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Emotiva MC-1 Review (Home Theater Processor)

Rate this AV Processor

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 85 37.0%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 121 52.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 20 8.7%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 4 1.7%

  • Total voters
    230

Vacceo

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One of my theaters is a 7.1.2 system in a small room. What the surround-back channels bring to the game are two additional channels to aim objects or audio effects in the case of the upmixers. It also fills in the rear with actual speakers rather than relying on phantom imaging in a position where are ears are weak at capturing direction. Perceptually, it provides depth to the soundfield, and in the case of the upmixers, it allows them to track flyovers from front to rear better than 5.1.2 can.

If you see 5.1 + Atmos or Dolby Surround, you won't see 7.1. There are more channels being decoded than that.
An that account, you're absolutely right. The best phantom center (or any other channel) cannot compete with a real center.
 

Sal1950

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What regular every day consumer wants more than a great 5.1.2?
Lot's.
It all comes down to room size. For Atmos there are few situations that can't support a 4 overhead speaker setup, and IMHO .2 systems are badly compromised for good Atmos performance.
Now for the base system many of us just don't have room for more than 5, but the bigger the room the more speakers you can support. 7 or more really can improve on the immersive experience but again, you have to have the room.
I don't live in the US anymore. Over here, you'd be the count of who knows what.
I hear that a lot, but a good number of the largest HT rigs I see on the web are in homes outside the US.
There's an awful lot of very rich folks overseas.
There is no streaming of any resolution that offers lossless decoding. My comments if you read them were not directed strictly towards streaming or DVD. They were aimed at Bluray and UHD disc - and he did include them both in his comment.
There is one company who's name is escaping my ole brain right now that is streaming UHD video, lossless audio.
But at a serious cost.
It'll come to me.
 

Soundmixer

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There is one company who's name is escaping my ole brain right now that is streaming UHD video, lossless audio.
But at a serious cost.
It'll come to me.
That would be Kaleidescape. It is not streaming per se' in that you have to own the disc, and it must be present in the server. It is more of a downloading service than a streaming service.
 

Sal1950

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That would be Kaleidescape. It is not streaming per se' in that you have to own the disc, and it must be present in the server. It is more of a downloading service than a streaming service.
That was them. I wasn't aware of those restrictive rules.
Why would I pay them for net access to a disc I already own?
BLAH
 

Soundmixer

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That was them. I wasn't aware of those restrictive rules.
Why would I pay them for net access to a disc I already own?
BLAH
Good question! I paid for it because the video is better than what you can get on disc, and I have a HUGE collection of discs (thousands) I hated going through when I wanted to watch something.
 

Sal1950

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Soundmixer

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Really, better than BD or UHD 4k Discs ?
Absolutely! Kaleidescape gets its digital files raw and unprocessed from the studios and then encodes them at higher bitrates as there are no storage or bandwidth restrictions like there are with disc-based media. There are some UHD movies that are 66GB on disc, but 100GB on the Kaleidescape server.
 

Sal1950

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Absolutely! Kaleidescape gets its digital files raw and unprocessed from the studios and then encodes them at higher bitrates as there are no storage or bandwidth restrictions like there are with disc-based media. There are some UHD movies that are 66GB on disc, but 100GB on the Kaleidescape server.
Kool, I imagine that would be benifial to folks with SOTA projection theaters.
Doubt it's worth it for the average LED screen.
Not sure I can tell the difference on my 75 Sony between HD and UHD res if not including HDR coding.
Maybe if I could do instant switching A/B but that would be difficult.
 

Blumlein 88

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Absolutely! Kaleidescape gets its digital files raw and unprocessed from the studios and then encodes them at higher bitrates as there are no storage or bandwidth restrictions like there are with disc-based media. There are some UHD movies that are 66GB on disc, but 100GB on the Kaleidescape server.
What's the cost of this service? Never heard of them.
 

Sal1950

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What's the cost of this service? Never heard of them.
It can be difficult to figure out.
First it requires purchase of a very expensive proprietary movie server box. :eek:
I know I about passed out the first time I looked into it. LOL
 

Blumlein 88

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It can be difficult to figure out.
First it requires purchase of a very expensive proprietary movie server box. :eek:
I know I about passed out the first time I looked into it. LOL
Yeah, I've been looking at their website. Looks like rentals are $6-$8 and purchases vary between $35 to nearly $70.

I wonder if their expensive players test out any better than say some good streaming sticks for video and audio. And you could setup quite the home NAS for what they are charging for their disk drives. Seems like getting rid of those up front costs they might greatly enlarge their market.
 

Sal1950

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Seems like getting rid of those up front costs they might greatly enlarge their market.
To me also.
I'm not a big video guy, only watching one or two movies a month if that.
What does worry me is that optical hard media (BD etc) seems to be a dying breed with low quality streaming mostly the only option. I hope something at reasonable cost comes along to fill the void
 

Soundmixer

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I wonder if their expensive players test out any better than say some good streaming sticks for video and audio.
Their players are on another planet when compared to any streaming stick.
And you could setup quite the home NAS for what they are charging for their disk drives.
Perhaps, but you wouldn't have access to the higher quality images their mastering process affords.
Seems like getting rid of those up front costs they might greatly enlarge their market.
If they did that, their end product wouldn't look any better than the disc. You are not just paying for the storage and convenience, you are also paying for access to content that has been mastered and optimized specifically for this platform. It does not have the bandwidth limitations like streaming or the disc, so they can encode images at a higher bitrate than both streaming and the disc. More bits and bandwidth dedicated to the images lead to fewer artifacts and less need for compression. On a small screen, this may not be that important. On a large screen with the right projector, it is necessary.
 

Blumlein 88

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Their players are on another planet when compared to any streaming stick.

Perhaps, but you wouldn't have access to the higher quality images their mastering process affords.

If they did that, their end product wouldn't look any better than the disc. You are not just paying for the storage and convenience, you are also paying for access to content that has been mastered and optimized specifically for this platform. It does not have the bandwidth limitations like streaming or the disc, so they can encode images at a higher bitrate than both streaming and the disc. More bits and bandwidth dedicated to the images lead to fewer artifacts and less need for compression. On a small screen, this may not be that important. On a large screen with the right projector, it is necessary.
Yes, I get you are getting their better file to work with. No reason that file can't be stored on a cheap NAS if you just let me pay your the fee and store it there.

The up front costs I was referring to are their very expensive playback and storage gear. Are their players really that much better than anyone's stick? Their player is sending out a digital signal to a projector or TV, are bits not bits in video too? Maybe some sticks couldn't handle the bandwidth, but some can and certainly the price for that wouldn't jump from $49 to $5900 by necessity. None of their current gear works beyond 18 Gbps and there are other bits of gear that do work at the higher rates available in HDMI 2.1 so this isn't a roadblock to other devices handling their files.
 
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Soundmixer

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Yes, I get you are getting their better file to work with. No reason that file can't be stored on a cheap NAS if you just let me pay your the fee and store it there.
The problem with this is the studios won't allow a high-quality download like this on an unsecured platform.
The up front costs I was referring to are their very expensive playback and storage gear. Are their players really that much better than anyone's stick?
Their very expensive gear is what is called secured storage - which is the only way the studios will give Kaleidescape the raw high-quality master files. It is not just about the performance of the players (which is pretty damn good), but licensing/security of the content and the engineering that went into their products. Are their players better than anyone's stick? Hell yeah it is! The audio performance of most sticks sucks big time, and no stick can operate at the bitrates their players and server combo can.
Maybe some sticks couldn't handle the bandwidth, but some can and certainly the price for that wouldn't jump from $49 to $5900 by necessity.
Can you name one stick that can handle 100Mbps? I can't name a single one. You are looking at pieces of a whole to come to this price without looking at the whole. You don't get from one price to another based on bandwidth only.
None of their current gear works beyond 18 Gbps and there are other bits of gear that do work at the higher rates available in HDMI 2.1 so this isn't a roadblock to other devices handling their files.
In order to play UHD video with HDR, Atmos, or X you need just 18Gbps. You need HDMI 2.1 for gaming, not for movies - at least at this point. Right now the Hollywood studios have no stomach for producing content with higher resolutions beyond 4K. I am pretty sure that will not change anytime soon based on what I am hearing. This is a movie server combo that does not handle games, so there is no need for HDMI 2.1. This is not a streaming platform, but a download and storage platform. Comparing a streaming stick to this is like comparing an apple to a cucumber.
 
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Chickasaw Mudpuppy

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Absolutely! Kaleidescape gets its digital files raw and unprocessed from the studios and then encodes them at higher bitrates as there are no storage or bandwidth restrictions like there are with disc-based media. There are some UHD movies that are 66GB on disc, but 100GB on the Kaleidescape server.
Well the video comparisons that have been done between 4k uhd disc and KS don't bear that out always and the difference you are talking about is so infinitesimal that their claiming of vast video superiority is bordering on snake oil.Yes the interface/app and set up options are great but the claims of vastly improved video are not.I'm in no way against KS just don't want people thinking that they're missing out on some magical difference in video quality because frankly it ain't there.
 

Sal1950

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Well the video comparisons that have been done between 4k uhd disc and KS don't bear that out always and the difference you are talking about is so infinitesimal that their claiming of vast video superiority is bordering on snake oil.Yes the interface/app and set up options are great but the claims of vastly improved video are not.I'm in no way against KS just don't want people thinking that they're missing out on some magical difference in video quality because frankly it ain't there.
I imagine it's very much like high end audio. Differences that 99.9 % of the population would consider extremely subtle (if audible at all) are earth shaking, night-day superior. Then in video there are levels of revealing gear that exceed what we have, like the detail that becomes visible on a monster sized HT screen with laser projection over my little Sony 75"
If you can afford that gear, the price of KS is a none issue. LOL
 

jbattman1016

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I'm sad that Stranger things has not seen an UHD release for season 3, the Audio is much better over streaming, video, not TOOO different.
 

Blumlein 88

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So I looked it up. The little Roku $49 stick I have can do 40 mbps in a VBR scheme with peaks up to 60 mbps. So lower than full UHD HDR bluray by about half. Lower than the KS files. I thought I recalled seeing it hit 33 mbps for a few 4k HDR streams according to my router. Also for some files streamed from a Plex server at my house. Of course some streaming sources chop things down well below that and you can see it. Don't know how visible it is at the higher rates it can do vs the full bluray or even higher KS video bit rate. These rates appear to be what the Fire Stick and Apple TV+ will do as well.

Reports of the Nvidia Shield Pro are that it can do well over 100 mbps so that should be able to handle KS files were such files made available. Which of course they won't be. It has USB 3 ports which can be used to attach hard drives with your files on them or use ethernet or wifi. $199 for the Shield Pro.
 

Soundmixer

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Well the video comparisons that have been done between 4k uhd disc and KS don't bear that out always and the difference you are talking about is so infinitesimal that their claiming of vast video superiority is bordering on snake oil.Yes the interface/app and set up options are great but the claims of vastly improved video are not.I'm in no way against KS just don't want people thinking that they're missing out on some magical difference in video quality because frankly it ain't there.
Let me correct you here. I never said differences will always be ascertained, but clearly, on some movies, there is a noticeable difference. I have never heard anyone claim there is a "vast" difference between UHD disc and KS, and neither have I. Lastly, I have never heard of anyone who owns a KS system claiming there is a magical quality to it. I would also want to know were those (cough cough) comparisons done on a calibrated projector, or on a panel.

Here is my suggestion to you. If you don't actually own a KS system, hyperbolic criticisms based on somebody else's comparison (which was likely not blind or controlled in any way) is nothing more than a herd mentality being propagated - and that should be taken with a bit of dog poop.
 
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