I'm not Bill Mac, but I have an expectation that the 978 will have better SQ than the 80.2. Of course, SQ is completely subjective.
It's Outlaws reputation that makes me say that.
Marantz, Denon, Integra, etc. develop one platform and then change the model number when they add another HDMI input or some other insignificant change. It is then marketed as a "new" processor. My guess would be that the 80.2 will sound like the 80.1.
You can count on one hand the number of Outlaw processors that have come out in the last 10 years. When they roll out a product, it is a new product (for them). This is an audio company. They understand what is required to build a good sounding audio product and that has been the focus. Sometimes it means sacrificing some bells and whistles so that the focus and money can be spent on the sound. Outlaw has stated as much. They tend to be very understated products that perform very well.
I'm thrilled at the announcement of the 978. I can also totally agree with Bill Mac's guesstimate at the price, too.
Character is who you are when no one is looking.