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"Need" a Digital Controller?

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
OK, if you guys peer into your crystal balls, do you think we're going need a controller that has the capability to handle purely digital sources in the future?

Meaning, Sonos is a popular source for streaming music and has both a coax and optical output, but most WHA controllers I find use analog RCA input for their sources. Sure there's higher end controllers (e.g. Zektor), but I don't see many low to mid-range WHA solutions (e.g. NuVo, HTD, etc). I certainly understand why--cost.

The reason I'm asking is that I'm already going to have to replace a WHA system that I'm sure was great in 2007, so I'd like to find a system that has some upgrade path or at least won't have to be replaced completely in another 5 - 7 years.

Or am I completely missing something here?
post #2 of 2
Since the systems are generally stereo-only by their nature, adding the cost / complexity of digital inputs, DACs and so forth isn't worth it, especially since most sources have analog stereo RCA outputs just sitting there... And "most" is really everything except the latest AppleTV, which doesn't make a particularly good WHA source anyway.

And then there's cheap outboard DACs available anyway, to handle the "future" if its an issue.

Crystal ball says analog audio is not going to be the reason you'd replace any WHA system in the next decade. Control interfaces / methods, network connectivity, supported music services / formats - all orders of magnitude more likely reasons to upgrade/replace the system in the future.

Jeff
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