Speaker placement is one very important aspect which can be overlooked, as we pursue the best, baddest, biggest speakers. Somethings using the right location, and implementing basic room acoustic treatment will yield better results, than buying an expensive but wrong-sized speaker for the room and then placing it in a less than ideal position.
A couple of friends came over last night, and we watched "Reign of Assassins", which has quite a bit of rain, and thunder. If done nicely you should be able to hear the rain falling from above you, and the peals of thunder from above as well, and then radiating to the surroundings immersing you in the centre.
Start with the suggested positions that Dolby has posted in their website for 5.1, 7.1 etc speakers, and for monopoles and dipoles etc.
The hard truth is that, if aesthetics come first, and you are stuck for position of your speakers, no amount of auto-EQ will make up for this and you will miss that surround effect.
If you can, position the speakers roughly where you will mount them, then calibrate once, hear it and decide if it sounds good BEFORE you fix it permanently.
OR accept that your system will be compromised, especially those who use a living room.
Then treat the room to reduce ambient noise levels. You will be pleasantly surprised at how many more effects you can hear, and the level of immersion you can achieve without having to turn up the volume to hurtful levels and yet get more out of the sound system. Even if you cannot set up your system in a HT dedicated room, try the same disc in the still of the night, you will understand what I mean, and hear so much more. That may be the push factor to isolate the listening environment somehow and get more out of the same sound system.
Getting the best out of your speakers - positioning
Another day with the Neural X, and DTS-X, and I took out a disc from the not too distant past: Get The Gringo A relatively simple plo...