Originally Posted by myoda
Have you considered placing the television in front of the big window in this room? That location would give you more flexibility for speaker placement. You have a big room, and I don't think the SLM speakers would give you the performance you need for this space. Floorstanding speakers would do a better job, and possibly 2 12 inch subs would be my suggestion. I'd also suggest going larger than 60 inches based on your seating distance - you're limited in screen size if you mount the panel above the fireplace. That is a beautiful room, by the way. Fireplace mounted sets look great in interior design magazines, but ideally, the television should be at eye level. Just my 2 cents.
The current distance between the seating and fireplace offsets the eye-level problems that you bring up. However, you're also right that the distance is too far for a 60" display. I went to a local AV place this afternoon and not only did I feel drawn to 65" displays, but the ideal seating for them was much closer than I'm currently designing for. That being said, if I moved my sofa a whole bunch closer, people would be hurting their necks.
It's not a bad idea to put a TV (heck, a much larger one) on a stand in front of the window. Honestly, I might die a little inside because it's a pretty window that we'd be covering up, but I'd like to keep my options open still - beggars can't be choosers. Actually, I just presented this idea to the Mrs. and she vetoed putting a TV in front of the window. However, she wouldn't be opposed to a projector screen that comes down from the ceiling. The only problem with that is there are a lot of windows, so I would need some light-blocking blinds or shades of some sort.
Thank you for validating the SLMs will not work for the room size - I had my doubts. If I decide to do a projector screen in front of the big window, my number of options for speakers are going to put me in analysis paralysis for a couple more weeks.
FYI: I tried out the B&W CM5's while at the AV store and they were amazing. In fact, when I played them just by themselves (with a subwoofer), it didn't sound like a center channel was missing. This was important to me because the center channel placement is the biggest headache for me if I persist in trying to do a fireplace setup. I could just place the CM5's on the bookshelf and be done with it.
It looks like my speaker project might be put on hold until I figure out where to put the display. However, I'm open to recommendations for speakers if I go the projector route. My wife seems interested in investigating in-wall and in-ceiling, whereas I'm not opposed to tower speakers.