Originally Posted by audioguy
Dan may certainly be right, but unless I hear that from someone at Datasat, it is still speculation. I would not suggest that may be a limitation, but certainly not for me. If I added another seating row, I MIGHT need another row of ceiling speakers. And if I were just looking for another reason to spend money (usually not difficult with this hobby), I could add Wides. So then I get to 16 channels. But neither of those is particularly probable.
And while I don't want to imply that a product at this price point should not have the ultimate in flexibility, the number of possible clients who have rooms large enough and the financial wherewithal to even accomate 16 channels is probably not too large. Take away this limitation on this product and how many worldwide opportunities are there for this kind of capability at this price point? Hundreds? Thousands? Tens of thousands (I would be very surprised)?
On this forum, (and others like it) it is easy to get lost in the numbers. The folks on AVS are not, I suspect, the primary prospect base for Trinnov and Datasat products. The ultimate end user, I suggest, is a client (who isn't visiting AVS) of a very high end HT Integration company. And based upon my experience, those end users don't know about Trinnov or Datasat. They are purchasing things like: the experience; the prestige; and the appearance and they leave it up to the Integrator to put the pieces together that creates those objectives.
An interesting (possibly related) example: The company from whom I purchased my RS20i, has a number of theaters in their showroom. One of those theaters cost a bit over $300,000 with zero equipment in it. That is just for the room. With the equipment in the room (Wisdom, Datasat, Sony PJ, etc), the numbers are much larger.
An individual of major wealth happened to be in town and wandered into this facility and then saw the above noted room. The very first words out of his mouth were: "I want this" --- and there was no operational equipment in the room at this time (it was installed but not up and running)!!!
Did he put the same equipment in his version of the room? NO!!!. Different speakers (less $), different PJ (less $) and different SSP (less $). Why? Didn't want to spend THAT much more money!! Is this typical? Most likely not. But clearly it happens.
Why do I give this example? To demonstrate that even out of the tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny percent of the population of individuals who have the financial means to include one of these high end SSP's in their HT, not all of that population is a prospect for these products. And of those that choose to use this technology, how many need more than 16 channels?
I have no clue but apparently Datasat is doing well enough given this current "limitation".
Sorry for the long (maybe not so coherent) post. I sort of got carried away!!
Dan actually was, until recently, a Datasat employee, and actually confirmed the 16 channel limitation 'whilst' he was an employee on this very thread. I would take his comment as closer to gospel rather than speculation. The limitation is part of the architecture of the RS20i as I understand it, the only time we are likely to see more than 16 processing channels are when an RS30i (insert future model number of choice) gets released.
I have to agree with everything else you've put above though, it always amazes me when I see Cedia install awards, with £100k plus rooms containing Onkyo receivers and entry level Panasonic PJ's. Nothing wrong at all with either Onkyo or Panasonic of course, but custom installers do seem to prefer to specify 90% of the budget on the room, and 10% on the equipment - presumably because the margins are higher on the building work.
Personally I would opt for a full reversal of the budget - 10% room 90% equipment - or perhaps more realistically 30%/70%. Certainly my room is roughly that ratio, but then I did all the work myself.
I also agree that the market for extended channel arrangements is very small indeed, and most people will be perfectly happy with 16 channels, many will be absolutely fine with 11 Atmos channels. From a personal perspective though I was hoping to at the very least max out the available channels on the RS20i with discrete Atmos channels, with 9.1.6 being my personal set-up of choice, as I don't believe 4 overhead channels will be optimium for object tracking in rooms of normal ceiling height. My room is only small, but I have easily accommodated 15.1 for Auro 3D, and could easily have added in wides for Atmos/DTS: X and utilised the 8-channel expansion card to switch between the two configurations, but I agree we are in the minority and also not at all Datasat's target market.
As to how well Datasat are doing, I'm not sure. If they have been forced to utilise the same DSP chip used in $500 receivers, rather than a bespoke solution, then perhaps they are not doing as well as we might like.