I'm in the process of scouring the threads in this forum and the HT Construction forum. I've also just purchased the HT Book from this site, so I'm looking forward to reading that as well. However, I figured I would post in case people would like to chime in on my particular situation and goals with advice or do's and don'ts.
Here's the situation: We are buying a new home - it's an inventory home, just past the foundation stage. No drywall. It has a dedicated media room in it. I have a few starting questions.
First - I see that many of you are master gurus on home theaters. I am not near that level, nor do I really want a home theater built to the level of the gurus. I'm just past "average joe" and probably in the "enthusiast" camp. I try to research and make good decisions (like choosing Ascend speakers with an Outlaw Subwoofer for my family room, instead of Bose or whatever). Having said that - I don't want to pour 10 grand in the ultimate THX certified theater replica or whatever. I want good quality sound and a nicely set up dedicated media room at a reasonable cost. Does that make sense? Room is 19'-10" x 14'-4".
So - some questions:
1. Is it generally advised to avoid in-wall mounted speakers? The model home has 7.1 all mounted in the wall. (Well - the 7 were, I don't remember where the sub was).
2. I don't think I want to build out a false front wall with perforated screen and hide the front speakers behind the screen, etc. Is that reasonable? For those that don't do behind the screen - do you opt for tower speakers or what? What do you recommend for center speaker placement?
3. For those experienced - do you recommend split-level floor? I've heard if it's all one level, you have great seating options with sectional couch, etc. But split level seems neat for second row behind the first. Thoughts?
4. The builder can add an optional "counter" in the back that you can supposedly sit on a stool and eat at. But I hear that most people (kids, etc) would prefer to just use the cushy seats/couch anyway - so that's not advisable. (And the extra room in the back corner can be used for a wet bar or something).
Those are some initial questions - any and ALL advice is welcome. I do recognize you probably get asked the same questions all the time - so I'm going to continue my research and reading and searching on here too - trying to "help myself" and not be spoon fed. Though --- for those willing - feed me all you want.