Originally Posted by JohnB
I think the biggest challenge we face is that technology seems to be changing so quickly these days - and these changes make it so difficult to stay current. There was a time when the speed at which new formats, codecs, connectors came out was very slow - so there was value in investing significant money in a preamp as you knew it had a long life ahead of itself. These days if you want to stay current it feels like you are having to change out pieces much more frequently, maybe even every year or 2, thus making it difficult (at least for me) to invest in true high-end gear like I used. Maybe things are finally slowing down with HDMI 1.3, the new Dolby/DTS loseless, and Blu-Ray that maybe there is some stability where if we had high-end gear it might be a worthwhile investment (i.e. a high-end manufacturing supporting these). For me, I made the decision to go with less expensive gear with more frequent upgrades even if it means I give up sound quality - though to be honest, I'm still enjoying the music and movies like I used to, maybe even more so.
You make a very good point and that is why I decided to wait until HDMi 1.3 was out and will wait until the processors support all the new Codec including DD Tru HD and DTS-Master Audio. My Integra Research has done a great job over the past seven years so I don't mind spending the money again and hope that the new unit will last taht long.
With format like DD Tru HD and DTS-MA they should last a while, uncompressed audio is very hard to beat and I don't see any improvements after that! Unless they start using higher bit rate but even then it might be purely mathematical exercices.
On the video side as well 1080p is sufficient and should last another 7 to 10 years before we see 4000p available in the consumer market any time soon.