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Does Theta Digital's Failure to Have HDMI Impact Whether You Want to Buy??? - Page 3  

post #61 of 620
Michael,

"--in fact I was surprised to learn it could do 2 channels of 24/192. I thought it was limited to 2 channels of 24/96."

It was but they got a speed bump maybe 5 years ago. That was for coax only as at least at the time the existing toslink transceivers were not fast enough. That might have changed though.

Shawn
post #62 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

Steve,

"Now you have said that the HDMI connectors will be the same for HDMI v.1.3

Yet I've read a number of places, including here at AVS, that due to instable connectors that they connectors may be revised."

Again... HDMI v1.3 uses the same connector with an optional smaller connector for camcorder type applications. You don't have to wonder who is right about this... look it up.

http://www.hdmi.org/about/faq.asp#q4_1

Shawn

Shawn, thanks for the info and weblink. It does appear that HDMI Org states that the HDMI v1.3 connector is not changing, as you stated. Thanks for helping correct some of the misinfo that turns up on the web (and which I in this case repeated. HA!)

Here's the Q & A from the above web link on this issue:

Q. My HDMI cable sometimes falls out of the HDMI connector. Is anything being done to address this problem?

The combination of vertically-oriented connectors and heavy, thick-gauge cables appears have the potential of causing the connector to fall out. In some cases, it is due to the usage of a cable with a non-compliant, large connector over-molding that prevents proper connector engagement. The HDMI Founders are actively investigating a locking connector option that would be backward compatible with existing Type A connectors.

We have seen a few connectors that are out of spec (e.g., not the right size, too much over-molding, etc.), which led to compatibility issues and, in some cases, connector damage. However, we have started a connector certification program to help ensure that all Adopters use compliant connectors.
post #63 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Grant View Post

...... One thing he said that I have heard independently is the displeasure with the HDMI connectors themselves. An installer at CES was complaining to the Marantz folks about it. I prefer the DVI connectors too. Yeah HDMI is easier to accidentally pull out, but it won't go anywhere on its own.

On a friend's system with powerful subs, a loud explosion destabilizes his HDMI enough that the picture momentarily goes away. He's been able to mimimise the problem by surrounding the connector with putty.

Regarding a change to a better connector, The HDMI site says:

Q. My HDMI cable sometimes falls out of the HDMI connector. Is anything being done to address this problem?

The combination of vertically-oriented connectors and heavy, thick-gauge cables appears have the potential of causing the connector to fall out. In some cases, it is due to the usage of a cable with a non-compliant, large connector over-molding that prevents proper connector engagement. The HDMI Founders are actively investigating a locking connector option that would be backward compatible with existing Type A connectors.

http://www.hdmi.org/consumer/faq.asp#q7_3

My friends connections are not vertical and he has tried different cables.

While I haven't had this problem, my Scientific Atlanta cable box works fine in HDMI unless I also have an HDMI connection from a DVD player. Then the aspect ratio from the cable box goes unstable. Sometimes I get weird digital noise if I change it. Also a proper 4 by 3 from SD broadcast is near impossible.

In case someone from Theta is listening: like PeterS, I would like an HDMI switch card for my Casablanca and would pay about $500. I would like it to be 1.3 but if they can assure me that I won't be missing something major once 1.3 is out and that it will be more than just months till 1.3's availability, I might jump in sooner. To have me spend $1000 or more on anything HDMI, ALL the problems better be solved.

I'm concerned though. So much about HDMI doesn't quite work right yet when we hook up components from the big companies. Can a small specalist company make it all work? At least if my Casa is in the HDMI chain and the signal gets flakey, I can call Theta and get tech support from someone who speaks American and has actually used the equipment.

I am cheered that Theta is planning for HDMI and looking for the best solution. When I traded up to their larger processor last year there was controversy here about wether they could add it or not.

Regarding Valis, I might be interested in it for my plasma system. However, in combination with its mated amp, it better live up to their claims and be damn good to dissuade me from my God given right to choose my own amp. Then again, if it beats my Casa III / Dread II I may be angry enough to buy something else.

Re Steve's quoting the TimBrooksbank piece: Mr Brooksbank said something similar here about a year ago. It would be interesting to ask him to comment now. He is the designer of one of the most high end scalers and a HDMI licensee. He may have access to info that we don't have.
post #64 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

I haven't really looked at S/PDIF transmitters in awhile but when I did a couple of years back the fastest was 192kHz.

Maybe I'm using the wrong terminology. Apparently S/PDIF has the bandwidth pass at least 9.2Mbps, because that is the data rate of 2 channels of 192/24. I was curious whether this was near the limit of the S/PDIF bandwidth or if there was significantly more room.

Sanjay
post #65 of 620
"In case someone from Theta is listening: like PeterS, I would like an HDMI switch card for my Casablanca and would pay about $500."

Are you looking for just HDMI switching at that price or do you also want it to be able to accept audio over the HDMI connection?

For it to support audio on v1.3 the pre-pro is going to need new decoder DSP(s) to be able to handle the additional bitstream formats that might get passed over HDMI. That means development work implementing that, licensing fees for the new decoding formats (that don't have to be paid with a v1.1 solution), either a complete gutting of the chassis to be able to handle native DSD or DSPs to convert DSD to PCM, testing,testing, testing...etc..etc. I doubt you would get all this for anywhere near $500.

Simple HDMI swithing at that price... perhaps. You could do it externally for less then that.

Shawn
post #66 of 620
"Apparently S/PDIF has the bandwidth pass at least 9.2Mbps, because that is the data rate of 2 channels of 192/24. "

That is the audio data rate. The actual amount of data transmitted is higher. 192k x 32 x 2. 192k sampling rate, 32 bits per sample (24 for audio data, 8 for preamble), 2 channels.

"I was curious whether this was near the limit of the S/PDIF bandwidth or if there was significantly more room."

I think 192kHz is the speed of the fastest S/PDIF receivers/transmitters. So at least with current equipment that is the limit of bandwidth. If Cirrus comes out with faster chips at some later date then the max bandwidth will increase.

Shawn
post #67 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

The actual amount of data transmitted is higher.

Do you know what the highest data rate is that it can transmit?

Sanjay
post #68 of 620
Sanjay,

As fast as the fastest chips that are available. AFAIK that is still 192kHz. So 192k * 32 * 2 is the max data rate (audio data + preamble) of current chips running at their highest support clock rate.

Shawn
post #69 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

AFAIK that is still 192kHz. So 192k * 32 * 2 is the max data rate (audio data + preamble) of current chips running at their highest support clock rate.

OK, I guess I didn't understand why you were limiting those numbers to only 2 channels.

Sanjay
post #70 of 620
Sanjay,

Because the chips are limited to two channels of 192kHz PCM transmission/reception. As such that is part of what defines their max bandwidth.

Shawn
post #71 of 620
Shawn,

So is converting to a bitstream the only way to transmit multi-channel through S/PDIF?

Sanjay
post #72 of 620
"So is converting to a bitstream the only way to transmit multi-channel through S/PDIF?"

I think S/PDIF has/had some method of transferring 4 channels of data (designed in for Quad probably) but I don't think I have seen consumer use of it.

From a practical standpoint multi-channel over S/PDIF is of course by far the most common as DD/DTS bitstream.

If a company really wanted to do some sort of proprietary thing they could multiplex additional channels into a S/PDIF stream but it would take their proprietary equipment at both ends to make it work. They would need to do something like use the normal L/R clock signaling then use the pre-amp data to define which L/R channels it was for. If they did something like that the bandwidth would still be limited by the speed of existing transmitter/receiver chips. As such for multi-channel over S/PDIF it makes more sense to use multiple S/PDIF connectors like Meridian has done.

Or of course you could just use HDMI.

Shawn
post #73 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"..... I would like an HDMI switch card for my Casablanca and would pay about $500."

Are you looking for just HDMI switching at that price or do you also want it to be able to accept audio over the HDMI connection?.....
Shawn

Shawn, Thanks for asking.

For now, HDMI video switching for three sources and a spare would make life a little easier. I don't expect a total audio and video solution for the money I'm quoting nor would I believe any company that claimed to have one at any price this early in the game. Not with the glitches I'm seeing with just HDMI video.

I don't mind spending serious money but only for things I keep a long time and get a lot of use out of. I find the thought of paying big buck to essentially be a beta tester offensive. I'm very unlikely to buy a BlueRay or HD player until there is some stability, ideally with one system KO'ed.

With this in mind, your Translator and the Geffen box your site mentions makes sense to me. However, in my cluttered racks, with my propensity to move components between rooms, a one box solution will be preferable if Theta can come out with a card like Peter and I are suggesting. Still, I'm glad to know you're there.

I do have a few questions but I don't want to high-jack this thread. I'll send them to your business e-mail.
post #74 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

I think S/PDIF has/had some method of transferring 4 channels of data (designed in for Quad probably) but I don't think I have seen consumer use of it.

What a coincidence. Redbood CD has always had the ability to deliver 4 discrete channels of data (designed in for Quad probably) but I don't think I have seen consumer use of it.

Sanjay
post #75 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"In case someone from Theta is listening: like PeterS, I would like an HDMI switch card for my Casablanca and would pay about $500."

Are you looking for just HDMI switching at that price or do you also want it to be able to accept audio over the HDMI connection?

For it to support audio on v1.3 the pre-pro is going to need new decoder DSP(s) to be able to handle the additional bitstream formats that might get passed over HDMI. That means development work implementing that, licensing fees for the new decoding formats (that don't have to be paid with a v1.1 solution), either a complete gutting of the chassis to be able to handle native DSD or DSPs to convert DSD to PCM, testing,testing, testing...etc..etc. I doubt you would get all this for anywhere near $500.

Simple HDMI swithing at that price... perhaps. You could do it externally for less then that.

Shawn

Absolutely right. Doing HDMI video alone for the CB is one thing. But doing HDMI with multi-channel high resolution audio will require significant internal revisions to the Casablanca at a much higher cost.
post #76 of 620
Theta needs a clear path and time table to HDMI. It has to impact anyone's buying decision. If I were buying right now, I would not buy the Casablanca because of this. I would buy a Halcro and an Emm Labs Switchman. Normally, I would just use a very good source and an analog pre-amp like the Six Shooter. I guess I am in the minority and do not believe that the sound out of the Toshiba HD-DVD player is that great. It is just better than dolby digital which is not exactly a high hurdle to cross. So, I want better sound. Since it seems unlikely that I would be able to purchase a high-end HD-DVD player with better sound any time soon, then I need to be able to send the signal to the CBIII to get better sound. My situation is different. I spent 15K on sound proofing and acoustical treatments for my room in 2005, 30K on new gear in 2006, and am buying the JVC HD-new DILA projector in 2007. Any mega buck upgrade to the CBIII would have to wait until 2008 anyway so it is not an issue for me. If it could be done for three grand or less,then I'm in in 07. More than that and the budget would just not allow it in 07.
post #77 of 620
This situation reminds me of when I first purchased a Cal audio processor. Sales of the processor were basically stopped dead in their tracks when dolby ex became the rave because it could not be upgraded. If Theta does not take a clear stand and present a clear time table for an upgrade, sales of its processors are going to fall off the chart. This really is a business decision. Regardless of what anyone's personal needs are, Theta is going to have to come to the market ASAP or face significant financial loss. This will impact the company down the entire product range. Less revenue means less money for improvements and new development for all of their products.
post #78 of 620
"If Theta does not take a clear stand and present a clear time table for an upgrade, sales of its processors are going to fall off the chart."

People that buy from any company based on a simple timeline are setting themselves up for a fall. That is purchasing vaporware. Look back at some of the other promised pre-pro products over the years and you will see where people got burned based on vaporware products.

Citation 7.0 with the promised/annouced 7.5DD companion piece
Proceed PAV/PDSD
Krell A/V Standard
Casanova
etc...etc...etc...

To avoid setting themselves up to get burned one needs to purchased based on what the product actually does at the time of purchase. If it is upgraded later on then that is a bonus. If it isn't you bought the product based on what it could do out of the box anyway.

IOW, Theta needs to do more then just say they will implement HDMI. They need to deliver it. After all we all know how much time Theta takes between announcing a product and actually shipping it. Years for the Six Shooter, around a year for the surround card for the CBIII, the Valis was announced just about a year ago... still not available...etc...etc.

Shawn
post #79 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"If Theta does not take a clear stand and present a clear time table for an upgrade, sales of its processors are going to fall off the chart."

People that buy from any company based on a simple timeline are setting themselves up for a fall. That is purchasing vaporware. Look back at some of the other promised pre-pro products over the years and you will see where people got burned based on vaporware products.

Citation 7.0 with the promised/annouced 7.5DD companion piece
Proceed PAV/PDSD
Krell A/V Standard
Casanova
etc...etc...etc...

To avoid setting themselves up to get burned one needs to purchased based on what the product actually does at the time of purchase. If it is upgraded later on then that is a bonus. If it isn't you bought the product based on what it could do out of the box anyway.

IOW, Theta needs to do more then just say they will implement HDMI. They need to deliver it. After all we all know how much time Theta takes between announcing a product and actually shipping it. Years for the Six Shooter, around a year for the surround card for the CBIII, the Valis was announced just about a year ago... still not available...etc...etc.

Shawn

I was one of those burned on the Citation 7.0 surround processor. As it wasn't upgradeable to tbe then new Dolby Digital format, I became a Theta customer with the then brand new Casablanca.

Shawn, I agree with you. Promises and schedule means diddly squat. What counts is having the product ready and working. The sooner Theta has HDMI working with the Casablanca, the more sales they will have of the product.
Due to concerns re niche market that will take time to grow re HD DVD (and little market re SACD and DVD-Audio), Theta shoujld see if they can quickly implement HDMI video switching, assuming that HDMI source devices still output toslink or coaxial digital when HDMI video is used (which my HD TIVO sure does). It will take longer to implement HDMI for multi-channel audio, but Theta should do this as quickly as they reasonably can using of course HDMI 1.3 for that.
post #80 of 620
"As it wasn't upgradeable to tbe then new Dolby Digital format"

The announced Citation 7.5DD was to add DD to the Citation 7.0 seamlessly with an external box. It was annouced with press releases and MSRP and such but never shipped.

"It will take longer to implement HDMI for multi-channel audio, but Theta should do this as quickly as they reasonably can using of course HDMI 1.3 for that."

Theta could do it quicker, cheaper and easier and therefor quicker and less expensive to you if they did it with HDMI v1.1. Since all the decoding responsibilities fall to the source device, Theta wouldn't have to worry about them. Esp. since with Advanced Content the source device is going to be doing all the decoding anyway even with HDMI v1.3.

Shawn

Shawn
post #81 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"It will take longer to implement HDMI for multi-channel audio, but Theta should do this as quickly as they reasonably can using of course HDMI 1.3 for that."

Theta could do it quicker, cheaper and easier and therefor quicker and less expensive to you if they did it with HDMI v1.1. Since all the decoding responsibilities fall to the source device, Theta wouldn't have to worry about them. Esp. since with Advanced Content the source device is going to be doing all the decoding anyway even with HDMI v1.3.

Shawn

Shawn

Shawn, you are off on this one. Multi-channel high resolution audio LPCM via HDMI will require significant revision of the CB3 internals and no way it can be done in several months. That's why I'm saying HDMI v1.3 for audio because
as Theta gets the internal revisions for the CB3 done the HDMI v1.3 parts will already be available.
post #82 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

If a device is ahead of the display like a receiver or pre-pro it can alter the displays EDID with regards to the number of audio channels supported and then simply strip out the audio when it gets there.

I never knew this! Given my recent troubles with the VP50, Oppo, and Panny display, this sounds like a good feature for the MC-12HD to have. Editable EDID settings in the MC-12 would be better: perhaps an option to strip the audio or to specify the number of channels. I wonder how much of this is allowed under the licensing terms.

BTW, I've never had trouble with my HDMI cable connected either to the Panny HDMI blade or the DVI blade with the DVDO swivel adapter falling out. It's a pretty big cable, and it hangs vertically. The cable's from Blue Jeans. In fact, the fact that the cable is easier to remove is a great feature at this point in HDMI's life: it made it easier to unplug and reconfigure to find out which HDMI device was the culprit for the various problems we saw.

--Andre
post #83 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Multi-channel high resolution audio LPCM via HDMI will require significant revision of the CB3 internals and no way it can be done in several months.

As has been mentioned before, this is one of the dangers of a card cage architecture: it still locks you into what the card cage designers thought of at the time they designed the architecture, and you pay more up front for what they think you might need, but may never use.

Card cage architecture is not a panacea for avoiding major hardware upgrades.

--Andre
post #84 of 620
"Multi-channel high resolution audio LPCM via HDMI will require significant revision of the CB3 internals and no way it can be done in several months."

I never said a time frame. I simply said LPCM over HDMI is quicker/cheaper/easier for Theta to do via HDMI v1.1 vs. HDMI v1.3.

It is, no matter what Theta's internal architecture is like.

HDMI v1.3 requires far more work on the pre-pro side compared to HDMI v1.1, no getting around that.

HDMI v1.3 requires licenses and the DSP power for for DD+, Dolby THD decoding and so on, HDMI v1.1 does not. How long did it take Theta to add PLII and PLIIx to the CB3 compared to the rest of the industry? Adding DD+, Dolby THD to the Theta is basically about the same thing... swapping out their decoder card for a newer unit with more processing power and integrating that into the CB3. The big stumbling block that could occur is if Theta has no way of getting the data from a HDMI card to that decoder card because of design assumptions/issues in their backplane.

HDMI v1.3 is going to take more work at getting the HDMI/HDCP handshake working and debugged as there is more to deal with in HDMI v1.3. Working with v1.1 first will give a company valuable real world experience in this.

"That's why I'm saying HDMI v1.3 for audio because as Theta gets the internal revisions for the CB3 done the HDMI v1.3 parts will already be available."

But by then HDMI v23.2 parts might be available.

Shawn
post #85 of 620
Andre,

"this is one of the dangers of a card cage architecture: it still locks you into what the card cage designers thought of at the time they designed the architecture, and you pay more up front for what they think you might need, but may never use."

I think this is exactly what the 'major hardware' revision may end up being from in the CB. In another thread Steve mentioned Theta has a problem with the CB and HDMI because they never thought of a combined Audio/Video signal being a possibility. As such I'm guessing their backplane is built as sort of an audio section and a video section. To support HDMI they kind of need both combined which it might not be able to do.

Shawn
post #86 of 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Shawn, you are off on this one. Multi-channel high resolution audio LPCM via HDMI will require significant revision of the CB3 internals and no way it can be done in several months. That's why I'm saying HDMI v1.3 for audio because
as Theta gets the internal revisions for the CB3 done the HDMI v1.3 parts will already be available.

If this is true, then theta really messed up when they designed the CB. You don't have to do anything extra with LPCM. It should be no big deal to take lpcm signals. The xtreme dacs should be able to handle 96/24 mc without a problem and you don't need to do any type of special decoding, so I see no problems there.

I think theta should come out with 1.1 audio only solution that does LPCM. Everyone will want it and then wait to see how 1.3 sorts itself out. No one wants to spend 10k+ on a prepro that does not do HD audio now. I bought a CBII 4 years ago and did not send the $2500 to upgrade precisely because I wanted to see what was going to happen with HD audio first. The longer theta waits, the worse the pain.

edit: I guess if audio and video has to be in the same box then this will be a problem, in that case I would hope for a quick and dirty 2 box solution. Or hope that the players in the future will have 2 hdmi outs, one for audio and one for video...
post #87 of 620
Andre,

"I never knew this! Given my recent troubles with the VP50, Oppo, and Panny display, this sounds like a good feature for the MC-12HD to have."

I think the MC-12HD does this now. For example the connection beyond my HD is DVI. It supports 0 audio channels. But I get 6 channels of audio no problem, the MC-12HD is changing/altering the EDID to make this happen.

Bart more or less mentions this in the MC-12HD Q&A when talking about max number of channels and supported sampling rates.

Why this wasn't working for you I don't know. I still kind of think if you tried a DVI cable between the HD and the VP50 you might have been fine.

Shawn
post #88 of 620
"then theta really messed up when they designed the CB. You don't have to do anything extra with LPCM. It should be no big deal to take lpcm signals. The xtreme dacs should be able to handle 96/24 mc without a problem and you don't need to do any type of special decoding, so I see no problems there."

Right, in a nutshell they would need to get the LPCM off the HDMI link and route it into their bass management/time alignment DSPs. From there it would go to the DACs, etc..etc.

That is assuming the Theta can actually process a 96/24 signal, which I thought they could.

The problem Theta may be having is simply how they would route the LPCM from their HDMI card into their DSPs.

Shawn
post #89 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

I simply said LPCM over HDMI is quicker/cheaper/easier for Theta to do via HDMI v1.1 vs. HDMI v1.3.

It is, no matter what Theta's internal architecture is like.

HDMI v1.3 requires far more work on the pre-pro side compared to HDMI v1.1, no getting around that.

HDMI v1.3 requires licenses and the DSP power for for DD+, Dolby THD decoding and so on, HDMI v1.1 does not. How long did it take Theta to add PLII and PLIIx to the CB3 compared to the rest of the industry? Adding DD+, Dolby THD to the Theta is basically about the same thing... swapping out their decoder card for a newer unit with more processing power and integrating that into the CB3. The big stumbling block that could occur is if Theta has no way of getting the data from a HDMI card to that decoder card because of design assumptions/issues in their backplane.

HDMI v1.3 is going to take more work at getting the HDMI/HDCP handshake working and debugged as there is more to deal with in HDMI v1.3. Working with v1.1 first will give a company valuable real world experience in this.

Shawn


OK Shawn you have educated and sold me on this. We know that HD DVDs and Blue Ray DVDs have and probably will continue to have Advanced Coding,
so that even if the surround processor is capable and licensed to do Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, etc. via HDMI bitstream, that it won't be able to, anyway thanks to Advanced Coding. So why bother at least unless and until things change in this regard.

So Theta should do HDMI with multi-channel LPCM 96-24 as quick as possible at reasonable cost. After that, Theta can work on revising to the latest HDMI, v. 1.3 or later because the newer versions of HDMI will hopefully work better and have better video capability. But if I were Theta I wouldn't worry about Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, etc. unless and until new HD DVDs permit them to decode the bitstream in the surround processor, if ever.
post #90 of 620
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfogg View Post

"then theta really messed up when they designed the CB. You don't have to do anything extra with LPCM. It should be no big deal to take lpcm signals. The xtreme dacs should be able to handle 96/24 mc without a problem and you don't need to do any type of special decoding, so I see no problems there."

Right, in a nutshell they would need to get the LPCM off the HDMI link and route it into their bass management/time alignment DSPs. From there it would go to the DACs, etc..etc.

That is assuming the Theta can actually process a 96/24 signal, which I thought they could.

The problem Theta may be having is simply how they would route the LPCM from their HDMI card into their DSPs.

Shawn

When Theta designed the Casablanca, Dolby Digital and DTS were in the pipeline.
No one had heard of 96-24 or Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby True HD, etc. Theta provided a product that has been upgradeable and lasted me now almost ten years. Pretty unheard of in the industry.

When Theta upgraded to the CB2, it could take a DAD 96-24 stereo disc and play it in Circle Surround 5.X (X being subwoofers) 96-24 sound. Pretty darn good!!!

But now its time for Theta to go the next step in evoluation as quick as possible, or to be left behind by Halcro, Lexicon and others to come.
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