Greetings once again.
We can't be as active as the regulars here, and I hope you'll be patient with us. It would be a bad idea for us to really try to keep on top of the forum on a daily basis, as, for one thing, it would keep us from getting other things done, most of which you want us to do.
A lot of what goes on here is speculative. We have very few advantages right now, in crystal ball terms, that you folks don't. There are internet resources galore, and anyone can go look at the standards that have been published. (Our "inside source" at one of the companies pivotal to this discussion, when we asked for the latest on exactly what their specifications and standards were going to be, so we could work with them asap, resulted in our receiving a handsome Power Point presentation on the history and virtues of that company.)
We know chip makers and we know our own engineers and suppliers, but that gives us less of an "edge" regarding direction than you might think. In short, we have to make what we call "guesses" about what is going to be important, what choices will turn out in hindsight to be "stupid."
There are no real consequences when regulars post predictions that don't come true, or speculate about anything from a product's likely life-span to the choices chip companies will make. When we speculate, it can be a problem. Recently, we mentioned a POSSIBLE price for something, and we can see it quoted a bit later as if it were a "done deal."
We're going to try to give a few answers, here, anyway.
"Will the CB3 need to be returned to the factory for the 1.3 upgrade of $2K?"
It's too early to say regarding the establishment of a price. I shouldn't throw out guesses if they're going to 'gel' into firm expectations. Yes- it's most likely that this will have to be done at the factory. Because of a persuasive argument earlier in this thread we are willing to seriously consider the possibility of end users changing out their own boards. But in the end it comes down to our feeling certain that people can do this without specific test equipment and without great difficulty.
"The display unit must 1.3 also, so everybody will have to replace them?"
I believe that's true but since the first 1.3 devices are just coming to market, I'm not certain.
"How exactly can theta do a better job at decoding dd+ / dthd or dts-hd?"
Its not that we can decode it any differently but there's been a long history of mass market DVD players and satellite /cable boxes handling signals in a sloppy manner thus hurting performance. some boxes are so bad that they do not even meet industry minimum specifications. When we have seen this we have spoken with the their makers but the conversations have been fruitless. The less we have them do the more likely we feel we can give good performance.
"You can make the formats sound better, but not at the decoding step. When a compressed bitstream is unpacked and separated into individual channels, what will Theta do that others don't? If data is flagged for the left front channel, will you send it even more to the left than others do?
'I know that when end users have difficulty making a Toshiba, Sony or Scientific Atlanta box work with a Theta component, it becomes our job to make it all work.'
"You can't, because the problem isn't with your equipment. Some set top boxes with HDMI are configured to handshake only with displays, not with repeaters (such as pre-pros, scalers, switchers, etc). Unless your surround sound processor deliberately mis-identifies itself as a display, which is a violation of the HDMI licensing agreement (but done by the Anthem D2 anyway), those problematic set top boxes will not transmit the signal."
Yes of course. But you guys are our most knowledgeable end users. Many of the others expect us to do miracles.
We even had a modification in the works for a Sony satellite receiver, at one time, to make it so there was at least SOMETHING that worked well. The Sony was picked because it was better than the other options, but we still felt we needed to do a serious modification to really be happy with its output.
Michael Grant (regarding cable and sat companies):
"The question is, what is going to be cheaper for them:..."
This is always the problem.
The cable and satellite companies take whatever is the cheapest pathway, and we have to make it look and sound good.
I'm not really complaining. If they really cared about ultimate performance, we wouldn't have a reason to exist.
"If a DAC can handle native DSD 2.8Mhz, is HDMI a good method of DSD-communication/connection between transport>processor>dac?
"THETA's MEGALINQUE is a prommised technic to handle DSD, but.... zzzzzzzzz
"I like the sound of GENERATION VIII and I wish THETA would implement a technic that handles the new formats as well as native DSD for absolute best SACD playback. It might result in buying (in 2007?) such CB3 plus three Gen8s..."
Yes its been a very long time. We've been steadily working on this for years. We may have some good news very soon.
I hope it will be OK if we start a thread here when we're ready.
sfogg (post #189):
"It is really no different then companies not wanted to spend the money getting 'THX' certified or trying to get the certification and failing to be able to."
Off topic but perhaps of interest: When we designed the original Casablanca, we expected to have it THX certified. When we contacted them and told them what we were doing, they informed us that we'd have to delete many of our crossover options and most of our playback filters -- just have their crossovers! Since THX is no longer owned by Lucasfilm, maybe the new company would accept our flexibility. However, we haven't been very interested as their standards are not our standards.
Finally, there are these posts -
"Is hdmi 1.1 or 1.2 enough for the bandwidth required for dts-ma ?
"If it does, then 1.3 would be only required for deep color and futur HDTV sound requirements.
"It would be simpler to develop an 1.2 card and then a 1.3 card that would be needed only in a few years, if ever."
"Theta should let us know the costs of developping an 1.2 solution for now and then an 1.3 solution much latter, since it wont probably be necessary for some years."
"Frankly, for what folks pay for a THeta, a $2K to $3K interim solution seems like a good thing as it will keep its owners ahead of the crowd..."
I appears that Jeff -- the avowed non-Theta-owner has voted for people who ARE Theta owners to spend their money twice, but that actual Theta owners are not quite as eager.
Is there anyone who really wants us to focus on a bang-up 1.2 version and then ignore 1.3??? Or do they want it so bad now that they want it twice? Those really seem to be the choices. I think, Jeff, you are the only one I saw who wants to see the double whammy, and you bought Halcro, and are admirably helping them through their beta testing.
I trust that we are still talking about a time frame that says waiting for the finished version of the HDMI standard adds, from what we were told, approximately 3 months to the time-table.
We seriously don't want it to cost the whole 2- 3 thousand dollars Jeff is advocating. Then another 2-3 thousand for a "Final Solution" when we can work with what we think of as the finished HDMI product.
If we have to solve the problem twice it will double the R & D costs, in addition to slowing down the team from getting a finished (1.3) product to market.
In a year I don't think anybody's going to want to spend money on anything that's not 1.3, whether it is any better or not. It will be outdated. So we do have to do the 1.3 project, whether we stop and spend a lot of R&D time and money to bring you an interim solution.