Home theater bias lighting

October 19, 2004

grayscale_spectrumOne of the longest held beliefs about home theater is that viewing should be done in a fully darkened room. While a dark room is without a doubt critical in ensuring that stray ambient light doesn’t alter the image adversely, actually adding a certain type of light to the room (bias lighting), may improve the performance of plasmas, CRTs, and rear projection units.

The basic theory behind this idea is that by placing a bias light behind the display device the eye is presented with a more neutral light palate, thereby reducing strain on the iris of the eye. It’s easy to see the potential strain in action by turning off all lights in the room during a movie, and looking at the wall behind you. The bright changes of light intensity in the room is what your eye has to process during viewing. Bias lighting helps maintain a fixed light level in the room, making the apparent changes less intense, while not affecting what’s actually displayed on screen.

Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Commentary