Solved! What exactly are the advantages of using a home theater system with receiver over optical/speakers?

May 29, 2020
I am starting from scratch and looking to accomplish pairing a TV with a home theater set up...really appreciate some guidance.

Decent TV, probably this TCL Class 6-Series 4K UHD QLED. It has HDMI ARC capability. I plan on running a Blu-ray player, PS4, Nintendo Switch and a XBOX 360 with it, along with the Smart apps for watching TV and streaming on the TV itself. The TV does have enough inputs to run all this.

So for audio, my question is, what are the exact advantages of using something like a Yamaha Yht-4950U receiver over just using a package of speakers like this Polk Audio Blackstone TL1600 Compact Home Theater system.

If my main concern is to have good surround sound and some bass with rear speakers and a decent sub when watching movies or sports, what does adding the receiver get you? I know that the surround sound ultimately is dependent on its source- the Blu-ray, PS4, 360 all should have no problem outputting surround whether there is a receiver in play or not.

Aside from a little better quality sound, some bells and whistles like Bluetooth pairing, I can't see getting the Yamaha system over using optical cable to the Polk Audio system. The Yamaha is more expensive, introduces yet another remote, ect...

The Polk speakers you linked are just speakers, you still need a receiver to run them. Maybe you meant to link to a soundbar/sub/rear speaker setup like this

Benefit of getting each component separately vs in a package is that you get to pick exactly what you want. It also most often enables upgrades easier since a box home theater may use custom connections and you can't pick how many inputs/outputs you get.

Same thing as if you buy a pre-packaged meal from a supermarket instead of selecting each ingredient yourself. If you can't cook well, get pre-made, if you know you can do a better job than whoever packaged up the product, do that.

Really it depends on what you want from the setup, do you want to listen to music also or just get good sound for movies? I bought a Vizio setup with a wireless sub with 2 speakers that connect to it used for about $60, something like this but wider It sounds very good, I liked it better than systems double the price I listened to, plenty for a non-audiophile setup even for music.
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