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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Remodel in progress - wanted to gain some feedback to help drive my decisions. A few comments;
1) Room is off the kitchen and primary viewing room; I have a theatre in basement - 9’ ceilings and drawing attached of room
2) Primary viewing is TV (60%) and Movies (40%)
3) Challenging light control so OLED not worth investment - likely going with LG or Samsung 4k
4) Fireplace is a challenge to work around - and center channel is a major issue if I want to place in an acoustically appropriate location
5) I would like to stick with in-wall/ceiling speakers

Questions
1) How big is too big for TV? I have 60" Samsung 1080P now - going to 65" 4k or maybe 75". The latter will fill the area above the fireplace. Thoughts on size?
2) Two options for LCR - a) two 3-way for LR and phantom center; or b) ceiling mount LCR with directionally fired toward viewer. Thoughts on these options? I have found some options on forum - either option I can make work.
3) I have opportunity to purchase 2 B&W 7.3 for LR and then do phantom center - dealer demo would take these $3K pair down to around $1.6k - worthwhile investment or stick with something else?
4) I have B&W M1 today - going to maybe keep them for surrounds or replace them all. Recommendations if I wanted Atmos setup - probably 2 or 4 overhead channels.

Thanks for your advice - J
 

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You asked, so, If you are serious about doing a home theater, or even if you want an "almost" home theater you would not even contemplate putting anything over a fire place and the only thing you would put in the ceiling are the atmos speakers. We don't live as long as we think we will. If you are going to invest in entertaining yourself with surround sound you might as well do it right.
 

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If you rotate the layout 90 degrees counter-clockwise, the TV and audio system can be put on the wide wall. This would allow you to place the TV at eye height, eliminate any issues of TV size, and put the speakers closer to ear level. You would still have half the couch facing the fireplace, to keep it as the focal point of the room (add some artwork above, instead of a TV).

One other issue to consider, putting in-wall speakers in an exterior wall has issues with running into electrical, plumbing, and insulation problems.
 

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1) How big is too big for TV? I have 60" Samsung 1080P now - going to 65" 4k or maybe 75". The latter will fill the area above the fireplace. Thoughts on size?
Personal preference, but I've got a 65" at roughly 8-9 ft., I might replace with a 75" next time. At your 15? Oh man, 75" minimum or me. But you are not me. My room is 16' long, so standing at the back of the room is similar to where you would be sitting, and while it's not bad, it is diminished by its surroundings at that distance. I just find it easier to become distracted as such. I think a display should significantly fill your field of vision to the point where it is large and in charge. :)

2) Two options for LCR - a) two 3-way for LR and phantom center; or b) ceiling mount LCR with directionally fired toward viewer. Thoughts on these options? I have found some options on forum - either option I can make work.
If you intend on Atmos, do not put LCRs, or Surrounds for that matter in the ceiling. You need the vertical separation.

3) I have opportunity to purchase 2 B&W 7.3 for LR and then do phantom center - dealer demo would take these $3K pair down to around $1.6k - worthwhile investment or stick with something else?
Only you can be the judge! How about some nice on-walls? Gives you some more flexibility in placement. These are not overly large, but they are capable, especially the Tribe III and V (they are not inexpensive though...)

https://totemacoustic.com/categorie-produit/architectural-custom-installation/on-wall/

If you like the B&W sounds, nothing wrong with sticking with those. I like the Diamonds, but that's about it in the B&W lines. (not that I've heard everything, of course).

4) I have B&W M1 today - going to maybe keep them for surrounds or replace them all. Recommendations if I wanted Atmos setup - probably 2 or 4 overhead channels.
If you can place them properly, go with 4 vs. 2 for Atmos.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Appreciate the feedback from everyone. A few things - I have a theatre setup in basement which I will upgrade in the coming year; so this room is more for general use. I don’t necessarily need it to be theatre quality per se. Would love to keep things off the wall and in-wall but also open to upgraded on wall as well.

Interesting to rotate the room - I do like above fireplace location but admit it is not alway ideal. But I already have wires run above fireplace - and there will be some headache running through long wall.

I’ve seen some ceiling speakers which project toward listener - are these not worth consideration?

So if we assume I need to keep layout as is - TV above fireplace and upgrading speakers (adding Atmos will be easy)...would in-wall be worth while? Open to any brand in this case.
 

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I’ve seen some ceiling speakers which project toward listener - are these not worth consideration?

So if we assume I need to keep layout as is - TV above fireplace and upgrading speakers (adding Atmos will be easy)...would in-wall be worth while? Open to any brand in this case.
Sure, if I were to do in-ceilings as L/C/R, I'd get angled ones. If you can set them up properly, they can sound quite good. Some of them are very good. But if you are going to do Atmos, don't do in-ceilings for anything except the Atmos speakers. Keep all of the other speakers down low, preferable at ear level, or slightly above. You want that layer separation. Sticking with that TV above the fireplace gets the speakers fairly high up, not as much flexibility with in-walls, but there are some very good in-wall speakers of course. Several noteworthy brands. But yeah, above the fireplace, while perhaps offering some aesthetic appeal, sucks. :eek:;):rolleyes:

Hey, it's your space though, so you gotta do what works for you and yours, not us! Sounds like more of a casual space, so if it's not perfect, but still entertaining enough, you'll be happy with it. Beware of viewing angles with high-positioned displays - if you are too close, your neck might not approve after a while.
 

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For the light control issues, you might also consider the Vizio P Quantum X models. They are very bright and have high contrast.
If you already have wiring at the fireplace, try to work with it for now, and it can be rotated later.
I see no advantage for in-wall/ceiling speakers. You could mount better low-profile speakers on-wall and aim at the listening position.
For TV size, consider what center channel you'd work with, and figure out how close you can get to the edge of the mantle. Get a TV that will fit in the space above.
If given the choice of forward firing or ceiling speakers for LCR, I'd advocate for forward firing, especially if considering Atmos.
For the price you're looking at the B&W in-walls you should be able to get some pretty effective sealed on-wall options, especially compared to the relatively small M1s, which also have a rear port firing against the wall.

Remodel in progress - wanted to gain some feedback to help drive my decisions. A few comments;
Questions
Appreciate the feedback from everyone. A few things
Interesting to rotate the room - I do like above fireplace location but admit it is not alway ideal. But I already have wires run above fireplace - and there will be some headache running through long wall.
So if we assume I need to keep layout as is - TV above fireplace and upgrading speakers (adding Atmos will be easy)...would in-wall be worth while? Open to any brand in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I totally get above the fireplace sucks - and I am looking into moving onto the long wall. But we have an awesome view on the outside long wall (right side when ur facing the fireplace). The room is not wide enough to accommodate a couch/sectional with space behind so people can see the view (pond/pool/landscape). We would end up being sitting a few feet from TV and then it blocks the middle of the room to fireplace. So I am pretty much stuck with above the fireplace - again this is more of a casual/entertaining room off the kitchen and I will make additional investment in basement (OLED, Atmos, etc) in the future; but for now I want to a) update my TV (still need to see if 65 or 75 makes sense); and b) update my audio experience including Atmos.

If you noticed people will generally be sitting in front of the TV/speakers - rarely off-center (and if so it would only be slightly). So a few last questions;
1) I like in-wall from aesthetics perspective - and my wife does as well :) - I saw a few recommendations for speakers - Totem is a bit costly. I am looking to spend around $1.5-2k for speakers in total (LCR (maybe use phantom)); Surrounds; and 4 Atmos. I already have a Paradigm SE sub and will keep it.

2) I am going to try to squeeze in a 75" or worse case will go 65" - I like Samsung QLED, LG and the Vizio - again casual room so not looking for top of the line in family room.

Questions
1) Benefits of in-wall with enclosure vs box-less inwall? I would prefer one enclosed.
2) Recommendations for in-wall speaker (LCR, Surrounds, Atmos) in the $1.5-2k range?
3) Thoughts on using Sonance 6.5" ($149/pair) or Sonance 8" ($299/pair) for Atmos - I would need FOUR of these - so that would be $300 or $600.
4) Is it important to match Atmos and Surrounds with LCR?
5) Depending on my setup - I may need to consider a phantom center (I know folks are going to give me grief on this one :) ) - but is phantom center paired with two good LR better than a center on top of mantel? It will still not be at optimal ear level.
6) Should I lower the in-wall LR to line up with ear level even if TV is resting higher on wall? Or should they all be in same plane?
7) Can I match up an on-wall center (above TV and rotated toward listener) with LR in-walls? The C on top of TV is less noticeable.

I appreciate the help - this renovation is enough headache as it is; and trying to setup a decent upgrade before my wife stops me :)
 

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Since it's a renovation anyway, would you consider reducing the height of the fireplace? Is it even possible?
It would give you much more room for a TV, and closer to "normal" viewing height. It could also give more flexibility for a center channel. 85" may not be out of the question except for price.

I still think that there are challenges for in-wall speakers on an exterior wall, in case you'd consider low-profile sets that might be appealing enough requiring less demo/construction after the fireplace.
These are some I see at accessories4less at prices that would fit your budget
Canton GLE 417.2 is a low-profile LCR speaker with decent capabilities below budget. You could use 3 as LCR, 5 all-around, or as a center with a pair of Chrono 511 or GLE 416.2 (color mismatch though).
https://www.canton.de/en/hifi/gle-series/gle-417.2-onwall?number=03887
KEF T-305 set is very thin, but at a higher price and really needs the help of the sub included in the set. You could pair it with your existing sub or dispose of it.
https://us.kef.com/speaker/home-theater/home-theater-systems/t305-home-theater-system.html#attributespec

If you want in-wall, they also have a number of in-wall options for low prices with high-value brands.
KEF Ci160CL, Canton 989, Canton 483 caught my eye, but they're low stock.
If you want to save money on surrounds since they're not critical, Polk IW65 would help the budget. Their specs say they'd be decent up front, but I imagine the MSRP is low for a reason.
The same for in-ceiling speakers, you can find less expensive models to help get below your budget to spend elsewhere, such as on the larger TV.

You could place speakers to the sides of the fireplace (red) , or alternatively out to the walls (yellow), but toe-in would be important, and harder to do with in-walls as opposed to mounted on-wall speakers.

So I totally get above the fireplace sucks - and I am looking into moving onto the long wall. But we have an awesome view on the outside long wall (right side when ur facing the fireplace).
So I am pretty much stuck with above the fireplace
but for now I want to a) update my TV (still need to see if 65 or 75 makes sense); and b) update my audio experience including Atmos.

If you noticed people will generally be sitting in front of the TV/speakers - rarely off-center (and if so it would only be slightly). So a few last questions;
1) I like in-wall from aesthetics perspective - and my wife does as well :) - I saw a few recommendations for speakers - Totem is a bit costly. I am looking to spend around $1.5-2k for speakers in total (LCR (maybe use phantom)); Surrounds; and 4 Atmos. I already have a Paradigm SE sub and will keep it.
2) I am going to try to squeeze in a 75" or worse case will go 65" - I like Samsung QLED, LG and the Vizio - again casual room so not looking for top of the line in family room.

Questions
1) Benefits of in-wall with enclosure vs box-less inwall? I would prefer one enclosed.
2) Recommendations for in-wall speaker (LCR, Surrounds, Atmos) in the $1.5-2k range?
3) Thoughts on using Sonance 6.5" ($149/pair) or Sonance 8" ($299/pair) for Atmos - I would need FOUR of these - so that would be $300 or $600.
4) Is it important to match Atmos and Surrounds with LCR?
5) Depending on my setup - I may need to consider a phantom center (I know folks are going to give me grief on this one :) ) - but is phantom center paired with two good LR better than a center on top of mantel? It will still not be at optimal ear level.
6) Should I lower the in-wall LR to line up with ear level even if TV is resting higher on wall? Or should they all be in same plane?
7) Can I match up an on-wall center (above TV and rotated toward listener) with LR in-walls? The C on top of TV is less noticeable.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have an idea which may help with center speaker. What if I were able to mount a horizontal center under the mantel between the two stone korbels? I would need to see how to gain access but I could possibly pull it off. If so would hear he a concern when I have fireplace going (rarely)? And any recommendations on an attractive center speaker or LCR set?
 

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I think if you built another shelf to protect it from heat (maybe colored similar to the stone to blend in), it should work. What would the HWD dimensions of available space be below the mantle and between the supports?
Attractive is a matter of personal taste. For example, I like the look of the shallow Canton GLE 417.2 and the super-thin KEF T-305 for on-walls mentioned before.

I have an idea which may help with center speaker. What if I were able to mount a horizontal center under the mantel between the two stone korbels? I would need to see how to gain access but I could possibly pull it off. If so would hear he a concern when I have fireplace going (rarely)? And any recommendations on an attractive center speaker or LCR set?
 
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