My opinion? There is no opinion. It's Dolby or it isn't. Even with 7.1 speakers, if the material is 5.1 the side speakers will be SILENT unless using a stereo to multichannel conversion or other conversion which defeats the purpose of Dolby TrueHD or DTS-MA. Any deviance in speaker placement from the Dolby pattern will result in sounds coming from somewhere the engineer did not intend. Like the article reads, This is how you do it and here's a few degrees fudge factor.
But for gaming, if you hear some one behind you, turn around and he is not there then your speakers are in the wrong position.
Edit: Just to make it more confusing, you could follow THX plans - http://www.thx.com/consumer/home-entertainment/home-theater/surround-sound-speaker-set-up/
I switch my rig around once in a while just for fun. The 5.1 setup using the 5.1 Dolby TrueHD or 5.1 DTS-HD MA gives the highest quality sound to be reproduced on your speakers. On BlueRay discs you get either 192khz/24bit 5.1 channels or 96khz/24bit 7.1 channels. Take your pick if available on the disc.
For my 5.1 rig the rear speakers are toward the corner of the room which is proper for PC gaming.
Here is another dilema. I had a 7.1 rig but when I tried to use the rear speakers as zone 2 it did not work because 5.1 disabled the side speakers and sent the rear channels to the.. wait, there is nothing there, the speakers are in zone 2. Newer receivers have dedicated zone 2 amps now but what works better is another multi-channel AVR in the other room.
7.1 is awsome when it works but 5.1 is more reliable and you never have to think about whether some setting needs changing.
My bedroom rig is 7.1 because I listen to Logic 7 most of the time.
Ha ha, I guess my opinion is... put your speakers wherever they sound best to you! Edited by Bob7145 - 3/25/13 at 12:37am