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aka jfinnie
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Point being cost of parts has little to do with cost of final product which has to include things like R&D, support, OH&P, etc.
Of course, and it's an argument I've made in the predecessor thread in favour of the Envy as a product previously. I've also been involved in selling some PC parts built as product into the AV market in the past (albeit a bit more customised) and there are always some folk who are unable to look past the cost of the raw components, which funnily enough they don't seem to do with speakers or anything else in their AV rack, but because they have a little idea of the cost of some of the parts they see themselves able to judge the VFM proposition easily here.

When confronted with this opinion at trade shows, in the face of an obvious "no sale", the answer usually is just that this isn't the product for you, come back and show me the product you've done later and we'll compare notes... :) :)
 

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Of course, and it's an argument I've made in the predecessor thread in favour of the Envy as a product previously. I've also been involved in selling some PC parts built as product into the AV market in the past (albeit a bit more customised) and there are always some folk who are unable to look past the cost of the raw components, which funnily enough they don't seem to do with speakers or anything else in their AV rack, but because they have a little idea of the cost of some of the parts they see themselves able to judge the VFM proposition easily here.

When confronted with this opinion at trade shows, in the face of an obvious "no sale", the answer usually is just that this isn't the product for you, come back and show me the product you've done later and we'll compare notes... :) :)
Its a little crazy to hear with MadVR given that you can in fact build your own PC and use the free program if you choose that route. That is pretty darn generous if you ask me.
 

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Hello everyone,
I have been interested in the Envy Extreme for a while now and read through this and much of the anticipation thread. I might have completely overlooked it, but is there a list of hardware components used in the Envy Extreme?
As I understand it is now (2021?) equipped with a NVidia RTX 3080 Graphic Card. I would however like to know what warrants the petty steep price tag. Considering it is a PC After All....
Thanks in a advance.
Something that many people don't understand is that any box that will handle HDCP (which is necessary for streaming, DVD players, etc - anything but ripped content) must have special hardware and the ENTIRE box (Envy, Lumagen. etc.) must be licensed for HDCP. The hardware to do this is not available off the shelf (because of licensing) and then the entire box has to go through a lot of hoops to get the license. So it's NOT just a PC.
 

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Its a little crazy to hear with MadVR given that you can in fact build your own PC and use the free program if you choose that route. That is pretty darn generous if you ask me.
It is, but they are quite different products. The biggest factor is that a HT PC lacks an hdmi input, therefore no other sources (i.e. streamer or dedicated 4k players) can take advantage of the madVR processing, Also, the HT PC running this software is a bit formidable. The Envy being on a closed system, is fast, seamless, very easy to use, intuitive and flexible. Two different animals, but yes, there is a cost of admission.
 

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Thanks for your replies. My intention was never to add up the costs and if it is not exactly MSRP call it a scam or anything. I am a hardware geek and would like to know what I am getting and what to expect of it, that‘s basically all. Also, that would give a good indication of the future capabilities of the device, considering processing power needed for 8k etc.
 

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HT Setup: Sony VPL- VW665ES Projector, Stewart 140" screen, Marantz AV8805, B&W 803, Kaleidescape
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Wow, nice upgrade there! :)
Is the Envy capable of outputting the native panel resolution for the Bragi and doing all the scaling in the system?
To my understanding Envy will do the work on all 4k content or up to 3840px. Bragi takes over from there. They are finishing install today so hopefully when i get back home I can fire everything up and flip out with enjoyment :)
 

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No they aren’t! one of the worse dealers I’ve ever dealt with.
 

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Harder to do than you might imagine, as the true volume prices of the FPGA chips used are hard to get and the only retail prices you'll find are ridonculous on the likes of Mouser and Digikey. I don't know the part numbers for the Lumagen devices as they're under heatsink and I have no desire to bust mine, but the FPGA used in the JVC DLA-N5, for example, "retails" at over $2000 when I last looked it up...!
Why are FPGA so expensive ? That’s more than a high end Intel CPU which should be more powerful !?
 

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Why are FPGA so expensive ? That’s more than a high end Intel CPU which should be more powerful !?
So there are basically 3 levels of chips,

ASIC - developed at the hardware level for certain functions, data comes in and is processed, then comes out. But you can't change anything, once the chip made there is no flexibility. Extremely fast, no flexibility.

FPGA - like an ASIC processing is done in the chip but it is flexible and can be programmed for different needs. Also extremely fast, depending on the need may not be as fast as an ASIC, very flexible. Extremely Fast and flexible comes at a price.

X86/ARM Processor (intel, AMD, etc) - relies on software to tell it what to do, which is slower, but you can do almost anything with them. Slower with ultimate flexibility.
 

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The RRP $ of the FPGA used in the Lumagen VP is more than the sum total of all the hardware used in the Envy combined.
 

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aka jfinnie
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So there are basically 3 levels of chips,

ASIC - developed at the hardware level for certain functions, data comes in and is processed, then comes out. But you can't change anything, once the chip made there is no flexibility. Extremely fast, no flexibility.

FPGA - like an ASIC processing is done in the chip but it is flexible and can be programmed for different needs. Also extremely fast, depending on the need may not be as fast as an ASIC, very flexible. Extremely Fast and flexible comes at a price.

X86/ARM Processor (intel, AMD, etc) - relies on software to tell it what to do, which is slower, but you ca almost anything with them. Slower with ultimate flexibility.
Not really.

ASICs are just any chip foundried with a fixed function. Processors and GPUs are technically ASICs - just that their fixed function come together in such a way that they implement one or more programmable processors.
FPGAs are different in that they are composed of IO, logic and memory that can be linked together in (almost) arbitrary ways to implement specific function, via a programmable fabric (that often can only be re-configured at boot, though some partial reconfiguration is possible in some devices).

If you happen to need the operations implemented exactly as they are in the CPU/GPU, it is likely to be the fastest option available (as the processor manufacturers are at the bleeding edge of process advances), but the reality is most jobs don't need things exactly as implemented in a CPU or GPU, so it gets much harder to benchmark... A CPU implemented in an FPGA would be slower for a similarly affordable FPGA.

There are whole papers on trying to compare the raw performance, performance per $ and performance per watt, and you need to know so much about the workload it is generally speaking impossible for the layman to have any idea whether a given tech is better for a given workload.

There are many other factors in selecting devices - such as what clocking reqs you have, what IO you need, thermal considerations, what tech your engineers have expertise to deliver a solution on... The list goes on. Attempting to reduce these to binary "is A better than B" is pointless.

The RRP $ of the FPGA used in the Lumagen VP is more than the sum total of all the hardware used in the Envy combined.
Not really a fair comparison though, because no-one buying any volume of FPGA is paying anything at all remotely like the retail price - the difference is MASSIVE between retail and what is known as "supported pricing", yet the PC market parts are commodity and there is very little margin available on them for a PC building shop, with the pricing very well known.

I'd imagine the net result is probably a not massively different overall cost.
 

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Regardless of parts actual cost, the Envy X86 architecture will keep it state of the art for MANY years to come, while the other will not have quite the legs. Also, when other AI features are added, such as AI Motion Interpolation, the FPGA architecture does not have the processing horsepower to compete. They are both excellent solutions, but one will have much longer legs and additional features that require high cpu/gpu processing. As such, the longer a product stays state of the art and current are far more important to me than an actual comparison of parts costs. Of course the most important factor being what’s on the screen and for that I am very happy with this solution.
 

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aka jfinnie
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Parts cost aside, while the Envy X86 architecture will keep it state of the art for MANY years to come, while the other will not have quite the legs. Lastly, when other AI features are added, such as AI Motion Interpolation, the FPGA architecture does not have the processing horsepower to compete. They are both excellent solutions, but one will have much longer legs and additional features that require high cpu/gpu processing.
I don't honestly know which is better suited to processing consumer video; a lot depends on your precise requirements, latency vs throughput, etc. Such comparisons and feature-horse-trading probably end up being better served in the comparison thread, as I don't want to be looking like I'm attempting to thread-spoil (I am a Luamgen owner). To be crystal clear the above post of mine wasn't coming down on the side of either being better tech for the job, just different.
 

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To be crystal clear the above post of mine wasn't coming down on the side of either being better tech for the job, just different.
I realize that. I did find your point on FPGAs in mass quantities brings the cost down substantially... was painting the picture more accurately.
 

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Not really.

ASICs are just any chip foundried with a fixed function. Processors and GPUs are technically ASICs - just that their fixed function come together in such a way that they implement one or more programmable processors.
FPGAs are different in that they are composed of IO, logic and memory that can be linked together in (almost) arbitrary ways to implement specific function, via a programmable fabric (that often can only be re-configured at boot, though some partial reconfiguration is possible in some devices).

If you happen to need the operations implemented exactly as they are in the CPU/GPU, it is likely to be the fastest option available (as the processor manufacturers are at the bleeding edge of process advances), but the reality is most jobs don't need things exactly as implemented in a CPU or GPU, so it gets much harder to benchmark... A CPU implemented in an FPGA would be slower for a similarly affordable FPGA.

There are whole papers on trying to compare the raw performance, performance per $ and performance per watt, and you need to know so much about the workload it is generally speaking impossible for the layman to have any idea whether a given tech is better for a given workload.

There are many other factors in selecting devices - such as what clocking reqs you have, what IO you need, thermal considerations, what tech your engineers have expertise to deliver a solution on... The list goes on. Attempting to reduce these to binary "is A better than B" is pointless.


Not really a fair comparison though, because no-one buying any volume of FPGA is paying anything at all remotely like the retail price - the difference is MASSIVE between retail and what is known as "supported pricing", yet the PC market parts are commodity and there is very little margin available on them for a PC building shop, with the pricing very well known.

I'd imagine the net result is probably a not massively different overall cost.
Not to quibble but you just repeated what I said in a different way. I didn't address price vs performance since that wasn't his question. He wanted to know why FPGAs are so expensive.



ASICs are just any chip foundried with a fixed function

vs

ASIC - developed at the hardware level for certain functions, data comes in and is processed, then comes out. But you can't change anything, once the chip made there is no flexibility


FPGAs are different in that they are composed of IO, logic and memory that can be linked together in (almost) arbitrary ways to implement specific function, via a programmable fabric (that often can only be re-configured at boot, though some partial reconfiguration is possible in some devices).

vs

FPGA - like an ASIC processing is done in the chip but it is flexible and can be programmed for different needs.


And CPU as I stated and you stated are software dependent, so if your software needs line up with it then great but for certain functions even if you had software to process it a CPU/GPU would be much slower than an ASIC developed to do the same process. Examples can be found throughout the networking industry, or in crypto mining.
 

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aka jfinnie
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Not to quibble but you just repeated what I said in a different way. I didn't address price vs performance since that wasn't his question. He wanted to know why FPGAs are so expensive.
I've replied here:
As I think it merits reply and discussion as it comes up frequently, but I don't think it should be in this thread. :)
 

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aka jfinnie
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Wow, nice upgrade there! :)
Is the Envy capable of outputting the native panel resolution for the Bragi and doing all the scaling in the system?
To my understanding Envy will do the work on all 4k content or up to 3840px. Bragi takes over from there. They are finishing install today so hopefully when i get back home I can fire everything up and flip out with enjoyment :)
My original question on this was perhaps misleading. I (naively) assumed that the Bragi could accept its native panel resolution over one of the inputs (eg Displayport). It looks like on investigation this is not the case; the Bragi can't receive such a high resolution input. It tops out at 3840 pixels wide, which means you have to do some upscaling (at least for panel width) in the Bragi.

It does look like with careful setup the Bragi could maybe be configured to only have to scale horizontally (you might be able to do the vertical scaling in the Envy). Not sure though.
 

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To my understanding Envy will do the work on all 4k content or up to 3840px. Bragi takes over from there. They are finishing install today so hopefully when i get back home I can fire everything up and flip out with enjoyment :)
Very interesting, looking forward to your experience and views.
 

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Does one have to resort to a blu-ray player with a source-direct feature for the video signal when used in conjunction with the Envy. How does the Envy recognise the colour space (SDR or HDR type) of the incoming video signal? Is via some sort of header information at the beginning of a video signal?
 
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