^If you want video switching built in to the receiver you get, I think you are locked into getting a surround sound receiver/pre-pro, like it or not. If you are content to do your video switching through your TV's numerous inputs, instead, you could buy a much simpler 2 channel (stereo only) setup and do your "bass management" via the crossover most likely already in your subwoofer. The majority of them have one that AVR people usually bypass, but you'd actually use
If you want Audyssey, that
would lock you into an AVR (with surround sound, not just stereo) as well.
Do you never
listen to 5.1 encoded sources?
You don't have
to get a center speaker if you don't want or can't fit one, ya know; all
AVR's have a mode of 4.1, no center, which works quite well, arguably even better in some circumstances, and just an extra pair of small, modest speakers for the rear, added to the fronts, qualifies as surround sound.
In my opinion, surround sound reproduction from encoded sources (especially once calibrated via a supplied microphone), is the most important advancement to home audio since the CD, way back in 1982. Everything else, such as SACD, has been mostly "fluff" and marketing ploys.Edited by m. zillch - 7/20/12 at 7:59am