Hello! Long time lurker, but finally have a good question to post and I'd appreciate some input! Sorry to post a book :-)
I'm finishing my basement and in need of assistance on where to install my speakers and place my components. Pic attached of the layout. The basement is L shaped with one side for a game room with kitchenette and the other side is the media side. The problem I see is that there are 5x doors behind the seating area, and an open space to the left, so not much room to place side or rear surrounds. The TV wall is also the longest wall of the area, and you'll see the entire side of the TV and speakers from the left.
Purpose of the room will be misc TV and movie watching, with some light gaming. I think I'll likely just stick a 80"+ TV on the wall and keep in simple in lieu of a projector. Basement is fully underground with no windows. Room is currently studded with basic electrical wiring and some network wiring done. Waiting for speaking and media placements to proceed.
The media side of the basement is about 14' wide and 21' deep from TV to back wall, with almost a 9' ceiling height. But since the stairs come down behind and to the left of the couch, and the room splits to the left, I need a walkway. The actual width of the TV media area I've determined I can squeeze 11' of space wide, from the right wall to the left wall and still keep a few feet to the left to walk past. So the TV will be centered at 5.5' and I have a 60" electric fireplace to mount below it. The area has 5x doors so the L or U shaped couch will be positioned about 1/3 of the depth forward from the back wall where the doors are. Cold cellar, utility room, bathroom, closet under stairwell, and the open stairwell is all behind the couch. There's not much wall space for rear speakers, but I could squeeze something between the bathroom door and the closet doors, or do something in ceiling. For side speakers I have a bit of wall segment to the left that hides the kitchenette fridge and a little wall to the left of the cold cellar door. I could squeeze some in wall speakers in there and they would be pretty close to the sides. Having the space behind the couch actually makes it better for ATMOS stuff I believe (in-ceiling).
I'm an IT guy and have a full rack in the utility room, so lots of space. I like to do overkill on wiring stuff, so I have no problem with pre-wiring to future proof for ATMOS and such. I just need to figure out what is actually reasonable for this space. If it's only a basic 5.1 setup, so be it. The inconsistent layout has me worried. My prior AV experience is basic HT in a box and I do still have an older but decent 5.1 setup with 2x floor fronts, a center, bookshelf rears and a sub packed away. Upstairs 65" TV over the fireplace is fine with a soundbar! I feel in this basement media area I'll likely have to do all in-wall and in-ceiling speakers which I don't know much about. It doesn't have to shake the house, but I do like loud and effective.
TL;DR - My basement media area has 5x doors behind it and I need to figure out where to mount speakers and also to decide where to mount my components.
1. Speaker placement? Count? Design? I'm even totally open to brands and models. I have very little experience with in-wall stuff. I'm open for any good advice I can get for this space. The speaker setup is my main hurdle.
2. Should I put the components in my server rack in the utility room and just run HDMI and network to my TV OR should I put a small cabinet or shelf to the right of the TV and place everything in that spot of the room? It seems the common idea is to hide the components and I'm OK with that. Biggest pain will be running wires to the TV as my ceiling joists go perpendicular to the length of the room, so I'll have to run all the cabling through the top of the cold cellar wall.
Thanks a million!