AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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You are going to want a receiver. It is actually simpler to do things with a receiver than without one, so don't concern yourself with that.
Trying to work around it with other solutions is awkward and gets complicated, and ends up being a major headache. It also ends up being money wasted, since that path is a dead end and leaves you with useless junk in the end.
I suggest that you get a pair of speakers and a receiver, which is easy to do for $400.
I suggest that you get the Onkyo TX-NR414 receiver from Amazon for $200. That is a very good receiver at a modest price.
You can get a pair of Polk R300 floorstanding speakers for under $200, or a pair of of Polk R150 bookshelf speakers for around $120.
That will give you MUCH better sound quality than any soundbar you can buy for the same money, and all you have to do to complete a 5.1 system is add matching speakers at a later date, which will not cost that much.
The Polk CSR center speaker is only $70.
The only soundbars that actually sound decent are quite expensive. A receiver is a much better way to go.