Think you know the cinema sweet spot? Think again, 4K changes everything

Many cinemagoers will swear blind that sitting in the exact middle of the theatre is the "sweet spot" to get the best audio and video response. Some prefer the front row for a more immersive experience. But neither will be the best when watching a film in modern digital cinemas. According to Sony Pictures, 4K presentations change everything.

Chris Cookson, president of technology at Sony Pictures. explained to Pocket-lint that the perfect distance to sit from the screen if you are watching a 4K screening at the cinema is one-and-a-half times the screen height away from the screen itself. This allows you to ensure that the entire screen is in your field of view. That is the optimal distance.

"Typically if you look at a modern stadium theatre the seats that fill up are between one and one-and-a-half times the screen height away from the screen," he said. "The experiences that have been put on film to date, generally, have been designed by the creators, the directors, the cinematographers to be enjoyed within your field of view.

"You should be sitting one-and-a-half screen heights from the screen, if you can."

Cookson was speaking to us during a tour of the Sony Pictures Studios in Los Angeles. "There was a time when cinemas used to be a big screen at the end of a long room. That's not the case now," he added.

If the film isn't being shown in 4K then you need to sit further back to get the best experience. For HD footage it should be three screen heights away and if it's Standard Definition footage you should be seven screen heights away from the screen.

The term "4K" refers to the digital resolution of 4096 x 2160 (higher than that used in Ultra-High Definition television technology) and is the latest big thing in the cinema industry. There are now over 200,000 4K-ready screens globally.

Used in digital cinemas - which now account for over 85 per cent of all cinemas in the US and, in some places such as Norway and Japan, 100 per cent - the technology allows for a much better, crisper experience. Depending on where you sit, of course.



>