you'd better check the Meridian homepage at: www.meridian.co.uk
There you can download the year 2000 catalogue, like I did (3,6 MB PDF file), and the 568 manual. The "Products" section will also list the products and their compatibility features, like 24Bit/96Khz. Most Meridian components nowadays understand 24Bit/96Khz and "DAC" them correctly, since up-sampling is a key feature in high end audio.
I would imagine that the DSP33 clearly outperforms the M33, since the digital crossover can utilize steeper high/low pass filters in the digital domain without introducing phase erros, common in steep analogue! (analogue, like in "passive" analogue speakers) crossovers. The drivers however appear to be the same.
An analogue "active" speaker like the M33 will accept any format comming out soon, it is just limited by it's frequency responce concerning new formats !. The processor will just have to output any new format at it's analogue RCA outputs and the M33 will cheer.
Found my catalogue, the DSP33 will go up to 24Bit/96Khz as an input signal and DAC it via their 24BIT/96Khz converters. Since the price is too high for your taste I would look at the M33 or compare both carefully before buying. It is a shame that MEG is not selling in the Philippines ?. The MEG 906 is comparable to the M33. But then it is also nice to have a complete system and Meridian is one of the few (maybe the only)manufactures where I would go for such a complete system myself.
The obsolete question is something not new to me. My DSP-A1 did hold for 2 years, my former 565 for about 5 years (although I sold it earlier, needed the cash). The 568 will be obsolete depending on progress, or on the channel creaziness spreading around. But I assume that Meridian will let you have a software up-date also in 4 years, once 10.2 is out, for the still use of your "maybe" up-graded and then out-dated 7.1 system (10.2 will then be down-converted to 7.1), because let's face it, I do not see that people get more than 7.1 speakers in my home.
There is no need for 5 speakers in the front e.g.. You cannot sit that close or have such a big screen that you really need 5 front speakers. If you have that problem, then it lies either in the mix or your speakers are badly placed or do not image, like a MEG does. Once you found out the later to be true, then you are finally "formed" to progress yourself and go to active or digital active speakers. The truth is so simple.
Remember Walter, if you go for five DSP33 and one 568, you have 6 digital devices which need to be up-graded, if the digital word changes. If you go for M33, you only have to look at the 568.
[This message has been edited by Andreas (edited June 15, 2000).]