So I have been testing it out and took in a few operas old and new. Sound quality is fine for me using my HT processor, Onkyo PR-SC5530 . It sounds best on direct mode which defaults to 2.1 format. I asked Met and they confirm that all recordings, both audio only and video old or new, are streamed in Stereo CD-quality 16-bit 44.1 kHz audio. So the quality of HT sound depends on your processor that is converting the original broadcast signal to multichannel of your choice. I think I am keeping the service until I get through the catalog which is extensive. I like it. I plan to listen only in direct (pass through) stereo mode.