Sounds like I should bring my 880 over to yours to try, making placement easier for you. If you liked it we could look at a swap of sorts if placement continues to be an issue.I did a lot more testing today as the sound just wasn't sitting right with me and I felt I could get it better, which I did. The last thing I did was to raise the centre by approx. 20 cm helped a lot. And now at least all woofers are at about the same height. I also tried LCR beneath my screen at this higher height which sounded very nice. It was a fuller and more cohesive sound but many sounds, especially isolated sounds and isolated bits of dialogue drew attention to themselves. A good example is the scene in Blade Runner 2049 in which the pleasure model A.I talks out of shot once or twice and is also heard from the far left. With the left speaker beside my screen, the dialogue placement is better than bottom left, beneath the screen. Another good example is the Gallimimus flocking scene in Jurassic Park. Again, the rush of dinosaurs squealing and rush of heavy footsteps occupies the width of the screen and thus worked better with the image for me with L and R beside the screen.
I realised that I still like CIH, and found myself preferring it over CIW today. Utilising CIH allowed me to keep the centre raised. 16:9 and 1.85:1 content incurs too much neck strain and a poor viewing angle at the full width of my screen. But using CIH worked a charm. The extra brightness gained along with the better sharpness and overall better image quality, especially for 4K upscaled HD content (Jurassic Park 3D in this instance), was astonishing. It really drew my eyes to how - I read this - the image at max zoom suffers. My like for CIH also brings getting an A lens back into the mix as I really saw how the extra brightness would help scope content here.
The first thing I did today was actually put LCR up in vertical orientation as they would be behind an AT screen. I let content run as normal on my screen behind. It was great to hear them like this, they sounded perfect. After this I decided to put my screen in front of L and R to see if my thoughts about an AT screen would change. It was quite a transformative experience. The proper placement of the sound of rustling leaves in the opening sequence of Jurassic Park this time added a depth to the image and scene that was not there previously. I had never experienced this before. In some regards, I felt that there was not much difference to having the speakers as above, either side and centre below my screen. But as a whole, the improvement in sound and the on-screen action was obvious. Man of Steel's opening sequence of Krypton coming to its end was spectacular. It's a great example of the sound of action panning between L, C and R and the great musical score. Because of this, I think this scene really showcases when all 3 front speakers are set up well, especially optimally. At this stage in my tests I realised that I made the right move getting the largest budget 16:9 screen I could fit because as planned, it has allowed me to play with the image and speaker placement in a very beneficial way. For example, I was also able to get a far closer AT setup impression using my non-AT screen , despite the sound suffering from being blocked by the PVC. I had previously hung wrinkly bed sheets as taught as possible over my speakers. The better mock-up felt a lot more comfortable than before, although, I do still prefer the longer seating and viewing distance to the non-AT screen. That said, I've now get a clearer plan in mind, which is to see how I go enjoying a non-AT CIH setup. But I feel more inclined now to do this with an AT screen at some point after todays tests.
Finally, my best friend and a fellow AVF member sent me some snippets of new songs he is working on using his new interface and software. I had recently heard how good they were sounding on my PC monitor downstairs. But I was blown away when I first heard them through proper speakers. I have never heard sound so clear and of such high fidelity. I put that down to his musicianship and skill, his new hardware and software, and these glorious speakers.