I was last in a specialist high end Hifi shop to test a subwoofer. And they showed me a HC set by Sonus farber. They played the LOTR Ext V. I was also testing my setup with this DVD just this weekend and I was surprise how weak the sound was. So I watched the opening scene of the LOTR...and my suspicions was true. The sound was MUCH better with my homesystem than their system. Ít was not because my system was better or more expensive. But my system was just setup as a HC system, while they setup theirs from a musical standpoint. The Hifishop setup there system as a music first system...so realistic natural sound was first priority. So the Sub was very weak. You can barely hear it. Of course you don't need to hear the sub all the time...but when the soundtrack demands it...teh sub can't be shy. IMO in a HC system it's all about effects. Reality is a distant priority. With a HCsystem the pint is not to give you an natural sound....but to give you the feeling that you're right in the middle of the action. While Tom Hanks is storming Normandy, you must have the feeling that you're right next to him on teh beach..and not at home on your couch. This doesn't mean that with cheap high powered speakers and big powerfull amps is all you need to have a dream HC set. In contrary...the difference between a high quality HC system and a low quality HC system is ACCURACY. Loads of Bass and power is just not enough, your speakers must be accurate. I am not sure this is the right word.What i mean is that when teh bullets fly around you...you must be able to hear the bullets fly PAST you. Most cheap or badly setup HC systems only setup there system for max amount of bass or max amount of effect. Not only must your amp be able to give the correct signals..but your speakers AND subwoofer must be able to play it correctly and accurately.You nust be able to hear the effect that teh filmmaker wanted you te feel.So it must not be like you're assualted by sound... Of course unlike with music with homecinema there's the all important centerspeaker. Probably teh most important speaker because this is the main source of dialogue.Unheard of in stereo hifisetups. What I want to say is that I think that it's very difficult, maybe even impossible to have a setup that's equally good with HC and with music. A good musical speaker or amp doesn't automatically produce a good HC system. The needs are just to different IMO. On the otherhand..these means that while getting a system that does both well is impossible or very expensive, but getting a system that does one well is not that difficult or expensive. So when you are looking for a HC sub for example...how important is that it's musical or not? Isn't SPL and down right grunt more improtant? The prime example in this discussion is the Yamaha YST W800.(I know it's just 250 rms) What hifi gave it 5 stars...maybe too much. But i truly believe it that it's an ideal HC sub. It's maybe not a star musically...but it's more than able to produce the neccessary effects not only effectively but ALSO Accurately. The same argument goes with HC amps/receivers...why must they be musical? It must not sound like crap...but it must be able to play the soundtrack effectively and accurately. Imo if you really want a HC and Stereo..it's maybe much cheaper and easier to buy two seperate systems. And when auditioning stuff...DON'T FORGET WHAT YOU'RE LOOKING FOR!! HC of Music...two imo totally different beasts. Anyway i am curious about the views of you guys... It's just theory But I found it very interesting how contrasting our views and approach was to HC with the HIFI guy. I was all about effects,accuracy and realism...and he was about natural sound and such.