Hopefully it is only a harbinger of Sunfire going more downmarket.
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Reubent is right. My nieces and nephews (8 of 'em, ages 12 through 24)don't even care about 2 channel. They all use I-Pods for music (you can barely call cheap earbuds 2 channel music) and, increasingly, cell phones for video. Not one of them cares a wit about home theatre. Any home music system is either a small jam box or similar type thing with detachable speakers stuffed into opposite corners. And all of them are in upper middle class homes.
Funny, just a few years ago everybody wanted a big screen TV, now kids don't care if they watch on 2" ones.
Hey, we're forgetting the true future of music reproduction - the cell phone ring tone! I hear them everywhere and it seems everyone I know has at least one. A guy at the gym has bunches of songs on his phone. I bet there are 20 times as many people interested in ring tones than multi-channel music.
Shambles...That would only be true if the two channels were inferior equipment. My (three) front channels are exactly what I would have if multichannel had never been invented (and the rears, on their own, would represent a respectable 2-channel system). Your comment reflects the unfortunate fact that many multichannel systems have been constrained by budget to inferior equipment.