OK, I've read thru this entire thread over the last day and despite redlikecommie2 making me wish that punching my computer's monitor could knock his smug, arrogant block off, I went to Beast Buy and picked one up today because it was on sale for $500.
I will be using this with a Philips 7422 LCD HDTV, a PS3, an original Xbox, and a VCR. I don't have cable and pull OTA HD signals with (don't laugh) a set of rabbit ears. I live in an apartment, so earth-shattering volume/bass levels aren't required, but clear, accurate fidelity is. I am budget-limited and want to spend the minimum for a Blu-ray surround system. I know an Onkyo AVR plus much better speakers would be the best and when I get a house and stuff a full-tilt HT in it, that's what I'll do, but for NOW, I'm hoping this will do.
A few questions:
* I'll be ordering a pair of HDMI 1.3a cables from Monoprice to connect the PS3->AS720->TV. According to the Samsung site, the AS720 can NOT process Dolby Digital+, TrueHD, or DTS-HD. If this is so, what's the point of this receiver? Does the PS3 decode these audio formats internally and send send them via HDMI for playback? (Isn't this why an optical ToSlink can't be used - it can't handle the decoded stream?)
* The Xbox can connect via optical to the AS720 and component to the TV. While it would've been nice to funnel it thru the AS720, this isn't a deal-breaker. (My other HT setup has the video going to the set and audio to the AVR, so I'm used to it.)
* The TV has a S/PDIF jack to output to a receiver. Would a cable like this do the job?
How about to connect the subwoofer, too?
* Do the basic cables come in the box? The manual (downloaded from the Samsung site) only lists the remote, the FM antenna and manual as accessories. Shouldn't the basics come with? I've seen posts about using better wiring - what should I get from Monoprice to upgrade any included wire?
* Upthread, someone mentioned these Monoprice speaker stands
. Anyone actually using them and how are they working out? Since IKEA discontinued those stands also mentioned - a shame because I've got one in the area - I need some budget sticks to hold the speakers. I can't frigging believe that almost no one carries stands! I went to Meijer, Target, Sharper Image, Wal-Mart and Home Depot tonight and the only one with stands at any price was Target at $40/pair. (That's too much and why I didn't buy some at BB.) Many had multiple wall mounts, but no speaker stands. WTF is that about? Where else can I get reasonable priced stands for these speakers?
* If the VCR is plugged into the AS720, does any scaling get done or does it just get shunted out the HDMI cable to the set?
* I picked up a Harmony 550 remote to manage everything but the PS3. (No effing thanks to Sony for this. Jackholes!) Will this do?
Hopefully, you all will be able to answer these questions in time to beat the order cutoff deadline at Monoprice (i.e. 2 pm EST) so I can get my stands and cables after the New Year and get things put together. Thanks in advance.