I worked on this a little over a year ago when I purchased my new TV in the room, but got overwhelmed and frustrated trying to research it and realizing with the room setup and budget I couldn't get something really great. I was hoping there might be some good deals this time of year and decided to have a fresh look at it.
This is for my open floor plan living room. I have a separate home theater room with projector that has great light and acoustic control and nice 5.1 sound system that delivers an amazing theater experience. But, being real I use it 1-2 times a month for when we have guests or watch that really great action movie and want the home theater experience. The other 90%+ of our Television and movie watching is done in the living room. So here's the current room setup, and what I'm using it for.
-Room is 22x18 with 10' ceilings that vault to 14ft. However it's an open floor plan including the kitchen and dining area bringing total dimensions to around 28x31 give or take. There is a 2ft drop down between the kitchen and living room that I could mount the 2 or 4 rear/surrounds on.
-Room is not pre-wired, but I can do it myself with a bit of sweat and swearing
-Display is a 65" Panasonic VT50 Plasma
-Inputs would be a DirecTV HR24 and a PS4
-Usage is about 80% HDTV through the satellite receiver and 15% Blu-Ray movies through PS4 and 5% Games on PS4
-Budget is about $1,000-1,500 and I need a Receiver, Sub, and all speakers and accessories.
I come in understanding I can't for any reasonable price get a really great home theater experience in this room. I want something that is hands down better than my current setup which is just the built-in speakers on the monitor.
My questions are:
1) Should I be looking towards 5.1 or 7.1? Less is more as far as the wife is concerned since this is the living room
2) What speakers/receivers should I be seriously considering and will the sound be far superior to what I have now?
3) I know price can't specifically be discussed, but are there any really good opportunities for the holidays for any of the recommended setups?
Thanks for your help, it's hard for me to settle on a 'good enough' setup, but I wanted to come at this again with a fresh set of eyes and get something done.