It's not about them being discrete, it's an issue with the cabling not really being possible. It's a rented house and would require too much restoration work when we leave for it to be feasible or affordable.
A few details, when you say front three, do you literally mean front three or front three plus a Sub?
The use of a Center probably hinges on the placement of the front speakers. If the placement is narrow, near the TV, then, yes, you can get by without a Center. However, if the front are medium to somewhat widely space, then a Center is more indicated. There are many members who do not use a Center speaker, and like the result. That said, the Center is relatively important and carries a lot of dialog.
The real answer hinges on what speaker you actually have. If you have some decent bookshelf or floorstanding, then the results of just two or three speakers in front will be very good. However, if we are talking about small satellite speakers, the results are going to be less good.
So, to determine the best configuration, we would need to know specifically what equipment you have, and how big the new room is?
Am I right in assuming that this is a temporary situation? You are temporarily in a rental property?
How temporary? Weeks? Months? Years?
Here is the thing, any configuration is a valid configuration - 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 3.1, whatever. Given that you have a complete system now, use as much of it as you can under the circumstances. If you have a Sub, and if a Sub is not a problem in the rental property, then certainly 2.1 or 3.1 are workable options. If a Sub is a problem, then certainly 3.0 is a perfectly workable setup. Just re-run the Amp Setup in the new room, and you are set.
We make similar recommendations to people all the time. We encourage them to start with less than a full system, and add more speaker components until they are satisfied. So less than 5.1 are certainly fine sounding and workable configurations.
Do you need all three front speakers, no. But if you have them and if the circumstance will allow them, use them. And if not, don't sweat it, especially if it is just short term.
I'm going to be training for three years and so we've moved to a rental and honestly don't want the hassle in three years of restoring the room. Plus as a student the cost of buying new cable, trunking, drilling into walls is too much for me!
It's two fronts, one centre and a sub. If im using three speakers (and sub), what decoding mode is used on my amp? Presumably not stereo?
Instead of connecting the speakers to your amp via a cable, you connect a transmitter to the amp. The sound shouldn't be as good as similarly priced regular speakers... but it's for effects only and it's temporary... so...