Originally Posted by NuSoardGraphite
You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to have a halfway decent HT setup that will blow away any integrated speaker. A few hundred on a denon or onkyo receiver and a few hundred more on speakers (not Bose) and you are good to go.
I personally don't understand why anyone would use built in speakers over an HT setup once they have one hooked up. Sure surround isn't necessary for all shows, which is why with the touch of a button I can down mix any show to 2.1 or 3.1 if I want to (and I do so regularly) but to switch from stereo/HT speakers to integrated tv speakers and cut out half or more of the frequency range coming from the program........this is madness!
My wife primarily watches TV on our bedroom system, a 40" Sony Bravia KDL-40EX401. We recently moved, and I have not had time to have the shelf built in that I need to hold my receiver and speakers, so she's just using the TV speakers at the moment (for the first time, since I had them disabled at our last place). In spite of the fact that everything runs through a Harmony remote and is one-button simple, she actually prefers the TV speakers, because it's simpler. She doesn't have to hold the remote still to turn on multiple components just to watch TV. And frankly, given her preference for reality TV and other laugh-track heavy programming, she really doesn't benefit much from the HT system.
The ONLY reason she wants me to go ahead and reconnect the real sound system in our new bedroom (Denon 2112, B&W+Paradigm speakers, 5.1) is that I refuse to watch anything other than the occasional sitcom with her in there, instead dragging her to our main setup in the living room where everything always goes through my Denon 3312 with Klipsch speakers (7.1) and SVS sub, the way I prefer. Naturally, all movies (except the occasional RomCom) are watched on the main system as well.
I have to admit, the TV's built in speakers do a decent job with dialog, which is all that really matters on the programming she watches anyway. (I'm guessing not all TV speakers are the same in this regard, though... mine are decent enough for this purpose, however.) Utter crap for anything else, of course, but that'll be fixed soon enough. Still, she'll likely be annoyed at having to "deal" with the extra system bits, once it's set up again (even with a Harmony... perhaps if we had a fully-programmed Crestron system running over RF, but then she'd complain the remote is too big, or she'd break it when she drops it onto the hardwood floors!). I kinda wish there was a really simple way to switch back and forth between TV speakers and the full system, because it would save power and make her happy (also, the annoying laugh tracks from cheap TV speakers don't extend as far into the rest of the house compared to a better sound system!), but it's best, for simplicity's sake, to keep the system working one way so she doesn't have to think about which mode she's going to watch in anyway.