Onkyo/Integra & other electronics mfgrs - listen up. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-05-2007, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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After almost 10 years with my Proceed AVP and much time reading on the new technologies I decided to update or upgrade to more current technology and what a nightmare it has been to get up to speed. Ten years ago it was DTS and DD 5.1 a pre/pro and DVD player with these designations and you were set write the check and start enjoying.

What do you have today? Blu-ray vs. HD DVD. DolbyTrueHD, DTS HD-MA, DTS High Resolution, HDMI 1.1, 1.2, 1.3a, 1.3b (how about 1.4 and what will I get short changed out of by not waiting?) 1080/24 vs 1080/60 3:2 pull down etc., deep color etc. and finding a player that will bitstream all the formats mentioned so I can see the nice little display light up with DTS HD-MA vs having it come through PCM and missing the lighting up on the front display experience. There seems to be no HD DVD players that are available that will do DTS HD-MA in bitstream or PCM, the PS3 doesn't do it either - yet and maybe not bitstream never. How freaking confusing and annoying.

Anyway I decided on the Onkyo Pro PR-SC885P and its on order, if it comes in next week or two months from now its fine because the Proceed still sounds fantastic. However, after reading the extremely long threads on the Onkyo/Integra models that have related technologies its seems many need FW updates and it seems that Onkyo/Integra are working on those, so what the problem? First its amazing at how simple the PS3 is to update especially if you have a Wifi version, you go to the menu choose search for update it finds it and installs it. Wow! Now that is technology moving forward. My Proceed has the RS-232 and it had to be updated through this clunky method and what do these cutting edge pre/pro's and receivers use? AN RS-232!

So I decide to try to get ahead of the curve and find out from Onkyo Pro if all the current 885's that will be sent in the next shipment will in fact have the most current FW update, so I called waited my 25 minutes on hold and I really love the automated message that plays about every 20 seconds "calls are answered in the order received someone will be with you shortly" - after you hear that ~ 3 times a minutes for a total of 25 minutes or 75 times, I realized I would try a different method and I actually got to a person. So I tell this person about the phone que system and ask the question about the FW issue (because if they dont have the current FW I would ask that they send a copy to my local service center and when my unit arrives I wouldnt have to go through the whole waiver thing) and this lady explains that not everyone needs the FW update only the one's experiencing the Reon issues, and that customers read to much on forums and then get in over there heads with the updates and they have already been contacted by some of these customers who have screwed up their units. Well I just shook my head. I said you know what the solution is? Design products like the PS3 that are idiot proof instead of using this dated technology of a RS-232 port along with the logistical nightmare of getting the updates to customers that they either install themselves or the other nasty option is to disconnect the unit and send back to Onkyo or take to the local service center (if you live in a major city). Which process do you prefer the PS3 'click update option' or the other mess I just described? She said she would pass my comment along which probably means I wasted my time. I tried to speak to the President of Onkyo and of course people at that level who could actually impact future products - they can never be reached.

Sometimes I think that those who are highly brilliant (as in highly gifted designers and engineers) are equally short changed in common sense. Look at the situation with Onkyo/Integra right now with just the 9.8/905/885 and ? FW update issue and the cumbersome method of either taking the units to service centers or sending them back and the long phone ques to tech support - the price is being paid directly by the tech support personnel, if theyre tied up with all this avoidable crap then it stands to reason that they aren't working on other units or issues that are totally unrelated only resulting in other customers who may become disappointed with the service level and all this can have an impact on the company in the long run - with people choosing another brand in the future. Unless there is some huge tech. obstacle or cost to building pre/pros and receivers that can receive updates via ethernet line or wifi, it really seems to be a collosal oversight by not thinking the ramifications through more carefully and designing/engineering/building accordingly. Doesn't Denon offer Wifi capability for updates?

I know its all wonderful for Onkyo/Integra right now as they can't even keep up with demand, but if you piss enough people off over easily avoidable mistakes that could change.

The lady I spoke with at Onkyo said, 'not everyone needs to update there FW.' Oh is that right? So when Microsoft sends out an update to their OS its not necessary for all their customers? I told her if its a FW update it is either an enhancement or a fix and therefore, yes all of your customers need it. Fix the design and the process and everyone will be happier including your customers who keep you in business and pay your salaries. It would be like me going to Japan and deciding I was going to sell black licorice sushi or tabasco flavored saki without really doing my research on Japanese culture and custom and hoping they will just pay for whatever I throw there way, not a really smart way of doing business.

Frankly, Onkyo/Integra could care less if I am or remain a customer, but its the millions like me that want to upgrade and I think its going to diminish there success if some of these issues aren't dealt with and people are either annoyed because they didnt buy the right thing because the tech choices are so complex or what they bought is a hassle to service or update.
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-05-2007, 02:00 PM
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This is why I bought a Denon 3808. I'm not dicking around with a) waiting for a firmware update and b) having to take my $1500+ receiver to Timbuk Tu to get it updated. Your customers aren't your beta testers. Get your stuff right before you release it. It's a pretty simple formula. It would have taken one of Onkyo's techs about 10 minutes of reading these forums to figure out what was important to possible consumers. Everybody was drooling over the Reon. So, what do they do? Neuter it and give it a half-assed implementation. So, now everybody that has one is pissed because one of the main selling points is pretty much negated. What other problems are there? Black levels are jacked. Sync issues. Unit runs super hot. You combine all the above with a ****** support staff and a low production yield making the units nearly impossible to find and you have unsatisfied and unfulfilled consumers who jump to a different manufacturer. Like I said, my Denon 3808 is on it's way. My original plan was to purchase either an Onkyo 875 or 905 for my father and another for myself. Onkyo lost 2 sales and most likely future sales down the line because I won't even look at them now. Good going Onkyo. Your finger on the pulse of the AV consumer firmly inserted up your asses.
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Darth Martel View Post

This is why I bought a Denon 3808. I'm not dicking around with a) waiting for a firmware update and b) having to take my $1500+ receiver to Timbuk Tu to get it updated. Your customers aren't your beta testers. Get your stuff right before you release it. It's a pretty simple formula. It would have taken one of Onkyo's techs about 10 minutes of reading these forums to figure out what was important to possible consumers. Everybody was drooling over the Reon. So, what do they do? Neuter it and give it a half-assed implementation. So, now everybody that has one is pissed because one of the main selling points is pretty much negated. What other problems are there? Black levels are jacked. Sync issues. Unit runs super hot. You combine all the above with a ****** support staff and a low production yield making the units nearly impossible to find and you have unsatisfied and unfulfilled consumers who jump to a different manufacturer. Like I said, my Denon 3808 is on it's way. My original plan was to purchase either an Onkyo 875 or 905 for my father and another for myself. Onkyo lost 2 sales and most likely future sales down the line because I won't even look at them now. Good going Onkyo. Your finger on the pulse of the AV consumer firmly inserted up your asses.

Interesting quote on the Denon 3808, "Custom installers will rejoice in the new off-site Internet connectivity that allows integrators to update, upgrade and fix configuration issues remotely, without ever having to set foot in the client's home. http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/r...8ci-first-look
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 01:29 PM
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And if Denon had put a Reon in it's 4308, they would have a lot more sales.

Sorry, but most of these companies are the same, run by the same type of people. What you get in the resulting products is more of a die roll than anything else. Since there's no great choice, you have to go with whichever one's problems you can most live with.
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 04:03 PM
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You have to understand that the wireless internet/ethernet port for the PS3 was mainly as a function to play online games. The added benefit of being able to update firmware through it is just a byproduct. However I see your overall point about all the numerous AV specs and standards and agree most products today as expensive as they can get should have something as simple as a USB port to allow firmware upgrades using small memory drives as these are alot more common than anything with the RS-232.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 04:21 PM
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I'm just glad we have a port and can do our own upgrades! I have many products that need new code and have a serial port but either the mfg would not send me the update, and only would do it if I sent it back, or worse they dropped support and never fixed the problems. I have had to toss over $1000 of equipment in the trash because of this that could have been fixed very easily.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 05:15 PM
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Ordered my Onkyo 885 on Sept, 21, recieved it Sept. 27. Requested a firmware CD on Nov. 1, recieved it in the mail on Nov. 5. Upgraded the firmware in 15 minutes or so, and all the issues seem resolved. What's all this hassle you're groaning about?

I've waited alot more than 30 days for a manufacturer to fix bugs or missing features in their product before. I think Onkyo is doing a fine job currently, it would be better if I could just download the file from their website, but hopefully they will do that eventually as well.
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 05:33 PM
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the 3 denons in my attic do not agree with your props to denon - all but one having various firmware/crap build problems - only the 3805 ended up being a good unit until I simply needed more

REW...most expensive freeware ever...

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post #9 of 14 Old 11-06-2007, 08:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I think my point is that through design (and the PS3 is a good example) by implementing Wifi and an ethernet port into a pre/pro etc. a mfgr can get updates to the customer easily without the risk of the customer screwing up the unit with slow eprom updates (especially when they take 15-20 minutes and it is possible to have the power go out during that time which can be a big problem) that are somewhat complex to install. It would be logistically smoother to have a PS3 type of solution than having hundreds of customers flooding the tech support/CS lines to get the update or calling to see if a fix has been completed then waiting to get the disc in the mail or having a fellow AVS member simply email the FW update to other AVS members (which is exactly what has been happening on another thread) - all of which adds the possibility of screwed up units disappointed customers and costs to the company that were unnecessary and avoidable. These companies should make it a goal to make the updates accessible and easy to do - so that they retain customers and gain new ones for future purchases, these aren't bitches they are good business practices.

RS-232 may have been the way it was done ten years ago - disconnecting everything and sending it in or taking it to a service center or paying the dealer for a service call to come out and do the update, but with the technology now all of those choices are unnecessary and very outdated. Charge me another $50 for the unit and implement the update features of the PS3 and lets be done with it. I work hard for my money and I think its clear a lot of people are annoyed by old school outdated technology implementations that make updates much harder on everyone than they need to be.

It makes me wonder if some of you don't see the updates in your respective components that you would like to see that end up becoming bricks because the mfgr conclude what a pain it will be on their CS/tech support people to take care of getting the updates to the customer or the deluge of units that will be sent in for the fix and the associated costs to the company. Updating the code for the FW update is the cheap part its getting it to the installed customer base that's expensive. Unfortunately I'll bet some of these updates dont occur for this very reason - well with the PS3 now we know a solution is possible and inexpensive.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-07-2007, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twylight View Post

the 3 denons in my attic do not agree with your props to denon - all but one having various firmware/crap build problems - only the 3805 ended up being a good unit until I simply needed more


I am not a Denon fanboy. If anything I'm more a Harman Kardon fan but, seeing as they dropped the ball with their receivers (meaning they don't have anything to compete with the features of the new Denons or Onkyos) I had to search for something to suit my needs. I've been researching and keeping up on both the Denon and Onkyos since June. I was pretty much sold, on paper, at least, on the Onkyo 875/905 until I started reading about how neutered the Reon implementation was on each and the problems with black levels and audio sync. Denon was not without their issues but, what problems I read about have been fixed via a firmware update that can easily be downloaded and applied. What has Onkyo's response been to their problems? That is why Denon got my "props". Also, those "props" were issued based on stuff that's currently on the market and not 10+ year old crap sitting in my attick or basement. I try to base my decisions on current information.
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-07-2007, 10:54 AM
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Apparently Onkyo was fixing the Reon issues, they just have no clue when it comes to customer communication.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-07-2007, 04:35 PM
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Most new technology--including A/V equipment,cars, and computer operating systems ,satellite receivers etc etc are released in beta versions--i guess to recoup R & D and secure market presence and share --thats why i am so hesitant at early adoption---i have been burned with microsoft OS many times---sooo i wait 2-3 months and read avsforum or other blogs---- Scott B is right on target though!!!
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-07-2007, 05:06 PM
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I agree with scott b, that is why i added the note below when I was asking for the latest firmware release from Onkyo through Bob Elder, a Product Support Rep at Onkyo headqurters in NJ, he has helped alot of Onkyo/Integra owners on AVS with the firmware update. his email is relder@us.onkyo.com if you need the firmware for the Onkyo 875/905, Onkyo pro885, Integra DTR-8.8, DTC-9.8.

"Thanks for your prompt reply and help with this matter for myself and all other avs forum members beside the general public owners. And I do appreciate that Onkyo/Integra has taken care of their loyal customers with a timely update to correct the problems even if the process of the upgrade procedure is hard to implement. I do hope that Onkyo/Integra will consider future upgrades to be delivered through the Ethernet connection on those receivers that do have that capability such as the Integra DTR-8.8 and Onkyo 905.

If Toshiba can do it on their $300-500 HD DVD players, Tivo does it on their $300 hd dvr, Denon now does it and Sony does it on the $500 PS3, I know Onkyo can do it too on their products as well."

HD HD HD I Need more HD, Yes I am a HD Addict :)
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-07-2007, 05:12 PM
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With apologies to my ignorance...how often does one need a firmware update on one of these higher end machines or any decent AVR?

While it would be nice to have an end-user friendly form of firmware updates...certainly everything is moving in that direction slowly. I would think the advancements in technology such as wifi, firewire, usb, eithernet... will only encourage piss-poor R&D on these sorts of products.

Why perform quality control...just roll it out and lets see what everybody bitches about and then hit it with a firmware update. Might as well have everything built into a computer if that's the case.
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