First, a quick bit of background: Some may remember me from a Loooong time ago, as I used to be a fairly active member of this forum and even felt that I knew enough to dispense the occasional advice. Sadly, I haven't been keeping up in the past 4-5 years as "real life" has gotten in the way of one of my hobbys. As a young professional who now owns a house, is married, etc, my priorities have shifted into other things. In addition, my lovely wife is not a fan of "loud." The listening volume ain't what it used to be, and I am comfortable in conforming to her request. Given this, when we moved into our new house last year, I never really set up my system the way that I had before. We have an oddly shaped living room, and there is absolutely no good way to run speaker wire to the back area behind the listening position(s). I know that I could hire a pro for consult/wiring, but that kind of $$ is out of the question. I currently have my Pioneer receiver sending 5.1 to my old speakers, but they are sadly bunched up on/near the TV (save for my old Sony WM40 in the corner). I used to laugh at people who committed such attrocities back in the day, but with regular life getting in the way, I just haven't been able to find a better solution. In the next few months, I've gotten the go-ahead to upgrade our 5 y/o CRT HD 27" 4x3 TV. I've decided on a 46" or 50" Panny plasma, but my question pertains to audio that will support the look and new technology. I'm thinking that I may need to go the soundbar route (it will certainly achieve a pseudo surround certainly better than what I have now). I see that most soundbars have built-in amps these days. I have an old Pioneer 811s receiver that did it's job back in the day, but it does not have HDMI support. A few points: The Panny has an optical out that I could run directly to a soundbar, and the TV has plenty of options for connections for my current needs; but, I'm unsure of the quality of the processing, etc. Should I use my TV as the "switching" source at this point since it obviously supports HDMI? Should I rid myself of the old Pioneer Receiver in the new setup? Or should I run all audtio to my receiver as it is today and find a nice 3.1 system to hook up to it (while routing all HDMI connections straight to the TV)? I know I could get a new receiver (I like the newer Onkyo's), but I don't think the $$ is in the cards. Hope this makes sense. I'm embarassed that this is not the ideal "home theater setup" that I once had (I used to be proud of my system 6-8 years ago). I'm just trying to determing the best plan of attack for me to improve my current setup but still maintain the WAF. Incidentally, I really can realistically spend about $500-600 on my audio setup. As I say, I know it's not going to blow anyone away, but I just want to improve the pathetic situation I've found myself in. Thanks so much in advance for any and all help, hope all ym old friends on here are well.