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Question: help with my new plasma TV setup

we got our tc-p50s2 at best buy and got the blu-ray disc theater system with it we just signed up for direct tv at the same time. the tech at best buy insisted that I needed to get the Monster green power home theater powercenter ht800g surge protector due to plasma tv's sensitivity to even slight surges and fluctuations in power which occur all the time in a home. his example was like when you turn on the hair drier you can note at slight flicker in the lighting. he also stated that the refresh rate was so much faster than the LCD TV that you need a higher quality HDMI cable. My son said the cheapest one will work as well as any top end cable. this whole system was touted to be idiot proof to set up. I am NOT a tech person. It has been a nightmare, the sound from the tv stopped when I plugged the HDMI from the blue ray player into the back of the TV in the second input slot the direct TV HDMI was in the first slot. the only way we could get sound from the direct TV source was through the second port. the TV sound would not ajust at all. The volume had to be twice as high for direct as for a disc. Also some how in trying to do the "easy" set up we got two sound sources at one time out of sync a echo sound that we could only get rid of by defaulting back to factory settings.Any way did I get taken buying into this expensive surge protector and HDMI cable or is plasma as sensitive and as fast as the salesman said. Also do you have any suggestions on how to get a good set up completed to get the most from my new system? thanks for any input