I recently added a Denon A/V receiver to my theater. What an incredible difference it made. They use a third party system called Audyssey MultEQxt Room EQ to do an automatic calibration of the speakers in the room. My background includes running sound systems for concerts, from a 200 seat club to a stadium. With this background I never thought setting up the surround system was a big deal until this came along. It was night and day between my manual setup vs. Audyssey!
Our theater is a room about 20 x 14 with a 12 ceiling that is sloped on both the front and back sides. The RPTV and equipment is on one long wall with a section sofa surrounding the back and side walls. The front left, right and center speakers are all mounted above the RPTV at the same height (roughly ear height when seated), about 4 feet from each other and about 5 feet from the side walls. The surrounds are trapezoids mounted on the angled ceiling above the sectional about 8 feet from the side walls. The sub is in the front near one corner of the room. I plan to add a second identical sub near the back wall.
When you first turn on the Denon, the on screen instructions walk you though the setup. The room calibration has you plug in an include microphone and set it in up to 6 positions around the room where your head may be while watching movies or listening to music. It then runs through a series of tones in each speaker and calibrates the equalization for best sound. This auto calibration take some time but was well worth the results.
When my wife first heard a movie with the newly calibrated room, she commented on how the sound no longer comes from the front, but seemed to come from everywhere, as it does in real life!
As a typical user, I have found all of the important remote controls are handled by my Harmony 880 universal remote. There is a bit of work setting up the remote via USB and the Internet, but once it's set up, it WORKS. We have tried numerous reasonably prices remote and haven't found anything that came close. Case in point, my wife never use the theater before I added the 880 remote because all the remotes was just to much effort to watch a movie.
There are a ton of inputs for audio and video and they all are able to be combined appropriately for the required inputs. For example, I added the Vudo box via component and optical, playing with the receivers' auto function to finally get both A/V under a DVD button. The same worked from the PC and Xbox. I also ran and optical out from the RPTV to the Denon to support NTSC, ATSC and DirecTV audio via the receiver. Once set up, we can use the 880 remote to chose DirecTV, OtA TV, PC, Vudo or Xbox, all by pushing one button on the remote.