Size DOES Matter

By Scott Cornelius

When you are planning an event that requires video projection, how vital is the screen size? The truth is screen size is one of the most important features of a proper event, so the audience can easily see the contact being presented; but also so that the material being covered is highlighted by the video. Choosing the proper screen size can be the difference between a successful live event production and having a big headache to abate.

Rules of Thumb

There are a few maxims to live by when selecting the proper screen size. Here is my top 3:

  1. Screen Size = Front Row: Your first row of seating should be no closer than the width of your screen. For example, if you are using a 9’ X 12’ projection screen, your first row should be no closer than 12’ to that screen (this ensures an optimum viewing experience for your audience).
  2. The 8-6-4 Rule: Your maximum viewing distance is determined by your content and the height of the screen. 8 times the height for general viewing such as videos and large bullet points; 6 times the height for viewing smaller bullet points or slides with multiple images; 4 times the height for viewing detailed graphs and technical information.
  3. 45 Degree is Key: Your viewing angle should not exceed 45 degrees; doing so may invite line of sight issues for your full audience; 45 degrees will assure the set is proper and viewing is clean throughout the room, regardless if you set theater, classroom, half-rounds or full banquet setting.


Your screen size is only half the battle. The other size that matters is your projector size, namely the strength of the lumens that power the device to full strength. Be forewarned… the projectors that power your event presentations in your company boardroom or not the same as audio visual production projectors, and should not be mistaken as the same.


  1. Low-Lumen Projectors (2.5k-4k): These types of projectors are commonly used for breakout sessions and small gatherings, and as long as they are well maintained, are good options for these types of events. Maintenance does include lens cleaning, fan replacement, etc… so make sure your production company is committed to gear housekeeping.
  2. Mid-Level Projectors (4.5k – 7.5k): The higher the lumens, the brighter the projector; this is true. Use these when your screen size is slightly larger than a tripod or cradle screen (6’ X 8’; 7.5’ X 10’) and you need a brighter output to fill the screen size. These types of projectors are also tolerable for data presentations with no video, heavy graphics or live projection (IMAG).
  3. High-Lumen Projectors (8k and up): Usually synonymous with high definition, these projectors are an absolute must for live image projection (IMAG), multiple videos from a playback device, video blends, and to fill screen sizes of 9’ X 12’ and up. There is a cost difference for these, but the end result is worth it.


Image Audiovisuals is a nationwide production partner for live, hybrid, and virtual events. We strive to be a partner in solving problems, reducing your stress, and having some fun along the way!

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