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Advice on Home Theater Setup

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,

I recently purchased a home and am looking to install a home theater system in the living room. Here is a picture of the room:

FamilyRoom.jpg 128k .jpg file

The family room is 21x16. All three walls in picture are exterior walls, the opening to the kitchen is where the fourth wall would be. Additionally, this is not how the furniture will be positioned, it is how the current couple has it. I'm planning on two couches and a large chair with ottoman. That said, my setup is looking to be:

TV : Sony KDL NX810
Receiver: Pioneer Elite VSX-42
Comcast Box
Playstation 4

Speakers (7.1)

- Front: 2 HTD HD-R65AIM in-ceiling speakers
- Center: HTD Level Three Center (or possibly another HD-R65AIM)
- Surround: 2 HTD HD-R65 in-ceiling speakers
- Back Surround: 2 HTD HD-R65 in-ceiling speakers
- Subwoofer: HTD Level Three Subwoofer

The TV will be mounted to the fireplace since that is arguably the most pratical position for it. So my questions for all of you experts out there are:

1) Would you choose the cabinet-style Level Three Center speaker or use another R65AIM in-ceiling speaker for the center. If I used the R65AIM, it would have to be place about 1 foot off center from the peak of the ceiling. I don't care about the asymetrical look, I just want the best sound.

2) If you used the cabinet-style Level Three Center, would you place it above the TV tilted downward or would you place it below the TV?

I really appreciate your thoughts/comments on the entire system as well as the questions asked.

Thanks in advance,
Edited by cdudek - 1/2/14 at 2:45pm
post #2 of 6
How set are you on putting the TV above the fireplace and using in ceiling speakers for the front L/R? Both are far less than ideal choices in my opinion.

Just looking at the room I would put the TV on the left wall and work on building out the system from there.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
walterapplby - thanks for the comment.

I'm fairly set on it (but might be convinced to go on the left wall). Main reasons being is that if it's above the fireplace, you can see it from the kitchen. Additionally, since we want to fit 2 big couches and a big chair + ottoman in there, the TV would need to go above the fireplace so that no furniture is pressed against the fireplace.

I wanted to do in-wall speakers, but since the walls are exterior walls I'm not 100% sure if I'll have enough room for them. They require 3.5" minimum of depth from the front surface of the drywall. Since there will be insulation in there, I'm not sure if it will clear.

Side note - the reason I'm trying to do in-wall or in-ceiling speakers is because the wife isn't keen on having tower or cabinet-style speakers.

I definitely appreciate other ideas on how to set this up...if you would really recommend mounting it on the left wall, if you think it's worth investigating if I can do in-wall rather than in-ceiling, where you would position the speakers and everything else, etc.

Thanks again!
post #4 of 6
At least your mantel is obnoxiously high, but above the fireplace is always the wrong place. But you gotta do what you gotta do.

Even with the TV above the mantel you could use ON wall speakers. That would be much better than in ceiling speakers. There are white ones available so they can blend in with the walls.

I would also look to another subwoofer. The HTD is pretty nice but there are better for the money.

Look at the usual places like SVS, PSA, HSU, Rythmik, Outlaw.....
post #5 of 6
I still vote for the left wall... how much TV do you really watch from the kitchen other than having the news on or such? You could consider a full motion mount for the TV that will allow you to angle it towards the kitchen some if you need it. I can offer some personal experience with on-wall speakers if you will consider those for either a left wall or fireplace TV location.

Look at the JBL L820's and LC2 and L810's.


post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Again, thanks for the responses. However, based on talks with the wife...we are going to put the TV above the fireplace. Please don't take my thought of leaving the TV above the fireplace as me not listening to you. I definitely appreciate your feedback.

However, I am now looking at doing in-wall instead of in-ceiling. So my setup would now be in-wall for the 2 fronts and 2 backs. Level Three Center. 2 in-ceiling middle surround. Still deciding on the subwoofer, but leaning to the Level Three for now. I realize that in-wall is still sub-par compared to on-the-wall, but she isn't a fan of seeing big speakers hanging on the walls. I guess I'll have to leave that for the basement/man-cave.

Anyways, here is the proposed layout for the furniture

FamilyRoom.jpg 37k .jpg file

My brother put this together for me; the tv in this picture is higher than we'll actually have it. Two couches against the walls and a chair in the corner. That said, any new thoughts on it? I'm not looking for the absolute best sound (one reason is because of price and the other is because of what I'm limited to do because of the wife). I just want to make sure that we will enjoy movies/tv/games and feel immersed.

Thanks again for all the help so far.

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