My wife and I are nearing completion of building our new home. We do not have a dedicated home theater, but I am trying to set our living room up for as much A/V fun as possible while keeping the WAF high. This setup will primarily be for TV, with a healthy dose of movies. Occasional music, but not enough to be a part of the decision. I would say 60% TV, 35% movies, 5% music.
The room itself is relatively large and open. The seating area itself is only about 16'x16', with and 11' ceiling, but one side wall is completely open to the foyer, and the back is largely open to the kitchen and dining areas. The primary viewing location is approximately 12 feet from the TV. The walls and ceiling are sheet rock, the floor is tile, and there are no acoustical treatments anywhere.
I have prewired for 7.1 with 12/2 speaker wire. The front three run to wall plates near the TV. There is all coax to a wall plate on the same wall. The surrounds and backs run to ceiling boxes. I built simple boxes by using scrap 2by's left over from the framers, nailing them between the rafters in the desired location, and screwing scrap MDF on top.
Now it's time to start buying toys. My goal is to buy a complete system now within my budget, and potentially upgrade over time. I have some components that I will be moving over from our current setup. Specifically, I have an Onkyo 705 receiver and a BIC Acoustech H100 sub. I'm using a speaker bar now, so all speakers will have to be new. My budget is around $1000, with some wiggle room for significant improvement. Here's what I'm currently thinking after lots of reading on here:
Center: HTD Level 3 - $199
Front L/R: HTD Level 3 bookshelves - $299
Surrounds: 2 pairs of HTD HD-R80 - $360
I have several questions. First off, I know lots of people rave about the monoprice in-ceiling speakers. I can get two pairs of the 4929s for $175ish. I know it is all subjective, but can anyone give me a rough idea of how much, if any, improvement I will see from the HTDs vs monoprice?
Secondly, for $500, are there better L/C/R's available? We're not audiophiles, but I want to get the most bang for my buck.
Finally, I know my sub is probably too small for this room. With the speakers I've picked out, I have about $150 left in my budget. I was planning on just making due with the H100 for now, saving for a few months and upgrading to a really nice sub later, maybe a Christmas present. Would I be better off reducing some of my speaker choices and buying a bigger sub now?
I appreciate all the knowledge on this board. If I'm missing something or just totally off base somewhere, please let me know.