Originally Posted by noah katz
Again, lots more licensing fees.
Except demand isn't the whole story, even if they could get relatively high volume. It's margin x volume, with cost of R&D, debugging, and support together that matters. Not to mention that there has to be a discernible market that would buy what Trinnov is about over that Denon 8500 or Emotiva RMC-1, not to mention a dealer/support network to distribute and provide sales. And even with a Configuration Wizard, Trinnov isn't exactly "plug and play" to take advantage of target curves, presets etc. That's with default settings for the Optimizer, BTW.
Despite all of the reasons you cite for why they can't bring Trinnov to a lower price point, Sherwood did exactly that.
That was a different market 10 years ago. The 972 was a "mid range" AVR, at something like $2500 back then, compared to the Pioneer Susano or that gigantic Denon AVR of the year. Meanwhile, today the mid to low end consumer A/V is mature, low margins/high volume characterize the market, and as we all know, soundbars, earbuds and streaming lead the mainstream. Mcode can expand on these points, but I think it's safe to say that aside from price/value market segments, the bucket items of things like sound modes, video processing and support (hello, 8K), HEOS, wireless/network/zone capabilities, and number of ports, are more important to this market than whether they can use advanced software to remap speakers into an ideal layout, or adjusting FIR and IIR filters, or have 29 presets, etc. etc. Otherwise, D&M wouldn't be satisfies with a room EQ - Audyssey MultiEQ and XT32 - that's less than state of the art compared to a Dirac.
Beyond that, Trinnov isn't Harman, part of a huge, diversified corporation. It's a relatively small company and they have to pick what categories they compete in, and that's pro audio, cinema and high-end consumer Hi-Fi and HT. And going to some DSP platform because some hobbyists want a $5K, DSP version of a stripped down Altitude 16 pulls them into a completely different category, where they're sandwiched between Denon/Marantz and the Emotiva/Macintosh/Monoprices/ATIs of the world. They also risk cannibalizing their Altitude 16, which is NOT a good strategic move for them as the A16 shares a lot more with the Altitude 32 om terms of common hardware and software-based processing than it would with an RMC-1.
Emotionally I wish there was that $5K processor, because if there was in 2014 I'd have likely bought it. But a business has to think like a business, not just try to make consumers happy on pricing.
With immersive sound the number of channels is doubled, but today's DSP's can easily handle that.
Yes, but volume buys and margin are everything there for sourcing parts. It also would put Trinnov in a completely different ballpark to compute with the Japanese and some of the boutique manufacturers for DSP chips, buffers, supporting boards etc.
IIRC the 972 failed because of HDMI issues and general bugginess, not from incorporating Trinnov.
True. Odd things like two HDMI boards, processing issues with decoding HD content, and a seriously underpowered AVR (what was it, based on reviews - something like 40 wpc in 8 ohms, all channels?). But as a cautionary tale of partners they choose to work with, I think Trinnov saw this as a hard-earned lesson.
All of this is my own opinion, of course...