Sony HTST7 out, Samsung HWK950 in..help with channels of sound, setup and more.. - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 04:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Sony HTST7 out, Samsung HWK950 in..help with channels of sound, setup and more..

Hey guys. I'm a long-time spectator and first time poster, so please forgive me for breaking any kind of forum etiquette I'm not immediately aware of. I have a ton of respect and admiration for the knowledge here.

I have a number of questions I would love to get some informed help on (I made the mistake of trying to wade through a conversation with 'tech' support using a flow chart). So first, the context.

In my living room I am currently running a Samsung QLED Q7C television (which uses the Samsung One Connect box)... Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, Sony Playstation 3, Sony Playstation 4, PS4 VR and an HD Cable receiver (not a set-top, just a small receiver thing).

Up until I got the TV, I ran the entire thing this way..
Consoles ---> HDMI Switcher ----> HTST7 sound bar ----> TV (or One Connect box)

This worked for a long time, able to generate sound from all channels on all consoles.
Then I decided to buy a PS4 Pro and a new TV and...well advancement can be painful sometimes.

I realized right away that I needed a new HDMI switcher that would be able to pass through HDR, 4K and 60hz. For reference here, I purchased a 5x1 switcher and a 1x2 splitter, both by Awakelion through Amazon.

(Both are v2, referring to their latest standards).

I thought that this would be the end of my upgrading run, but I was wrong. After some more fiddling around, I got traced the following issues back to the sound bar (HTST7), or at the least, the communication between the sound bar and the Samsung One Connect.

<<Quick side-note here..for those that aren't aware, the PS4's VR processing unit can NOT pass through an HDR or 4K signal. Because of this, in order for the PS4 Pro to reach max output, the VR processing unit needs to be unplugged. This is why the new 1x2 splitter was for, to create a point to disconnect the VR easiest. As long as it is not plugged into the splitter at the same time, the PS4 Pro could output 4K/HDR.>>

So here were the two setups, and their individual issues..

1) Consoles -----> Switcher
PS4 Pro -----> Splitter Out 1-----> VR PU ----> Switcher
PS4 Pro -----> Splitter Out 2 -----> Switcher (for HDR and 4K gaming)

Switcher Out ----> Sony HTST7 -----> Samsung OneConnect (Q7C TV)

This mimicked my earlier setup, and at first I thought it was good to go. But it turns out that the sound bar could not pass through the PS4's HDR or 4K signals, even without the VR PU plugged in. The manual says it can do 4K at 24mhz, but idk. Anyway, this setup nearly worked, were I able to get the PS4 Pro's full resolution.


2) Same, up to here:

Switcher Out ----> Samsung OneConnect (Q7C TV)
OneConnect ARC -----> HTST7 ARC


Here I hoped that ARC would be the magic bullet. With the OneConnect box being able to correctly display the PS4 Pro's signal, I claimed victory. Until I tested the other consoles. The Switch, Wii U and PS3 were all missing channels of audio through the HTST7. This occurred through both digital optical and HDMI ARC. I tested speaker channels using Disney blurays that include the home theater set-up. Through the original (1) configuration, they held all channels no problem. But here (2) they would only send out Left and Right channels....not even center or sub. Some games played this way were missing their dialogue tracks altogether.

So the video problem solved, but now had an audio problem with all other consoles. I changed HDMI cords, ordered new ones, changed all possible settings within the TV, the consoles themselves and the sound bar.

(I recognize a solution may have been to connect the PS4 directly into the OneConnect and run the other consoles/switcher through the sound bar and then to the OneConnect, but I am trying to create a one-stop shop with regard to having to change sources. I have a lot of tech-challenged guests.


So, as I said before, my conclusion was that for whatever reason, the HTST7 and the OneConnect were not hooking up somewhere. Recognizing that the HTST7 is an aging device, I decided to sell it. Whether I fix this issue or not, upgrading will still be good.


If you're still with me, thanks a ton for hanging through the context Now where I am currently...

I spent the weekend bouncing between Sony HTST5000, Samsung HKW950 and Sony HTST9. The latter two were much more affordable, and with the HKW950's support of Atmos, I pulled the trigger in that direction. The speakers will be in later today. So...ultimately...here are the questions I have that I'm still struggling with.

1. The HKW950 does not list anywhere that LPCM is a supported format. I don't know if this is because it's just a standard lossless thing or for another reason, but that concerns me because the Wii U, Switch, etc. use this format. I'm afraid of immediately having that same issue. Does anyone know how this works?

2. My decision between the HKW950 and the HTST9 came down really to 7.1 vs. 5.1.4. I have probably an average-sized living room, and am not completely sure how much of a difference this would make. Except in one review, I saw the HKW950 listed as 5.1.4/7.1 .... so my question here is, is the system running at 7.1 when not using the Atmos speakers? Is this how it is able to run formats such as Dolby True HD? If so, then the HTST9 definitely didn't have any upside, unless I'm missing something. Do the extra two channels ultimately matter in the grand scheme of things?

3. Obviously since sound bars don't use a receiver, I think the answer to this is no...but I could be wrong.
Is it possible to add speakers to the HKW950 (side satellites) in order to 'create' a 7.1.4 system?

4. With regard to the issues I had with the HTST7..and in the spirit of always learning, does anyone have any idea why either of those two configurations..or both...had the issue I listed it did? (lack of 4K passthrough, lost audio channels). Or how to fix them or watch for it in the future?



To anyone taking the time to read or respond to this, I can't thank you enough. I have a medical issue and am exhausted with all of the time I'm spending on the floor messing with this stuff...I figured I should go ahead and reach out.
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post #2 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 05:10 AM
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I am going to make a suggestion given your current set up and working in this industry. When I get into situations like yours on the job with add on boxes to make things work I call it a 'science project'. My suggestion is, if possible get a receiver with enough HDMI inputs that you need and use a passive sound bar. That way in the future you will only have to change out the receiver to keep current and hopefully will avoid the science project you have going on. HDMI can be finicky with a lot of devices in the chain, even the switchers and splitters have to authenticate with the source and can be a cause of problems. They are not devices that work without being recognized by the system. If you use a receiver and have the ability to wire surround speakers, it will kill almost any sound bar set up. if you can't wire surround speakers I would look at passive sound bars that can accept 5 or 7 channels to give some surround effect.
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post #3 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey thanks for the reply.
So you're recommending not using the sound bar at all and going with all speakers?
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post #4 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 05:16 PM
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While that is ideal, that is not what I am suggesting. A passive speaker bar is like using speakers but all the speakers are in the sound bar and not separate speakers. You still use a receiver to power it and this passive speaker bar will have multiple speaker connections on it that relate to the number of channels the sound bar can emulate. An LCR (left ,center, right) speaker bar has the front 3 speakers built into the bar. This is a good solution if you can wire the surround speakers in thee room but don't have the space in the front of the room for three regular speakers.

If it is not possible to wire surround speakers than you can use a passive surround speaker bar and it will have 5-7 connections to connect with the receiver and will try to give somewhat of a simulated surround effect, like the powered sound bars. Here are some examples.

LCR sound bars - look at the back and you will see three sets of connections for speaker wire from the receiver.
http://atlantictechnology.com/product/fs5/
https://www.paradigm.com/products-cu.../page=overview
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...black--300-684

Surround sound bars - The back of these will have 5-7 speaker connections on the back depending whether they can do 5 or 7 channel simulation.
https://www.parts-express.com/bic-fo...ystem--303-442
https://www.definitivetechnology.com.../mythos-ssa-50
http://atlantictechnology.com/product/fs71/

Many companies make these type of speaker bars and these are just examples. using this type of speaker bar and a receiver I think would be beneficial in your situation. Using a receiver to power a passive sound bar over using a powered sound bar has a lot of advantages. The receiver usually has a lot more HDMI inputs, decodes the lossless formats, has more power and the speaker bars typically use better drivers for better quality of sound. Also, if you need to upgrade you don't have to change the speaker bar or speakers just the receiver.
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post #5 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellebob View Post
While that is ideal, that is not what I am suggesting. A passive speaker bar is like using speakers but all the speakers are in the sound bar and not separate speakers. You still use a receiver to power it and this passive speaker bar will have multiple speaker connections on it that relate to the number of channels the sound bar can emulate. An LCR (left ,center, right) speaker bar has the front 3 speakers built into the bar. This is a good solution if you can wire the surround speakers in thee room but don't have the space in the front of the room for three regular speakers.

If it is not possible to wire surround speakers than you can use a passive surround speaker bar and it will have 5-7 connections to connect with the receiver and will try to give somewhat of a simulated surround effect, like the powered sound bars. Here are some examples.

LCR sound bars - look at the back and you will see three sets of connections for speaker wire from the receiver.
http://atlantictechnology.com/product/fs5/
https://www.paradigm.com/products-cu.../page=overview
https://www.parts-express.com/dayton...black--300-684

Surround sound bars - The back of these will have 5-7 speaker connections on the back depending whether they can do 5 or 7 channel simulation.
https://www.parts-express.com/bic-fo...ystem--303-442
https://www.definitivetechnology.com.../mythos-ssa-50
http://atlantictechnology.com/product/fs71/

Many companies make these type of speaker bars and these are just examples. using this type of speaker bar and a receiver I think would be beneficial in your situation. Using a receiver to power a passive sound bar over using a powered sound bar has a lot of advantages. The receiver usually has a lot more HDMI inputs, decodes the lossless formats, has more power and the speaker bars typically use better drivers for better quality of sound. Also, if you need to upgrade you don't have to change the speaker bar or speakers just the receiver.

TLDR; the Samsung cost's about $1100 right now. You could get a passive soundbar setup going for less money and it would sound better, and be more future proof.

I agree with Ellebob. The solution he suggests is exactly what I did, I have the DefTech soundbar that he has linked and a Yamaha RX-A770 receiver. I already had a subwoofer and a set of discrete speakers for a 7.1 setup. I just replaced LCR and Surrounds with the soundbar. I kept two additional speakers to complete a 7.1 channel system. I also bought a pair of ATMOS height speaker for 5.1.2. All I will need to do in the future is replace the receiver. I have a PS4 Pro, PSVR, Roku Ultra, and Gaming PC connected to the system. I also have a PS3 and Wii that are occasionally connected.

I tested out the HW-K950 on the way back to what I have now to see if it would work for me, but at present there are no perfect soundbar setups that will work perfectly with what you have. Simply none has enough HDMI inputs. Also, what I found out about the Samsung is that it can only reproduce Dolby lossless formats. DTS-HD and DTS:X it can't do. It can do DTS 5.1, but there is a marked downgrade in the sound quality from DTS-HD. Another limitation is you can't use the ARC port from you TV to pass lossless audio to the Samsung. Your source must be connected directly to the soundbar. If you intend to use all of your consoles then a receiver is the best bet. If you feel you must exhaustively test options then I would look at Sewell Direct's SwitchDeck HDMI switches. These are the real deal. They work reliably. What you have attempted is a very complicated setup in comparison, but if you can get it to work then that would be great.

Last edited by sucram65; 09-19-2017 at 06:01 PM.
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post #6 of 20 Old 09-19-2017, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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You guys are awesome.
I actually got the HKW950 for like $700 (open-box) ...
but the receiver/passive combo sounds more doable.

So once you have this setup and the satellite speakers, how do you actually set up the sound to them? For instance, discerning an Atmos signal or Rear Left, etc. Is it simply a matter of labels on the back of the receiver usually?
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post #7 of 20 Old 09-20-2017, 05:31 AM
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Yes, I think it sounds more complicated then it is. A receiver has a number of speaker terminals on the back and they will be labeled like front left, center, right surround. You connect speaker wire from those terminals to the corresponding terminals on the sound bar. You just have to run a speaker wire for each set of terminals there are on the sound bar.
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post #8 of 20 Old 09-20-2017, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I understand what you're saying.

So quick update, I plugged in the 5.1.4 HKW950 today, and Atmos has made be a believer.

As I sort of expected, there is an issue with output again.

This time going Switcher ----> HKW950 ----> OneConnect box

The sound came through the PS4 fine after switching to bitstream, but the other consoles (Wii U, PS3, Switch) are all still pushing only left and right channels.

As I mentioned before, I guess this is because they (at least in Nintendo's case) use LPCM. I'm still a little unclear on whether or not this soundbar does that, and I'm not versed enough to understand why it wouldn't.


Anyway, I'm going to really pick up the receiver research tonight. It doesn't really seem like I have much other choice, ya?
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post #9 of 20 Old 09-20-2017, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tjayhawk32 View Post
I understand what you're saying.

So quick update, I plugged in the 5.1.4 HKW950 today, and Atmos has made be a believer.

As I sort of expected, there is an issue with output again.

This time going Switcher ----> HKW950 ----> OneConnect box

The sound came through the PS4 fine after switching to bitstream, but the other consoles (Wii U, PS3, Switch) are all still pushing only left and right channels.

As I mentioned before, I guess this is because they (at least in Nintendo's case) use LPCM. I'm still a little unclear on whether or not this soundbar does that, and I'm not versed enough to understand why it wouldn't.


Anyway, I'm going to really pick up the receiver research tonight. It doesn't really seem like I have much other choice, ya?

Also, I didn't try ARC at all because of Atmos not being able to be carried over it apparently....That's not something I'd be willing to switch ports for all the time obviously.
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post #10 of 20 Old 09-21-2017, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys I've spent the day piecing together a system when another question popped in my head.
Is it possible to use an active soundbar system like the HKW950 WITH a receiver?

I can imagine you could obviously connect it via HDMI (ARC) or digital optical, but would it work correctly?
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post #11 of 20 Old 09-22-2017, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by tjayhawk32 View Post
Hey guys I've spent the day piecing together a system when another question popped in my head.
Is it possible to use an active soundbar system like the HKW950 WITH a receiver?

I can imagine you could obviously connect it via HDMI (ARC) or digital optical, but would it work correctly?
You could, but you'd be using a minimum several hundred dollar receiver as a glorified HDMI switch.
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post #12 of 20 Old 09-22-2017, 06:10 PM
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I understand what you're saying.

So quick update, I plugged in the 5.1.4 HKW950 today, and Atmos has made be a believer.

As I sort of expected, there is an issue with output again.

This time going Switcher ----> HKW950 ----> OneConnect box

The sound came through the PS4 fine after switching to bitstream, but the other consoles (Wii U, PS3, Switch) are all still pushing only left and right channels.

As I mentioned before, I guess this is because they (at least in Nintendo's case) use LPCM. I'm still a little unclear on whether or not this soundbar does that, and I'm not versed enough to understand why it wouldn't.


Anyway, I'm going to really pick up the receiver research tonight. It doesn't really seem like I have much other choice, ya?
I think the Wii can only do 2-channel stereo. The PS3 can output LPCM, Dolby, and DTS formats over HDMI. You should be able to adjust the output in the PS3 settings to DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1. At that point you could have the soundbar upmix to it's simulated ATMOS mode. Or if you have a regular Blu-Ray with an ATMOS track it would be able to be decoded by the soundbar. I'm not sure what the Switch can do, though I would imagine Nintendo would have DD and DTS output as standard features now.
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post #13 of 20 Old 09-22-2017, 06:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I think the Wii can only do 2-channel stereo. The PS3 can output LPCM, Dolby, and DTS formats over HDMI. You should be able to adjust the output in the PS3 settings to DD 5.1 or DTS 5.1. At that point you could have the soundbar upmix to it's simulated ATMOS mode. Or if you have a regular Blu-Ray with an ATMOS track it would be able to be decoded by the soundbar. I'm not sure what the Switch can do, though I would imagine Nintendo would have DD and DTS output as standard features now.
You would imagine...but....
I already sent back the HKW950. Now I have a new issue. Sigh.

I was in the process last night of making an Amazon order for a new receiver and speaker set.
I spent hours poring over options and really narrowed it down, but was sort of confused/aggravated by something.

The set that I ended up on is this:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...SBJHTGUFA&th=1
HT-S9700THX Onkyo

The problem with this is that the receiver it comes with, the HT-R993, is lacking some features in comparison to the cheaper package options.
For example:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XVFY3M8...ding=UTF8&th=1
NR-575 Onkyo


I almost decided on getting the NR-575 receiver with a different set of speakers entirely, but I was having a hard time finding a speaker set (with Atmos) in the price range. (under $800)
I found these..the Onkyo HT594, but their reviews were less than stellar and only come with a pair of upward firing speakers. I figured the better option would be to mount the 2 speakers on the ceiling instead, as with the speakers included in the HT-S9700THX.

So, basically my decision came down to getting a better receiver or getting better speakers, and having to upgrade one of the two later on. I thought about getting the package for the HT-S9700THX and then trying to sell the receiver and replace it immediately, but I have no idea of its market-value or if I’d end up paying a lot more money.

So ..summary…
The speakers in the HT-S9700THX are great, but the receiver is no good.
The receiver such as the NR-575 is great, but the speaker sets I’d buy separately are no good.

I was trying to combine the two.
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post #14 of 20 Old 09-23-2017, 03:42 AM
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The speakers will make a bigger difference go with the 9700. If you can spend the extra the 9800 would be a better choice, it use the 676 receiver I think.
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post #15 of 20 Old 09-23-2017, 03:52 AM - Thread Starter
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The speakers will make a bigger difference go with the 9700. If you can spend the extra the 9800 would be a better choice, it use the 676 receiver I think.
So i started the evening with the plan to get the 9700THX set, sell the receiver and get a different receiver.

Instead, the current plan (not yet ordered) is a set of 5.1.2 Onkyo HT594, and an NR777 THX receiver.
I also considered getting Pioneer's 2.2 Atmos enabled speakers to immediately replace the LR with the HT594.

I had a hell of a time finding reviews on any of these things, but one thing that was for sure was i needed to up the receiver. The one in the 9700THX is from 2014. Even the one that comes with the S7800 Is only from 2016 and it's missing multiple HDCP 2.2 inputs, etc.

Admittedly I'm still hung up on the speaker quality.
HT594 5.1.2 vs the 9700THX speakers.. which are $700 without the receiver.

One other factor... we have a vaulted ceiling and were having trouble deciding between upward firing like with the HT594... or to mount the rear surrounds on the ceiling from a 7.1 set.

I got mixed signals on the more desirable approach. Some reviews say ceiling is the way to go (i rent so in ceiling isn't an option).
Some said upward firing, including one of the Dolby engineers in an interview. Something about how the sound filters.
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post #16 of 20 Old 09-23-2017, 04:12 AM
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Working in this industry and seeing a lot of systems I think the on ceiling beats the reflected Atmos hands down, no question. Now on ceiling is not always an option for various reasons and I understand that, but if you can do it and place the speakers reasonably well it is significantly better IMHO.

You should be hung up on the speakers. Besides room treatments, speakers will make the biggest difference in sound. Buying the best electronics with cheap speakers is like buying a Lamborghini and putting a set of spare donut tires on it from a Prius and wondering why its performance stinks going around the track. That being said if you have 4K sources you do need at least a receiver to pass through the latest video formats, if you don't have 4K then an older receiver should handle the Atmos/DTS:X formats fine.

I don't know the street prices of the THX9800, is it that much more? I know the price you a are getting the 9700 and the retail of the 9800 is about $500, but if you can narrow that gap it might be worth it if budget allows.
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post #17 of 20 Old 09-23-2017, 04:34 AM - Thread Starter
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The THX9800 was the best target for sure, but floats close to $1,100.
9700THX is $797

We're stretching at $800 right now.

HT594 $290
Pioneer 2.2 $210

NR575 $360
NR777THX $520
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post #18 of 20 Old 09-23-2017, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Working in this industry and seeing a lot of systems I think the on ceiling beats the reflected Atmos hands down, no question. Now on ceiling is not always an option for various reasons and I understand that, but if you can do it and place the speakers reasonably well it is significantly better IMHO.

You should be hung up on the speakers. Besides room treatments, speakers will make the biggest difference in sound. Buying the best electronics with cheap speakers is like buying a Lamborghini and putting a set of spare donut tires on it from a Prius and wondering why its performance stinks going around the track. That being said if you have 4K sources you do need at least a receiver to pass through the latest video formats, if you don't have 4K then an older receiver should handle the Atmos/DTS:X formats fine.

I don't know the street prices of the THX9800, is it that much more? I know the price you a are getting the 9700 and the retail of the 9800 is about $500, but if you can narrow that gap it might be worth it if budget allows.
How far out do the ceiling speakers need to be?
The most probably spot for ceiling speakers would be 10-12 feet in front of the viewing area roughly, and on the ceiling angled down
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post #19 of 20 Old 09-24-2017, 07:40 AM
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By specification the Atmos speakers should be 45 degrees in front of the listener and be angled towards the listeners, they should be in line with the front speakers. With an 8 foot ceiling they would be about 6 feet in front of the listeners. Taller ceilings you can go a little closer and multiple rows also dictates being placed a little closer. Sometimes this needs some variation depending on speakers, seating layout and ceiling height.
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post #20 of 20 Old 09-25-2017, 12:19 AM
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I’d check out accessories 4less for an AVR. If you don’t mind a refurb they have the best deals around. They offer decent warranties via the manufacturer and big price discounts. Then you can spend extra on your speakers.


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