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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm on the verge of buying a new AVR, and finding myself on the fence about whether to buy a $1000 receiver and hold on to it for 5-10 years, or just get a $400-500 receiver if I'm going to have to replace it in a few years anyway.


So I'm doing some prognostication about what new "must have" and "want to have" features will be be coming around over the next decade.


Here some trends I see in future receivers:

Smaller size and weight. Class D amplifers are now ubiquitous in most consumer gear and they have gotten the engineering down so the audio quality is quite comparable to class B amps. The receiver is now by far the biggest piece of consumer audio electronics that most people own, and for no good reason. I'd ideally like my receiver to be the size of a blu-ray player. I just read Thomas Norton's blog posting where he says the reason we don't have more class D amps is simply inertia, that the amp manufacturers haven't put the R&D money into redesigning their amp sections over to class D yet. I think over the next few years we'll start seeing more and more class D, and in 5 or so years class D will be the rule rather than the exception.

Most RCA jacks on the back of the receivers will disappear in 5 years or so, leaving just a bank of hdmi connections and speaker connections. Maybe someone will finally develop a smaller better speaker connector than the banana jack. All this will allow receivers to become physically much smaller.

Better support for fewer speakers. It seems like more than half the people who buy surround systems end up never connecting the surround speakers at all. Lets face it, two to three speakers gives most of what most people want out of an audio system. The diminishing returns of installing surround speakers, combined with the weak economy, are going to make people question whether they really need to add four surround speakers to the perfectly adequate front stage. The ipod has reawakened two channel audio for consumers. Hardly any ipod speaker systems have surround and people are realizing they don't really need it, even for movies. The days of making the home into a movie theater are gone; the new era is moving the movie theater into peoples day to day lives with smaller and less intrusive technology. Allowing the user to shut off, repurpose, bridge, or even physically remove unused surround amps would be useful. Just as wall warts are finally being developed that save power by not running constantly with no load, AVR amplifiers will have much more intelligent power management.

Power shifts from surround to the front. I live in a small place, and if I were starting from scratch I wouldn't bother with surround speakers. The only reason I have them now is because I already have the amps and speakers. I'd love to see an AV receiver with say 3-4 amps rather than seven. Halving the number of amps means they could be made more powerful, so with class D we could see built in front stages with 200-500 watts per channel built in to the AVRs themselves. Low end consumers who really want surround would simply buy cheap active surround speakers, just like they do in the PC gaming surround market today. High end consumers could devote the 3-4 amps in the receiver to surround, and buy cheap killer external amps for the front channels with 500 or more watts per channel. Eventually amps will detect and throttle back when a speaker is being overdriven (thermally or excursion) so concerns over "too much power" will fade away.

New speaker connector with power and data. Eventually the technology to "beam" sound with an array of small speakers up front will be mature and ubiquitous, and receivers will need to have more support for them than for the discrete surround speakers which will die off. I would like to see the day when speaker connections are done similarly to USB: A univeral connector carries both data and DC power. This would allow the receiver to support any advanced active or beaming speakers. The AVR would basically turn into a high powered, smart USB hub.

audyssey type room correction will continue to mature and become ubiquitous. I think this may be the biggest thing I'd miss out on, as I'm sure the technology will get much better quickly.

Wireless source connections to replace HDMI may happen, but we haven't gotten wireless USB widely adopted, so wireless HDMI is still years away.

The HDMI connection will continue to evolve, but luckily the digital rights management movement seems to be winding down with the media companies finally realizing nobody wants DRM and it's defeatable anyway. So I'm going to be optimistic and assume that there shouldn't be too much more need to muck with the HDMI interface going forward until we get to wireless HDMI, which is still many years away. So I'm predicting that today's HDMI switching should generally work with the technology of the next 3-4 years. After that a $150 outboard switcher for HDMI's successor might be needed if I keep my receiver.


As far as resolution, 1080p seems like it's here to stay for most of the next decade. There will be greater resolutions in 5 years or so, but they won't become common for a long time... look how long 480i lasted and how great it can look today on state of the art equipment.


After writing this, it's pretty clear to me that it will indeed be 5-10 years before the receiver I really want to buy is available, and there's no "must have" technologies that I see arriving anytime soon. So I think I'm going to get a good receiver today and hold on to it for a while.


If anyone thinks there's a must have technology that everyone will have to upgrade their receivers for in the near future, please share your prognostications.
 

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Hai nice topic,


Optimizing of number of speakers/amps is already happening. Denon already allows you to assign amps to less channels by allowing you to bridge or biamp. This way putting a 'focus' on the 3 fronts if you want.


4k video support will happen next, and more and more scaler features maybe intermediate frame setups once the extra needed speed is there (hdmi 1.5).


I think the receiver will become more and more the media hub. so the area of storage will be a big one. I think we will see them coming in 5 years with atleast 4 to 5 Terabyte of memory inside and act as a internet device to other storages and streams on the network.


Virtual speakers, we are seeing the start of systems that can remap sound in a room this means a 5.1 system can be used way more effective than a 7.1 system today. Same with a 7.1 system vs a 9.1 system. The number of channels on content, speakers will be independent on the number of points we will hear sounds coming from.


Overal i think the whole Internet thing will be big if not the thing that will split the old from the new, simply because thats what the Internet seems todo.


My fav. clip from a tv program i worked on, filmed in 1999 (already 10 years old).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qrk4kTUH3_s


Daniel.
 

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Well let me add a guess of what will be normal in 10 years. Virtual receivers i know this sounds silly but once we get into the 100 to 200mbit internet connections combined with speakers with buildin amps, tv's that show streams do we really need one?


The virtual receiver will have its gui on a iphone 6.0 like device. Each speaker/display has buffer to control delay/jitter and will receive messages from the virtual receiver that lives on the network somewhere in or outside our homes. Hows that for WAF factor. Just the speakers please.


Daniel.
 

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PerfKnee, I think you nailed it pretty well (though I can't see receivers supporting FEWER channels).


I strongly agree that we don't need so many legacy analogue audio and video inputs. My receiver has ten s-video inputs that I'll never use. Four or five HDMI inputs, plus two of each of the rest will do just fine. Just like most new video processors use very successfully.


One feature that I will add though - motion interpolation video processing. I'm not convinced about VP in a receiver in general, but since BD players output 24p, and TVs accept 60p, there's got to be an opportuntiy there.


Nick
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by welwynnick /forum/post/15523028


PerfKnee, I think you nailed it pretty well (though I can't see receivers supporting FEWER channels).


I strongly agree that we don't need so many legacy analogue audio and video inputs. My receiver has ten s-video inputs that I'll never use. Four or five HDMI inputs, plus two of each of the rest will do just fine. Just like most new video processors use very successfully.


One feature that I will add though - motion interpolation video processing. I'm not convinced about VP in a receiver in general, but since BD players output 24p, and TVs accept 60p, there's got to be an opportuntiy there.


Nick

The reason for having the scaler inside a receiver is that its the only place that will be able to keep settings per input. Unless someone starts using the way the hdmi-id system was designed. In concept every hdmi device gets a id in the chain (fixed based on its position). Displays could use that to keep settings per source (even if it has been switched) problem is nobody seems to be willing to build on this feature.


Doubt we will see 'stripped' of legacy units soon from the normal brands, adding the old analog parts is cheap and you aim for a bigger group that way. I agree 100% with you, i now use a denon avp that has about 30 inputs ill never use and ive already ran out of its 6 hdmi inputs.


Daniel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I don't really see why scalers should need different settings per input. I could understand aspect ratio or color balance settings on a per-input basis, but scaling should be set it and forget it.


The reason for having scaling in the receiver is legacy inputs: component, s-video. E.g. If your cable box only outputs s-video, It's just easier to press the "Cable" source button on your receiver than to have to do that plus cycle through inputs on your TV to select the S-Video input and then set the TV back to HDMI when you are done. And easier for the babysitter who tries to watch Cable TV.


But back to the original topic, I went ahead and ordered a Denon 3808ci, figuring this receiver has what I'll need for hopefully 5 years or so.
 
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