Make the best of my pre-wire
Hello and thank you in advance,
I know there are countless 5.1.2 vs. 7.1 threads out there, so I'm not intending to start another one of those. But I am looking for some help as I plan out my entertainment room.
The wife and I are finally building a house and I delightfully opted for a pre-wire option in our great room. The contractor did not have any atmos setups, and I was a little ignorant of that when I made the decisions (I have been out of the game for several years in renter's purgatory). I went with a 7.1 option. The three front speakers are in-wall and I can place them at optimum heights. Wires are zig-zagging in between the studs so I have ultimate control over height. Surrounds and rears are, unfortunately, in the ceiling (approximately 10 feet high). The wall behind me is a sliding door, so there was no way to wall-mount the rears, and it is an open-floor plan so also no walls for the side speakers. Kids and aesthetics preclude speaker stands. The surrounds are placed in line with the front l/r, and the rears are positioned a foot or two back and in from the surrounds. I think (mixed-plane issues aside) it will be a pretty good 7.1 setup.
But now I'm thinking about future-proofing and potentially turning this into an atmos setup at some point. Unfortunately, I cannot get the contractor back in there to tweak my design, and he put the ceiling speakers in jack boxes so I can't change their position without leaving a cover plate over the boxes on my ceiling, which I don't want to do. If I were to go 5.1.2 instead of 7.1 with the existing speaker locations, I think the height speakers (rears) are not in an ideal place and so sticking with 7.1 might be best. But, if I could somehow add two ceiling speakers a foot or two forward of the surrounds and in line with the rears, then might I have the makings for a decent 5.1.4 setup (with high back and middle speakers, just behind and in front of the listening position)? Note that due to room size, I can't see myself ever expanding beyond 5.1.4. The room front to back is about 19' and open width, with one main couch/sectional for seating.
I hear people raving about how superior atmos is to traditional surround sound, is it really worth it? I currently don't have an atmos/dts:x capable receiver, or a 4k blu ray player, but I'm starting to purchase 4k and I'm thinking about the future here. I guess I don't want to install my speakers in a way that limits my growth in the future. My current plan is to treat it as 7.1 system until I can add the two additional height speakers and upgrade my hardware to be atmos-capable. Does that sound wise?
Last edited by Travillion; 08-15-2018 at 04:10 PM.