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#94717 - 01/21/15 09:48 AM Product Development Update
Outlaw Ben Offline

Gunslinger

Registered: 10/31/13
Posts: 199
Fellow Outlaws,

Those of you who have been following the news from CES have probably seen the Outlaws mentioned in announcements from some of the major technology companies in the audio and home theater world. In brief, we have added some additional items to our next processor beyond those already announced which include Dolby Atmos in a 7.2.4 configuration, HDMI 2.0 and HDCP 2.2 and premium, audiophile-grade components.

• The Outlaws are one of the first licensees for the new DTS: X technology making it possible for us to give you native decoding for both major object-based audio formats. At this time it is too early say if DTS:X will be available at product launch or as a no-charge upgrade shortly after production; as the timing for receiving and integrating the firmware is largely in the hands of DTS and our DSP supplier.

• Our new processor will also include HD-Radio to take terrestrial radio reception to the highest possible quality level along with delivery of additional content not available with traditional tuners. HD-Radio will be part of this exciting new product from the first shipment.

To make all of this possible we have beefed up the processor’s DSP section to include two of the most powerful audio DSPs available along with additional high-speed memory. Thanks to a new, exclusively Outlaw, hardware platform developed by our teams and manufactured under our total control, we have the flexibility to offer these innovations without worrying about outside forces.

Both Dolby Atmos and DTS:X require more than just DSP and memory, as the hardware must accommodate the additional output channels and their DACs. Therefore, it is not possible to update existing products such as the Model 975 to add them. However, when the new processor becomes available we will offer an attractive program to recognize the loyalty of our existing customers when they purchase the new model.

It is now time for the Outlaws to return to a “quiet” period as it is simply too soon to comment further on the rest of the feature list, the price or the availability date. As we’ve all learned, predicting a release date at this point is not appropriate. This is mostly due to deliverables from outside sources and suppliers that are not yet available and whose delivery date is outside of our control. These key firmware components must not only be in our hands, they must then be integrated into the product, tested internally and then certified.

Therefore, any target date we set now would be subject to change; it is just too early to say when the processor will ship. That will happen only when everything is complete and meets not only our own standards and those of our technology licensors and partners, but also the most important quality test: your performance expectations.

We’ll update you along the way as progress allows, but beyond these first two announcements we can’t answer any other questions at this time.

We thank you for your support not only in the past year, but for the past 15 years that the Outlaws have been the innovator in direct-to-consumer home audio products. Along with the new processor, we are hard at work on other products. Indeed, one will be announced within the next few weeks. Rest assured, that in 2015 and for the years ahead, at Outlaw Audio, “The Best Values in Home Theater are Just a Mouse-Click Away”™

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#95638 - 01/25/16 08:07 AM Re: Product Development Update [Re: Outlaw Ben]
admin Offline

Gunslinger

Registered: 01/06/10
Posts: 146
Fellow Outlaws:

As most of you know from previous announcements, we have been working on a new Atmos surround processor for some time. It’s been a while since our last project update, and it is now appropriate to bring you up to date on its progress.

In summary, our development teams have been hard at work on the hardware and software for this product and we’re making significant progress. However, in order to complete the product our DSP chip supplier needs to give us the final, Dolby-certified, software code. Despite promises from them going back to mid-last year, we still do not yet have that complex software. It is impossible to complete our own internal code and then submit the product for certification without it.

We had hoped CES meetings would bring us word on when we would have the “gold” release version of the latest Atmos software, now required by Dolby for any brand’s new products. Unfortunately, that did not happen. When we receive it is still up in the air and totally beyond our control.

To give you some insider background, developing a complex audio product is a multi-step process. First, the DSP chip supplier must implement and debug the underlying code supplied to them from licensors such as Dolby and DTS. Once it runs properly on development boards, it must then be tested and approved. Since code is rarely perfect the first time, revisions and subsequent testing are often necessary.

Only after the certified chip-based internal code is available, the task of integrating it with our product’s own unique master software begins. Finally, internal and external beta testing is done to assure that the product is ready for final certification.

When any piece of the puzzle is missing, particularly a critical one, the product is delayed. This applies not only to the Outlaws, but to every brand that is waiting for the final code from the same chip supplier we use. Few companies are talking about this, but the more public nature of our future product plans makes us one of the few companies willing to talk about it.

Thus, while we would love to provide an updated estimate on our processor’s release date, as you can now understand, that is impossible to predict at this time.

During this unforeseen delay we haven’t been sitting still. Among other things, we have updated the unit’s design so that it has more HDMI 2.0a/HDCP 2.2 inputs, all with the critical 600MHz bandwidth than originally planned. This insures compatibility with the latest 4K/UHD and HDR content, and the products used to play or stream it, without the need to upgrade anything. This, too, is not a simple task, as it requires both new HDMI chips and new software.

At this point, it would be natural to ask why we simply don’t just change to a DSP supplier with code already approved for Atmos. Unfortunately, it just isn’t that simple. With so much preliminary work already completed, this would require a major change to the hardware architecture and close to a complete overhaul of the software. Doing that would set the release date back even further.
We understand that this is as frustrating to you, our all too patient customers, and we apologize for this situation. You have our commitment that once all the missing pieces are in hand, we will do our best to make up for missing time. Despite the delay, we are more committed than ever to deliver a very unique, Outlaw-exclusive, product. Rest assured that its feature package, sonic performance, and value pricing will be well worth the wait.

The Outlaws

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