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post #1 of 619 Old 08-22-2008, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Theta Digital has just officially announced that they will unveil an HDMI 1.3b solution for the CasaBlanca III. It will have 4 HDMI inputs, process Dolby +. True HD, & DTS-MA. It will be compatible with Extreme D-2, Superior II, and Premium DAC Cards. It will pass HD Video up to 1080p. There will be an upgrade path for owners of CB I, CB II, & CB III. Earlier units must be upgraded to CB III first.
Looks like the head of the class again.
Regards, Norm
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post #2 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 05:28 AM
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My CB3 has three Extreme cards, are these same as Extreme D2?
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post #3 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 05:43 AM
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Congrats Theta guys... I can't believe... but you can make sure I'll stop by the Theta booth at CEDIA to see for myself .

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #4 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 08:27 AM
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Finally!!! Looking forward to visiting their booth also.
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post #5 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 08:43 AM
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Norm and I do the tag team approach. I give the National Enquirer early news
(like they blew the John Edwards fiasco a year ago) and the mainstream Theta press gives the solid facts some months later (like the mainstream press finally blowing out the facts only partially admitted by John Edwards a few weeks ago). Of course, my Theta CB3 will be upgradeable (whereas John Edwards will remain downgradable).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post


6-20-08:

This AM I called Mike Pontelle, VP Sales and Marketing for Amplifier Technologies, Inc. which has owned Theta Digital since about Nov. last year.

I last talked with Mike last November, when he confirmed ATI's purchase of Theta Digital from Neil Sinclair, and when he said that the new Theta would invest and infuse $$ and push ahead to make upgrading the Casablanca 3 for HDMI audio a priority - but they would have to determine whether to do for HDMI audio and video an external box or internally upgrade the CB3, they couldn't determine or promise yet whether an upgrade would be available for existing Casablanca owners, etc.

Keep in mind that ATI is as good an audio video and home theater company as it gets. They manufacture components, primarily amplifiers, for lotsa other companies. ATI has an outstanding reputation. Morris Kessler has owned ATI since “the beginning of time” and continues to actively run his company. ATI has financial resources far beyond that of mortal men such as Theta Digital’s former owner, Neil Sinclair.
When I talked to Mike last November, I realized that he, on behalf of ATI, was necessarily conservative in what he was telling me. This only continues to bespeak highly of Mike and ATI.

Now almost ¾ of a year has gone by since I last talked to Mike, or really anyone on behalf of Theta Digital to find out what is going on. I knew that the new Theta Digital needed time to sort all of this out. And my conversation with Mike shows that the new Theta Digital is fast proceeding down the right path to encourage former, current and new potential Theta owners to buy Theta.

This AM, Mike advised of the following planned to be at CEDIA (availability dates to be determined):

1. He confirmed that the Generation VIII DAC, new improved version, is available, and that there is also an upgrade going to be available for a real reasonable cost (I think others have posted the upgrade is $1,500. They have also said the new DAC is even much better than the prior one. WOW!). (Note that this DAC does not accept HDMI audio, but traditional connections including digital coaxial, balanced and toslink.)

2. Theta is working full speed on the Valis surround processor. Apparently the chip maker lined up last year is kaput, so Theta had to work hard to line up a new chip maker, which is done. The Valis will be at CEDIA. It will have HDMI for audio and video, not 1.3, but either 1.1 or 1.2. (So functionally, I would think it should work for HD DVD and Blu Ray no different than the HDMI Lexicon and Halcro surround processors already out). It will only do 5.1 channels.

3. A Dreadnaught upgrade with new output transistors with thermal tracking, so the amp won’t get as hot.

4. Last, but not least. HA! Yes, the new Casablanca will be the very first high end surround processor to have HDMI 1.3 audio and video. Using the existing CB3 chassis. No reason why the Six Shooter also can’t be used with this. The new Casablanca will decode the new high resolution Blu Ray (& HD DVD now defunct) audio formats internally into its DACs (I didn’t discuss with specificity which DACs, but its obvious that at minimum the Xtreme and Superior II DACs will work with this). The original CB3 software programmers and Momentum Data Systems are doing the software/firmware upgrade. Mike was really enthusiastic about this. I explained to him that we had heard different things in past months at AVS, re an external HDMI box that might not even tie into the Theta CB3 internal DACs, that perhaps Theta would simply abandon the CB platform as too expensive and obsolete (like the Bland has been saying for years). But no, Theta is going “full speed ahead”. As Captain Picard of Star Trek would say “Engage”. And Mike added that once the new Casablanca is available, that Theta plans to do an upgrade and determine the upgrade price.

_____________________________

Mike also mentioned that Theta is working on a Blu Ray player but this won't be at CEDIA, it will be further down the line, and they are finding this a more difficult and expensive project than one might expect!!!@@@

______________________________

Gee, and I thought my home theater system upgraded in the past year was done.

Here's what I've done:

From April to June 2007, I abandoned my ten year old Aerial 10Ts (4) for Aerial 9s (keeping Aerial CC5 and Aerial SW12 subs (3)).

About July 2007, I abandoned my ten year old Bryston 7B monoblocks (5) for
Theta Enterprise monoblocks, each with dual Reich binding posts, and by October I got the special Cardas paddle lugs (way more surface area than spades), with Granite Audio 8 guage 2 runs for each speaker/amp combo.
That audio signal communicates in "spades" (actually, in "paddles").
(Thanks to Craig Shumer, Theatermax, for the great half price special, now long over, on the Enterprises so I could afford them.)

Result: Musically, system, which Mike Parker and Mark Haflich proclaimed as the best home theater/audio combined system they had heard, was now much better, much more liquid, dynamic, real!!!

From March to May2008, I upgraded the video side. Sim2 C3X 1080, Stewart CineV 2.35 1.3 gain Studiotek curved screen (40' radius) with drop down side masking to 2.35, 127" wide for 2.35 (and higher aspect ratios), 96" wide for 16:9, Cineslide and ISCO III, Lumagen Radiance & Zektor HDMI switcher, replaced prior HD-XA1 HD DVD player with Integra HD DVD player, added Panasonic 30K blu ray player, and added Integra DTC 9.8 preamp/processor for HDMI high resolution audio from high definition disc players. Which go along with my Theta CB3 and Six Shooter. ISFed by Michael Hamilton. (Thanks to my Sim2 dealer Mark Haflich for getting me all the forgoing goodies at a great price.)

The new Casablanca will be the "coup d'etat"!!!


"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #6 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 08:47 AM
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Q: What company's top line high end surround processors over the years maintain the highest resale value:

A: Theta Digital

Why: Because Theta Digital has and is following a truly upgradeable path, having just announced that its Casablanca 3 surround processor will be upgraded with HDMI 1.3b with audio processing for the new high resolution formats!

"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #7 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Theta Digital has just officially announced that they will unveil an HDMI 1.3b solution for the CasaBlanca III. It will have 4 HDMI inputs, process Dolby +. True HD, & DTS-MA. It will be compatible with Extreme D-2, Superior II, and Premium DAC Cards. It will pass HD Video up to 1080p. There will be an upgrade path for owners of CB I, CB II, & CB III. Earlier units must be upgraded to CB III first.
Looks like the head of the class again.
Regards, Norm

Norm,

Can you provide the "offical" source?

Thanks,

John
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post #8 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:08 AM
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This will be interesting to see if this is a new Theta or not. In the past the difference between announcing and delivering could be years. (See Valis, See Six Shooter...etc...etc)

Shawn
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post #9 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:12 AM
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cool. even though I just bought the Integra to tide me over, I will be looking forward to this one.
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post #10 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Theta Digital has just officially announced that they will unveil an HDMI 1.3b solution for the CasaBlanca III. It will have 4 HDMI inputs, process Dolby +. True HD, & DTS-MA. It will be compatible with Extreme D-2, Superior II, and Premium DAC Cards. It will pass HD Video up to 1080p. There will be an upgrade path for owners of CB I, CB II, & CB III. Earlier units must be upgraded to CB III first.
Looks like the head of the class again.
Regards, Norm

Wow! That's some upgrade path right there.

1. Is there any information on the availability of this?

2. What will the MSRP of a brand new Casablanca III with all the bells and whistles be?

P.S. Good news for Theta CB owners for sure.
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Quote:


This will be interesting to see if this is a new Theta or not. In the past the difference between announcing and delivering could be years.

I agree, we will have to wait until one can purchase what theta has advertised.
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post #12 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:50 AM
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So if I use digital out (I got the least expensive DACS since I wouldn't be using them since I use external digital room correction) I guess I'm toast unless I pay for the upgraded DACS I won't use!!.

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post #13 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:


So if I use digital out (I got the least expensive DACS since I wouldn't be using them since I use external digital room correction) I guess I'm toast unless I pay for the upgraded DACS I won't use!!.

Digital out from your source?
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post #14 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 10:13 AM
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Price?

I'll guess $4K ($3995) if hdmi 1.3 and 1080P24 pass thru. Make sure 1080P is 1080P24.

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #15 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 11:21 AM
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This is awesome, I wish Theta/ATI would update Thetas website....
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post #16 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjwinterberg View Post

Norm,

Can you provide the "offical" source?

Thanks,

John

Gladly, it's the CEDIA Expo Daily, Preview Edition, official newspaper of CEDIA Expo. Regards, Norm
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post #17 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 12:31 PM
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And the article does 'NOT' say as rumoured in the past that Theta will first sell new units and upgrade older units later... I have asked Craig Shumer to get me in line for this .... this would be a great upgrade...
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post #18 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 03:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DougWinsor View Post

Digital out from your source?

Digtital out from the Casablanca to either (a)external DACS or (b) to external digital room correction then to external DACs. I did not want to use analog out from the CB, then use a room correction device to convert to digital (all room correction systems do their thing in digital except traditional EQ devices) and then back to analog. Plus, by using external DAC's I was not bound by timing, availability, pricing or quality of Theta DACS.

I would suspect that the new HDMI CB will not allow utilizing external DACs AND take advantage of the new high end audio coding.

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post #19 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 03:58 PM
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HDMI 1.3 or 1.2? Is this an LPCM machine?

My Home Theater of the Month- Le Petit Trianon

There are more than a handful of [op amps] that sound so good that most designers want to be using them as opposed to discreet transistors. Dave Reich, Theta 2009
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post #20 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 04:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioguy View Post

Digtital out from the Casablanca to either (a)external DACS or (b) to external digital room correction then to external DACs. I did not want to use analog out from the CB, then use a room correction device to convert to digital (all room correction systems do their thing in digital except traditional EQ devices) and then back to analog. Plus, by using external DAC's I was not bound by timing, availability, pricing or quality of Theta DACS.

I would suspect that the new HDMI CB will not allow utilizing external DACs AND take advantage of the new high end audio coding.

I would guess that one will be able to use an external DAC since Theta has always made that an important feature so one could use their Gen VIII DAC with the CB III being the controller/decoder. This is just an assumption on my part, and not anything official. Regards, Norm
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post #21 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

HDMI 1.3 or 1.2? Is this an LPCM machine?

Jeff, since it has been anounced as an HDMI 1.3b machine, it will have to handle LPCM as well as DD+, True HD, & DTS-MA bitstreams. Come to think of it DSD as well. With the right transport this could make one heck of an SACD combo. Regards, Norm
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post #22 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Gladly, it's the CEDIA Expo Daily, Preview Edition, official newspaper of CEDIA Expo. Regards, Norm

Thank you Norm!
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post #23 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 05:19 PM
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"Jeff, since it has been anounced as an HDMI 1.3b machine, it will have to handle LPCM as well as DD+, True HD, & DTS-MA bitstreams. Come to think of it DSD as well."

It very well may handle all that but it is not required to simply because the device is HDMI 1.3. A device can be HDMI v1.3 and not have the decoding, as an example look at the BR players that are v1.3 and don't have the internal decoding built in.

Shawn
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post #24 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebland View Post

HDMI 1.3 or 1.2? Is this an LPCM machine?

There goes Jeff starting anti-Theta hysteria as usual. Norm's post starting this thread said the following re HDMI 1.3b.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Theta Digital has just officially announced that they will unveil an HDMI 1.3b solution for the CasaBlanca III. It will have 4 HDMI inputs, process Dolby +. True HD, & DTS-MA. It will be compatible with Extreme D-2, Superior II, and Premium DAC Cards. It will pass HD Video up to 1080p. There will be an upgrade path for owners of CB I, CB II, & CB III. Earlier units must be upgraded to CB III first.
Looks like the head of the class again.
Regards, Norm


"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #25 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 06:31 PM
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Here's the full article You guys owe me one as it was a b**ch typing this:
Theta Digital Debuts Casablanca III HDMI 1.3b Upgrade
Theta Digital (booth 469) is introducing an HDMI 1.3b upgrade for its acclaimed Casablance 3 Music and Cinema controller, which now supports HDMI 1.3b audio and video signals.
Capitalizing on the flexible, card based architecture of the Casablanca 3, the HDMI 1.3b complaint hardware and software will provide four 1.3b inputs ad one HDMI 1.3b output. New formats such as Dolby TruHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are now able to be accessed, leveraging Theta's legendary expertise in D/A conversion technology, providing the highest levels of performance possible. The Xtreme D-2, Superior II and Premium DAC cards for the CB3 are already capable of processing signals of this caliber - yet another indication of Theta's forward thinking designs.
This HDMI 1.3 b upgrade will also allow the CB3 to switch and pass full HD video signals from sources to to a display device at resolutions up to 1080p with no artifacts or degradation.
True to Theta Digitals long- standing tradition of providing upgrade paths, owners of previous generation Casablanca I and Casablanca II units can upgrade to Casablanca III, to gain access to this HDMI 1.3b option.
(there is a picture of the Casablanca III with a caption - Theta Digitals's Casablanca III music and Cinema Controller now supports HDMI 1.3b Audio and Video Signals)
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post #26 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 07:25 PM
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The sky is surely going to fall. Just saved me from spending $35K on a new processor.
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post #27 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 09:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim HTPC View Post

The sky is surely going to fall. Just saved me from spending $35K on a new processor.

And if the digital audio outputs are volume controlled, and work with HDMI input (which in theory is forbidden), this would mate perfectly with the digital inputs of my Goldmund amps.

Anybody knows about that?

That would save me 40K Euros too...

Thanks to the OP for the information.

Robert
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post #28 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robena View Post

And if the digital audio outputs are volume controlled

In their current products, all volume control is done in the analog domain with an external volume control box.

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post #29 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 11:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyree91 View Post

Theta Digital has just officially announced that they will unveil an HDMI 1.3b solution for the CasaBlanca III. It will have 4 HDMI inputs, process Dolby +. True HD, & DTS-MA. It will be compatible with Extreme D-2, Superior II, and Premium DAC Cards. It will pass HD Video up to 1080p. There will be an upgrade path for owners of CB I, CB II, & CB III. Earlier units must be upgraded to CB III first.
Looks like the head of the class again.
Regards, Norm

For CB3 owners with 8 channels of superior DACS, where might we fall in this announcement.

Would we be led to believe that we will have to move to new superior II DACS?
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post #30 of 619 Old 08-23-2008, 11:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by els View Post

For CB3 owners with 8 channels of superior DACS, where might we fall in this announcement.

Would we be led to believe that we will have to move to new superior II DACS?

You will definitely have to upgrade your DACs to one of the 3 in my OP. The Sup I will not do the job. Regards, Norm
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