Awkward TV placement has me stuck - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 7 Old 10-09-11, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Awkward TV placement has me stuck

Hello All,

I recently moved into a new townhouse and in the living room there is a built in electric fireplace in one of the corners. The builder has created a shelf over the fireplace and placed the cable jack there assuming that everyone wants to put their TV up there. One problem is that it is really high and even with my couch moved back 3/4 into the room I am still looking upwards. The other problem is that it does not leave good options for speaker placement.

Below you can see an image of the TV corner. The shelf created by the top of the fireplace is about five feet tall. My TV is a 43".

The wife won having the TV stay up in that location so now I need to figure out what to do. The way that I see there are Three problems.

1) Center channel placement
2) L/R mains are at poor angle
3) Where to put electronics

Below are some photos and a drawing of the room so that you may better understand the problem.

This picture is standing at the center of the back wall. As you can see the couch is slightly tilted and not square with the room. The chair depicted in the room drawing is a future location.

This picture shows the openness of the room.

Problem One: Center Channel Placement.

From the first picture you can see that I cannot find a good center channel location. Currently it is to the right of the TV and when I am watching a movie I will pick up and move the R Main to the right a little bit so that there is more audible dispersion.

The TV's organic stand only has about three inches of room underneath so I can't do a behind the TV undershot. I don't want to hang it above the TV because I am worried that it will sound terrible because of the corner behind it. I doubt the wife will let me mount just above the fireplace. And all of these options do not help the fact that the speakers will be pointed at the kitchen and not the listening area of the couch or the chair.

Currently I am using a Martin Logan Motion4 mostly due to its small size. I would like to get something a little larger but I don't have a clue where I could put a larger speaker.

So far I have no better solution than the current location.

Problem Two: L/R mains are at poor angle.

As can be seen in all of the pictures, the room forces the main speakers (B&W 685) to be stuck in their current location. And even here they are in such a location where I cannot have good dispersion throughout the room and the Left speaker is closer to the listeners on the couch making it sound louder.

Even though placing a chair if the front right corner is a terrible idea in regards to TV viewing angle and speaker angle, it is our only option for adding more seating in the living room and will eventually happen. Below is a picture of the view from the approximate chair location/height.

Of course, the camera has a little bit of a natural zoom effect, but you get the idea that the chair location is off by too much angle with the TV, too close for the height of the TV, and completely out of the listening area from the speakers.

After all of that now for the actual questions you might be able to answer. Should I scrap it all and get some small speakers (something like paradigm cinema) which could be placed the either sides of the TV on the shelf, or even mounted to the ceiling above the TV? Should I sacrifice larger-speaker sound quality for overall completeness over the rooms listening area?

Problem Three: Where to put electronics.

Currently I have a BDP and AVR set in the corner behind the TV. You can see the cable box set next to the TV, this is because I purchased an IR repeater system but for some reason it doesn't work at all with the cable box.

I would prefer to have all of the electronics hidden away maybe in a cabinet on the front wall next to the Right speaker. This would mean that I would have to run some extra cables up the TV corner but then the electronics would be out of the way. The wife thinks it will look too random to have a small cabinet on the front wall. But if I could remove them from behind the TV I could push it a little deeper in to the corner which may help give a little more distance between the viewers and help with the high angle.

So, I have presented may issues for which I do not expect very many solutions but I would love to hear any suggestions.
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-10-11, 12:59 AM
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

Sorry man, you're definitely in a tough spot! I showed your setup to my wife and the first thing she said was why not put the TV where the two pictures are.

If it has to stay on top the fireplace I'd say get the biggest one that will fit and mount the center channel below. (giving up use of the fireplace I suppose, though it can't be good for the TV either)

Theatre Build: Portland Place
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-10-11, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

Thanks for the reply,

The fireplace is electric and mostly for show. It has a very small electric blower and even the instruction manual says that it is safe around combustibles and electronics so I am not worried about the TV.

Are you suggesting in-wall speakers and mount it atop the fireplace or just set the TV on top of the center speaker?

I toiled around with doing in-wall speakers into the fireplace but there is not much room and we probably won't be living here more than two years.

As for the TV staying on top of the fireplace, it is mostly because putting it somewhere else would disallow us to get another piece of furniture in the room. I don't know how well the photos show, but the one couch pretty much takes up the entire room.

Thanks for the reply, and vetting it through your wife.
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-10-11, 11:19 AM
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

yosturm wrote: View Post
Are you suggesting in-wall speakers and mount it atop the fireplace or just set the TV on top of the center speaker?
I was actually thinking more of mounting it right above the moulding. You definitely don't want the TV any higher.

yosturm wrote: View Post
I toiled around with doing in-wall speakers into the fireplace but there is not much room and we probably won't be living here more than two years.
In walls look like they could work there, for appearance though. Not sure you'd end up with as good of sound quality as you already get from the B&Ws. If you are only going to be there for a couple years spend the time building up WAF and saving your money. That way when you do move you can make one of the requirements a theatre friendly room and have some budget to actually do it up nicely when you get there.

For what its worth, my wife and I rented 4-5 different places and then owned two homes before we got to the place where we had space for a theatre. It took 15 years but my dream eventually became her dream too, if only because she's been infected by my passion and enthusiasm. We now have a great space for building our theatre and are slowly, as budget permits, building something the whole family can enjoy. I only wish that all those years I had been saving my pennies instead of frittering it away on gadgets and gizmos.

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post #5 of 7 Old 10-11-11, 12:33 PM
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

Well, on the bright side, you have a really nice looking place! But you are kind of limited by the space there, and what your better half would go for. For me, I'd go with the most obvious solution and try something like the layout below. I changed a few things from your drawing:
- centered the couch (as much as you can without closing off the walkway)
- relocate the chair to the side of the room (there's space for a loveseat if you need more)
- TV and speakers along the front wall
- equipment can go either below the TV in a stand, or in a dedicated rack where indicated if you wall-mount, or even above the fireplace
- Use some simple, but tasteful cable management to bring the wires where you need them

I know it doesn't fit some of your constraints, but maybe if you can show your wife how much more comfortable is is to watch TV this way, rather than up high and in the corner, it could work out. Just my 2˘ though!

Edit: Doug brings up a good point. You shouldn't need to spend much (any?) since you have some great gear. Maybe you just have to suffer through the awkwardness for the 2 years, and then in your next place, you remind your wife how you had the TV wayyyyy up in that awful location for soooo long, and now you want to do it right. Should get you a little freedom, hopefully.

- OJ -
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-11-11, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

Thanks for the suggestion, I will have to try that one out again.

One thing though, is that my little MS paint drawing is very much not to scale; in actuality the couch and the chair take up much more space the the drawing depicts. I have considered this set up but the TV will still be more off-center from the couch as compared to your drawing.

But, that may work out better than being so high.
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-11-11, 08:21 PM
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Re: Awkward TV placement has me stuck

I had a 'difficult' room layout and it was solved by wall mounting the flat screen tv, and I do mean solved as it allowed us to view the tv better (no more craning necks) and allowed better use of space all-around. I was sure to use a mount that handled my tv and larger, so a larger tv could be accomodated. I plan to leave the bracket with the home when we sell, as I have it wired for 5.1 speakers. It should be easy to move the cable line to that wall should you choose to move the tv.

As far as 'convincing' the wife, I just moved it and asked for forgiveness later Seriously, in any case, if you like the idea of having it where the two pictures are to the right of your fireplace, I would recommend talking about it, then trying the tv in that position temporarily, placed on a box or something just to watch over a weekend and let yourselves feel how it would be compared to over the mantle, then let the results determine the next step. Good luck!
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