Originally Posted by Bill Mac
I realize the cost issue but including a 7.1 analog input would not have cost much more to add IMO. The other factor is with the 975 offering legacy video inputs one would think the same would apply for a 7.1 analog input.
Yes, it would have cost quite a lot more because there is no direct analog signal path. Every analog input is digitized, processed (if any) converted back to analog and sent to the outputs. If there was a 7.1 analog input with the same "no analog signal path" architecture, they would have had to add 6 more channels of analog-to-digital converters. And the price would no longer be $549... it would probably be $600 or $649. Completely changing the architecture to support stereo and analog signals without digitizing them (and without allowing ANY processing of them) would have required a completely different product design that would have been considerably more complex... and more expensive.
People always seem to think it only would have cost "a little bit more" to do something different that what was done... that's rarely true. If it were true, it likely would have been done that way. My guess is that their SOC (system on a chip) is one of the critical components that allows the cost of the entire unit to come in at $549... change to some other SOC with a more elaborate feature set and you end up with a much more elaborate circuit architecture... possibly requiring 4- or 6- or 8-layer circuit board instead of a much less expensive board with fewer layers (and far simpler and faster-to-layout circuit traces). The actual engineering of devices like these (processors, et al) is rarely what consumers think it is.
No doubt the legacy video connections were already part of the SOC so there was almost no work and little cost involved in including them... ditto for the FM tuner. But if they'd selected a SOC that did NOT have legacy video capabilities, it would have been damn expensive to include those connections.