Ugh! How to make this room work? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-20-2010, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
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We're relocating, and my wife fell in love with a house. This is the family room. This is not our furniture or TV.



Unfortunately, the family room has a high mantle over a gas fireplace, and it's over that that the TV is prewired to go. The bundles exit in the alcove to the right of the fireplace.

The problem is, it's a stone fireplace, and they didn't prewire for speakers. I can't see how I can mount speakers to the stone, or place them on the floor, and get the left speaker wires back to the cabinet area elegantly.

I would assume the huge window means I need to trade my 50" plasma for an LCD. I did get my wife to agree (in theory) to the idea of removing the mantle so the TV wouldn't be up so high.

But the speaker issue has me flummoxed. I have heard of wireless surround speakers (and would guess that the fidelity is not very good), but never front speakers.

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Other than this problem, it is a terrific house, I have to admit. The "let's stick a regular TV up there and convert another room to a home theater" idea didn't get too far.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-20-2010, 10:55 PM
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Lousy location for the TV!

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjd3 View Post


Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Other than this problem, it is a terrific house, I have to admit. The "let's stick a regular TV up there and convert another room to a home theater" idea didn't get too far.

I wouldn't let your wife make that decision. Tell her if she really wants the house then you will convert another room to a home theater.
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I can do whatever I want as far as another room, and I'm considering building a separate structure to accommodate a better location and also to house my current home recording studio. But we spend at least a couple of hours weeknights with the TV and she wants to do that in this room, so I'm looking for how to reasonably adapt a 5.1 system without running wires all over the place. This house is in Texas, so there's no underneath access to run wiring from below.
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post #5 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjd3 View Post

Well, I can do whatever I want as far as another room, and I'm considering building a separate structure to accommodate a better location and also to house my current home recording studio. But we spend at least a couple of hours weeknights with the TV and she wants to do that in this room, so I'm looking for how to reasonably adapt a 5.1 system without running wires all over the place. This house is in Texas, so there's no underneath access to run wiring from below.

Replace the mantel with one of these might be your best cleanest option.

http://uk.video.yahoo.com/watch/2057270/6491602

Then focus on your dedicated room.

Just a thought.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 11:44 AM
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This is a beautiful room! Looks like something from of a magazine. However it is not ideal for watching television or movies. When you go to the movies, do you ever sit in the front row??? It is difficult to look up at a screen for an extended amount of time.

I would install built-ins next to the fireplace and put the TV at an appropriate viewing height. As for soundbars, check out the Yamaha YSP-4000. I am extremely happy with it's performance. Buy it from an open-box store and save about 50%. Your windows are beautiful and don't lend themselves well to room darkening shades. So buy your wife a nice piece of art for above the fireplace, buy yourself a nice LCD, and put your plasma TV in a room where you have more control over natural light.

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post #7 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 12:41 PM
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I wonder if the mantle face could be reworked to hide a soundbar for the front 3 channels and then use adhesive flat speaker wire for the surrounds.

http://www.moreinspiration.com/Innovation.aspx?id=178
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 07:23 PM
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Just another example of how builders/decorators have no clue. They care about how it looks, not if it actually useful or functional - and most builders are a good 5-10 years behind the times on wiring and want to charge you ridiculous amounts of money to do what they should be doing in the first place.

I would forgo any 5.1 system, and just do a stereo or soundbar setup, put a decent LCD TV over the fireplace and use the room for casual viewing/sporting events/etc. Do serious viewing in another room that is properly set up.

We have a stereo setup in our living room, and the surround system in the gameroom. She records and watches her shows and even some movies in the living room, but any shows or movies I really care about are recorded and watched on the main system.

Edit:
Just to clarify - I am assuming based on your comments that a 5.1 system will be a problem to implement in that room. In our living room, surround placement is difficult even if my wife could decide on a permanent location for the seating.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-21-2010, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vjd3 View Post

Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Other than this problem, it is a terrific house, I have to admit. The "let's stick a regular TV up there and convert another room to a home theater" idea didn't get too far.

Like the others who commented a Full Front Surround bar is going to have to pull double duty. we have almost the exact same situation. We went with this and it has proven to be terrific!

http://www.polkaudio.com/homeaudio/s....php?s=50-inch

We also burried two Subwoofers on either side of the fireplace in custom cabinets. Very effective and no wires!

When I first was told about it I thought no way....but after having it installed and setup...very impressive. No substitute for our theater but it works.

Post back some pictures and ideas for what you end up doing.

Cheers,

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post #10 of 10 Old 02-22-2010, 03:16 PM
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I would go with the sound bar option:

http://www.definitivetechnology.com/...ythos%20SSA-50

As for cabling though, you said it was pre-wired for the TV, so I guess that they ran video and power. You might get lucky and they ran it through conduit and you can fish more wire through it to hook up the sound bar or something to that effect. You could also get an over sized (width wise) mantel and run the speaker cabling behind/in it to the alcove on the right where all the equipment would be.

Let us know what you decide!
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