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Need Your Advice on Developing a 5.1 Channel DAC

Fosi Audio

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Hi all! Our team is now developing a 5.1 channel DAC for home theater and desktop setup. Again, we want to hear your voices and hope to collect valuable advice here on ASR. Let's make amazing gear together!

The picture below shows the concept design of this DAC. Besides the I/O, it will also have/support

1. remote control
2. capable of decoding Dolby AC-3 and DTS
3. display screen

51.jpg
 
Just don’t. These things tend to be way to simple to be useful even as a simple AV-pro alternative . For that you’ll need at the very least most of this:
-7.1 (you’ll probably use an 8-channel DAC anyway)
- Atmos
- 8 channel LPCM input over HDMI
- bass management
- master volume
- time alignment and speaker level option ( aka speaker distances)

I also don’t think 4 pots for volume are useful. You set then once and then never touch them.

Then again, a high-ish SINAD multi-channel DAC via USB or HDMI (8 channel LPCM) may be interesting as well for totally other purposes, like active speaker systems.
 
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There could be a long list, but
No Bluetooth?
No volume control for each speaker?
What would be the DAC chip?
EQ and/or any basic room correction possible?
SW bypass/disable mode?
Multichannel Stereo?
 
5.1 channels is a mistake in 2014... its doubly moreso in 2024

like the world has moved on from 5.1

one of the enduring thoughts from our departed friend Xulonn is that there is a hole in the marketplace for a 8 channel or more programmable theater processor dac

it seems like the licensing for 5.1 isnt a problem? because its pretty worthless in 2024?

but how with that work with an 8 channel dac?
 
My guess, target is those who mainly use headsets and sometimes simple multi channel for netflix (which means 7.1ch is useless).

Master volume would be nice. Remote will probably have this, but it is slow and frustrating when you can just reach out and turn.

For output, additional 3.5mm jacks would be nice. Target users will have hard time with all the rca.

And done?

If this is intended to be simple and fool-proof. Delay, bass management, and all the dsp will be worse than nothing.

If this is for serious users, complete redesign will be needed... Things like flex ht will leave this in the dust...
 
The real opportunity is making the next generation 16-24 channel AV processor when given the ability to target a price point of $2000. You need Dirac or Audyssey, a lot of DACs, and reliable HDMI eARC. But if you deliver high SINAD plus reliable HDMI CEC/eARC at half the price of the competition, you will sell a lot!
 
The real opportunity is making the next generation 16-24 channel AV processor when given the ability to target a price point of $2000. You need Dirac or Audyssey, a lot of DACs, and reliable HDMI eARC. But if you deliver high SINAD plus reliable HDMI CEC/eARC at half the price of the competition, you will sell a lot!
Aaaand balanded output option
 
I think we just upped the price of the thing by an order of magnitude, and lengthened the development time by at least a year :facepalm:;)

The obvious reasons for supporting only DTS and AC3 are simple: no royalties needed, since the patents expired.
 
@Fosi Audio this looks like a device designed to meet certain licensing requirements. Would adding some of the features others have mentioned simply be too expensive in HDMI or Dolby licensing?

I have an Apple TV and a Xbox and all I really need is HDMI switching and analog preouts, but I had to buy a whole AV receiver. If you wanted my dollars you could drop all the individual volume pots and add a couple more HDMI inputs
 
then one might wonder what does a 5.1 processor serve in 2024? if 5.1 is free then maybe its worthless in 2024?
 
This is going to be basically a minidsp flex HT but without DSP, so you better make it cheaper... much cheaper!

I believe there might be an audience for something simpler for the subs guys: 4 channels, with both balanced and single ended options. 4 channels input via USB and an adjustable crossover and channel gain in the box for the spdif stereo inputs. Display, remote, and for God's sake master volume control!
Actually, I am thinking of making one myself...
 
I think we just upped the price of the thing by an order of magnitude, and lengthened the development time by at least a year :facepalm:;)

The obvious reasons for supporting only DTS and AC3 are simple: no royalties needed, since the patents expired.

The royalties on MiniDisc also expired, but we don’t see anyone making new MD recorders. It’s great that it’s small and cheap, but would anyone in this target market not choose a used AVR or even a used Sonos Amp instead?
 
The royalties on MiniDisc also expired, but we don’t see anyone making new MD recorders.
That’s rather different. Minidisc has a massive mechanical component, and it a really pointless technology by now. In contrast AC3 and DTS are still around and very much alive.
 
That’s rather different. Minidisc has a massive mechanical component, and it a really pointless technology by now. In contrast AC3 and DTS are still around and very much alive.
Agreed.

Still, if this Fosi unit was free, would you use it? And where?
 
Personally I think Fosi should focus on a competitor to the PA5 II (an improved V4 of the V3 using PFFB) and the upcoming WiiM integrated amp with HDMI-ARC (will be interesting to see how that measures), rather than this multi-channel DAC. 2c...


JSmith
 
I don't understand you guys, we have been crying for multichannel DACs since years. Even today, the cheapest DAC with more than two channels and a remote with master volume will cost you at least 600 euros in Europe.
I think there are plenty of things to do instead of another desktop amp. We heard that the topping dm7 did not sell and we immediately discard any multichannel DAC.
Make a Motu M4 without the inputs but with a remote and master volume for the same price and I am sure it will be a hit with anyone with a subwoofer.
 
I would say only do this if you can add some dsp options for room correction - doesn’t need to be a full minidsp / dirac- but possible the ability to load a 10 band peq ( or even a 5 band peq) per channel with some options for the crossover filter for the sub.
 
Sorry Fosi, HDMI input and USB, 2.1 Amp with 10 band peq is more attractive to me.
 
Bass management is a must, and an area where a lot of "2.1" devices fail to deliver -- configurable crossover point(s), ideally a configurable slope as well. I'd also say balanced outputs would be nice to have for the studio monitor crowd.

How would the HDMI input work? Would you go from your source to a TV or the like, and then from the TV to the device via ARC?

EDIT: Having an option to disable the center channel and map its content into left/right would be really helpful, too. Lot of desk setups without space for the center speaker.
 
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