A little reminder on the balance we have to face in our domestic settings.
The best surround effects we can achieve is dependant on the balance between WAF at one end of the spectrum, and the best position / speakers that money can buy.
So once we have decided on what our wallets can afford, followed by what our wives can tolerate, (especially those using living rooms as a HT setup), then we work within those parameters. We will then need to understand that the sound will be compromised, and that we can live with that, and no Audyssey or other auto-eq magic can fix that.
So for example, if a sofa MUST be located dead centre or right against the wall, we need to understand what we can achieve.
Or if the rear surround speaker Must be in the ceiling, then again, the sound will travel from the top to the sides to the fronts in an uneven fashion.
In planning for a new system, either spend money hiring a pro, or save and plan on some elbow grease.
Which means that you need to do the calibration manually, or at least buy an AVR with the latest auto-EQ, eg Denon and Marantz use the latest Audyssey XT32, which isn't found on some of the other brands.
So for a start, understand the ideal speaker positions, and see how your domestic settings allows you to get as close to this as possible. Then see how you can run those cables. If you are doing some major reno, you can cut into the ceiling, or run some trunking, which is cheaper but not as aesthetically pleasing.
Or use the reflective speakers.
Where you site the sub is again a compromise between the best position obtained via the sub crawl and calibration, or the spot your wife dictates.
Once we have understood the paradigm, then we can plan to improve what we can, within the parameters that our wives and renovation allows.
Finally, in any HT, the centre channel is the most important, and even if you use satellites, if you can get a bigger centre, it will reward your movie experience as much as, if not more than buying the biggest baddest sub in town.
Just posting a summary of some discussions with a few readers.
I wish you all the best in your renovations for your new HT setup, cheers.