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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At this point I don't really care whether Dolby PLIIx is worth having or not (besides, there are other threads to argue that point).


Irregardless of actual real-world value, PLIIx can be considered a new industry-wide standard, and I am far more concerned with finding out which companies will have the integrity to follow-through on the implied promise of all those RS-232 ports they've been putting on lower, and lower, cost receivers lately.


Historically, the only receivers that companies have offered upgrades for, are the mega-buck "flagships". But that was before they starting putting serial ports on sub-$1k receivers, and marketing these receivers as "upgradeable".


I think this issue should play a role in every person's buying decision. How large a role depends on how much value you place on corporate integrity.


Personally, I just recently purchased one of these 'upgradeable' receivers, and while I'm only mildly interested in PLIIx for it's own sake, I am intensely interested in whether the manufacturer of my receiver will follow through on their implied promise.


How the various companies deal with this issue is definitely going to impact my future purchasing decisions.




What does everyone else think?


Who's going to be the first company to offer an upgrade for their lesser models? What are the Vegas odds on "none of them"?


In the modern business world of the Enrons and WorldComs, has the concept of corporate integrity become yet another outdated concept?



Or, am I the only person who sees a problem here?
 

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I have to say I totally agree. I'm actually holding-off on buying a new receiver, although I want desperately to upgrade my 5-year-old Sony ES. This is an important feature to watch, IMHO. All these receiver companies are advertising upgradability to keep the feature list high, but if they don't support it, what's the point?


I'm going to wait and see which company has a sub-$1K DPLIIx receiver, and which ones actually work to make upgrade available. Why Yamaha is only releasing the upgrade on their flagship is crazy. Marantz looks to be working their way down the line quite a bit, which is a good sign. Unfortuately, if the upgrade costs $200 to do, it's not worth it. I'd rather just wait for the next batch of receivers with it built-in. If that's the case, the Rs-232 port will mean squat to me in my buying decision.


Now, on the converse side, this has been done time-and-time again. The Tivo's and ReplayTV's all shipped with many ports (RS232, USB, etc) that were never put to use, though they were sold for "upgradability." The companies can add a port for a few dollars, sell more units, then just whistle and walk away. Smart on their behalf....until they get called on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by valkyrie
Unfortuately, if the upgrade costs $200 to do, it's not worth it.
I would wait for the reviews of the new functionality to come in, before I would pay more than 20% of the receiver's purchase price simply to upgrade my receiver to PLIIx.


But at least I would still be willing to consider buying from the same company again.


Offering an upgrade, no matter what the cost, is still better than no upgrade at all.



Of course, I think that if PLIIx can be implemented with a simple "flash-upgrade", like any other modern computer based device, then the upgrade should be free for anybody willing to download the 'patch' and install it themselves.
 

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Quote:
Of course, I think that if PLIIx can be implemented with a simple "flash-upgrade", like any other modern computer based device, then the upgrade should be free for anybody willing to download the 'patch' and install it themselves.
I totally agree. Of course you know this won't be the case. The companies will want to make more money out of this, even if it was easy...you just know it.


Of course, should one of these companies offer a free upgrade on a $1K receiver, consider me their next customer...
 

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I think the Sony 4ES should upgradable to the new DPL-IIx format. I read somewhere on Dolby's site that a unit can be upgraded provided it (unit) has enough reserve DSP memory available. I think since the Sony has 2 32 bit processors it should be OK.
 

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I agree totally with all the comments. I bought a Pioneer 49TXi; I will not be buying a 59TXi in the near future. In fact, it has just been suggested in another thread that I look at a separate pre/pro.


But, an upgrade should be made available to owners if the DSP's will support it. For the 49TXi, there are 3 DSP's. But Pioneer has to accommodate their MCACC feature, too, so additional room may be an issue. It WILL be interesting to see if they offer an upgrade.


Denon has already committed to an upgrade for the 5803.
 

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The fact is that companies should be planning for such upgrades in the DSP, if they are to advertise for it. Sherwood originally annouced their whole new line will be getting the DPLIIx, but as an upgrade. Now, they're saying the whole line will ship out with it, because it's a "free" software upgrade. If Sherwood can plan for it, why can't Denon or Yamaha? It just seems short-sighted to advertise an "upgradable" receiver without enough room for an "upgrade."
 

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I have a Pioneer Elite 45tx and while I have met some, if not all, of the criteria for an upgrade according to a few posts I've read (enough reserve memory in the EPROM, Rs-232 port, and the >$1,000 price tag), I'd be really surprised if Pioneer offered it to me. I would always hate the thought of buying technology that would pale next to the newer items coming out within a month or two. I always wanted to wait to see what's on the horizon but the advances never end and I'd always be waiting for the newer thing and never buy anything. I'll be honest with you that the inclusion of the port on my receiver had little to do with buying it. I know what they claim it was included for but I thought to myself that with so many models being replaced constantly why would a company upgrade it's older models; wouldn't that keep people from feeling the "bug" to buy more stuff later on? I have a going back and forth sort of frustration about these upgrades; I don't like being given something that is supposed to help future proof you're investment but I also know that history only shows >$?,000 being given the opportunity to use it. If and when Pioneer offers an upgrade for me I'd definitely hold them in higher regard and would buy their equipment again partly due to their honesty and loyalty to their customers.


MCO
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Unfortunately Terence, most of the products I recognized on that page are "flagship" receivers.


I would be suprised if any manufacturer fails to come out with an upgrade for their top-of-the-line products.


The issue lies with whether they will upgrade their lesser products.
 

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I know this is not a perfect world, but every AVR out there that has a RS-232 port on the back with enough DSP memory. I think the manufacturers should provide the PLIIx upgrade, i have 4ES too Nick and would love to upgrade mine since i'm running 7.1 in my set-up.
 

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Not all receivers with an RS232 port are able to be upgraded, for example the T762 uses this port only to be controlled through an advanced control system example Windows Based software etc.. The DSP mem within the unit is at its limits!
 

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Terence, I have a 4ES too and would love the upgrade. One interesting thing I read about the Yamaha RX-V2300 that the RS-232 port on the back accomodates software upgrades also. I would think that that receiver might also be upgradable.
 

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@ CEDIA Harman/Kardon announced that their new models AVR 430 ($899) and AVR 630 ($1099) will have an upgrade to DPL2X. Also note that many of the AVRs claiming upgradability apply only to the firmware NOT to the DSP algorithim downloads. The memory required for the DSP algorithims is much larger and thus more expensive so some brands will have to go in and change the ROM masked part which is more difficult.


Additionally as of today Dolby has not yet certified DPL2X, once this is certified then the brands can move forward for their respective implementation by platform. Judging by what we heard @ CEDIA DPL2X sounded great and will be a very significant and audible upgrade over the earlier EX mode. Dolby should be commended for providing this excellant DSP mode, as now we will be able to get a full utilization for the subject 7.1 AVRs.
 
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