Well, I’ve been given permission to set up a 5.1 surround-sound system in my home office. My main motivation at this point is to listen to DVD-Audio. Of course, side benefits will be to watch DVD movies and play some of my games (like UT2004) with surround. Our family room is set up with a nice 2.1 speaker system, but putting up surround speakers hasn’t been an option for me there. I’ll take what I can get. 😉

All of my audio gear to this point is 2-channel, so I’ll need to get a 5.1-capable soundcard. I’m currently leaning towards the Creative Audigy2 Value (or ZS) or the M-Audio Revolution 5.1. I have more recent experience with M-Audio, but the Creative cards appear to have more widespread use and application compatibility. I still need to investigate the software side of this equation. I believe the current version of WinDVD I use supports AC3 and DTS DVD soundtracks, but perhaps not DVD-Audio natively (although I think it has a plugin). The software that comes with at least the Audigy2 ZS includes a dedicated DVD-Audio player. On the other hand, I know M-Audio strives for compatibility with audio recording and editing applications I use, so it might be an OK choice as well. I’ve seen more reviews online for the Audigy2, and for the most part they are positive.

On the speaker side, based on online testimonials and features alone, I’m sold on the Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 system. I need a system that doesn’t have hard-wired satellites, since I’m going to be wiring the rears neatly on a wall and need the flexiblity that spring-loaded terminals provide. Klipsch also has nice-looking wall mounts. Other systems I looked at included the two higher-end Logitech systems (both of which have hard-wired satellites) and the M-Audio LX system, which has larger satellites and a bigger price tag than the Klipsch. I’m hoping to do this all for $400-$500.

Any of you guys (or gals?) have experience with this kind of a setup? Please share your thoughts.