This detects Dolby Digital that goes through the optical cable and the 200 does not. Many people that have newer Panasonic TV's can't use the 200 with out converting back to the analog connections, I'm one of them. Taking my 200 back to the store.
the HDMI connector carries the video along with the audio signals - you don't need the video portion of the signal for the soundbar. Besides that, the TOS link cable is a "HD" type of connection for the audio connection.
The sound bar is a completely independent speaker system controlled by a seperate remote. When connected to your tv using the supplied optical cord your surround sound will still function normally as wiill the built in tv speakers