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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just beginning my research for an after Christmas purchase of an AVR. At this point, I like the Pioneer 1120K and the equivalent Onkyo models. In regards to the current generation of AVRs with built in network capability: how much can the firmware upgrades modify the features of the receiver? I know that the capability to upgrade firmware allows for bug fixes but is the architecture wide open enough to allow for bigger, higher level changes such as adding new streaming radio stations and other new technologies into the future. As examples, I notice the Onkyo models have Pandora radio built in, but Pioneer doesn't. Another potential fix is the Pioneer On-screen-display's lack of a volume interface (at least from what I've read). Would it be possible for Pioneer to do the upgrade to Pandora in the future? Could a master volume interface be added to the OSD? Or is this network firmware upgrade capability inherently limited to lower level functions? What might the future hold for future AVR network capability?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgstudios /forum/post/19645812


Just beginning my research for an after Christmas purchase of an AVR. At this point, I like the Pioneer 1120K and the equivalent Onkyo models. In regards to the current generation of AVRs with built in network capability: how much can the firmware upgrades modify the features of the receiver? I know that the capability to upgrade firmware allows for “bug fixes” but is the architecture wide open enough to allow for bigger, higher level changes such as adding new streaming radio stations and other new technologies into the future. As examples, I notice the Onkyo models have Pandora radio built in, but Pioneer doesn’t. Another potential “fix” is the Pioneer On-screen-display’s lack of a volume interface (at least from what I’ve read). Would it be possible for Pioneer to do the “upgrade” to Pandora in the future? Could a master volume interface be added to the OSD? Or is this network firmware upgrade capability inherently limited to lower level functions? What might the future hold for future AVR network capability?

Possible, sure. Probable, no. Don't buy a receiver banking on a feature being added - especially if the receiver has already been out for a few months already. Manufacturers usually add the new features to next year's model instead and stop updating the firmware for the current model once the new one is released (critical bugs being the possible exception). They want you to upgrade and adding features to old models is not exactly the way to boost sales.


If the feature hasn't been announced by this point in the receiver's life cycle (i.e. Denon/Marantz adding an Airplay upgrade for a $49 upgrade fee), it's not gonna happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK, I figured as much. In the end, econimics rules. The notion of true upgradability, like a computer, seems like such a great potential. I would love to have that capability. AVR owners could buy features and dump them to the AVR over the network. Developers could create custom features for our amps and recievers. We see this happening to DVD now as people choose to move over to streaming their media, but the idea hasn't crossed over to the home hardware market yet. I would love to buy a reciever that could have higher level features added, for a price of course. The manufacturer gets their money and the user gets to customize their reciever to their utmost liking, like a computer. The only reason I don't beef up my computer into a high end media player is because I like having a powerful, sexy reciever sitting there in my living room waiting for me when I come home from work. There's an asthetic apeal that the reciever has that a computer cannot approach. I grew up around those awesome amps and recievers of the 70s and 80s and was dismayed as manufacturers seemed to migrate over to what I considered low quality black plastic toys with tinly invisible buttons and ugly LED displays. The heavy silver powerhouses with warmly lit analog displays, big knobs and vu meters of my youth were gone, but now we seem to be moving into a new world for home entertainment, and the home theater is spurring a new breed of buyer and a new generation of equipment that seems to give us a substantial bang for our buck. I am into it, but as a citizen of the cyber age, I want more flexibility. I will wait and see what comes of it, it will be interesting to see what manufacturers do in the next few years. Thanks for your reply. JG
 
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