Question Newbie question - 5.1 Surround Sound Setup

Unlucky Gumbo

Novice Member
Hi All,

New here and have been looking around the site to see if there may be answers to some queries i have. I know very little about home cinema but i am hopeful you guys can assist.

We are currently redesigning our living room to accomodate a tv move but look to add in new power sockets and audio cabling to suit our plan to upgrade to a new 5.1 suround sound system. All cabling will be placed in conduit and sunk into either blockwalls or into stud walls. My question is, when i do decide to buy a 5.1 surround sound system am i right in assuming that the AV recievier itself will take all the HDMI connections from a PS4, NES,XBOX etc where as at the moment all run to the tv individually, and then only one HDMI will join the AV to the tv? In addition to this do i need an optical cable running from the tv to the AV unit or do the HDMI cables do the same job?

Secondily, i would be looking to purchase an atmos setup, am i also right in thinking that this is self powered?

thirdly, as the setup will be a 5.1 the speaker wires will be placed into the stud wall on bananna plugs, again a i right in assuming that this is all i require to potentially power the rear speakers.

As mentioned previously i want to make sure i have everything in place prior to re plasterboarding and plastering the walls and it worries me that i may not be thinking enough about the future as i certianly wouldnt want to go down this route again if not needed.

Thanks for your time and any assistance or ideas would be appreciated


Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Room - a floor plan showing proposed seating layout and TV location is a good starting point, pics of the room are handy to.

Connectivity - traditionally the AVR is the Hub of a Surround system.

With the ability to now purchase a TV plus AVR with the new eARC feature that gives you the option to make the TV the Hub of the system.

Immersive audio (Atmos) requires an AVR which is Atmos enabled and has enough channels for the configuration you require.

Where you install In-ceiling speakers for the overhead channels those are powered by the AVR so require a loudspeaker cable.

The height positioning of your surround (and rear) speakers changes a little if you are also planning for overhead channels.

Immersive layout options - Speaker Setup Guides

‘Brush’ style faceplates are a handy way to bring your loudspeaker cables out of your walls.


Unlucky Gumbo

Novice Member
Hi Joe,

Thanks for your message.

I will look to upload photo's of the room however may not be that straightforward. Do you have an idea on some free softward that can be used to show the outline of what we are doing?

We have a 65" tv that everything will be connected to already so a guide on the connectivity required for all of our items once we have our 5.1 would be great. As stated we have around 3 - 4 items connected via hdmi

We wont be using ceiling speakers as it stands so using a 5.1 system shouldnt be an issue.

We are looking to use double backbox's and the fronts split up using single modules to avoid the needs for multiple backboxes.

If there is any mroe info it would be appreciated

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Atmos - requires you to add a minimum of two 'height' channels to a core 5.1 speaker layout, the height channel loudspeakers can either be ceiling mounted or 'up-firing' units which usually sit on top of your Front LR loudspeaker cabinets.

TV - can be used as the 'hub' of the system; though if it is limited to Optical or ARC audio out you hit limitations when it comes to playing back HD audio.

eARC - is the new version of ARC which is just beginning to appear on TV, Soundbar and AVR's and enables Source connected to the TV to pass full HD audio out to the audio device.


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