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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I'm building a new home and the family room is approximately 13x13, I'm going to put a 50in lcd above the gas fireplace. But it won't be in the center of the room, the couch is going to be centered on the back wall with 2 end pieces and the TV will be off to the left... for example if I were to sit on the first cushion of the couch I would be staring the center of the right half of the screen. Now my question is should I design my surround sound to the TV or to the room.


I created an illustration to better explain.


The circles represent the speakers, the FL, RL, RR, LR are all going to be in-ceiling speakers, the center channel speaker is going to be an in-wall speaker. In the above design I have everything centered to the TV, except the Right rear surround...should I put that in-line with the right front even though that will take half the couch out of the listening envelope?



Or do I centered the speakers to the room rather then TV?
 

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Of the two options I'd go with 1.
 

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Well, I kinda like option 2. Especially if you get a tv mount that might swivel toward the center of the room (angled toward the couch). Stereo and multichannel music would likely sound better with FL and FR separation and I would be concerned that the FL and FR sound in option 1 would not image well for anyone except on the first cushion. Only the center channel location is questionable in option 2; hopefully dialogue would still be perceived as coming from the source on the television.
 

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Neither.


In option 1, anyone to the right of the far left seat will be outside of the listening angle of all three front speakers. Sound for those positions will be poor.


In option 2, the tv will be totally disassociated from the sound of the center speaker. You will SEE people on the screen talking, but you will HEAR them to the far right of the screen.


Other comments.


You do not want to mount the tv above the gas fireplace. If the fireplace is installed in wall with a mantle, the tv will be at too high of a viewing angle for the people on the couch. You could tilt the tv down, but people will still be looking up at it. You want it to be within view with people looking more or less straight ahead.


You also have a potential problem with heat. If the fireplace is in-wall, it will not be too bad of a problem as long as the wall above the mantle is fully insulated. If it is a stand alone stove, you do NOT want the tv mounted above it.


If you have not built that room yet, I would suggest centering the fireplace and tv on the wall and mounting the speakers as you show in #2. The best thing, though would be to mount the fireplace on the right hand wall and have the tv mounted at a proper viewing height in front of you.


Oh, and don't use in ceiling speakers for the front L/R pair. You wil be way off axis for good frontal imaging and will lose much in the way of directional cues. In ceiling speakers are best suited for surround use only.
 

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Well, if not choosing either of your 2 options, I agree with most of bluesky636's advice. I would choose ceiling speakers as the last option for the front soundstage speakers. Wall or stand mounted bookshelf or floor standing speakers with tweeters at ear level (including the center speaker) are preferable, followed by in-walls. At this point of your thread, we have no idea how locked in you are to your design. And btw, please do not forget placement of a subwoofer....you'll need it and want it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know I'm sacrificing sound quality aesthetics with the in-ceiling speakers but I want my home to be clean without wires or speakers everywhere. The center channel speaker is going in-wall (not ceiling) and the front speakers are angled 15 degrees so that will help direct the sound better then a speaker with the cone facing straight down. The fireplace is going to sit in a cantilever so it's be flush with the wall and insulated.


However reading these posts, I'm now considering moving the tv to the center of right side wall and putting the couch as a wall between the kitchen and family room.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrtalon /forum/post/16932716


I know I'm sacrificing sound quality aesthetics with the in-ceiling speakers but I want my home to be clean without wires or speakers everywhere. The center channel speaker is going in-wall (not ceiling) and the front speakers are angled 15 degrees so that will help direct the sound better then a speaker with the cone facing straight down. The fireplace is going to sit in a cantilever so it's be flush with the wall and insulated.


However reading these posts, I'm now considering moving the tv to the center of right side wall and putting the couch as a wall between the kitchen and family room.

If you are moving everything 90 degrees to the right (except for the fireplace), that is probably the best thing to do. And if you can install the center speaker in-wall (it MUST be centered directly above or below the tv screen, as close to the screen as possible), ditch the in-ceiling L/Rs for in-wall L/Rs identical to the center. This will provide the best soundstage across the front that you can achieve. Otherwise you will be spending a lot of money for sound that I can virtually guarantee you will not be satisfied with. In ceiling surrounds are Ok though.


One other thing, given that the room is a square, you WILL have significant problems with standing waves unless you apply a significant amount of room treatment. An AVR or Pre-Pro with a room correction system like Audyssey would also be a worthwhile investment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks, this audyssey thing sounds expensive, I haven't purchased an AVR yet but I don't want to spend more then a few hundred I currently have my eye on a Denon AVR590 which is around $300 and that is my limit on spending. I choose the Denon since I can connect single hdmi between tv and receiver. Does anyone have any recommendations for a receiver with that feature for $300 or below?


Also is it just me or are the HDMI capable 5.1 receivers more expensive then 7.1 receivers, if so would getting a 7.1 receiver with a 5.1 speaker setup work correctly?
 

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I am happy that you are now planning a better home theater room. It will still be your nice family room and it will become a very functional home theater room. It will look clean with in-walls along the front soundstage (L,C,R) and the installation will look just as clean as would in-ceilings. However, the function (sound stage) will work extremely well and are the most important speakers in your entire room.

Room setup guidelines can be reviewed here: http://www.realtraps.com/art_room-setup.htm

Whether you have the room that maximizes at 5.1 or 7.1 can be assessed here: http://www.dolby.com/consumer/home_e...ide/index.html

If there are several feet of room between the side surrounds and the potential rear surrounds, a good case can be made that 7.1 would add greater surround envelopment to the listeners sitting on that couch.

A 7.1 AVR can acommodate a 5.1 speaker setup; the unused 2 channels may be used for muti-room speakers and potentially other uses. A 7.1 AVR would be necessary to drive all 7.1 speakers from 2, or 5 channel sources using encoded process like Dolby PLIIx for instance. Of course, source 7.1 Dobly Digital TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio would give you 7 discrete channels of sound reproduced bit for bit as is the master recording. Audyssey and MCACC room correction equalization features have generally been accepted and of proven benefit to help frequency and time domain problems. These are showing up in many entry level AVRs (as in HTIB) and I don't have the sense that it drives up the price of those AVRs greatly.
 
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