Sound United Enters Agreement to Acquire Onkyo Home Audio - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by paindonthurt View Post
Not just what I need not even close. At $499 for those features? NOPE. I would buy a sound bar. Lol
Oooh, not rack mountable, so no, you wouldn't.
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post #122 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by paindonthurt View Post
Not just what I need not even close. At $499 for those features? NOPE. I would buy a sound bar. Lol
Oooh, not rack mountable, so no, you wouldn't.
Rack mounting is just small thing
7.2 is not enough (I’m at 5.1.4)
No pre outs
50w per channel??!!!!

This is just a quick look at the 1609 probably more things to point out. ESPECIALLY at $499! Imo,that’s a fairly weak AVR. It’s for a specific person who is putting size over performance.
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post #123 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 11:48 AM
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Modular AVRs? So like adding a pre/pro? We already do that. I personally don’t want a bunch of smaller pieces all wired together to make my AVR.

The overall consensus here has been that we (HT/AVR buyers) are the minority because people find AVRs complicated. This suggestion of multiple pieces that select to build a AVR makes it more complicated not less. To a pc person that swaps out cards and fans etc they don’t see this as a big deal. But the average person wants to buy something and have it work out of the box. They don’t want to program or tinker with settings. I bet if you did a poll most people would tell you that they haven’t even adjusted the picture settings on their tv. Crazy? Yup I think so. And I’m sure you do too. But the average person isn’t on AVS forums.
Its complicated because of how the products are built/marketed, not because of the technology, which is ancient. Your average person uses a laptop/smartphone on a daily basis and a lot of people are using smart home appliances all of which are considerably more advanced tech than amplifying some sound waves and tweaking them a bit.

A receiver is a huge ugly black box with a million knobs and is sold in a section of the store no normal person would ever walk into, and no one tries to sell HT/receivers/proper speakers to buyers who are shopping for a big tv. What they are sold on, via ads and in store, is soundbars. You know why - because they are not intimidating.

Imagine the following - the receiver is just like a soundbar form factor, except smaller. It consists of separate boxes like Samsung's One Connect and is entirely modular. You have a breakout box with easily labeled wires for speaker connections. And another box for desired number of HDMI in/outs, which can be easily expanded on by plugging in more - you know, exactly like a USB hub. Al these are solved problems. With ARC/eARc you don't even need this as its built into your source components too. Everything is self discovering/setup via easy prompts - again a solved problem, think setting up a Chromecast. Everything can be self discovering/configuring. All setup is done via a simple GUI online or via phone app. I don't think there's a single AV component made in last 5 years that isn't network enabled.

Once you start going down this path suddenly its a very different world. You can add/upfrade DSP's since its not tied to your big black box. You can get a better DAC or perhaps newer HDMI by just upgrading that module, just like I can do it in my pc by upgrading parts or plugging in a usb drive. A lot of *will* get miniaturized and get built into other devices - e.g. do you see anyone buying a tv tuner - no, since its built into every tv.

Like I said, this makes everything simpler, not more complex. And approachable, and cheaper and better. But it requires a mindset change and threatens the foundations of the entire industry.
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post #124 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 11:58 AM
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And lets go further - do I want wires - no. Wifi direct is fast enough and the next wifi is going to be even faster. Its trivial to attach a small receiving module to each speaker. That then establishes a mesh network with all other discovered devices. It can even figure out where the speakers are located in 3d space. Wireless HDMI is already here. I guarantee you in a few years it will be built into your tv and soundbar and people will still be whining about how soundbars are destroying the HT market.

Just a few years ago you had to buy adapters for receivers to enable BT, wifi etc - all of its now builtin at the same cost, because it costs so little to integrate tech.

All this tech will only get faster, smaller and cheaper - ONCE it starts getting widely adopted and used and isn't just a niche toy for the 0.001% of people who are even aware of it let alone interested in it.
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post #125 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 02:35 PM
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On the flip side, it’s usually much easier for me to place a speaker in the room and run speaker wires than it is to find an available power outlet.

Here’s an idea. I’m thinking of a USB powered HDMI dongle decoder with eARC and wifi that passes sound from the display to wireless speakers that are assignable and configurable within an app.

I remember a few years ago when Denon announced the Heos AVR. I thought it was cool being able to assign wireless speakers to the rear channels, but I couldn’t help but think why not make that available for ALL channels?

Anyway, that’s the kind of functionality I want. Hopefully we’ll get there. Hopefully in a few years I’ll be watching glasses free 3D on a rollable display and with full wireless immersive audio setup.
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post #126 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by paindonthurt View Post
I disagree with a few of these.
No—Lower count of HDMI ports. Most offer 6 and I need more than that now.
1-Dish network
2-Blu-ray player
3-Xbox One X
4-Xbox 360
5-PS4
6-Security cameras
7-Amazon Fire tv 4K
I’m already short one port. And as time goes on probably more.

No—slimmer chassis. Needs to be able to be rack mounted.

No—not sure what you mean by fewer video features. To me that is one area that’s just about right.

Re: sources...
Surely you'd retire the XBox 360 and load your games into the XBox OneX (backwards compatible titles FTW)!
Then you get your HDMI needs fulfilled.


Also - the sad future for AVR's is WISA, all they actually need is make it reliable.
Which, they seem to be struggling with.
Plugging your sources into the 'smart' TV, attach the WISA dongle (yup it's still a dongle), connect your speakers, calibrate and away you go.
It won't have the 'fettling' features of an AVR, but that's the point isn't it?
People who want to modify room EQ graphs are a niche, a tiny niche.
If you don't believe it, try asking your local AV install company about DIRAC or MiniDSP's etc. It's not what they care about.
The biggest piece of functionality that WISA misses is the ability to be multi-zone compatible...


I would be FASCINATED how many AVR's are put into homes because they need to power a 5.1.4 cinema vs power a 5.1 + 2 zones of audio... I'm picking far, far, far more people end up with an AVR for multi-room than anything else. And now multi-room can easily incorporate soundbars instead of AVR's (HEOS, MusicCast, BluOS, Sonos etc) - why even invest in the home cinema receiver world?


It's dying.
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post #127 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 07:25 PM
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Doesn't the PS4 play BlueRay? Why do you have a separate BlueRay player?
Regular PS4 does not do 4k or HDR. I do all my 4k and HDR watching on Netflix or Prime Video. Shoot, I have to do Dolby Atmos listening on my Quantum Access Mini PC Stick that does NOT do 4k or HDR because of it's 32bit OS.

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post #128 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 07:34 PM
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Re: sources...
Surely you'd retire the XBox 360 and load your games into the XBox OneX (backwards compatible titles FTW)!
Then you get your HDMI needs fulfilled.


Also - the sad future for AVR's is WISA, all they actually need is make it reliable.
Which, they seem to be struggling with.
Plugging your sources into the 'smart' TV, attach the WISA dongle (yup it's still a dongle), connect your speakers, calibrate and away you go.
It won't have the 'fettling' features of an AVR, but that's the point isn't it?
People who want to modify room EQ graphs are a niche, a tiny niche.
If you don't believe it, try asking your local AV install company about DIRAC or MiniDSP's etc. It's not what they care about.
The biggest piece of functionality that WISA misses is the ability to be multi-zone compatible...


I would be FASCINATED how many AVR's are put into homes because they need to power a 5.1.4 cinema vs power a 5.1 + 2 zones of audio... I'm picking far, far, far more people end up with an AVR for multi-room than anything else. And now multi-room can easily incorporate soundbars instead of AVR's (HEOS, MusicCast, BluOS, Sonos etc) - why even invest in the home cinema receiver world?


It's dying.
I don't think Trinnov thinks the home cinema industry is dying, nor does Storm Audio or the brands owned by ATI. But while that's a niche within a niche, it could be a very profitable niche for those companies, taken at a global market level rather than just the US consumer that shops brick and mortar.

What I think it's more proper to say is that the mass market is racing to a choice between soundbars and systems like BlueSound, and a smaller array of AVRs from maybe two or three companies (Sound United, Yamaha, and Sony) and associated small value for the money/lifestyle speaker systems like Elac, DefTech, and Klipsch. That's leaving "audiophiles" (two-channel diehards, and the boutique products that support/enable them) out of it.
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post #129 of 153 Old 05-22-2019, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnersfella View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by paindonthurt View Post
I disagree with a few of these.
No—Lower count of HDMI ports. Most offer 6 and I need more than that now.
1-Dish network
2-Blu-ray player
3-Xbox One X
4-Xbox 360
5-PS4
6-Security cameras
7-Amazon Fire tv 4K
I’m already short one port. And as time goes on probably more.

No—slimmer chassis. Needs to be able to be rack mounted.

No—not sure what you mean by fewer video features. To me that is one area that’s just about right.

Re: sources...
Surely you'd retire the XBox 360 and load your games into the XBox OneX (backwards compatible titles FTW)!
Then you get your HDMI needs fulfilled
Not all Xbox 360 games are backwards compatible. Yes they continue to add more but for instance the last NCAA football game isn’t backwards compatible on the X and because of legalities probably never will be.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdrucker View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunnersfella View Post
Re: sources...
Surely you'd retire the XBox 360 and load your games into the XBox OneX (backwards compatible titles FTW)!
Then you get your HDMI needs fulfilled.


Also - the sad future for AVR's is WISA, all they actually need is make it reliable.
Which, they seem to be struggling with.
Plugging your sources into the 'smart' TV, attach the WISA dongle (yup it's still a dongle), connect your speakers, calibrate and away you go.
It won't have the 'fettling' features of an AVR, but that's the point isn't it?
People who want to modify room EQ graphs are a niche, a tiny niche.
If you don't believe it, try asking your local AV install company about DIRAC or MiniDSP's etc. It's not what they care about.
The biggest piece of functionality that WISA misses is the ability to be multi-zone compatible...


I would be FASCINATED how many AVR's are put into homes because they need to power a 5.1.4 cinema vs power a 5.1 + 2 zones of audio... I'm picking far, far, far more people end up with an AVR for multi-room than anything else. And now multi-room can easily incorporate soundbars instead of AVR's (HEOS, MusicCast, BluOS, Sonos etc) - why even invest in the home cinema receiver world?


It's dying.
I don't think Trinnov thinks the home cinema industry is dying, nor does Storm Audio or the brands owned by ATI. But while that's a niche within a niche, it could be a very profitable niche for those companies, taken at a global market level rather than just the US consumer that shops brick and mortar.

What I think it's more proper to say is that the mass market is racing to a choice between soundbars and systems like BlueSound, and a smaller array of AVRs from maybe two or three companies (Sound United, Yamaha, and Sony) and associated small value for the money/lifestyle speaker systems like Elac, DefTech, and Klipsch. That's leaving "audiophiles" (two-channel diehards, and the boutique products that support/enable them) out of it.
I don’t think it’s dying either. But the industry does need to do a better job of adapting. A good friend is in the custom AV business. He said a lot of sales are home automation systems that incorporate a home theater AV setup. And they are usually top of the line systems. (7.2.4, projector or massive tv, universal control etc…) The market is still there just evolving.
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post #130 of 153 Old 05-23-2019, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by BP1Fanatic View Post
Regular PS4 does not do 4k or HDR. I do all my 4k and HDR watching on Netflix or Prime Video. Shoot, I have to do Dolby Atmos listening on my Quantum Access Mini PC Stick that does NOT do 4k or HDR because of it's 32bit OS.
Regular PS4 does support HDR.

https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/ge...ow-to-get-hdr/
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post #131 of 153 Old 05-24-2019, 04:49 AM
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Ah, if you connect directly to TV. I'll never do that connection. Plus, it's only for streaming and not disks. I can stream from my TV and get HDR. My AVR will ALWAYS be my AV hub.

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post #132 of 153 Old 05-25-2019, 12:17 AM
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Here's a question...


So to my mind it makes sense that if the deal with Sound United goes ahead and they get Onkyo Corp's manufacturing facilities - they will want to increase profitability...
To do so, one obvious approach is to put HEOS multi-room tech into as many of the new products from their brands as possible.
From Polk soundbars to Onkyo AVR's, Integra AVR's, Pioneer AVR's / stereo amps etc etc.
This will increase the footprint of HEOS as a multi-room product, meaning it's in more and more households as they release the new products - which makes it more enticing for control system manufacturers to develop drivers / modules for it, which means it's more likely to be the first cab off the rank with the likes of Apple / Google / Amazon etc when they develop a new feature in their product range (Airplay 3 / Chromecast UHD Audio / Amazon Sub-prime audio etc)... Yes, I'm making this up, but you get the idea...


Soooo.
Will it mean an end for PlayFi in their products, an end for Flare Connect?

I'm picking PlayFi will be dropped like a hot potato. It was a lame duck from day one, now it's pretty much an 'out and out dead water fowl'.
Flare Connect promised a lot in their marketing, but the name change from Fire Connect and a general malaise around it within the market means it's got a limited future...
AND licensing these multi-room approaches costs lots of money... money that can go towards the bottom line, or producing better HEOS software / chipsets.

After all, Sound United is a private equity firm and they LOVE to buy companies, shave costs and then flick them on.
So it seems like cutting competing multi-room tech is a great way to cut costs.



Which leads me to the remaining two multi-room techs built into Pioneer / Integra / Onkyo...
GoogleCast... is it free to implement? I know that D&M couldn't reach an agreement to integrate it into Denon or Marantz products a few years ago. Will this change? Or is it a dead duck too?
And what about the 10 tonne elephant at the multi-room party?
Sonos.
The 'Works with Sonos' implementation hasn't been without its issues, just recently Sonos updated their software, leaving many Ponkyo products no longer working with Sonos kit until an update was sorted.


Will the focus on HEOS mean that the other (MANY) multi-room attempts by Pioneer / Onkyo / Integra etc will be forgotten and no longer supported? Or just cut all together? If you've built a home around 'Works with Sonos' you'd be pissed and would most likely be dumping the Ponkyo product for a Sony?


Or am I getting too far ahead of myself here?
I do think it's important though as AVR's aren't exactly a growth category, but multi-room audio is.
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post #133 of 153 Old 05-25-2019, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dunnersfella View Post
Here's a question...


So to my mind it makes sense that if the deal with Sound United goes ahead and they get Onkyo Corp's manufacturing facilities - they will want to increase profitability...
To do so, one obvious approach is to put HEOS multi-room tech into as many of the new products from their brands as possible.
From Polk soundbars to Onkyo AVR's, Integra AVR's, Pioneer AVR's / stereo amps etc etc.
This will increase the footprint of HEOS as a multi-room product, meaning it's in more and more households as they release the new products - which makes it more enticing for control system manufacturers to develop drivers / modules for it, which means it's more likely to be the first cab off the rank with the likes of Apple / Google / Amazon etc when they develop a new feature in their product range (Airplay 3 / Chromecast UHD Audio / Amazon Sub-prime audio etc)... Yes, I'm making this up, but you get the idea...


Soooo.
Will it mean an end for PlayFi in their products, an end for Flare Connect?

I'm picking PlayFi will be dropped like a hot potato. It was a lame duck from day one, now it's pretty much an 'out and out dead water fowl'.
Flare Connect promised a lot in their marketing, but the name change from Fire Connect and a general malaise around it within the market means it's got a limited future...
AND licensing these multi-room approaches costs lots of money... money that can go towards the bottom line, or producing better HEOS software / chipsets.

After all, Sound United is a private equity firm and they LOVE to buy companies, shave costs and then flick them on.
So it seems like cutting competing multi-room tech is a great way to cut costs.



Which leads me to the remaining two multi-room techs built into Pioneer / Integra / Onkyo...
GoogleCast... is it free to implement? I know that D&M couldn't reach an agreement to integrate it into Denon or Marantz products a few years ago. Will this change? Or is it a dead duck too?
And what about the 10 tonne elephant at the multi-room party?
Sonos.
The 'Works with Sonos' implementation hasn't been without its issues, just recently Sonos updated their software, leaving many Ponkyo products no longer working with Sonos kit until an update was sorted.


Will the focus on HEOS mean that the other (MANY) multi-room attempts by Pioneer / Onkyo / Integra etc will be forgotten and no longer supported? Or just cut all together? If you've built a home around 'Works with Sonos' you'd be pissed and would most likely be dumping the Ponkyo product for a Sony?


Or am I getting too far ahead of myself here?
I do think it's important though as AVR's aren't exactly a growth category, but multi-room audio is.
A couple of points...
1. Marantz/Denon together lost a major patent litigation suit, with Sonos. The HEOS was in direct conflict with Sonos IP and now Denon /Marantz are paying a significant $ royalty per unit to Sonos.
2. The $ royalty is based on total units sold with HEOS implemented, and then the $ royalty cost is decreased by about 30% as the respective unit volume of HEOS products is increased beyond 250K.

In concluding, the North American AVR market is mature & saturated, so the only way for Marantz/Denon(United Audio) can improve their profitability is that they must:
  • Lower their product FOB costs by owning their own factories rather than outsourcing
  • Move up in product price positioning to higher profit $ per unit
  • Take advantage of the slowly increasing higher end/higher profit AVRs while including stepup features such as HEOS that serve as a hub for home automation systems

It is now up to United Audio to deliver, I hope they succeed as they now...

Just my $0.02...
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post #134 of 153 Old 06-03-2019, 08:44 AM
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Is possible that Onkyo and Pioneer will become second-tier brands besides Marantz and Denon, cheaper, with more discounts all year round... or maybe not, things are complicated with 4 brands for the same product...

What you will end up with is a kind of audio version of General Motors. You'll be able to buy the same basic electronics inside the case, but with different knobs and switches to make the receiver into anything from a "Chevy" to a "Cadillac".

Innovation will ultimately suffer, because there won't be different well-funded R&D departments trying out different things (and the idea of some guy - or gal - in a shed being able to fund the development of anything truly new and innovative and then bring it to market are long gone I'm very much afraid).

Prices will be kept in check because SU will still have to compete with Sony, Yamaha, etc.

That having been said, if someone injects some stability into both the sound and video codec universe that might be a good thing for the consumer....
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post #135 of 153 Old 06-03-2019, 08:57 AM
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Innovation will ultimately suffer, because there won't be different well-funded R&D departments trying out different things (and the idea of some guy - or gal - in a shed being able to fund the development of anything truly new and innovative and then bring it to market are long gone I'm very much afraid).
The AVR makers aren't doing much R&D. The technologies are developed by other companies like Dolby. The corresponding chips and components are made by other companies. The AVR manufacturers just buy the parts and licensing and put them together in a cohesive unit.
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post #136 of 153 Old 06-03-2019, 09:00 AM
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^ Good point, hadn't thought of it like that.

In which case it doesn't matter what flavor of Sounds United AVR you buy, if all the chips and other electronics inside it come from Dolby or whoever anyway. And seeing as they're all soldered up by robots anyway, QA should be the same regardless. A bit like all the TVs that use screens from one or two sources, you'll just be paying for nicer / fancier cases, knobs and switches, etc.
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The AVR makers aren't doing much R&D. The technologies are developed by other companies like Dolby. The corresponding chips and components are made by other companies. The AVR manufacturers just buy the parts and licensing and put them together in a cohesive unit.
Which is exactly why Trinnov leads the consumer A/V industry. They have their own proprietary room EQ, continually improve the functionality of things like bass management and the Optimizer's flexibility for the parameter settings, and by having a CPU-based architecture rather than DSP, can implement the entire code for 3D audio rather than a subset of what DSP manufacturers can offer. They still source things like CPU, memory chips, motherboards, HDMI board etc. but that's a start.

Unfortunately it's a different value proposition than what Sound United or Yamaha can offer, and they have a fraction of the consumer base, but you do get what you pay for from them, generally speaking...

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post #138 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 07:56 AM
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^ $13K and up? Not all of us live in a world where we can spend the price of a modest used car on our AVR or live in a house where the movie room is big enough to justify 16 channels either. :-(
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post #139 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 09:09 AM
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^ $13K and up? Not all of us live in a world where we can spend the price of a modest used car on our AVR or live in a house where the movie room is big enough to justify 16 channels either. :-(
Of course not. But they operate on a different paradigm than a Sound United. Maybe over time there’s ways some of their development and support philosophy can trickle down to the more modestly priced processor world.

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post #140 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 11:29 AM
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Of course not. But they operate on a different paradigm than a Sound United. Maybe over time there’s ways some of their development and support philosophy can trickle down to the more modestly priced processor world.
The major challenge for Trinnov is that its IP requires significant resources both memory and processor power...
Though these respective costs for memory and processors have decreased significantly over the last few years, it is unlikely any AVR brand will step up and implement this unless @ the very high-end of the market. The AVR market is now mature with very thin profit margins, but if Trinnov can partner with a semi-conductor brand and gets its IP programmed into a powerful processor then it will be more available to a broader market segment.

Just my $0.02...
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post #141 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 12:45 PM
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The major challenge for Trinnov is that its IP requires significant resources both memory and processor power...
Though these respective costs for memory and processors have decreased significantly over the last few years, it is unlikely any AVR brand will step up and implement this unless @ the very high-end of the market.

It could be done for a fraction of the cost if only a subset of the IP is implemented, as exemplified by the Sherwood R972 at $2k.

One could argue that its failure exemplified why it can't be done, but it seems that it should be doable with more resources to do it right such as a $5k price would afford.

Seems like it would be win/win for consumers and Trinnov, who could collect licensing fees for their IP on orders of magnitude more units.
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post #142 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 01:19 PM
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That's the point. With AVR sales in steep decline in favor of these ridiculous mono smart spy speakers, you want to own as much as you can so that you can maintain a certain level of sales. If you can use a lot of common parts across brands, you can keep costs in check. One of the things that's happened in the photography industry is that sales have declined massively due to smartphones. While we haven't seen acquisitions like this, prices have gone way up because cost of parts has gone up due to smaller quantities. So much so that everything became overpriced, cost of entry became too high, sales sunk and right now, almost all the photo manufacturers have recently put just about everything on sale in order to try and generate some sales and get rid of inventory. So by owning "everything" you can keep costs down.

I suspect that we'll see a lot of look-alike receivers with different brand plates on them -or- we'll see stratification: different brands will be for different levels of quality. There's lots of ways this can go, but I'd be surprised to see ALL of these brands survive just for AVR's and pre-pros. Frankly, I'm surprised that both Denon and Marantz have both survived, although that's only two brands. Now that they'll have Onkyo, Integra, Pioneer and Pioneer Elite, do all six of those lines survive in the long run? Doubtful IMO unless they can find a way to revive the market. One way would be to release smart devices that also connect to a full-fledged receiver or pre-pro. Personally, I think the industry has done a lousy job pushing home theater. About the only thing that's sold well are sound-bars.
The problem is that a massive percentage of the sub-35 crowd thinks home theater is a watching Netflix on their smart phone with ear buds.

We need the next generation after these potted plants to reacquire a sense of drive and taste. What this generation thinks is a good movie or a good song is just painful, and it's as if they live with no goals or aspirations whatsoever. They're just phone zombies.
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post #143 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 01:25 PM
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One could argue that its failure exemplified why it can't be done, but it seems that it should be doable with more resources to do it right such as a $5k price would afford.
Yup, and in the 11 years since the Sherwood was released in 2008, processing horsepower on DSP chips has gone way up (especially the ones in the flagship/$5K models).

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post #144 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 01:54 PM
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The problem is that a massive percentage of the sub-35 crowd thinks home theater is a watching Netflix on their smart phone with ear buds.

We need the next generation after these potted plants to reacquire a sense of drive and taste. What this generation thinks is a good movie or a good song is just painful, and it's as if they live with no goals or aspirations whatsoever. They're just phone zombies.
No, I don't think the sub-35 crowd thinks that "home theater" is watching on a device, but I do think they're fine watching media on a device. The convenience is the overwhelming factor for them.

As far as movies go, I'm not sure their tastes are really any worse than previous generations. There was always a lot of popular crap. In retrospect, we tend to remember only the great films, but if you go back and look at the movie ads in old newspapers, it's amazing how much crap we've forgotten about. The difference today is I don't get the sense that they care about the past at all. When I was in college, there was a big Keaton/Chaplin revival and film history courses were popping up everywhere. A revival of Metropolis would sell out a theater. And I don't get the sense that most care about independent film (unless it's a Netflix film that becomes a social media trend). When I go to arthouses, the audiences are quite elderly.

The only time I see younger people apparently appreciating old films is in the summer when there's a weekly outdoor film festival at Bryant Park in NYC that draws at least 5000 people, maybe more. It so happens that it's a lousy way to see a movie because the screen is too small and there's slap-back echo from the library on the east side of the park so dialogue intelligibility is poor and it's also all mono, but people go because sitting on the grass with your friends and getting takeout food and wine and being there with the crowd is a fun experience. But they do cheer the films, although I now see that this year, the oldest film is from 1976. The schedule is Big (1988), Big Daddy (1999), TBD, To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018), Carrie (1976), Bad Boys (1995), Coming to America (1988), Goodfellas (1990), Anchorman (2004), and TBD. Geez. They used to play films like Stalag 17.

I do think most of their music is crap, but generations before me thought my music was crap. We didn't make the music great - we were lucky that music, especially rock music, went through an especially creative period in the 1960s and 70s that was both experimental and looked to the past, as with the blues revival. Bad radio taught this generation to like crap, but they don't listen to OTA radio anymore, so maybe music will get better.
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post #145 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
It could be done for a fraction of the cost if only a subset of the IP is implemented, as exemplified by the Sherwood R972 at $2k.

One could argue that its failure exemplified why it can't be done, but it seems that it should be doable with more resources to do it right such as a $5k price would afford.

Seems like it would be win/win for consumers and Trinnov, who could collect licensing fees for their IP on orders of magnitude more units.
Keep in mind...
The total cost of adding Trinnov has a hardware and significant software burden...
Delivering bug-free, validated Trinnov software is no easy task, this is 1 area many AVR shoppers overlook. Writing, debugging, validating and delivering certified software takes take $, time and engineering resources.
Next question is who pays for it..
  • Trinnov
  • Processor supplier
  • AVR/processor brand


Just my $0.02...
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post #146 of 153 Old 06-04-2019, 08:24 PM
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Originally Posted by noah katz View Post
It could be done for a fraction of the cost if only a subset of the IP is implemented, as exemplified by the Sherwood R972 at $2k.

One could argue that its failure exemplified why it can't be done, but it seems that it should be doable with more resources to do it right such as a $5k price would afford.

Seems like it would be win/win for consumers and Trinnov, who could collect licensing fees for their IP on orders of magnitude more units.
I'm not sure what I see what's in it for Trinnov, to be honest.

First of all, a DSP type solution would require extensive programming and debugging to fit a subset of what Trinnov's Optimizer and the 3D immersive audio can do on the CPU-based architecture. And unlike every other manufacturer, Trinnov isn't buying a prepackaged solution for how 3D audio decodes bitstream/PCM content and renders. They'd have to do it themselves from scratch or put in the development costs for external engineers to do so. Also, as I think Curt Hoyt pointed out a few years ago, the DSP architecture had issues with the resources and throughput need for real-time 2D/3D remapping, which is not channel-based I/O but a model rendering to channels based on measured vs. ideal azimuth and elevation.

You also have to keep in mind that Trinnov has a limited number of engineers and staff, and consumer A/V (even the high-end/luxury Altitude) isn't all they do. They just rolled out an Ovation 2 for pro cinema, and they've got an entire line of pro audio products (MC, D-Mon) geared for the studio crowd. That's their origin and the consumer world was a lucky secondary application which took off beyond the MC/Magnitude niche to the Altitude. 3D audio came along at the right time for them.

Then there's support. Trinnov, or a dealer/calibrator with the proper credentials, can use VNC to access and update a Trinnov processor in real time. In fact they added US-based support not so long ago because their customer base (I think somewhere in the 5K range across all processors, the last I saw on their website awhile back) grew beyond what a Paris-based support could do. Also US-based repair, for that matter. And if you contact them, they will support you either over VNC or sometimes on the phone. Other than Oppo and maybe a boutique company like ATI or Storm, you don't get that with a Japanese manufacturer very easily.

And then there's software updating. In the four years I've had an Altitude, they've added Auro, DTS:X, soon to be DTS:X Pro, up to three-level bass management, and virtually unlimited PEQ slots to use as another layer of room EQ/pre-EQ with their technology (trust me, it makes doing Bass EQ with movies significantly easier). Then there's support for Roon, and the HDMI 2.0 swap for those of us that had the original HDMI 1.4/"partially compatible" original HDMI board. And active crossovers, as well as support for a large number of high pass, low pass, and shift order filters. And so on.

Bottom line is that it's more realistic IMO for companies to learn from how Trinnov does business and offer better support and upgrading, and maybe better DSP chips that can do higher channel count and processing at native sampling rate, but it's not likely to be Trinnov implementing some DSP version of a 9.1.6 "Trinnov lite" at $5K. They've already rolled out their lighter version of the $20K+ Altitude, and it's the Altitude 16, which other than the 16 channel limit gets most to all of what I've mentioned from software other than less fancy inputs and DB-25 or AES digital outputs. I think that's about as far as they go unless they really surprise us, under the current market conditions.

IMO the best option for a mainstream manufacturer would be to have a subscription-based platform with yearly fees for firmware updates, and an architecture that extends more than 18 months that could support 16 channels and Dirac as the default EQ, at a minimum. And tiered support, up to and including some web-based interaction. I can't claim to know enough about the consumer A/V world to know if that's remotely feasible. Maybe an ATI or a Monoprice could pull that off if they keep supply/demand and support modest and grow very incrementally for something less than a Storm Audio ISP or Altitude 16, but more than a Denon 8500.
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post #147 of 153 Old 06-05-2019, 05:25 AM
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Please keep the discussion to AV tech....the prison system, politics etc etc is not appropriate topic(s) for AVS tech forums
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post #148 of 153 Old 06-05-2019, 10:48 AM
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I'm not sure what I see what's in it for Trinnov, to be honest.

First of all, a DSP type solution ...
Stuart,

Again, lots more licensing fees.

Despite all of the reasons you cite for why they can't bring Trinnov to a lower price point, Sherwood did exactly that.

With immersive sound the number of channels is doubled, but today's DSP's can easily handle that.

IIRC the 972 failed because of HDMI issues and general bugginess, not from incorporating Trinnov.
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post #149 of 153 Old 06-05-2019, 11:39 AM
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Stuart,

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.

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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 satisfied 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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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...
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post #150 of 153 Old 07-02-2019, 05:54 AM
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Sun sets on Japan's once-shining AV equipment industry

As market shrinks, Onkyo sells assets to focus on contract manufacturing

Quote:
Onkyo now plans to devote itself to contract manufacturing, but the transition could be bumpy. Toru Hayashi, a company director, paints a bullish picture, saying. "We want to expand sales to 30 billion yen within three years and to 50 billion yen within five years."

The view from the stock market is skeptical, however. "Competition is intensifying in terms of both costs and technological capabilities. It is necessary to determine whether [Onkyo's] growth scenario will take place as planned," said Masayuki Kubota, head of Rakuten Securities Economic Research Institute.

Other Japanese companies will be watching to see whether Onkyo's all-or-nothing bet on contract manufacturing pays off.
https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Bus...pment-industry
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