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post #1 of 47 Old 05-26-2012, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Help! As you can see from my old tube TV, I'm in dire needs of a tech refresh! I might be the last holdout to purchase a flat screen TV, but the time has finally come to join the 21st century.

The house I bought last year is an open floor plan and was not designed for AV. The cable drop was coming out of the floor in the middle of the room! I'm having trouble making decisions with all the constraints. I'd like to avoid the popular over-the-fireplace location, but I don't know how this will work given my furniture and upright wall piano (not shown in photo above).

The room is approx 16'x15'. It gets lots of south-facing sunlight and you can see I've already invested in some insulated curtains to block light and heat. Budget is about $4k for TV, receiver, and speakers. After this project is done I'm building a deck outside and want to run a second stereo zone from the same receiver.

I just taught myself some basic Sketchup to model pre-construction ideas for SWMBO. See below for some mockups. She's not diggin' putting up walls and breaking the open floor plan model, so I need some good backup material if that's the best option!! I'm a moderate DIY'er.

Layout options that I see:
1) Build a 4.5' half wall to mount the TV.
2) Over-the-fireplace installation.
3) Use an angled entertainment center in TV's current location, possibly a built-in.
4) Are there more options??

The surround sound setup is of course driving decisions... I'm dumbfounded. Also, I have no idea where to put my electronics gear.

Excited to hear any suggestions!! Ready to purchase elex now!

(TV modeled below is a Panasonic 55" GT50.)

Thanks,
Steve

Option 1, half wall:


Option 2, over-the-fireplace:


Sketchup file: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/18411817/Liv...%20Opt%202.skp
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post #2 of 47 Old 05-26-2012, 10:12 PM
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I think the 1/2 wall will place the tv too low and you will constantly strain to look down. IMO over the fireplace is the best solution with a racks here the current tv is. Sink the speakers in or on hang on the wall. The main issue is that cable outlet. Is there a way to run it into the wall? Or use a wireless box from a different room. But I still think over the fireplace is the best place.
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post #3 of 47 Old 05-27-2012, 05:56 AM
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Good morning, Another option would be to place an entertainment stand with a new flat screen display on the window wall. You just would need to change the drapes to black out drapes for day time viewing. Speakers would be placed in front of each window.

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post #4 of 47 Old 05-27-2012, 02:59 PM
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I would go over the fireplace, I know you would like to avoid that if possible but for a viewing standpoint that is the best available.
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post #5 of 47 Old 05-27-2012, 03:51 PM
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I'd go with the 1/2 wall.

It would take care of your insanely placed coax, there in the floor. I've got my tv mounted on the wall, bottom of tv is at 29.5" off the floor, with the top being 56" up from the floor. Measure the height of your current tv. I'm guessing that the tv stand you're currently using is somewhere around 50" tall. You've got a step up to your dining room. This will help make the 1/2 wall not feel quite as tall in the dining room. You could easily go up a few inches if you need to in the family room side to help with screen height.

Also, you're eyes are probably used to looking down low at a screen. Putting it over the fireplace will make for a huge adjustment.
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post #6 of 47 Old 05-28-2012, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the replies! I pulled the trigger and purchased a Panasonic TC-P60GT50. Arrives next week... can't wait!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank L01 View Post

I think the 1/2 wall will place the tv too low and you will constantly strain to look down. IMO over the fireplace is the best solution with a racks here the current tv is. Sink the speakers in or on hang on the wall. The main issue is that cable outlet. Is there a way to run it into the wall? Or use a wireless box from a different room. But I still think over the fireplace is the best place.

Yes, I have full joist access under the drop floor since the basement is unfinished. My perimeter walls are very well insulated, though, so that's where my cabling problems will be. I'm afraid what's behind the wall.

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Originally Posted by hometheatergeek View Post

Good morning, Another option would be to place an entertainment stand with a new flat screen display on the window wall. You just would need to change the drapes to black out drapes for day time viewing. Speakers would be placed in front of each window.

Yeah, I was toying with the window location, too. I'd rather not have speaker stands though due to my wild toddler boys. After the TV arrives I'm going to try out that location. The installed curtains already block 90% of light. I can only see the window outline on sunny days.

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Originally Posted by skiman24 View Post

I would go over the fireplace, I know you would like to avoid that if possible but for a viewing standpoint that is the best available.

The big positive thing about the fireplace location is everyone on my first floor could see the TV. The kitchen is on the tile floor area and a direct shot to it. On paper the furniture works best in that configuration, too. Otherwise I'll need to take up more corner/wall space, to which I'm limited- a 16x15 drop-floor room is not that big for lots of furniture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Todd Lee View Post

I'd go with the 1/2 wall.

It would take care of your insanely placed coax, there in the floor. I've got my tv mounted on the wall, bottom of tv is at 29.5" off the floor, with the top being 56" up from the floor. Measure the height of your current tv. I'm guessing that the tv stand you're currently using is somewhere around 50" tall. You've got a step up to your dining room. This will help make the 1/2 wall not feel quite as tall in the dining room. You could easily go up a few inches if you need to in the family room side to help with screen height.

Also, you're eyes are probably used to looking down low at a screen. Putting it over the fireplace will make for a huge adjustment.

I figured ~4.5' so I'd just have to use one piece of drywall to add to the 7" height there already. This isn't the place to be lazy though! I hear you about the TV and getting used to a specific height. I put a piece of cardboard over the fireplace to simulate a TV... it just doesn't feel right!


While I wait for the TV to arrive I'm going to move around the furniture and see what actually feels best for the family and how the traffic flow works.
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post #7 of 47 Old 06-01-2012, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Quick update: I spend the week with a different living room configuration so the family could test it out.

First, I tried to simulate option 1 by using a bed sheet held up by twine to represent the half wall. The fabric color was a real close match to the paint color, but it got taken down on me before I had the chance to take a picture. While the TV felt closer and seating more intimate, everything felt pretty cramped and crowded.

With the apparently "ghetto wall" removed, I rotated the furniture around 90° and tacked cardboard to the wall representing the TV. I still have my reservations about the TV height, but this furniture configuration really works the best for the space. The room seems so much bigger.

We're going with option 2 - over the fireplace.

Can't wait till Monday's TV shipment arrives! I'm as anxious as a kid in a candy shop.

Here's a shot:
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post #8 of 47 Old 06-01-2012, 04:09 PM
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Clearly not a room designed for AV.

I'd say your only real option is option 2, above the fireplace.

Be sure to leave enough space between tv and the top of the fireplace for the center channel. And with the open floor plan I'd definitely go with an articulating mount that can be tilted down for living room viewing and turned for easier kitchen viewing. Make sure you analyze, in detail, the tilting mechanisms of the mount as some are a pain to adjust with levers and wingnuts.

As far as I can tell you're going to want/need? ceiling surrounds since I don't see walls to the sides of the listening position. You'll get good distance rather than putting speakers behind on the window wall. Too many people put surrounds right next to their ears. I can never imagine how lost the surrounds effects must feel.
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post #9 of 47 Old 06-01-2012, 05:30 PM
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I was trapped into over the fireplace due to less possibilities than you. Having the display so it can be seen from my dining room and kitchen is a huge plus with zone2 speakers in those areas. GFAF forced in-ceiling speakers with a downfiring sub behind the zig-zag chair. You do get used to the display being high but I suggest getting it as low as possible.

Your fireplace is screaming for a mantle and that would help take the focus off the display; flanking bookshelves would help even more. Plasma helps with the viewing angle too. There is actually a false wall in front of where my display is mounted...

here is my before and after:




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post #10 of 47 Old 06-03-2012, 06:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dctrombly View Post

Be sure to leave enough space between tv and the top of the fireplace for the center channel. And with the open floor plan I'd definitely go with an articulating mount that can be tilted down for living room viewing and turned for easier kitchen viewing. Make sure you analyze, in detail, the tilting mechanisms of the mount as some are a pain to adjust with levers and wingnuts.

As far as I can tell you're going to want/need? ceiling surrounds since I don't see walls to the sides of the listening position. You'll get good distance rather than putting speakers behind on the window wall. Too many people put surrounds right next to their ears. I can never imagine how lost the surrounds effects must feel.


Thanks for the advice on the TV mounts. I'm definitely going to get a tilt/swivel mount, but I didn't even think about ease of adjusting them on the fly.


I'm a little concerned now at what has to go between the TV and fireplace: a center channel speaker, my Xbox Kinect, and any wood used to build out a mantle. (I was going to get a Skype TV camera, too, but I suppose I can add that to the top of the TV.) I definitely need to be careful at what height I affix the TV.

Can an Xbox Kinect camera coexist with a center speaker?


For the rear speakers: I agree, I think my only option are in-ceiling. With the column supports, I think I can only set up the speakers at 90° off listening position; at 110° the surround left channel would be blocked by the column at some sitting locations.


Can I get a 7.1 system or is that just out of the question so I'm stuck with 5.1? My kitchen is behind the listening position so I'm concerned that open area will affect sound negatively.


The red speakers here are mounted flush with the ceiling, about 5' off center listening position:

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post #11 of 47 Old 06-03-2012, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ7 View Post

I was trapped into over the fireplace due to less possibilities than you. Having the display so it can be seen from my dining room and kitchen is a huge plus with zone2 speakers in those areas. GFAF forced in-ceiling speakers with a downfiring sub behind the zig-zag chair. You do get used to the display being high but I suggest getting it as low as possible.

Your fireplace is screaming for a mantle and that would help take the focus off the display; flanking bookshelves would help even more. Plasma helps with the viewing angle too. There is actually a false wall in front of where my display is mounted...

here is my before and after:
...


WOW TJ7- that's a transformation! I only realized that was the same room after I read your post a few times- I thought it was two different places. Great work on the fireplace surround tile.


I totally agree with needing a beefed up mantle. The granite there is kinda blah anyway. I guess I have more designing to do! Time to rent a fireplace design book from the library!


What do you put in the cabinets? AV equipment? I'd want that.


Where are your front left/center/right speakers? EDIT: I just saw they're in-ceiling speakers. I've never heard front ceiling speakers- what's the verdict on that?


Although your shelving looks really good I'm not sure it would work for me. More nicknacks for the ::ahem:: maid to dust and more target practice for kids to knock down! I have to figure something out like that, though. You reclaimed so much space by removing the brick facia.


What minimum depth should a mantle have? I'm concerned about heat from the fireplace that I'd want to deflect as well as consider the TV mount depth and center channel speaker depth. The mantle should come out the farthest distance from the wall regardless, right?
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post #12 of 47 Old 06-04-2012, 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivatech View Post


Thanks for the advice on the TV mounts. I'm definitely going to get a tilt/swivel mount, but I didn't even think about ease of adjusting them on the fly.

I'm a little concerned now at what has to go between the TV and fireplace: a center channel speaker, my Xbox Kinect, and any wood used to build out a mantle. (I was going to get a Skype TV camera, too, but I suppose I can add that to the top of the TV.) I definitely need to be careful at what height I affix the TV.

Can an Xbox Kinect camera coexist with a center speaker?

For the rear speakers: I agree, I think my only option are in-ceiling. With the column supports, I think I can only set up the speakers at 90° off listening position; at 110° the surround left channel would be blocked by the column at some sitting locations.

Can I get a 7.1 system or is that just out of the question so I'm stuck with 5.1? My kitchen is behind the listening position so I'm concerned that open area will affect sound negatively.

The red speakers here are mounted flush with the ceiling, about 5' off center listening position:

I don't see why you couldn't have the kinect camera and speaker together. Are you building a mantle to set it on 'cause I don't see one?

90° for surrounds is fine. I have mine at 90°, but on side walls, and they work really well.

Triad (my speaker brand of choice) has in ceiling speakers that are angled.

http://triadspeakers.com/products/icb8sat.html

This satellite for example would work well for rear surrounds in 7.1. You can find ceiling mounts for small bookshelves though, but something like this would certainly help keep the aesthetics of the room.
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post #13 of 47 Old 06-04-2012, 04:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivatech View Post

WOW TJ7- that's a transformation! I only realized that was the same room after I read your post a few times- I thought it was two different places. Great work on the fireplace surround tile.


I totally agree with needing a beefed up mantle. The granite there is kinda blah anyway. I guess I have more designing to do! Time to rent a fireplace design book from the library!


What do you put in the cabinets? AV equipment? I'd want that.


Where are your front left/center/right speakers? EDIT: I just saw they're in-ceiling speakers. I've never heard front ceiling speakers- what's the verdict on that?


Although your shelving looks really good I'm not sure it would work for me. More nicknacks for the ::ahem:: maid to dust and more target practice for kids to knock down! I have to figure something out like that, though. You reclaimed so much space by removing the brick facia.


What minimum depth should a mantle have? I'm concerned about heat from the fireplace that I'd want to deflect as well as consider the TV mount depth and center channel speaker depth. The mantle should come out the farthest distance from the wall regardless, right?

We are happy with the transformation too; thanx. The in-ceiling speakers I have are 8" speakercraft aim series. I think they sound great but then again, I have not heard other speakers in this room. The general rule is to avoid in-ceiling front stage if you can. If I had to do it again I would install Triads or Def-Tech rcs-ll's. I was not given an option so in-ceilings were a must but using them does eliminate what to do with the center channel. If you end up using bookshelf speakers or the like then put the center on top of the display so it doesnt compete with the Kinect camera and you will be able to keep the display as low as possible.

The cabinets are too shallow for components but just deep enough to hold an Xbox along with games, cameras, binoculars, CDs, and movie disks. All my gear is in a hallway cutout behind where I was standing to take those pics. My Kinect camera sits on the mantel and I installed cabling in the wall for its connections.

My mantle is 9" deep and it is more than enough to deflect any heat from the fireplace; and I get the fire crankin' too. There are codes to follow here in MA regarding the proximity of combustible materials from a fireplace so be sure to check your locale. If you look at my shelving, it holds lots of useless things but it gives the room balance.

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post #14 of 47 Old 06-07-2012, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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The Panasonic TC-P60GT50 finally got here... looovin it! I'm glad we upgraded to 60" when we were initially looking at 55". Hmm should have gone to 65".....rolleyes.gif

I initially stayed home from work to get my TV delivery from Amazon's CEVA shipper, but they never showed up! Amazon credited me $100 for the mess up. biggrin.gif

Just wanted to post a few pics since I'm proud of my first flat screen. I played some LOTR and Kung-Fu Panda Blu-Rays. Awesomeness. It's obviously not mounted yet and on a temporary table.

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post #15 of 47 Old 06-07-2012, 04:59 AM
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'must be nice with a 60" I have a 50 but the space can fit a 60. My Lady says "no way".

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post #16 of 47 Old 06-07-2012, 05:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJ7 View Post

'must be nice with a 60" I have a 50 but the space can fit a 60. My Lady says "no way".

Your TV surround looks good with a bit of relief area showing around the TV. In my opinion, 50" looks like a good fit from the photos you posted. BUT, since your seating is closer than mine, a 60" would definitely get you more of a "big screen" theater effect! cool.gif
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post #17 of 47 Old 06-13-2012, 08:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dctrombly View Post

I don't see why you couldn't have the kinect camera and speaker together. Are you building a mantle to set it on 'cause I don't see one?

90° for surrounds is fine. I have mine at 90°, but on side walls, and they work really well.

Triad (my speaker brand of choice) has in ceiling speakers that are angled.

http://triadspeakers.com/products/icb8sat.html

This satellite for example would work well for rear surrounds in 7.1. You can find ceiling mounts for small bookshelves though, but something like this would certainly help keep the aesthetics of the room.

Yes, I'm planning on building a mantle and some cabinetry on the sides to even it out. Not sure if I'm going to do it all myself yet.

I've been really mulling over the back speakers for 7.1. I have a lot of recessed lighting and a kitchenette light behind the listening position- there's a lot going on back there so I'm hesitant about adding more to the ceiling. I also fear the support columns would block sound/create multipath to secondary listening positions. Speaker stands are a no-go. If I separated them 60°, that would get in the way of lots of ceiling stuff.

Here's a view from the TV to the primary listening position and into the kitchen:

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post #18 of 47 Old 06-13-2012, 08:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivatech View Post

The red speakers here are mounted flush with the ceiling, about 5' off center listening position:

296


I have some questions on rear surround ceiling placement- any advice? I couldn't find any official speaker set up specifications from THX or Dolby that address my concerns.

  • Is there any guidance for the horizontal distance from listening position? For example is 5' adequate? I only see that vertical distance should be "just above" (Dolby) or at least 2' higher (THX).
  • Can I position the surround right up against the right wall? How far away should the surround right speaker be from the right wall?
  • For ceiling surrounds, should they be aimed at the listening position or is down-firing more appropriate based on the widely varying seating positions in my living room?
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post #19 of 47 Old 06-22-2012, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Alright, well, this is the latest design. With the listening position about 16.5' feet from the wall, a minimum 22° off center barely allows the speakers to fit in the space. I'm thinking about some built-in cabinets next to the fireplace on both sides. Designing that next. I'm thinking I'm going to build a false corner wall on the right to even out the room (red color).

The top of the TV is just less than 15° height from the listening position. Everything theoretically fits per THX/Dolby specs. I will have to install the LCR speaker into the mantel to make it fit though. Has anybody done that? I've done a lot of searching- can't find any examples.

Any thoughts? Are the ceiling surrounds aimed at the listening position or straight down?


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post #20 of 47 Old 07-14-2012, 08:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been pretty busy the past few weeks but I had some free time today to update the design. I added wood paneling behind the TV in order to break up the front stage and add symmetry. The new cabinets are approx 22" deep and the doors will be wide enough to each support a 19" standard rack mount.

As you can see in post #14, my set top box is currently off to the lower left. I'm constantly frustrated with my infrared remote controllers having to point them in that low, off-center location. Not sure yet how to fix that issue when I build the cabinets. Perhaps an RF remote solution? Otherwise I may have to design in an open shelf area in the cabinets so electronics gear is a little easier to aim without thinking about it every time.


I made a few design decisions on the speakers:

- Killed off the in-wall LR speakers from my last post. In-walls can't be properly aimed at the listening position so they would have had to been placed closer to the TV to get the proper effect. I think that would cause too much clutter on the wall with the sconce lighting. Plus, with the closer positioning I wouldn't meet Dolby's minimum 22° positional guidance for 5.1 systems.

- I really wanted in-ceilings to clean up the front stage; however, they may be crossed off for now as well. (They're still definitely used for surround speakers, though.) Even with Triad's InCeiling Bronze 8 LCR angled speaker design, the 30° angle would not be shallow enough to directly reach my 16' listening position, never mind trying to listen far back in the kitchen. I can't reposition the front in-ceilings closer to the couches due to my ceiling fan so they would have to be installed close to the front wall. Maybe they'll work for LR speakers, but I don't want it for the center channel.

- Bookshelf speakers are now being considered for LR speakers. I think they look pretty clean on top of the cabinets anyway. I'm not sure how they would look mounted directly to the wall and "floating"- again I don't want to clutter it up.


Researching the Internets I could not find solutions for a center channel speaker, Kinect sensor, and flat screen TV all mounted above a fireplace. I really don't see how I can keep the TV height within 15° without custom mounting a center speaker into the mantle frieze or placing it over the TV and 8' off the ground. I don't think it looks too bad in the frieze. What do you think? Again, I couldn't find any examples of anyone ever doing this before.


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post #21 of 47 Old 07-17-2012, 10:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Newest design... I'm getting someplace eventually!

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post #22 of 47 Old 07-18-2012, 09:57 PM - Thread Starter
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confused.gif

So I'm thoroughly stumped... I can use some help! I came up with the following three positions for the front speakers. What's the best performing and/or best looking setup for the room?


1) ear-level LR bookshelf speakers with center channel cabinet speaker



2) matching LCR monitors suspended from ceiling or wall.



3) in-ceiling LCR

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post #23 of 47 Old 07-31-2012, 02:57 PM
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confused.gif
So I'm thoroughly stumped... I can use some help! I came up with the following three positions for the front speakers. What's the best performing and/or best looking setup for the room?
1) ear-level LR bookshelf speakers with center channel cabinet speaker

2) matching LCR monitors suspended from ceiling or wall.

3) in-ceiling LCR

I don't know where to start. First of all, your left and right speakers are spread out too far, and sounds won't correspond with action on the screen. You'll also get some nasty first reflections. The bookshelf versions (InRoom Bronze LCR, for instance) will work fine. If budget allows, Silver Monitors would be nice high-end compact solutions. They're a couple of grand each, though, but wow. And I would not try to fire speakers through a ceiling fan, especially if it's on. Have you every heard a Hammond B3 playing through a Leslie 122?? To cover the long room into the kitchen, I'd go the bookshelf route. Surrounds can be in the ceiling, and symmetrical to the seating area, but don't have the right one against the wall. It'll be "chesty" sounding due to gain in the bass because of the boundary.

Paul Scarpelli
aka TRIAD DUDE

It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.

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post #24 of 47 Old 08-20-2012, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli View Post

I don't know where to start. First of all, your left and right speakers are spread out too far, and sounds won't correspond with action on the screen. You'll also get some nasty first reflections. The bookshelf versions (InRoom Bronze LCR, for instance) will work fine. If budget allows, Silver Monitors would be nice high-end compact solutions. They're a couple of grand each, though, but wow. And I would not try to fire speakers through a ceiling fan, especially if it's on. Have you every heard a Hammond B3 playing through a Leslie 122?? To cover the long room into the kitchen, I'd go the bookshelf route. Surrounds can be in the ceiling, and symmetrical to the seating area, but don't have the right one against the wall. It'll be "chesty" sounding due to gain in the bass because of the boundary.

Thanks for responding, Paul!!

Is there a limit as to how far LR speakers should be apart? THX/Dobly specify LR positions 22° to 30° off center. That's about 6.5' off center when there's a 16' listening distance. Does it matter that they don't follow specs if they're placed closer? confused.gif

Agreed- I'm not going to go the ceiling route for LCR. I was afraid of the fan interference, too. BTW, one of Triad's dealers recommended that setup.
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post #25 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm back! Latest design posted! I might be moving next year so I've downsized my dreams. I was quoted about $4700-$6500 for the custom cabinets... not gonna do that. This has been quite a vision quest, err, audio quest! So much learning, so much time gone...

I'm likely going for Klipsch KL-7800-THX as LCRs in custom boxes aimed at the LP; KL-7502-THX as LR surrounds.

In the meantime my new TV has suffered some uneven phosphor wear and broken my heart. Stay away from plasmas for a daily driver... the PQ is amazing, but there's always that risk of something going terribly wrong.



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post #26 of 47 Old 10-15-2012, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
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This was my attempt at mapping out my room to Dolby specifications for speaker placement. I'm still debating installing a pair of back surrounds, still reading up on those.

No idea how far back to install rear surrounds, their location (Dolby's 150° vs THX 180° specs), whether to install additional front heights instead, and whether to aim them to the LP or forward...

So many questions so I'll just sit and wait and read. tongue.gif

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post #27 of 47 Old 10-26-2012, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I bought some cheap $10/pr speaker mounts at Walmart to test out having my current speakers placed high and aimed low.

It sounds kinda OK. Not sure if I can keep it that way- very odd having center up so high. Granted my speakers suck so better quality would be different. Plus the center is pretty far by distance- about 20 ft away. Bly-ray sounded good, but TV did not.

Ran into two issues trying to hang my TV:
  • My wall studs are not centered over the fireplace. And they're not 16" o.c. So I couldn't use the Monoprice articulating wall mount. I had to buy a diff mount and chose a low profile tilt Sanus model from Amazon.
  • i got the mount installed and I found out the TV freight CEVA installer stripped my screws attaching the TV base!!! Can't get the base off to mount the TV. I contacted Amazon to get resolution before I use a screw extractor.

Standby!
y3u3ume3.jpg
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post #28 of 47 Old 11-09-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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  • i got the mount installed and I found out the TV freight CEVA installer stripped my screws attaching the TV base!!! Can't get the base off to mount the TV. I contacted Amazon to get resolution before I use a screw extractor.

Amazon actually agreed to replace the TV outright for free! The replacement also addressed my uneven phoshor wear on the TV without having to even bring that up. I was ecstatic! biggrin.gif

The TV was delivered last week and it was temporarily installed over the fireplace for acceptance testing. Zero WAF with the wires showing and speakers off center. rolleyes.gif




Pros:
  • While the audio height is noticeable, it's not bad when sitting at the LP and they tend to fill the room well. Not great sounding, but it's not bad. However, the current speaker positions do not make me want to invest in an expensive set; maybe better quality speakers would make it more enjoyable but they must be modestly priced. After hearing the speakers high and low, I would prefer a 9-channel setup with the LCR speakers low and using LR height speakers to aid filling the room.
  • The living room area seems really large now without furniture in front of the fireplace. Lots of room for kids to play.
  • I really enjoy not worrying about kids knocking over the TV. Mounting the TV with the VESA attachments vice the included stand calms my nerves when kids are playing in the living room. Plus if a toy gets thrown, it's less likely to hit the screen up in the air.
  • When the kids walk in front of the TV I can still see it well. No more constant yelling, "down in front" or "please move away"!
  • I can see the fireplace again. Not that we really watch it anyway, but it's aesthetically pleasing to see the entire fireplace and surround.
  • While sitting reclined in the LP with my legs outstretched and even with a laptop open on lap-stand, I can easily see the TV. No more having to shift around or keeping legs down to block the TV.
  • No neck strains when sitting in the LP and looking up. The TV is at an approx 10° angle and just fine.

Cons:
  • Overall, I'm not getting the minimal theater experience I originally desired. This is my main TV and it feels like more of a background TV. I would be totally fine with that if I had a dedicated theater in my house, but I don't. It's disappointing.
  • When sitting in the middle of the room for Xbox or just lounging on the floor, I'm not getting accurate audio as I was in the LP: it sounds bad. If I had the speakers at sitting ear level or the center channel below the TV, this would not happen.
  • The TV appears small and really far away. Just moving it 2 feet back and 2 feet up from where it was created an immediate exponential size decrease. The experience wasn't that immersive to begin with, but now my 60" seems like a 42". frown.gif
  • I feel the TV was too expensive for me to view it so far away. The PQ is still outstanding, but not as outstanding if it was 8' away. I could have used a much cheaper TV in this application.
  • With the TV far away, I need to put a chair in the middle of the room to play Xbox games like Call of Duty to see enough detail. At this distance, my neck hurts because the viewing angle is approximately 30°. My neck hurting me is a big issue. I'm not sure how so many people can sit so close to a high TV.
  • The size of the TV is too big for the bare fireplace. It would look much better if it was installed over a mantle, but that would raise the TV height even more. When I paint the wall I already need to raise the TV a few inches- it already needs more of a gap from the fireplace surround trim.

Summary:
  • I'm glad I tested out all the positions. I'm much more informed.
  • I wish my "getting informed" did not take so long. Neither does my wife! There were a few technical obstacles and time obstacles, but sometimes it worked out in my favor (like the TV defects).
  • SWMBO likes the above-the-fireplace location because she's not as picky as my Con list above and it's taken so long to get to this point; HOWEVER, she has also approved a solution that blocks the fireplace entirely! There is a lot of potential in this:
    • Speakers can be ear-level and not a custom application.
    • TV is not so far away.
    • TV can be VESA-mounted to a hutch.
    • Less construction hiding wires.

If I would have had permission originally to block the fireplace I would have bought a 82" Mitsubishi DLP to really fill the room for about the same price. mad.gif

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post #29 of 47 Old 11-11-2012, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
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OK... I think this is the last design iteration. With approval to block the fireplace semi-permanently, I drew up the plans below.

This is an all-wood mashup between Ikea Bestå and Baker Road Furniture. I saw the Baker Road on-display at The Big Screen Store. The cabinet and overhead are designed to Ikea Bestå specifications so they fit standard accessories, drawers, and glass- this will really make portions of my design less expensive and future proof. The Ikea Bestå standard depth is 15" and will not support most electronics; the main difference in my design is I made the overall depth approx 22" and will add electronics ventilation in the back behind the false mounting wall. Regardless of Ikea furniture not fitting or properly cooling electronics, I like the Ikea design. I don't like their shoddy pressboard, though. It just doesn't hold up like real wood. Their currently available color palette sucks too IMO.

While at The Big Screen Store we looked at the Mitsubishi DLPs- which we loved- but at this point we're stuck with the Panasonic 60" plasma. I just don't have any other place to put the plasma in my house and can't return it at this point. It's too big for placement in my bedroom or office.

I'm officially reserving a portion of my unfinished basement for a proper home theater. I've put too much time into this to not do more now. smile.gif


My current speakers of choice that modeled below are Atlantic Technology 6200e-LR with matching pedestals. There's an AT 6200e-C behind the acoustically transparent fabric in the middle cabinet. The 21.5" center just fits in a standard Ikea Bestå cabinet width (22 3/16").

I'm going to attempt building the furniture myself. This will be my first attempt at furniture. eek.gif

I'm not sure how to build a false mounting wall suitable for an 85-lb TV. Any suggestions would be appreciated!! confused.gif





In case anyone's interested, here's a detailed drawing of Ikea Bestå 25" furniture, with custom 19.5" depth. I spent too much time evaluating and measuring the furniture out at Ikea. Hope this helps someone else's plans. biggrin.gif

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post #30 of 47 Old 04-05-2013, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Decisions and purchases have been made! I was really looking towards installing some in-wall Triads but after inspecting my stud locations, they would not support the Triad size. I'm not interested in major demolition and reframing so they were eliminated.

I somehow discovered the Definitive Technology in-wall series and they'll support my current wall and ceiling cavities.

Purchases made yesterday:
  • 3x Definitive Technology UIW RLS III @ Magnolia Design Studio
  • 2x Definitive Technology UIW RSS III @ Magnolia Design Studio
  • Pioneer SC-1522-K @ Costco, $599 deal!
  • Klipsch RW-12D @ Newegg, $279 deal!

The center channel RLS III will be installed horizontally into a custom mantel I'll be building. With it's 6" width, it will not significantly increase the currently height of my TV. After researching my Heat & Glo fireplace I found out I can reduce the combustible material setback from the current 7" to a minimum 4" setback. Those extra 3" mean my TV is that much lower on the wall.

I'm going to DIY a sub eventually, but the Klipsch RW-12D will hold off my immediate needs for LFE.

Looking into rear surrounds now for 7.1...
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