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Going from a 34" DAW monitor to a 43" monitor - Any opinions?

Discussion in 'SAMPLE Talk' started by quantum7, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    Oct 28, 2016
    we're getting onto a new tangent, there are numerous reasons why a movable monitor, especially a large one, may or may not be what I could work with. It could always something interesting to consider after taking into consideration the various factors in terms of resolution, PPI and viewing distance. I'd rather attempt to get that right to begin with or at least have a complete understanding of what the viewing needs will be before spending money. Perhaps a swing arm could come into the final decision.
     
  2. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    right now I'm actually trying to decide between a 2k 32 inch monitor (which would be very similar to your cinema display) or a 43" 4K.

    The 2k display would be a few hundred bucks, but the 4k display would require a new video card in addition to a much more expensive monitor...so probably close to $1000. Might be worth it, or might not..

    Nice thing about the 2k monitor is that I could use it close or far and there is a lot of wiggle room there for once it gets here. I feel that if I make the more expensive leap to 4k 43", then I have to use it 3 feet away, maybe 4, which is fine, my desk supports that, but its still not clear to me how much head turning will be required with 43" screen at 3 or 4 feet. And its not entirely clear to me how hard it will be to read small type from 3-4 feet on one of those. A smaller 4k screen would only work close to my face and would absolutely require a swing arm on my desk, but I don't know whether I would like that the screen might just be getting more in the way that way.
     
  3. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    You can tell how hard it'll be to read the text at 3 - 4' by moving a standard monitor that far back. I wouldn't want to do that.

    My impression is that .25 DPI is close to reality, i.e. the same size as an actual printout.
     
  4. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    My 24 inch Dell 2407 monitor at 1920x1200 is 94 dpi. (.27 dot pitch)

    At that resolution I feel what I see on the screen is slightly larger then when its printed out. I can comfortable read my email and spreadsheets and other small type; and what not from 3 feet away. I testing it right now at 3 feet and comfortable reading a spreadsheet with 10pt fonts.

    I agree at 4 feet then I can still read stuff, but its not quite "comfortable" for smaller fonts.

    For comparison, your 30" Apple Cinema display is 100ppi, or .25 dot pitch...and I can see why you may be squinting a bit more then I am at 3 feet away, definitely at 4ft.

    If I were to get a 32inch 2k Monitor, that would be the same resolution as your cinema display, but slightly bigger form factor: 94 ppi (.27 dot pitch), I would expect similar results as my current Dell in terms of viewing distance.

    My take away from this is that if I want to have any monitor at 3 feet away, it better be no greater than 100ppi, and possibly needs to be 95ish. I don't have a 100ppi monitor to test at 3 feet, I hear you are saying its not usable at that distance, so we have that data point. At 4 feet and greater, the PPI needs to go down even more in order to be able to read everything.

    Most of the 43" 4k monitors at 100ppi. That's sad news..which means I am not at all sure whether I would be able to use it at 3 feet, based on your feedback.

    It very well may be that the best compromise is 32" 2k monitor at around 3 feet maybe even 4. For 4k, I guess for 3 feet away an ideal monitor would be 46.5" monitor...doesn't exist.

    Its an interesting dilemma between avoiding head turning and being big enough to see it from the distance needed to avoid head turning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  5. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    This is an interesting calculator as well, which is related more to TV, not fonts and computer monitor use, but still interesting: https://stari.co/tv-monitor-viewing-distance-calculator

    I'm running a bunch of tests now using my laptop (which has higher PPI) and trying different distances, trying to come up with a formula...the engineer in me can't help it.
     
  6. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    Really? My 40" @ 4K is very close to .25 - the difference is vanishingly small.

    And I can read text on the 30" from 3' away, but I wouldn't want to work that way all day long. Half that is about right for writing (prose).
     
  7. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    Alright, I ran a bunch of configurations through the calculators, and tested some with the two monitors I have, assuming my eye sight is 20/20 with my glasses on. Generally, everyone is saying your monitor should be AT LEAST 20 inches from your eyes, not closer then that. If its closer then get some glasses or make everything bigger, but for various ergonomic reasons, you should have the monitor 20" minimum from your eyes.

    So the question remains, with these various different monitor sizes and pixel densities, what is the optimal viewing range, factoring in several considerations:
    1. At what minimum distance will the eyes be able to take in the complete width of the monitor. Field of Vision (FOV), assume nothing less then 20 inches regardless
    2. At what distance will eyes stop seeing pixelization? This is called the Visual Accuity distance. You can be closer then this distance (providing you're no closer then the FOV distance and no closer then 20 inches) and still read everything, you'll just notice some jaggies.
    3. You can usually sit a little further then Visual Accuity distance also and still read the fonts until they are small enough that some eye strain will start to occur. In the testing I just did using as many configurations as possible with my two computers, I think 6-12 inches beyond visual acuity is about as far as I would want to go. its possible to be a little further, but I start to feel subtle eye strain happening with small fonts beyond that. Of course if you avoid small fonts then you could be further still without much problem.
    So here are the optimal viewing ranges per monitor size/resolution, 20 inch minimum:

    Code:
    43in@4k - 3 - 3.5 ft     (100ppi)  (min 2.2 ft with maybe some jaggies, tight FOV)
    32in@2k - 3.2 - 4 ft     (97ppi)   (min 1.7 ft with maybe some jaggies)
    32in@4k - 2 - 3 ft       (137ppi)  (min 1.7 ft with maybe some minor jaggies)
    30in@2k - 2.9 - 3.5 ft   (100ppi)  (min 1.7 ft with maybe some jaggies)
    40in@4k - 2.6 - 3.2 ft   (110ppi)  (min 2.1 ft with maybe some jaggies, tight FOV)
    

    Its basically a balancing act between getting far enough for FOV, about the right distance for visual accuity, give or take a bit...and not so far away that everything is too small. The bigger the monitor is, the smaller this ideal range is.

    This is all theoretical of course, everyone works differently or has bionic eyes or not...so..there is that, but that's what I have come to finally.

    My final take is that if viewing distance is under 3 feet, I'd rather have 32in monitor at 4k for sharp retina experience. Then you have 2k monitors in the 30-32in range that can go another foot out. Then finally if you want 4k beyond 3 feet, you need 43" monitor but has a very small range...only 3-3.5 feet. Maybe 4ft if you avoid small fonts or 2.5 feet with a bit tight FOV.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  8. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    According to the DPI calculator, your 40" is 110ppi, at just .23 dot pitch. 43" is 102ppi at .25 dot pitch. According to everything I've read and tried, that makes your 40 inch optimal range 2.6-3.2 feet, give or take a few inches.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018
  9. Nick Batzdorf

    Nick Batzdorf Moderator

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    .23, .25 - that's a very small difference.

    "Optimal" is subjective and variable. Watching full-screen videos is very different from typing or editing MIDI.

    I'm usually 18 - 24" away when I'm working, and as I said, I have good eyes - no reading glasses. We're all different, but if we were *that* different we couldn't all work on the same laptops!
     
  10. Dewdman42

    Dewdman42 Senior Member

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    I agree Nick. Nonetheless I rest my case after a lot of mental math.

    I gave ranges..and that is why... If you look at the range for the apple cinema display, your viewing distance is right in the range I gave(allowing for some close-up jaggies). Now go apply that logic to your 40" to see how it works if you like.

    The above assumes eyes are 20/20, either naturally or with corrective glasses. If worse, then you have to be closer then the max viewing distances given.

    Also if you don't ever use small fonts, you could go with larger max distances then those given.
     

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