Originally Posted by sdurani
Obviously I'm not going to change your mind, so I'll explain (one final time) why I don't see them as competitors. Unlike your 2x-the-price car analogy, the cost of what Harman was going to sell their room correction for is 8x the price of the Audyssey unit. The fact that they both come in stand-alone boxes doesn't make them direct competitors. Someone shopping for pre-pros in the Outlaw and Emotiva price range is not going to be swayed by the announcement of a new pre-pro from Theta or Krell. Yes they're all pre-pros, but they don't directly compete; just the difference in price puts them in different markets with a different customer base.
I can get behind that sort of rationale. After all, isn't the Harman product marketed/sold by their luxury division? By the same token, at the time of the test, Harman was still in the stage of testing/evaluating beta units. IIRC, the final production version with whatever additional or diminished features didn't appear till 2 years later. Out of curiosity Sanjay, do you have any idea whether their H.A.T.S. system was a viable product at that time?
I'm interested in the science. I'll leave it to others to assign motives and judge ethics.
I can get behind the science as well. Shall we say then that even if the motives were altruistic, that there were unintended benefits?
I would care if you could explain how Olive was supposed to know to use a Guide that didn't come with the Audyssey unit and apply optimization steps that weren't in the user manual. If following Audyssey's own instructions results in sub-optimal sound, then that's something that needs to be addressed by Audyssey, not Olive.
That's one way of looking at it and it may well be that was as good as Audyssey was going to perform in that environment. It also pays to bear in mind that there likely was no printed manual for the two prototypes either. The prototypes relied upon the skill of the operator(s) and one of the great things about prototypes, if it f*cks up, you can always make an adjustment.
Room correction isn't tied to number of channels or speakers. If it works in mono, then it will work in stereo, and will work in surround. Listening in mono makes it easier to hear differences AND doesn't change preference rankings, as research has demonstrated. Unlike others, I can't dismiss that research solely because the word 'Harman' appears on the cover sheet, especially when it is backed up by research from Bech, Gabrielson, et al. (lots of confirmation out there)
No disagreement from me at least with respect to the artifacts they're looking to address.
The purpose of this study was to compare real-world room correction systems in order to find out what factors contributed to listener preference. They used their usual approach of correlating subjective blind tests with objective measurements. Rather than finding a litany of factors, the results ended up showing that it came down to the two things I've been mentioning. Any thing else you're seeing in the comparison, especially when it doesn't appear in the paper or slide presentation, is something you're bringing to it. I won't begrudge you that, just ask you to consider the following: Is it really that unreasonable to think that reference-based room correction might not score high on a preference-based comparison? Or is the only explanation that something nefarious was going on?
I think they already knew based on their and earlier research endeavors into this area what they'd like to accomplish. You've already cited some of the work in this area. The trick if you will was developing a product that could achieve that goal in a more comprehensive fashion than existing products.They're certainly not the first company to look to improve upon existing technology and there may well come a day when a product called Comprehensive Home Utility Gigabit Automatic Instrument (CHU GAI for short) outdoes ARCOS of pennies on the dollar.