I research everything I buy. Seriously. That's just the way I am. I had been eyeing this Samsung HT-Z310 5.1 Dolby and DTS Home Theater System ( http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/productDetail.do?oid=205749# ). I knew that Samsung used proprietary speaker cables to simplify connections for new users. No biggie. I could spice the cables into my existing cables. What I did like was home the devices supposedly talked to one another (i.e. TV talks to Home Theatre and vice versa) to allow for easy operation. The price dropped from $230 to $150 today. I was ready. I brought it home all happy. I opened the box and noticed the cable ends.....no biggie. I then began inspecting the speakers. The backs of the speaker also use a proprietary connector to attach to stands. My $250 Maganavox Home Theatre from 7 years ago uses industry standard connectors. Hmm I could rig it I thought. Before I went too far I connected everything to the TV and did a basic twisting of the existing cables to my new cables. I wanted to see how it performed. This is where my heart sank.
The TV immediately noticed the surround sound system and configured itself. So I thought. When I turned up the volume tv surround sound receiver would respond...but no sound. I had a HDMI cable connected between the two. I then realized the HDMI was only output....to the TV....no crosstalk. I then had to run an optical audio cable down from the TV to the receiver. I then had sound....but wasn't happy because I like using the optical audio for the Xbox 360. Not good. On top of that the sound wasn't as rich and full as my existing speakers. Too much compromise indeed. My research didn't pick up on the need for HDMI AND optical audio cables. My research also failed to show that the damn speaker mounting system wasn't standard. Alas the system will go back. Not sure what I am going to do. Probably keep what I have. Nothing really wrong with it...I just wanted to simply and reduced remotes.