What are the odds...
Looks like we're SOL, but I'm sure we're not the only ones in this situation. There are several scenario's where this type of device would be very useful, but unfortunately the amount of people who would be interested are either content with settling on a receiver anyway or are just not voicing their need so no manufacturer will ever undertake the endeavour thinking there is no market for it.
JHAz also correctly points out in my thread that even if someone would make such a thing, chances are it would end up being as expensive as a receiver and we all know what we would buy in that case
Theta does have a true audio only as well.
"You buy a Ferrari when you want to be somebody. You buy a Lamborghini when you are somebody." - Frank Sinatra
Bear in mind also:
1. By the same logic, you don't need input switching or video scaling/processing on the TV, so would you ask for a TV manufacturer to make one 'barebone'?
2. An audio processor should take care of other legacy inputs, SPDIF and analogue. Not everyone is using HDMI.
3. If cost cutting isn't a concern, then what is? Complicated in what sense? Switching is detrimental to SQ?
4. What if the only audio input is faulty, you have nothing else to fall back on.
5. Not everyone who uses an audio processor necessarily uses or wants to use a video processor or uses it for switching. A video processor remembers settings per input, likewise an audio processor can do the same and some might prefer that.
6. Audio processor is already very niche, it just doesn't make sense to make one with one input, one with two inputs, one with three inputs in different combinations just to cater for a few customer's specific demands.
Actually the Meridian processor is something like that, with its one proprietary input which needs another Meridian unit to take in HDMI inputs and output in its proprietary encrypted format. It is more complicated, not less, and the first unit still does input switching.
Audiosceptics accept audio trials using 25 people. A recent Oxford study with over 353,000 patient records from 639 separate clinical trials shows for every 1,000 people taking diclofenac or ibuprofen there would be 3 additional heart attacks, 4 more cases of heart failure and 1 death every year.