So I was down at a local HT store and started talking speakers with the owners. We were talking about speaker setups and they mentioned that they were only using 4.1 setups and that there wasn't much of a difference because the decoders just push the audio out the left and right speakers. They said the only reason you need a center channel is if there are some seriously off center viewing angles so that one speaker doesn't over power the other.
This is completely counter-intuitive to everything I've heard. So I've been messing around going back and forth between 4.1 and 5.1 setups. I can definitely tell a difference but it's not a bad one. If I continue with the experiment and find the 4.1 just as good it'll save me a lot of money not having to upgrade a center channel.
Does anyone have a 4.1 instead of 5.1? What are your thoughts?