Hello All, Hope I've not upset anybody with my subject, as I realise many have a very substantial investment in their HT equipment, and as someone who has a not too disrespectful 2 channel system, I can understand, and respect others investments in the HT arena. However, as a 'newbie' to HT, I'm a little unsure as to what the most important element in HT is, as regards the overall sense of involvement, the suspension of disbelief if you will, that 'being there' feeling of involvement in the 'story' that is the movie, much in the way that a good novel is an involving experience that 'takes you away' from the 'real world' for a while. I'm wondering as to whether it's the picture, or is it the sound that is the most important, or dominant element. I've been looking at my options for 'adding/integrating' HT to my existing 2chn HiFi, using my current 28" CRT TV as the monitor. I've listened to some 'highend' preamp/processors, eg Meridian, Naim, Tag etc, as well as less esoteric models, Denon, Sony, Rotel etc. Hot favourite for me on paper (still trying to find stock here in OZ to audition) is the Sony TAE/TAN 9000ES combo, as regards reported sound quality, bass management, flexibility, and overall quality. I'm more interested in overall sound quality, than whether it has say DPL11 for eg. even though I'm aware of it's limitations in that area. What intrigues me, is that when auditioning, and doing AB's with Naim, v's Rotel, Denon etc, the advantages were clearly heard with the more expensive (very!) processor/amp combo, as regards dynamics, clarity and detail, air and space around individual sounds in the movie mix, and the detail to be heard in any one sound, for eg the naturalness of timbre of dialogue, the subtleties of inflection, phrasing, breathing, acoustics of the environment, etc, etc. The cheaper components just couldn't give one that same level of performance, and in that sense, you got what you would pay for. However, unlike HiFi, where I've done these kind of auditions before, and heard the performance jumps as one goes up the line in equipment quality and cost, eventually reaching a point where one is really excited by what one is hearing, and whilst realizing that there is always better, is so thrilled by what one hears, that a buying decision usually results, I couldn't say the same with HT for some odd reason, that I'm trying to figure out. Even though I could hear the differences, between both the cheaper, and much more expensive esoteric 'high end' pre/pro/amp combos, at the end of the day, on familiar and loved movies, the differences didn't significantly increase my enjoyment or sense of being there of the movie, to the point that one would be reaching hurriedly for ones wallet. I'm wondering, is this maybe just a personal thing, in that some people maybe respond more to movies than music, and some the other way around, or is it that in the prescence of the visual, the auditory medium is of lesser importance, say as compared with HiFi, for eg 2chan, and classical music, where one does listen very intently, or at least I do! In that sense, is spending really 'high end' money on the sound side of HT bringing greater value relative to the other important aspect of the total equation, ie the picture, as regards the total enjoyment/involvment aspect. What is the dominant element, the sound or the picture?, and to where should one assign the most funds in purchasing/upgradng etc? It's a thorny question, and I'm most interested what others, more experienced in the HT world think. I had a sobering and thought provoking experience the other evening. Whilst watching a regular episode of my favourite police drama, an episode of the Brit. series 'The Bill' I realised even though it was just on TV, no surround or anything, I was completely 'lost' and involved in the show, the plot, acting, etc had me on the edge of the seat. To be honest, I couldn't even tell you what the sound track was like, I was totally unaware of it. So I'm a bit lost as to priorites in assembling the HT side of things, as to either sound, or picture. Certainly with sound, it doesn't need to be 'the best' but good enough to satisfy and enjoy, somewhere near the standards, or at least close, to what I'm getting from my 2 chann system. (BTW, I use a Naim Audio system.) Anyway, hope this doesn't seem to much of an oddball topic, but would really like to hear what others think. Cheers, John.