hours of comfortable viewing.

Handbook Note: Link to neutral MediaLight Dimmable LED 6500° Kelvin Bulb used with Lutron dimmer control.

Ambient room lighting & color

UltraHD HDR TV offers an amazing-dynamic palate of potential color.  However, any reflected color within your field of vision will affect your perception of the television's color.  Therefore, choose suitable colors for all room boundaries.

For example, if a direct-view TV, choose wall colors of low color temperature such as neutral gray for all room boundaries (Link to Kodak reference gray card).  Art, fabric, or any objects within the field of vision should also be limited to neutral colors.  Typical off-whites and vivid colors will distort the viewer's perception.  
(This is much as noise in acoustics.)

Paint front-projection-large-screen system rooms flat black.  Flat black absorbs residual ambient light from the projector and screen.  If this is aesthetically unacceptable, then at least blacken the ceiling area from the projector to the screen.  Choose dark colors for the remainder of the room.  Also, black trim around the projection screen will appear to provide better contrast.

How far should you sit from the screen?

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) recommends a viewing distance of at least 1.5 times the width of the screen.  This method keeps the screen image within 40 degrees of lateral viewing, which avoids excessive head movement and discomfort.  As a final point, avoid sitting in acoustical room mode peaks and nulls.

Loose Ends

Consider hiring a certified ISF trained video dealer to calibrate the television color and the grayscale.  An uncalibrated UltraHD TV is like an un-tuned high-performance car.  Isolate the system electronics from electrical noise.  Supply ample-electrical current via a dedicated circuit with hospital-grade outlets.  AC line conditioners may also assist.  Provide ample cabinet-ventilation.  You may need the assistance of a ventilation fan.  Provide cabinet access that allows for easier component installation and maintenance.  Obtain the following installation and maintenance tools:

        - Sound pressure level meter
        - Pink and white noise generator
        - Tape measure
        - Several Hi Rez audio and UltraHD HDR  demonstration sources.
        - Joe Kane's Video Essentials
        - Full length mirror
        - Q-Tips ...... yes, for your ears.

QED 

Quite expertly done.  The room design is quiet.  Your listening position, the speaker system, and television are in place.  The room's acoustics, color, and lighting are skillfully-handled.  Your spouse is pleased.  You have achieved outstanding audio and video performance.  You are now ready to climb into your comfy chair and enjoy your music or movie.  

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Ed's AV Handbook   
Copyright 2007 Txu1-598-288 Revised 2021


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