Thanks guys for the great ideas!
Scout's staff, I like the idea of the ottomans below to add extra seating for when TV is not in use, but not sure how well that would actually look. May have to toy around w/ that idea.
If I put a long bookshelf or sofa table underneath, then does it still make sense to put the video/audio equipment in the media closet? For that matter, if there is a bookshelf/sofa table like suggested, why mount the TV on the wall instead of putting on the surface below?
I don't want to put the TV on the left of the fireplace simply because it is an open floor plan and you wouldn't be able to see the TV from the kitchen there.