Ok, I waited and read and read as much as I could so I could make my questions as educated and clear as possible. That being said, here goes. I just replaced my Yamaha receiver which stopped working a few years ago (sound goes in and out and if you hit the machine comes back on!). I got another Yamaha (5840) and still have all the speakers (5.1) set up. I also just purchased a DVD-RW/VCR combo so now I will have one less thing to hook up. Got the TV a few months ago Toshiba HDTV (forgot the model#). And I have a cable box DVR. Before setting up my new receiver, I ordered an HDMI cable and some opitcal cables from ebay (thanks to reading on here saved myself major $$) My goal: to be able to watch (and hear) the TV, and possibly dvds/tapes with or without the receiver being on. (the last few years it was so complicated that visitors or babysitters would have to call us every time) My plan: HDMI from cable to TV Components from cable to receiver Optical from cable to receiver Components (or svideo?) from DVD/VCR to receiver Optical from DVD/VCR to receiver Components (or Svideo)from DVD/VCR straight to TV Will this give me what I want? I would have to change the TV video setting from HDMI to Component when watching DVDs and then I would get video and sound as though I had no receiver, then turn the receiver on for surround sound when I want it. am i making life easier? or more complicated? will I be able to record onto DVD or VHS things that I saved on the DVR? Will I be able to record onto DVD or VHS straight from cable (not likely to be necessary due to the DVR)? Thank you SO much!