It seems pretty clear that the ATI acquisition of DataSat helped along the recently announced Monolith HTP-1 with Atmos and Dirac Live. The feature set and pricing really are quite attractive and potentially disruptive. Clearly the main target is Emotiva, , but the whole landscape is really worth an overview.

The other options in the higher end space are clustered into a couple of sets. For folks with no desire to look at Atmos the Nuforce option compared well to Outlaw offering.

For folks who do desire a higher end Atmos prepro the value leader today looks like Onkyo, which is now being discounted heavily -- That is less than similar offerings from sister brand Integra, and below other competitors like Marantz or Yamaha.

The next tier probably includes -- and

The more esoteric offerings include and it's somewhat less costly sibling -- as well as the much more costly offerings from even harder to find brands --

From a business perspective the space does not seem to have many attractive places to profitably offer alternatives.

It is very interesting that with many of the firms that were once more independent / publicly traded now part of private equity groups there are different strategic directions that pursued. I remember a few years back I saw some rather slick media server / home automation gear that was developed by the EVA Automation folks and branded under the Bowers & Wilkins name. That stuff never saw full production and I have to think a big part of that was because the likely channel for it, places like the Magnolia stores at Best Buy, had to tell the inventors just how few of the really cool Kalediscape Strato boxes ever get bought

My gut says that with all the interesting "problem solving devices" that head Outlaw P.T. continues to offer to the custom integration market,, he gets excellent feedback as to the sorts of requests potential customers have for a new pre-pro and he won't offer something that does not have great likelihood of marketplace success. A "me too" product does not seem to fit with the Outlaw model...