Apparently, home theatre systems around the world are falling short of greatness because their owners are failing to hook up their rear speakers (properly at least). Not surprisingly, the main culprits are that many customers who purchase home theatre gear and attempt to hook it up themselves either have no idea what they are doing, or aesthetic issues like exposed cords force them into an meaningless existence bereft of sweet surround sound.
Research conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and various consumer electronics manufacturers and suppliers have determined that "surroundophobia" is becoming a widespread problem—even among those who did not purchase out-of-the-box systems. Some of this research puts the number of crippled systems out there at around 25-35% while others like retail giant Best Buy put the problem at 40-50%.
Potential solutions to the problem include soundbars and wireless speakers, but there are still shortcomings and a learning curve associated with both. So, in the end, it really comes down to consumer education. That having been said, for the love of God do some research—because good surround sound is a terrible thing to waste. [Sound and Vision]