Originally Posted by Bulldogger
I remember that years back before Theta had Dolby EX processing and DTS 24/96, many Lexicon owners took aim at the company for that.
Nope. Years back in a discussion about timely upgrades, it was pointed out that Theta took 6 years to deliver EX decoding. Had less to do with the lack of the feature than the time taken to engineer its implementation. In that context, the next Lex will have discrete 7.1 input, delivered within months of Theta having the same feature, not half a decade later.
Some companies, Theta, Proceed, and Cal Audio, position was that 5.1 was what was in the vast majority of homes, something like 97% at the time according to the data that one company gave me. Hence there was not a need for support for beyond 5.1 and Dolby Ex. In fact, to this day the percentage of Dolby EX titles is not high but it's standard now on pre-pros and AV recievers.
What those companies told you still holds true: very few people use more than 5.1 speakers, EX soundtracks are a tiny percentage (roughly 18 titles per year) of total movies released annually, and even now there is "not a need" to go beyond 5.1.
It is important that you're separating features that are 'needed' (e.g., DD decoding) versus features that are not (e.g., EX decoding), since that was my point about 7.1 input vs 5.1 input. Nice feature to have and one I will welcome, but not the end-all/be-all you make it out to be.
BTW, as you already know EX is standard on pre-pros and receivers because it comes built into decoding chips, just as 7.1 input is built into newer chips. So it's not a matter of if, just a matter of when all manufacturers will have 7.1 input as standard.
Once I heard 7.1 discrete, I LOVED it.
I feel the same, but for 7.1 in general. Keep in mind that Lex started selling 7-ch pre-pros 6 years before there was any discrete 5.1 material available and a full 11 years before Dolby introduced EX in order to go beyond 5.1 speakers. While I can understand your excitment about 7.1-channel soundtracks, it's not as big a deal for me since I've been listening to movies in 7.1 for over 15 years.