Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Bloomfield Hills, MI
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I had a similar setup for my family room. It appears that the stones were done relatively recently. Do you have any extra or could identify the manufacturer of them so you can replace or add to them? If so, I'd remove the mantel and install the TV above it. Before you commit to that, take a thermometer in the area where the TV will go and fire up the fireplace. Make sure it doesn't get too hot for a tv.
If you commit to a TV there and can get some replacement stones, you can flank either side of the fireplace with built-in bookcases w/ lower cabinets and run your AVR,Cable, etc. there and just have the one HDMI cord to run to the TV. You'll have to go ceiling inwall for center speaker unless you run a thin bar center made for your TV directly below and attached to it.
Gear: Visio 70" M701d-A3R LED TV | Onkyo TX-SR606 | Sony BDPS5100 (blu ray) | SONY PS3 | Polk 265-RT (L/R) | Polk 255C-RT (C) | Polk RC65i (L/R rear Surround) | Polk RC80i (L/R Surround) | SVS PB-2000 (Subwoofer)