I know I'm probably not in the majority here but I'd like to have a surge protector, UPC, battery back up and AVR that all have the same style. Maybe a black piano finish, with a couple vertical silver/chrome lines that makes a slightly curved pattern, so when stacking the three together, it looks like it was all made for each other... which it should be. The components would all still be separate, so if you melt a surge protector or a piece of equipment does fail, you only lose that component and not the whole system.... although having them all in one unit would be sweet in my opinion as well.. just not feasible. I want it all to not feel and look cheap. I also would prefer it to have a computer that is easily upgraded.. with a slick user interface... sort of like a gaming console. I'd like it to have all the streaming and downloading options in one place, as well as offer a couple USB 3.0 ports for external storage of media...such as ripped blu-rays. This would allow me to go all digital when the inevitable day comes. I basically want it to be the all-in-one device. It would also be sweet if you could plug your OTA antenna into it. I'd still want at least 4 HDMI inputs...preferably at least 6-8. I'd also like 4 HDMI outputs, each being independent of each other. In addition to this, I would like it to to have the option of either being hooked up via wi-fi, or hardwired. Essentially, I want this receiver to be capable of receiving any media option I could think to throw at it, and be able to have 4 different independent HDMI outputs to send video to any combination projector, monitor, tv's etc. I'd like it to even have a usable browser with an- activity based, or smarter remote.. I'd also like the option of using a tablet or smartphone as a remote control......but it needs to be done right. It has to be relatively easy to set-up, program, customize, and use. In addition, I'd like an equal number of zones as there are HDMI channels... each capable of being independent of each other. Ideally with the ability to have one 7.2 zone, one 5.1 zone, and an additional zone for a few speakers placed in dead zones, a bathroom, out on the patio, etc. The interface is really what would make this thing.. I'd like to be able easily switch which sources are being played on which tv''s. Any given display would only have one hdmi cable going to it.. as long as the remote can simply turn on and off the display, I want the AVR interface to do the rest... I'd like to choose which HDMI output to display the interface on, and from that interface (or even streaming phone/tablet/remote etc) be able to quickly and easily choose what material I want sent to what displays and what audio I want sent to what speaker set up. Then be able to control the proper buttons and decipher between the components easily.. not even so much for me- but for others who will be using my setup. Basically, I would have my OTA stations, whatever popular streaming source you want(HULU, Netflix, etc), whatever downloading option you want (VUDU, Itunes, etc), access to my external hard drive storage via USB 3.0, wi-fi streaming options from my phone/tablet/laptop, etc all at my fingertips, and be able to easily choose what source I want to watch, with the interface making switching between these sources as seamless as possible, and able to put any of my sources onto whatever display I've got. Then I want my audio options to be independent, and easily give me the option of switching what zones are playing what sources as well as deciphering between the zones and controlling the audio settings easy.
What I am envisioning:
One large open, entertaining room.. half bar/game room and half movie/sports watching area. and a separate bedroom or living room room in an attached room.
1 projector in my main movie/sports area
1 large plasma in attached living room/bedroom
2 mid-size plasmas behind the bar
7.2 in main movie/sports area
5.1 in attached bedroom/living room
2.0 above the bar
2.0-one speaker in the bathroom, one outside the walkout patio.
With all the above sources, here is how I envision using it:
1) "day time viewing" 2.0 over the bar, watching one of the plasmas.. or both. with or without the same source on each tv. Possibly using one as a sort of PIP, with the ability of switching the audio signal to whichever display I want to watch. Would also have the ability to watch 5.1 in the attached living room/bedroom with whatever source desired.
2) "movie night" it would be a 7.2, movie experience. Projector and 7.2 being used, any source material I want.
3) "Sunday Sports" Would have the projector and 7.2 being used, any source material I want. Would turn on the 2.0 in the bathroom/outside zone.. and potentially the 2.0 over the bar at a lower volume if desired. All the audio on one source- with the projector and one tv on that same source and the potential to have the 2nd bar tv on a different source (game).... Would be great if you could flip the audio/picture between the two, much like you used to do with PIP. Have the NFC game on proj, tv1, 7.2, 2.0 and AFC on tv2, no audio but when a commerical pops on, press one button to flip it so the AFC is now on proj, tv1, 7.2, 2.0 and the NFC is just on tv2 with no audio... then swtich back after the commericial.
4) "bar night" have all the speakers playing the same full signal.. being able to adjust the volumes independently. With or without tvs on.
Let me do all this with a remote/interface system that my mother can use.
The average person does not have a separate dedicated home theater.. While they do enjoy their movie experience, the room also is used for other purposes like sports watching, media viewing, etc. I'd like something that is adaptable and is really the brains of my system-letting me watch and listen to whatever I want to watch and listen to. You get get rid or all those RCA jacks too. You've got to catch up to the modern world. Of the dozen or so friends/family that I visit regularly who have and AVR, virtually all of them are only using their HDMI, optical, and speaker connections- which should also be improved by the way.. a couple RCA's are fine if you want, but who's actually using all 24 of them? You have to look at the average buyer in the modern world. We want to control all of our devices easily. The average person upgrading their living room tv is also going to upgrade their media sources as well. That's becoming digital, and besides wanting surround sound with multiple zones, multiple displays (what family doesn't have 2 or more tvs within 75 feet of each other?), etc, people want all of their digital media sources available, and want to know that it is going to be relevant for the next 10+ years. It has to be able to connect to their other smart devices for easy sharing of media, it has to offer all the popular streaming and downloading sources (netflix, itunes, hulu, vudu, etc), it has to offer at least some connection to social media (facebook, twitter, etc), if not have a full browser, its got to offer USB for people that have or plan to eventually have digital files of their movies, and it's got to be user-friendly. I don't think it'd be a bad idea to let people hook their OTA antenna to it as well. Most people making changes to their media viewing habits are a) going digital and b) cutting the cable/dish. You've got to find ways to appeal to them. Offer them a device that does all the same stuff that the roku, apple tv, HTIB, gaming console(besides gaming), HTPC, HDMI switcher, power center, and other media equipment does, all in one box. Give them a reason to buy/upgrade their receiver. While it does need to be able to decode all the relevant audio files, focus your marketing on it's other functions. People on this forum will look at the spec sheet for that. The average buyer doesn't know or care that it plays Dolby DTS magic IV, they just assume it will be compatible with everything... so it better be. Market it at "the last media receiver you will ever need to buy" or "the center of your home theater" etc.. and make it that! Give them what they want and really care about- can it play all of my media, can it stream and download movies/tv, can it interact with my phone tablet, can it receive all of my sources, can it send any of that material to whatever display and sound combination I want, and can my wife control it? If it does all that, looks nice, and is marketed that way- there is no reason it won't beat out all the other ugly little new half-ass media toys all these manufacturers are coming out with and no reason it won't be more popular then any other receiver on the market, and no reason for people to hold off on upgrading their home theater. Advertise the HDMI 1.4, 4k and 3d capable, center of the future of home theater blah blah blah. That is what will open people's wallets. Yes, people on this forum are more concerned about the audio specs, but that is their hobby and/or career.. the average user just wants to easily control, play, and listen to their modern media sources in whatever configuration they desire. I realize that the biggest pitfall of creating such a device is cost.. I have no answer for that. Maybe make on model without the multiple independent outputs and one with them. A lot of people will pay 500 bucks to have all this even on one tv if it does everything. Then offer one that takes all the capabilites and lets indepentently output to multiple displays and audio zones.. 2 dispays/zones for 800-1000 and 4 displays/zones for 1200-1500? Maybe you could have the basic functions as a separate piece with all the digital/smart/computer/interface end of it as a separate, matching piece that plugs into or attaches to it. Once you've got all the HDMI, speaker, USB, etc ports, switches, and whatever other magic goes on in a receiver, the only near-future changes that may be desired are going to be on that end of it.... So it would give people the capability of upgrading the "smarts" of their receiver down the line..say every 5 years to stay digitally relevant without needing to repurchase the bulk of the hardware. It would keep the costs down for future upgrades for them- while essentially locking them in as return customer for you down the road. I don't know. Maybe making the whole system modular is the way to go. Someone need multiple independent HDMI visual zones? purchase a 100 dollar shelf to add that hardware, Need to add a 5.1 set up for the bedroom behind that wall, and would rather use the the media sources hooked up this this 7.1 capable receiver? purchase a separate 50 dollar shelf that lets you hook your speaker cables to it. Really need 100 RCA jacks? purchase that 100 dollar shelf. New 3D.2 or faster processor available? upgrade that interface/computer shelf. etc.. Want a matching surge protector, UPS, battery back up, etc? buy a separate matching piece. Could allow people to buy what is important to them only, making the costs worthwhile. Someone want their interface on a touchscreen, wall-mounted device behind their bar? Offer that for 75 dollars that they could flush mount next to their lighting controls. Someone have the money and know from the get-go that they want several of these options? Offer a shelf with 6 independent HDMI outputs and 4 independent sets of speaker outputs, etc. Could even offer bundles with some of the more commonly purchased together items for a few dollars off. Could even offer different rack options, interchangeable face-plates, etc- that let people customize their system with what they need, and able to upgrade their face-plates so their equipment matches, and suites their tastes...all while opening their wallets to YOU. It almost always seems that people are not using half of the ports on the back of their receiver, and many people are forced to buy the higher model for one small feature they want, paying for a bunch of features they don't want OR more commonly just buy the lower end model to save money and end up sacrificing a feature they wish they had. Let them buy what they want, and make it modular... Then offer a website that is easy to navigate and understand what items are needed for your individual needs, and what extra accessories(like faceplates, touchscreen interface, etc) are available for the selected devices as well as any other recommendations/ or commonly purchased components with what is in your cart. Make it sort of like a "build your system" - similar to what auto-manufacturers offer on their websites for "build your XXX car". Have both a list of all products with specs for people who know what they want, but also offer the "build mode", that lets users select how many video (tv/projectors) displays they have (or intend to purchase), what and how many audio zones they have (or intend to purchase) and if they are 7.1, 5.1, 9.3, 11.2, etc., if they have any smartphones/tablets they'll be using with it, then start with a base model, and go through steps, asking if they'd like more audio outputs, more audio inputs, more video/HDMI inputs, more video/HDMI outputs, any external media needs(USB ports, bluetooth), accesories (faceplates, touchscreen interfaces), would you like a matching surge protector(have an 8 outlet, 12 outlet, 24 outlet etc), UPS, battery back up(with different sizes offered) and which one, maybe even offer your own matching external hardrive options.. etc. As hardrives become cheaper or even SSD in the future, you can offer them, or they can add other ones to it. Possibly offer a blu-ray juke box even for people who still want to use their collection. Regardless of the offerings, make it easy to see what is offered, what is needed, what is compatible, what each component does and what it costs, etc. People on this forum can read a spec sheet for all that, but the average home user is not as informed. If you can tell from the rest of my post- I am an interested home user. Most of my friends and family consider me their go-to guy for advice on tech-purchases. I am not rich, but have decent equipment.. mostly just like to drool at what I can't afford. Even considering I know more about this stuff then most of my friends/family, I still don't know half of the terminology and functions of some of this stuff- I certainly would try to market to people in ways that they can understand it, show them what it can do for them without intimidating them with the specs.. People who care about the specs will look them up. Take a note from Apple. I absolutely hate them, but they know how to market a product. simple, clean, get to the point. Their phones and computers can do a lot of stuff and have some pretty impressive stats... but the average user is more impressed with how easy it is to use the software and how it interacts with their other equipment. Get some of these set ups into dealers where people can view them. Spend a bit on advertising on tv and in sources average people will actually see. The average person does not look at avs forums when looking for a new tv, and doesn't read home theater magazines. Find a way to connect with them and show them what your product offers and how easy it is to use and what it can do for them. I also cannot believe how many people do not have any receiver and just buy a tv.. Many completely avoid the audio/receiver isle because it intimidates them and they've never had it. Give them a reason to have it. Get a set up in stores for people to see how it functions and how easy it is to use and how they can control all their media with one easy interface. Advertise how much cable and dish costs are and use the total cost of that for 1-2 years as a way to convince them to switch to digital. Tell them how your product offers any source of digital material available and how the can use the money they save by cutting dish to purchase your product instead. I don't have all the answers- but I see so many users that do not have a receiver and I see why they don't- You need to find ways to appeal to the average user. That's my opinion. You ask audiophiles what they want and you market to them. sure you'll get rave reviews here- but your not going to sell to the average household. Right now you are a like a manufacturer of Indy-cars trying to find ways to get the average car-driver to buy your car. While the race-car enthusiasts are thrilled with the basic specs of going fast- they average driver wants power locks and windows with a gps and cupholders. You're not going to sell a stock-car to a family that needs a minivan with third row seats, tv screens, cup holders, and floor mats.
Give us cupholders.
Well that's my wishful thinking... it's all technically possible right? What would this sort of stuff cost?
Edited by CMonMan - 3/14/13 at 12:00pm