Originally Posted by xpertpredator
We have decided to budget to roughly $2000 for a tv and a sound system. I prefer a minimalist look, but I worry with a soundbar and the room being open that I won't be impressed.
In my opinion, a soundbar only has about 10 - 20% better sound than TV speakers (unless you get a really great one with wireless sub which you may not have the budget for) and as you said it may not fill that large open space with sound.
First, you will need an AVR to decode your Blu-ray player's surround output and to power your speakers
DENON AVR-1513 5.1ch Home Theater Receiver 3D ready - $110 plus shipping
The true minimalist look is in-wall speakers, but I don't know if you have room on the sides of your TV or are willing to go to the extra work to frame for a horizontal center under or above the TV. That leaves on-wall speakers - which are a good trade off between standard speakers and in-wall both performance wise and that minimalist look.
There are integrated 3.0 front speakers that look like a sound bar but are actually all three front speakers in one driven by an AVR which will give you more sound and more control
BOSTON ACOUSTICS P400 On-Wall 3-Channel Speaker Black - $330 plus shipping
There are also separate LCR (left / center / right) speakers - more visible than n-wall speakers but more sound into the room.
BOSTON ACOUSTICS P442 LCR (Left,Right,Center) Speaker Black - $600 for 3 of these - left, center, and right mounted on the wall around the TV
With either of these, I would recommend some in-wall speakers in the ceiling to the sides of the primary listening position as you don't have side walls directly to the sides - or you can use some small satalitte speakers mounted on ceiling mounts in those locations.
Add the best budget sub that your budget allows (Dayton sub for about $150) ans you are done. It would be best if your builder could add a conduit from your equipment location to behind your TV for cable, HDMI, and speaker wires to be run - the TV will hide the wires going to the speakers.