My tuppence on the 2ch vs 5.1 ch debate, as a report and some thoughts on how/why I've tried to combine: a) a stereo/music set-up with full hifi speakers placed either side of fireplace with b) a 5.1/AV set-up with 3 small speakers placed about a telly situated in a corner on the other side of the room. 1) when I listen to music I prefer to sit comfy and look at flickering fire, at the art work above the fireplace or at friends also sitting about the fireplace, rather than I staring at a big blank TV 2) I am more demanding of music/stereo, and expect more of the dac, amp and speakers than I would tolerate when being entertained by AV, where I focus on the visual and am played about with by the audio in ways that the producer of the AV wanted - for which 5.1 is both necessary and sufficient 3) for AV, the frontstage matters, both the presence of a centre speaker - 'cos that's where the dialogue happens - and having three speakers that intergrate well together, preferably the same make, but they dont have to be full size speakers because ... 4) a subwoofer does really add something to the AV experience that a stereo only system lacks - and 'cos it can handle bass, my 3 front stage speakers can be small and discrete, I could stop there and have a disconnected stereo/music and 3.1/AV system, but although ... 5) the information that goes to the surround speakers is less important to the AV experience, it does add something and gives the AV producer a chance to entertain like s/he meant to ... so I (am about to) play DVDs and SkyTV via digital feed into a Meridian 561, putting the centre and front channels into Denon amplification and out to a Gallo A'Diva centre and a pair of Gallo Micros (placed about a Tosh Strata telly), the LFE into an active sub (Velo VX10), and feed the (mono) surround into a (long) digital feed into my dac (the AS Dax Decade) via my stereo amp (AudioLab 8000S) and into my main speakers (JMLab Electra 905s). The latter set-up is clearly also my stereo/music set up, fed by a CD transport and an FM Tuner. (I plan to configure the Meridian 561 to allow me to feed the digital 'radio' channels, and other 'music', from my Sky+ box to be decoded by the Dax Decade.) I certainly was not happy that the 5.1 AV kit I had gave me what I wanted from stereo/music, and I cannot now envisage how stereo alone could allow me full enjoyment of AV. OK, I have to move the sofa & chairs about a bit, but I do think I'm getting the best of both, without too many boxes and wires: a high WAF has been achieved, well perhaps its just tolerance!! ps I've been home demo'ing the Meridian 561, but have just bought it today; I've been using my Denon AVR2802 (from which I am upgrading) but will be replacing this by the Denon POA3 three channel poweramp. So, I'll be selling on the Denon AVR2802.