(I have no absolutely what's the best forum for this thread: moderators feel free to move it as appropriate). As the system I want to buy is so much more expensive than what I can afford I'm entertaining various wacky ideas about buying pieces of systems and subsequently upgrading by buying the rest as andc when I can afford it. For example, one might buy a good quality processor and amp but only two speakers (maybe even with just a stereo power amp) and get centre, surrounds and sub (and maybe other power-amp channels) later. My wacky idea for today is this: some DVD players have built-in Dolby Digital and DTS decoders. If you didn't mind limiting yourself to 5.1, could it ever be useful to route the output of the DVD player straight into the power amp and not use a processor at all until you can afford one? For starters is this even technically feasible, or do you need a separate pre-amp stage? One particular combination that might be interesting would be feeding the digital outputs of a Meridian 598 DVD player directly into Meridian digital active speakers. In the general case I would assume that decoders built into DVD players probably aren't up to much. But imagine an all-Meridian setup with a 598 going into a 568.2 processor and hence into DSP5000 speakes (or even 5500s). This system is specifically designed to use the DVD player circuitry for decoding the original bitstream into 5.1 digital streams, while the DSPs on the 568 are used for up-sampling from 48 to 96 kHz. Similarly the digital to analogue conversion process is intended to happen inside the speakers. These two facts taken together suggest that result of doing this might actually sound rather good. (Indeed one begins to wonder exactly what the 568 is supposed to be doing under those circumstances other than upsampling). I've no idea how feasible this would with non-Meridian kit. Clearly you'd still need a power-amp stage somewhere - but if something similar could be done with a high-end (~£2500) DVD player into (say) M&K active speakers I can imagine the results there might also be rather good. What do you think?