Hey JD and JHAz,
@JD: Well there are also some things missing in the lower-end receivers that I would like to see in 'my' prepro unfortunately. So to me it's not just a question of the lower end recievers not having pre-outs. MultEQ XT32 comes to mind: to get that at this point in time, you have to shell out for the top of the range receivers...
@JHAz I still believe there is room in the market for someone to focus on this type of minimalist device. It doesn't have to be a range of devices with varying input/output selection, I agree that would be prohibitively expensive to manufacture, market and distribute, but rather the device should have a good cross-section of most-used options.
For the sake of continuing my daydream
, my vote would go out to the following:
- Your common array of DTS/DD audio decoders
- Good not superduperexpensive DACs (think Denon AVR-4520 style)
- 11.2 pre-outs
- MultEQ XT32
- Dual HDMI 1.4a output (for monitor purpose in a projection environment)
- 1 HDMI input would suffice for me, but I would understand people wanting a couple more
- No analogue inputs for me thx, but again I suppose we could include 1 set just for legacy purposes
- Definitely no analogue outputs (S-Vid, composite)!
- No component inputs or outputs
- No multichannel Ext-inputs
- No amps
- No multizone stuff
- No video-upscaling
- Optional: Network port, but only for the sake of remote controlling. No need for DLNA or other streaming solutions, (airplay, spotify, flickr, whathaveyou...)
- Optional: coax and/or optical connection.
- Pricepoint: between 600 and 1000$
Or if I'm taking it even further out there, what about a completely modular system?
The AV input section can be readily bought. All you need is something with 1 HDMI-out and your flavor of inputs, which you can hook-up to the HDMI-in of the decoding&roomcorrection module wich leads in turn to your amp-section via its pre-outs where the amps obviously take the signal out to the speakers.
That's basically disecting a receiver into not just a prepro but one step further. This would also allow me to only need the second module
Personally I would only need item 1 through 6 on the above list: a box with one HDMI-in, 2 HDMI-out and decoding and roomcorrection ability.
The benefit for people would be tremendous:
If their sources change: just move towards another switcher.
If new sound formats come up: replace the decoder/roomcorrection module
Moved to a bigger room: beef up the amp section.
I can imagine receiver manufacturers shuddering at the thought as they would not sell nearly as many receivers due to this flexible upgrade path.
If you do need a video scaler, then you can simply inject it between your AV switcher 2 or in my case between my source and module 2 or just put it at the end of the chain. Lots of good choices already exist there if I'm not mistaken.
Ah well... JHAz, you're probably right anyway: nothing but a pipedream...
But still, I think it holds merit!