Anthem AVM-20 Upgrade?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Zander-O, Jul 2, 2002.

  1. Zander-O

    Zander-O Auditioning

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    Hi, has anyone heard any news on the AVM-20 upgrade? I ordered my unit this week and my dealer said they are still not shipping with the new DSP chips.

    Thanks,
    Zan
     
  2. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Stunt Coordinator

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    The last I heard it would be August before the upgrade was available but this was an estimate
     
  3. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    "The last I heard it would be August before the upgrade was available but this was an estimate"

    August?! As an AVM-20 owner, I am disappointed that an upgrade that was suppose to be available this late spring (end of May to beginning of June) appears to be pushed back to the middle/end of summer (or later, if this is a typical manufacturer's "estimate".).

    I realize that Sonic Frontiers is in the awkward position of depending on Motorola for the upgraded hardware. I just don't want the AVM-20 to suffer the same fate as the B&K Ref30 where it was being continually trashed on the HT forums for not providing a timely upgrade path.

    There are some that would love nothing more than for Sonic Frontiers/Anthem to suffer some PR damage. This latest information is certainly fuel for their cause.

    Michael
     
  4. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  5. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Stunt Coordinator

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    "Good things come to those who wait" Yes I would like to upgrade my AVM 20 to the latest and greatest stuff available, but I'm not going to die if I have to wait a little while till Motorola gets off their ass and puts out the chip. I'm more concerned with how much downtime I'm facing when it does become available, after all I'm addicted to this thing and AVM 20 withdrawal is a terrible thing to contemplate
     
  6. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    Dennis, from what I heard, the chip upgrade takes about 1 hour. You can bring your unit into your local dealer, watch them pop the top, pop in the new chip and then download the newest software and be on your way before you knew it.

    For me the upgrade is a non-issue as I don't even have a VCR in my HT (for DPL II) and I have a 5.1 setup, so I don't need DTS ES.

    To each his own I guess.
     
  7. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Evan points up something as to why this upgrade is an issue for me. A significant number of our movies are still on VHS tape and are DPL or Dolby Surround. In my auditions I have heard what DPL II can do for these movies (including DVD DD2.0 and DPL movies) and I want it. Going back to plain DPL after having a Lexicon MC-1 with Logic 7 has been a bit of a letdown for DD2.0/DPL movies.

    "Dennis, from what I heard, the chip upgrade takes about 1 hour. You can bring your unit into your local dealer, watch them pop the top, pop in the new chip and then download the newest software and be on your way before you knew it."

    I hope this is true, and it is why I am glad I bought my AVM-20 from a local dealer (although I "paid" for the convenience). This dealer is also a very good repair shop, so any "surprises" during the upgrade could be handled locally.

    Michael
     
  8. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    My dealer has told me pretty much the same thing in regards to the install. However, his time estimate was closer to 15 minutes.

    Michael,

    Do you not use Cinema Logic on DPL sources? I find it does a decent job of approximating a 5.1 environment. It's not quite as natural as Logic 7 in terms of front to back pans and the rears are generally less distinct but I find it a good alternative.
     
  9. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Camp,
    "Do you not use Cinema Logic on DPL sources? I find it does a decent job of approximating a 5.1 environment. It's not quite as natural as Logic 7 in terms of front to back pans and the rears are generally less distinct but I find it a good alternative."
    I can't use Cinema Logic for DVD DD2.0 and DPL material using the digital connection. It will only work using the analog connections. The irony here is that the AVM-20 converts analog signals to digital when the DSP modes are active (i.e Cinema Logic). Why can't the digital connection be used directly to the DSPs?
    As I mentioned before in another post, Sonic Frontiers is considering a change to the software to allow this in future releases, as a user override to the default DSP mode. By then, DPL II will be available, and it will be the default mode for all DPL source material.
    Michael
     
  10. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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  11. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Camp,

    The only option I get with DVD's that are DD2.0 is DD2.0+DPL. I can not change this mode. If the soundtrack is PCM, then I do have access to all of the DSP modes, as I do for analog sources. Of course, these show up on the front panel as Cinema Logic or Pro Logic without the DD2.0 designator.

    An interesting test is to take a DD5.1 movie or video (i.e. The Fifth Element, The Mask, Fleetwood Mac's The Dance (not the PCM side!)) and switch the DVD's audio to 2CH instead of 5.1CH (if available). My AVM-20 will switch from DD5.1 to DD2.0+DPL for these movies and videos.

    Michael
     
  12. Joe e h

    Joe e h Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael & Camp

    Your conversation peeked my interest. I have a Pioneer DVL-700 hooked up by Digital Coax to my Anthem AVM-20.

    I am now watching Sesame Street 25th Musical Celebration ( daughters favorite) It is a DD source and I have it set to DD 2.0+CLGIC. I tried to switch modes and was able.

    Now If I ever get the HT back from the daughter I will try another disc. I just wanted to add that I am having the same results as Camp.

    Joe
     
  13. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Stunt Coordinator

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    When watching digital cable with a DD 2.0 source I can change the mode to any of the dsp's with the mode button
     
  14. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    To all,
    Well, I am just a bit jealous that you are able to override the DD2.0+DPL mode and I am not. While it would seem that since everyone else can change DSP modes for DVD DD2.0 sources that I must have the "defective" unit, here's a section from the AVM-20 Owner's Manual, page 25, about 2/3 down the page:
    "DVD Digital Source Material: The AVM 20 automatically detects the surround sound format that you select in the DVD menu (Dolby Digital, Dolby Pro Logic, or DTS). THX Surround EX must be manually selected in the THX options. Other modes are not available (NA)."
    Now, it is possible that it is the signal that my DVD player is sending my AVM-20 that causes the AVM-20 to select DD2.0+DPL with no other option. But it appears that my AVM-20 is operating according to the Owner's Manual, which was also confirmed with my discussion with Sonic Frontier's tech support.
    I wonder if I have an "old" AVM-20 and everyone else has a "newer" AVM-20? My biggest concern now is that my AVM-20 may not properly accept the DPL II upgrade when it is available. Thankfully I purchased from an authorized local dealer, so if necessary I can always get a new AVM-20 if the upgrade won't work on my current one.
    Michael
     
  15. Dennis Oblow

    Dennis Oblow Stunt Coordinator

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    Michael

    You do not have a defective unit. You can access the dsp's only if the program doesn't have some type of surround encoding. For example the Diana Krall Live in Paris DVD contains 3 soundtracks 2 channel stereo, DD 5.1, ans DTS 5.1.On the 2 channel track I can switch to any dsp using the mode switch, the other 2 tracks that have surround coding cannot be switched. On my cable tv box I have the digial out going to the cable input I recieve all channels in analog which of couse i can use the dsp's on, but the upper channels which are digital i switch by pressing the tv button in and holding it until it allows me to switch the sound portion to the cable box input which is only live when digital signals are present. In this mode if the display indicates DD2.0 I can use the mode switch to engage the dsp's. I hope that clears things up.
     
  16. Michael Mohrmann

    Michael Mohrmann Screenwriter

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    Dennis,

    Your explanation, short of a hardware/software difference, is the only one that makes sense to me. The DVD examples I gave were either DD5.1 or DPL. I am assuming that when I select the "2 channel" option on a DD5.1 DVD that the downmix is DPL.

    It would also seem that the digital cable boxes or digital recorders everyone else has commented on are sending a "pure" 2 channel signal via a digital connection and not DPL. What advantage would there be of DD2.0 over PCM for 2 channel material? Sampling frequency?

    Thanks to everyone for your replies.

    Michael
     

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