I have an "open concept" house, which means I have a very large living room (20x40). I've had to set up a pretty complex sound system to get the music quality I desired, with a mix of older equipment and newer stuff added for the Blu-ray/HDTV. I've managed to set up an awesome music system using this four power amps/equalizers I've acquired over the years, at the center is a Harman Kardon AVR 145 (non-HDMI) receiver, which I use essentially as a 6.1 channel pre amp which I output to separate Carver and Onkyo power amps for front, mid surround, rear surround and center. Music wise, it is the envy of anyone who hears it. It works fantastic when I play CDs on the Harman DVD/CD player using Dolby PII encoding - I get a great multi-channel music experience, with clear vocals and "center stage" ambiance from the center channel and a simply fantastic stereo separation to front, surrounds and rears, but I have been disappointed by essentially sub-par surround-sound from my Blu ray disks, the worst of which is terrible center speaker performance, with muffled and unintelligible dialog. I am using a Klipsch Synergy C-3 mounted under the wall-mounted HDTV as the center speaker, and the rear speakers are JBL E-10s, and I have eliminated them as the cause because they sound fantastic when used on the CD channel and I have substituted other speakers and no change. I've even tried a different AVR receivers, and still the same crummy sound from the center and poor surround. This week end, decided to get radical and add a separate pre-amp/amp for the center channel only using a Carver PA amp, too which I added two Klipsch F-1 towers on either side of the C-3 to see if that would fix the problem, which made my music sound go from awesome to like, incredibly awesome because now I can balance voice precisely in the system to an absolutely mind-blowing level of perfection, but sure enough, as soon as I followed The Dixie Chicks with "Master and Commander" I couldn't understand half of what Russell Crowe had to say, although previously it had sounded like Natalie Maines was singing to me in my living room like she was singing in the shower back home. It's maddening. After going through this, process-of-elimination, changing speakers and amps and center channel settings on the AVR 145, I've finally reached the point where I have decided the problem has something to do with my poor understanding of the various encoding formats and how I am piping it all through the Samsung BD-D5300 Blu Ray, into the Samsung TV, and then out to the AVR-145. I simply assumed everything would just set itself to some sort of 5.1 format automatically and then output a center channel signal properly, but now I think the root of my problem is that I am outputting 2 ch sound from the Blu Ray to my AVR 145 (which would explain the terrible center channel performance and the lack of a full "surround" experience), as is shown on page 29 of the user manual, and as a result I am simply not getting an accurate center channel signal into the receiver in the first place: http://downloadcenter.samsung.com/content/UM/201202/20120202123809431/01984A-02-BD-D5300-ZA-BM.pdf So I am going to get out my Bluray manual, and my HDTV manual, and go through the sound set ups on these devices, because I think my problem is in there. My first question is, given that my AVR is not HDMI enabled, would I be better off hooking the Blu Ray audio output to the AVR directly via the optical port ? Currently I have the Blu ray cabled into the Samsung PN58B860 HDTV via HDMI, and then I use the optical output of the as the input of to the AVR 145. When I go thru the various sound formats available on the AVR 145 for this hookup, I get the best sound when I choose "Dolby PLII Movie" as the format, but now I am beginning to think the real reason that sounds the best is because that format simulates a two channel input as a surround format, and what I am getting is a simulation instead of a true multi-channel input, so my next question is, what is the music format I need to choose as I manually go through the setup screens for the Blu Ray and the TV, and then finally, to the AVR-145 to get the best multi channel signal to the receiver? Thanks for your help!