Step up to the Bar
While we'd like to think that everyone who invests in a flat panel HDTV also spends a little extra for a decent sound system, the fact is that most HDTV owners simply rely on their TV's built-in speakers for their auditory enjoyment. And while TV picture quality generally trends upwards every year, the same cannot be said for TV sound. The thinner a TV gets, the less room it has for speakers, and speakers that lack the necessary cabinet volume tend to sound thin and anemic, with no bass and limited dynamic range.
But many prospective surround sound system buyers are put off, not only by the price of a surround system, but by its complexity. People don't want to have to deal with the extra wires and complicated system set-up of a full-fledged surround system. Oh sure, there are affordable integrated HTiB (home theater in a box) systems, but these still usually require that you run a bunch of wires around the room to get sound to all of the speakers.