I'm really happy with the furniture and its placement in the room. We tried lots of different configurations, and this one works best for a whole host of reasons.
When I have company over for movies, which is maybe 3 times a month, I swing my chair back so it's parallel with the other chair, and so there's a walkway beside it into the room. This means I watch the screen at more of an angle, but thankfully this TV has excellent off-angle viewing. We also swing the big easy chair (which you see in the upper left of the drawing) around so it faces the screen.
When I'm alone, I keep my chair angled as you see it in the drawing, and I tilt the screen so that I can view it more-or-less head on.
Here's my hardware:
- TV: Samsung LN55C650 55in 1080p 120hz IPTV 4HDMI HDTV
- DVD: JVC XV-BP1 Blu-Ray
- Cable company DVR (Scientific Atlanta brand HD box)
So I'm seriously considering a 2.1 or a 3.1 system. If I can find one that emulates surround sound, so much the better. I will need to be able to control the volume, or at least balance, of each speaker: when I am alone, I will want the right channel to be much more emphasized so that I, with my off-center placement, will hear things in balance; but when friends come over, I would like them (who mostly sit in the middle) to have a truly balanced sound, even if I don't.
I watch a variety of movies. Some with special effects needing lots of booming bass, and some that are word-heavy. I like the thrill of booming speakers, but don't want to sacrifice clarity.
I want ease of connection. The Samsung TV, while I love it in general, is a little disappointment in the way it addresses audio. According to the User Manual, if one connects the TV to an external audio system, one can hear 5.1 if the source is the TV, but 2 channels only if the source is a cable box or DVD player! They recommend connecting the cable box and the DVD player directly to the external audio system.
I know nothing about the sound quality (especially the separation) of soundbars. I am willing to consider one if you all think I should.
I am not an audiophile in the sense that I can detect fine differences among high-end systems, but I'm not a complete Philistine either. I appreciate great, rich sound. I would love it if you could recommend a sound system that is
- Under $600, preferably under $500
- Easy to connect, without across-the-room wiring to worry about
- Has really good sound, preferably simulating surround sound
- Could satisfy the dual needs of a mostly single-watcher with occasional movie viewing parties where big booms and expansive sound are enjoyed
Many, many thanks for taking the time to read this long and rambling request!