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I'm wondering if being in front of a very large screen (say 106" instead of your usual dual 22"), with appropriate distance, has any positive impact of your work conditions.

I'm thinking about the case you are at home.

You'll need to move your office into a large depot if you allow that to all your staff :)

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Are you asking if the screen being farther away is better, or if having more real-estate on the screen (i.e. higher resolution) is better? –  Robert Harvey Jan 1 '11 at 23:36
Sounds like a great idea, I'm sure it would be easier on the eyes. Even if it were close somehow, projection+reflection would be better than light emitted from a monitor directly into your eyes. –  Matthew Read Jan 1 '11 at 23:41
I've only seen projection/large mounted screen programming in the context of groups, mostly in teaching situations. Mostly it's an inconvenience to overcome, not an advantage. –  Macneil Jan 2 '11 at 0:20
Heads up: sitting on the sofa is only comfortable for the first couple hours. After that your wrist and neck will be killing you. –  Steve Evers Jan 2 '11 at 4:44
Its a movie fiction. Programming, REAL programming is an activity that takes hours, and hours, and days, and days. Of sustained thought, and discipline, and effort and energy. The garbage in movies of a genius putting together a missile defence system in 3 hours on the sofa is complete bullshit. As Snorfus says, after a few hours your wrist and neck will kill you. You need to use those to type and see. And you need to be able to do this for a long period of time. The ergonomics of the sofa or the bed are completely wrong for this. –  quickly_now Jan 2 '11 at 9:09

3 Answers 3

up vote 14 down vote accepted

No, I don't think it would work.

In my experience, displays that are typically optimized for viewing television and movies (i.e. plasma screens, projectors, even my ~4 year-old 42" LCD screen) typically have very poor fine-detail reproduction. Text in particular, at small font sizes, looks blurry and hard-to-read.

Even the projectors we have in the meeting rooms at work are not that easy on the eyes after a 1 hour meeting. Maybe it's just me, though...

Also, I don't know of many projectors which even support resolutions > HDTV (i.e. 1920x1080) and even those ones are quite expensive (you'll pay around $5,000 here for a decent one, like this one for $7,500). You can buy a high-end, large monitor with higher resolution for the same price or less, in many cases you'd be able to buy two such monitors for the same price.

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Constant refocussing on a large projector screen at some distance away, and any reference materials closer at hand (or even the keyboard if you do not rely on touch-typing) would be likely to cause significant eye strain, I'm not sure what you're suggesting is a teribly good idea.

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Just tried few times with the wall, yes that hurt. However I don't need to look at my keyboard anymore, and I usually don't do anything else than looking at the screen. –  user2567 Jan 2 '11 at 0:36

I helped my wife's organization with a program and putting the app up on the TV was a big help. Most of the code was written before-hand, but was able to test and make slight changes as we went along.

When I'm stuck on a problem or doing some planning, I use a white board, so this may be an alternative.

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