Originally Posted by jpmst3
I am not sure but I think the new Blu-Ray and HD DVDs are encoded with 7.1. Is that true or do I have my facts screwed up?
No, you don't have your facts screwed up, they are trying to fool you. What they are telling you is that the new Blu-Ray and HD DVD's are technically capable of delivering those tracks. However it amounts to little more than a marketing tool to sell more DVD players and more audio equipment because the format is rather new and very few movies were mixed with those tracks. The player may be 7 track capable but that doesn't mean that any sound was originally mixed to come out of those extra two tracks.
This is only my opinion but within those budget constraints, I would think that more spent on better quality fronts would be money better spent than the little bit of extra separation that you might get every once in a while from the two extra surround channels of 7.1.