Pros and cons of screen viewing distance ?

ValseTriste

25RPM
Feb 7, 2020
35
21
42
Has anyone else noticed that screen viewing distance greatly affects our perception and therefore immersion REGARDLESS of optimised FOV and cockpit camera settings ?

I've experimented with them extremely close, far away and everything in-between and have come to the conclusion that because a screen is 2D and perspective is naturally compromised that our brains, no matter how immersed in the action, still identify its distance from us. So basically if you put the screen where the dash would be the cockpit sensation is more immersive but the exterior environment is perceptively small in scale whereas if like in many pro simulators the screen is really quite far away the track environment is more immersive but the cockpit is perceptively large in scale.

Personally I find that my screen is best viewed from about 130cm. I think its the perfect compromise because this roughly represents the bonnet of the car, a real world point between the virtual interior and exterior of the vehicle.

So the fact that "technically" a very small screen close to you will have the exact same FOV as a very large screen far away doesn't actually help in terms of immersion. Interesting no ?
 
Last edited:

Andrew_WOT

2000RPM
May 11, 2014
2,805
868
Viewing distance affects field of view. The closer you get, the more of the view is covered by screen, the larger FOV you can set. To get normal proportion of the world you need to use formula that takes into account distance to the screen, monitor size, and produces "natural" fov degree that needs to be set in the title settings.
 
  • Like
Reactions: djm68

rlslmshdy

10RPM
Aug 7, 2019
12
2
43
Has anyone else noticed that screen viewing distance greatly affects our perception and therefore immersion regardless of setup ?

I've come to the conclusion that a screen is best viewed from about 130cm. I think it is because this roughly represents the bonnet of the car, a real world point between the virtual interior and exterior of the vehicle. If a screen is closer you get a better feel for the interior of the car but the scale of the environment is way off and if it is farther you get a better sense of the scale of the environment but the interior seems way off.

All of this is regardless of rig setup, FOV and camera adjustments. So a small screen close to you with the same FOV as a large screen far away is perceptibly different, interesting no ?
130 cm = 51 inches
My screen right now is 19 inches away. I'm thinking of moving it even closer. Can probably get it to 17 inches. 51 inches seems like it would be too far away. But I havent tried it.
 

ValseTriste

25RPM
Feb 7, 2020
35
21
42
In general:

Get the screen as close to you as you can get it. Preferably right behind the steering wheel.
I think this has advantages as I mentioned, for me the cockpit is more immersive but if the screen is large enough try it further away and you might find the scale of the track environment becomes more immersive instead. Up to you which you prefer though :)
 

ValseTriste

25RPM
Feb 7, 2020
35
21
42
130 cm = 51 inches
My screen right now is 19 inches away. I'm thinking of moving it even closer. Can probably get it to 17 inches. 51 inches seems like it would be too far away. But I havent tried it.
It depends on the size of the screen but if its 65" or more give it a try.
 

HoiHman

500RPM
Premium
Dec 7, 2009
880
981
This used to be my setup a very large triple screen setup 46" 55" 46" over 2,5m wide




My distance to the (center)screen was indeed somewhere 130cm.

Now i have a 49" directly behind the steering wheel and i'm sitting much closer to the screen and i feel much more immersed

 
Sep 15, 2016
582
216
32
I’m 33” from my 49” 32:9 screen, I find any closer hurts my eyes especially as I play other games in the same spot.

At most I’d only be able to bring it 27” away anyway as I’m 22” from the top of the wheel (joys of being tall!).
 
  • Like
Reactions: SOLO59

ValseTriste

25RPM
Feb 7, 2020
35
21
42
This used to be my setup a very large triple screen setup 46" 55" 46" over 2,5m wide




My distance to the (center)screen was indeed somewhere 130cm.

Now i have a 49" directly behind the steering wheel and i'm sitting much closer to the screen and i feel much more immersed

Yeah at 130cm with those smaller screens and high up I can imagine it was less immersive but that new screen looks like a beauty ! The only compromise I guess would be the dash in road cars as it would be behind the wheel and so out of view, I understand you have no choice but its great for GT3s etc. The advantage of a bigger screen further back that extends lower down is that you can see more of the dash and instrument display but then that screen is something else...
 

Jens Roos

500RPM
Premium
Feb 23, 2017
744
1,039
47
My setup is triple 27" at about 58cm/23" to center screen. Made an wheel extension so I could place the servo motor behind the monitor, and have eyesight placed around monitor centerline. With triples it gives close to 180 degree of FOV.

_20200215_104330.JPG



Not to sure about have that long distance to the monitor even if big ones, makes things look so big. At least on pictures that is as I never tried it. Even with a big monitor I would assume going sub 800cm/32" would be beneficial, but in the end it’s up to yourself :)
 

SOLO59

500RPM
Premium
Dec 15, 2011
838
659
I’m 33” from my 49” 32:9 screen, I find any closer hurts my eyes especially as I play other games in the same spot.
Say word! I'm same distance as you. I was at 32 inches away from my 49 inch 32:9 monitor, but I moved the monitor back 1 inch to make room for my new bass shaker to mount under the wheel plate (I'll be mounting the shaker today after picking it up from the post office).

Now I'm 33 inches away about 2.7 feet? OP sitting 51 inches away is a bit too far at least for my taste for gaming.

My wheel blocks out the in-game dash displays as it takes up about 35-40% of the bottom half of my screen.
I don't care for the in game dash data displays because I got the sli pro on the wheel (my wheel is high enough so I can see the data on my sli pro without looking away from the road. Looking straight ahead, I can clearly see the sli pro and the road without compromise like F1, lmp etc drivers do)
 
  • Like
Reactions: ValseTriste

HoiHman

500RPM
Premium
Dec 7, 2009
880
981
Yeah at 130cm with those smaller screens and high up I can imagine it was less immersive but that new screen looks like a beauty ! The only compromise I guess would be the dash in road cars as it would be behind the wheel and so out of view, I understand you have no choice but its great for GT3s etc. The advantage of a bigger screen further back that extends lower down is that you can see more of the dash and instrument display but then that screen is something else...
For that i have a click-on dashboard which runs simhub or dashmeter pro.

Getting farsighted with the age sucks. :(
Yes, i'm forced to use my reading glasses when racing on the pancake screen :(
 
Sep 15, 2016
582
216
32
Getting farsighted with the age sucks. :(
Cheeky, I’m not that old!

I’m don’t think it’s just the distance because I can read my phone just fine closer, it’s more when something that large and bright is right in my face I find it hard to focus.

Say word! I'm same distance as you. I was at 32 inches away from my 49 inch 32:9 monitor, but I moved the monitor back 1 inch to make room for my new bass shaker to mount under the wheel plate (I'll be mounting the shaker today after picking it up from the post office).

Now I'm 33 inches away about 2.7 feet? OP sitting 51 inches away is a bit too far at least for my taste for gaming.

My wheel blocks out the in-game dash displays as it takes up about 35-40% of the bottom half of my screen.
I don't care for the in game dash data displays because I got the sli pro on the wheel (my wheel is high enough so I can see the data on my sli pro without looking away from the road. Looking straight ahead, I can clearly see the sli pro and the road without compromise like F1, lmp etc drivers do)
Interesting, I’m not a fan of vibration effects through the wheel, tried some on my AFV2 which can do the same effects but stuff like RPM just felt wrong there.

Thinking about selling my BK Gamer 2 I have on the pedal plate, I don’t think I can really feel it with the throne thumper running on the seat. Will need to do further testing but don’t think it has the juice to be noticeable or if it’s even needed with motion now.

Don’t think my wheel covers that much, maybe around 25%, same as the in game wheel. Sim wise I only use it for AMS/Forza 7/F1 2016 and Dirt 4 because they don’t have VR but once I’m complete I’ll be VR only. Thinking about using my old iPhone 6s for the display when I’m using my AF rim for now though. Doesn’t work in Forza 7 though as I can only have telemetry output for Sim Commander and then forwarded telemetry to the motion!
 

ValseTriste

25RPM
Feb 7, 2020
35
21
42
My setup is triple 27" at about 58cm/23" to center screen. Made an wheel extension so I could place the servo motor behind the monitor, and have eyesight placed around monitor centerline. With triples it gives close to 180 degree of FOV.

View attachment 349613


Not to sure about have that long distance to the monitor even if big ones, makes things look so big. At least on pictures that is as I never tried it. Even with a big monitor I would assume going sub 800cm/32" would be beneficial, but in the end it’s up to yourself :)
Pro simulators on a high budget that don't use VR tend to use a real car chassis on a motion platform with an external screen at a distance and I guess they choose this rather than putting a screen close up in place of the windscreen because it does make a difference to scale of the environment and immersion. They also don't need to see the car interior as its all there. If moneys not an issue why else would they ?

The setup below is unfortunately out of my budget but for the home seems a great compromise of screen viewing distance and FOV (even if the FOV looks a bit high here with that A-pillar where it is). With smaller screens you'll have a compromised FOV and with bigger screens you'll probably get too much distortion:

IAuZXdLm.jpg
 
Last edited:

Jens Roos

500RPM
Premium
Feb 23, 2017
744
1,039
47
With bigger screen you could place them further away to a limit, agree the FOV above do seem a bit off in above picture. Hard to tell but distance maybe around 100-120cm? I would have placed them a bit closer, height is ok, maybe a tad down. Do seem when using triples that it can get to big (for my taste), little point of passing 180 degree in total field of view.

Then space, budget and other stuff can limit your setup options, so anything is better than nothing :thumbsup:
 
  • Like
Reactions: ValseTriste

HoiHman

500RPM
Premium
Dec 7, 2009
880
981
Same here, another reason I mostly stick to VR.
But there's another annoying problem. My monitor is always a little bit too far away, or the text is too small when i race in VR.:(

Often i find myself being strapped in the seat trying to restart a program or adjust a profile without seeing it clear enough, leading to all sorts of trouble :roflmao:
 

Kek700

1000RPM
Premium
Mar 26, 2016
1,534
982
72
VR just needs plug and play like a monitor screen, resolution of a 1440p monitor and I would be a happy man.

some hopes of that. :(
 
Last edited: