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Optical is a bit out of date these days and doesn't support some of the newer formats. Not a problem if most of your kit is over 5 years old but something to avoid if you have newer stuff.

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you'd like a mate of mines setup, he has 2 shelving units in the alcoves either side of his chimney breast with a total of over £16k worth of equipment, he's got floor standing tannoy 6.4 speakers beside his 75" LED smart tv, his speaker wire is £70 per meter, his HDMI cables cost nearly £200 each, he bought a valve amp just for listening to LP's which cost him a few thousand some years ago, he's a real audiophile

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Optical is a big out of date these days and doesn't support some of the newer formats. Not a problem if most of your kit is over 5 years old but something to avoid if you have newer stuff.

the main reason i have optical is most of the errr new films i download i watch on the PS3 as it's cheaper than burning it all to blu ray discs, the films are usually encrypted so 20 mins in the film would just stop, the way round it was to have it connected via optical for the audio and it doesn't recognise it as playing so doesn't go off

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I can relate to all of that, although my budget would never stretch that far. I have carefully selected but low-cost components in my systems.

You should maybe tell your friend that HDMI is a data cable, not a sound or video cable, so unlike the speaker cable spending big money will make no difference to the quality at all!

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he's more money than sense, he just likes to buy expensive stuff as he believes quality is expensive, we have a 1 for all remote control that cost us £15 from asda, he got one that was over £100 because A it was cambridge audio and B it was touch screen

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My father in laws just bought one of them bose units that goes under the TV and to be honest it's probably better than my entire sound system that I have for the TV, mine consists of 2 floor standing speakers next to the tele, 2 satellite speakers in the back corners, a centre speaker under the TV and the bass box behind the TV

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Only floor standing one I have is the bass box the rest of them are small enough to be on the walls. I have been looking at a 3d TV that comes with surround I'm tempted with. But that will all have to wait till next year :D car comes 1st 

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3D does not interest me at all, just a gimmick,  the idea of sitting there in glasses all night not my idea of fun. I understand there is now a high end TV which does 3D without the glasses but I am more than happy with good quality 2D :)

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I'd only want it for the movies. And I watched my Missus dads 3d tv with bluray movies it's alright changes the feel of the movie and you don't notice you have them on. I've also been errrrm doing 3d movies on to disc cough cough if you know what I mean ;) 

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the nintendo 3DS came out with a warning stating if you use the 3D function you can't do it for prolonged periods and not to let kids under 13 use it, this was the first non glasses 3D system available and it may well have improved since but i'd rather go for the safer glasses option, i too think it's a gimmick and have no intention of buying a tv for it's 3D capability but if i do get a tv that has it i would use it every now and again but i think it's the kids that would be using it for most of their films, that being said there are more and more movies being released in 3D now so it's not going to be long before the next fad is holographic projection movies lol

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