I know what you're saying about the chase when it comes to technology. If it wasn't for the Mrs. keeping me in control, I would be upgrading a component once a month!
On the plus side, she supports, enjoys and wants to understand home theater. And, the agreement is that this room is mine and I can do with it as I please. Within reason, of course
I'm not a rich man either...That makes it all the more crucial that a product with the best bang for the buck is purchased. I research every potential 'candidate' with great care...Mostly here...Lot's of smart people on this site. Thats why I have been here over 5 years and have just over 200 posts. I read 20 times more than I posted.
As far as remotes, yeah, I could have a few sitting on the coffee table. I have the capability of only needing
one. My Harmony 880. However, the remote for my Dish Network VIP 622 reminds me of my Tivo remote (I owned like 8 of those from 99-05!) This type of remote is great since you don't have to look at it, at all. You know by feel where you are. So, in short, I have but 2 in use.
Back to bitstreaming...Yes, it is indeed cool to have the TrueHD light fire up and the LCD banner to read 'Dolby TrueHD'. However, the excitement about this wears off in a few days. I stick to my guns that the sound is slightly better when my receiver does the decoding. Let me throw this in for anyone who wants to fire up the acetelyne torch...I don't know why this is so. Extra processing, lack of processing...who knows? I'm waiting for the experts at some of my favorite HT magazines to chime in. They know the science behind this stuff and I do not.
Now onto DTS HD MA. No, you cannot use a toslink cable for this. You will be happy to know that the specifications for DTS HD MA actually are designed for 6.1 and 7.1 systems, in glorious 96/24. I am still waiting on my imports to arrive. I haven't gotten to check it out yet.
Additionally, I've always been one of the 'I like DTS more than DD' guys. That gap for me narrowed (disappeared, actually) once I heard DD TrueHD for the first time. Plus, there are some DD+ encodes that bring the roof down, as it were. Who knows? Once I get a taste of Master Audio, I may turn my nose up to THD (I doubt it!)
As far as HDMI cables, just go to monoprice and save yourself a load of cash. The nerve of these companies that charge like $100 for a cable. It's unbelievable that they get away with this. Alot of people here also like Blue Jean cables.
Well...It's time for my second cup of tea! If you have any other questions, fire away! I just hope that I can answer all of them next time!