I purchased the s9100thx a week ago. Like the others say. The packaging is definitely big but not a determining factor. To fit it in a car you would have to open the box and place the parts in your car indiviually.
Based on other posting I had the idea that this system was "loud." Although the system can pack a punch
When comparing it to my previous system. Which was pretty old. Sony reciever (7 years old, 5.1dts compatible, optical inputs) w/ 4 JBL speakers hooked up (27+ years old 12" woofer 5" mid 3" tweeters, made w/ cardboard speakers not plastic like the newer ones) and 1 center speaker by sony. Note* there was no sub hooked up so the system was really 5.0. I would turn up the reciever 50% and the system would literally shake the entire house
W/ the 9100thx to get a little feel/ sound the system has to be turned up to -20 which is around ~70% of it's total power. Although you can get a sound w/ feeling from the system note that you would have to be running the reciever at around 90%+ of it's total capability to get a decent feeling (not wall shaking)
Oh yea, in case your wondering the subwoofer sits ~5ft away from me on the 9100thx system. So distance is not a factor. While with my old system the speakers were all at least 13ft away.
9100thx Pros and Cons
*Highs mids and lows very clear sounding / THX
*System is small enough to fit in almost any environment
*System has enough power for a small living room
*7.1 w/ ability to decode Dolby TrueHD & Dolby Digital Plus
*remote, very comfortable easy to find buttons/ feel
*Lots of inputs
*No feel of sound
*System very over rated in power specs
*Reciever doesn't give the option to setup big/ small speakers, (for future upgrades)
*under powered for bigger livingroom.
*Performance over rated
Rating the system. I would give the 9100thx
5/10 stars when comparing to all home theater
8/10 when comparing it to only HTIB
8/10 in sound quality
3/10 in feel
9/10 in size (I like that all the speakers are small and can get loud)
8/10 in Price
7/10 in future proof.
Furthuer dicussion on system grading. Although it's a great HTIB I'm very much old school in that I like feel the movie action, feel the music and be part of it. Which is a huge factor when being lost in the motion. I mean if I went to a closed arena concert held in a large room or club and I didn't feel the scream of the electric guitar, lows of the bass and beats of the drums. The performer better do something extrodinary to be considered a good concert.
And I'm very very dissatisfied w/ how the 9100thx performed. To have to run the reciever at it's peak to get decent sound only means that it is not going to have a long life. Especially when comparing it to my older Home Theater which I gave to my Dad now. Damn you Onkyo! I don't understand how an older 5 speaker system w/ no sub can kill a newer 8 speaker(including sub) in sound quality, performance, and feel. And also the fact that they're selling this system as a "1200w" which is 600watts more than my old sony. If Onkyo under rated this system as a 300watt system I would probably be pretty happy with that, but I was expecting lobster and instead got a catfish.
Future proof I gave a 7/10 because although it does have all the the latest features HDMI, optical, Dolby TrueHD, etc. It does not contain any hardware that's new and not in use today but may be in the future. I mean when I was buying that sony reciever 7 years ago it had four optical inputs which was pretty much unheard of during that time but is basicly a standard now. The onkyo does contain Dolby TrueHD and dolby Digital plus decoders for the future. The lack of being able to upgrade to bigger also dropped the future proofing.
Take note* that I do not endorese sony. I think personally think there sound department needs to get better and sucks. I've had a sony car stereo was terrible so they do need inprovement. I do like JL Audio subs which I hope they enter Home entertainment because they have a reputation for understating ther subs W3 which can perform double if not triple the power and sound stated, but that's another story. For JBL, I would say there older speakers, cardboard, are way better then there new smaller plastic speakers.
If asked to recommend the 9100thx I would say, I'm keeping my HTIB but would say yes and no to certain people because of the cons listed above
Onkyo if your reading this, nice step, but you have yards to cover to be a great HTIB