I've been out of the AV loop for a few years, but I just made a significant investment in a new Panasonic VT50, which I love except that I'm trying to make things as easy as possible. (i.e. use as few remotes as possible)
My receiver is a Onkyo 606, which is quite a few yearsw old now. it doesnt support ARC that I know of. My speakers are SVS 7.1.
My sources are: TV, Netflix (via TV), XBMC HTPC (HDMI), and PS3 (HDMI)
With my clunky old TV I used to use my receiver as the routing source. But now it seems my TV actually has a better hub than my receiver, and I have gotten everything to output through the TV and the audio goes through the optical out from the TV to the receiver. I can use the TV remote for 95% of everything.
1) The volume can't be managed except by fumbling for the receiver remote
2) I think I am losing sound quality by having everything converted to linear PCM, and using DTS Neo-6 to spread to my 7.1 speakers. (I think DTS is being transmitted but I doubt its always working properly)
I hate the idea of buying a new receiver to fix this. But I never cared for the Neo-6 sound anyway.
So... what's the cheapest way to make things easy, and get good sound? Can I use ARC effectively? Do most people still use the receiver as a the hub or the TV? Can I get down to one remote or is that a pipe dream? I dont want a solution thats super technical because my girlfriend will kill me.
Any advice will be totally appreciated. Favorite brands, models, other off the wall ideas... thanks!