Long time lurker, first time poster.
We just moved to a new house that is new construction. We bought the house while it was still being built so were able to make many decisions on finishes, paints, colors, built-ins etc -- but some things were already set such as the cut-out for the TV and the pre-wiring that they'd done for in-ceiling speakers.
The open living room-kitchen-dining area is fantastic, and a big reason why we bought the house, but it is not optimal for HT. For one the TV is placed far too high on the wall above the fireplace (which we'll remedy somewhat when the mount is installed) but these are the things we live with.
I'm struggling a bit trying to figure out speakers. My wife, surprisingly, allowed me to stick my two Polk RT4i bookshelf speakers in the built-ins and even more surprising didn't object to the Polk sub going into the built-ins as well (I had resigned myself to having to save up for an in-floor sub down the road). What I can't figure out is the center channel -- there is no room to put it below the TV not to mention that my wife has already said that she doesn't want any speakers on the mantle. I could perhaps mount a soundbar to the TV but that is neither ideal from a sonic nor aesthetic perspective (I wish Polk would make a center channel that was low profile like a soundbar).
The ceiling is pre-wired for 5 speakers -- left, right, center and two rears. The placement of these speakers is not ideal given where we have the couch, but it is not horrible. I'm wondering...
- Do I use all 5 in a 7.1 set-up with the left and right as the height speakers -- or just use the rears in-ceiling?
- What will the sound be from an in-ceiling center with bookshelf left and right? I have no other options for center so should I just go without and use phantom mode?
- The rears are on the "wrong" side of the ceiling beam -- so will be more above if not slightly in front of the couch rather than behind. With tweeters I can aim, will I be able to overcome this?
- For the in-ceiling speakers, I'm leaning towards the Polk RC80i but the open-box 90-RTs are appealing (though above my budget if I had to buy 5 of these).
Would appreciate any advice from the experts. Thanks!