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#296157 - 03/12/10 07:48 AM Outlaw Model 997 cancelled
onn Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 999
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
Recieved this e-mail from Outlaw. I guess it was good that I did not wait for the 997

Important News from the Outlaws

Dear Mel:

As most Outlaws know, we have been working with Inkel to jointly develop a single hardware/software platform to be sold by Sherwood Newcastle as their R-972 audio/video receiver and, with substantial modifications, by Outlaw Audio as the Model 997 surround processor. Now that the R-972 is finally on the market, it is time to update you on the status of that project.

To get right to the point, due to the current state of the R-972 and the inability of Inkel to properly implement our required changes, it is with great regret that we must inform you that we have cancelled the Model 997.

We know that this will be extremely disappointing to those who have been waiting patiently for this product. That is equally true for us at Outlaw. With interest in this product from thousands of customers, it is obvious that this will result in lost sales. However, we feel strongly that under the circumstances we have made the right decision.

The Reasons Why

To better understand the reasons behind this decision, we would like to share some of the details that brought us to this conclusion.

Half way through the development of this platform, Inkel switched the video processor to the Reon solution. While this move improved the performance of the unit, it caused other side effects and delayed completion of the platform by almost nine months.
Proper implementation of the Trinnov Optimizer Room Correction System also took longer than expected, pushing all aspects of the schedule back even farther.
We have been testing pre-production beta samples for at least five months, but the inability of Inkel to get both the underlying platform to operate to our specifications and to have the Outlaw-specific changes made properly caused delays well beyond our initial production start date.
HDMI 1.4 and 3D have come to market with a speed that is considerably quicker than anyone in the industry had anticipated. The demand for compatibility with these key technologies and the fact that we could not offer them in our new processor put the final nail in the Model 997's coffin. Knowing that many of you have waited for the Model 997 as your first HDMI processor, we could not introduce it with anything less than the absolute state-of-the-art in digital connectivity. We simply would not put you in a position of investing in a processor only to find out later that you needed to replace it with a new model when you moved to 3-D.
The time we have invested on the Model 997 has diverted our attention from the other products we have in development. With many of those products reaching a critical stage, we had to make a decision on where to invest our resources. The payback on spending any further time or effort on the Model 997, which in our opinion was still not ready for production, was no longer there.
When considering these issues, compounded with several others, it became clear that the Model 997 platform design no longer met your needs or ours. We delayed this decision (some might say even longer than we should have) in the hope that things would work out favorably, but that was not to be. Again, despite the realization that this would be a disappointment to the many Outlaws who have been waiting patiently, we felt that even if the Model 997 was fully debugged and ready for production, it is now past the point where we could sell this processor as it stands. It would just be too far behind the curve the moment it was released.

What Happens Now?

We know that our decision raises many questions, so we'll answer some of them here and follow up with additional details as we move forward.

Most importantly, we are firmly committed to offering surround sound processors. Before the end of the year we will introduce a new product to take the place in our line-up that the Model 997 would have occupied. In reality, this new model, which we have been planning for some time, was originally intended to replace the Model 997 when that product came to the end of its life.

Given our experience with the Model 997 project, it is important to emphasize that our new flagship processor will NOT be derived from an existing platform. It will be an Outlaw exclusive design, built from the ground up to our own specifications and manufactured for us by a company responsible for many high-end brand home theater products. By taking total control of this new model we are assured that it will meet our highest standards for performance and product quality.

Now that we no longer have the diversion of the Model 997, we are totally focused on the new product, and we're turning up the heat on this project. As an example of the speed with which we are proceeding, our engineering teams have already completed the design for the 3D compatible, HDMI 1.4a video board. The chips needed to build this board will arrive before the end of March.

To give you a taste of what this product will deliver, here are some of the top level features for what we have code-named the Outlaw Model 998:

Multiple 3D-Ready, HDMI 1.4a inputs and outputs, including a front panel jack for connection to digital cameras and camcorders.
On the audio side, Dolby Volume, Dolby PLIIz, high-performance DACs and balanced audio outputs.
Also on the audio side, our commitment to the Trinnov Optimizer has not changed. We have heard and evaluated Trinnov and assure you that it is the real deal: far ahead of any room correction system we have ever heard, at any price. With this new product, we will implement Trinnov so that it works the way it is meant to be used - and heard! Trinnov is fully on-board with our plan, and they are now exchanging details with our engineering teams.
On the video side, there will be state-of-the-art video processing and scaling when you want it, and full bypass when you don't. The interface and menu system will be straightforward, easy to use and powerful, all at the same time.
Direct USB software upgradeability without the need for direct connection to a computer or the need for any loader programs. You'll simply download the new software to a USB drive when needed, plug it into the front panel, and the processor will take it from there.
Barring any unforeseen complications or component price increases, this new processor will be close to the price range of the Model 997. It will be hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars lower than anything even remotely like it. And yes, the $200 credit for past Outlaw processor customers will still be valid on this new unit. When you see and hear the video and audio performance of this processor and use its flexible but easy operation and interface, we're confident that you'll be as excited as we are about our new processor.

Lest anyone have any doubt about our commitment to this product, we invite you to click here to take a sneak peak at the preliminary front panel design.

Finally, you might ask where this leaves us in the next few months. We have a number of great new products in the works, along with some exciting new partnerships that will enable you to upgrade virtually every aspect of your home entertainment system. Stay tuned for more information in the weeks and months ahead.

Thank you in advance for understanding the reasoning behind this very tough decision. While it pushes our new processor back a bit further than we'd like, the end result will be an all-new product that better suits everyone's long term needs. More than ever, our new surround processor and the other products we have in the pipeline for 2010 will make Outlaw Audio the one place where "The best values in Home Theater are just a mouse click away.™"


Best regards,
The Outlaws
_________________________
My system

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#296159 - 03/12/10 07:58 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: onn]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
Well it’s about time they pulled the plug. I really wanted to try Trinnov but I got sick of waiting a long time ago. I hope they get it right this time around.
_________________________
3M80 2M22 6QS8 2M2 1EP500 Sony BDP-S590 Panny-7000 Onkyo-3007 Carada-134 Xbox Buttkicker AS-EQ1

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#296161 - 03/12/10 08:19 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: grunt]
onn Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 999
Loc: Edmonton Alberta
 Originally Posted By: grunt
I hope they get it right this time around.


That' what I'm hoping as well Dean. Don't know if I need another processor though.
_________________________
My system

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#296173 - 03/12/10 10:03 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: onn]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Got the email too.

Having given up on Emotiva after the junky LMC-1 and the {ongoing} UMC-1 shenanigans, I was eagerly awaiting Outlaw's 997. I guess not!

{Sultry female computerized voice: Engaging Internet Forum Rant Mode}

Frankly, I've run out of patience for these bargain boutique manufacturers that can't seem to deliver (on time, or at all) on their products. I've already been waiting for 3+ years for Emotiva & Outlaw to come up with their new 'miracle' pre-pros. The UMC is kind of luke-warm in its reception and the 997 was vaporware. Yay. I'm done waiting. I'm not sitting around for another 2+ years while they try to bring out the next one, only to be disappointed again. Mass-market AVR maker, here I come.

{Sultry female computerized voice: Internet Forum Rant mode, disabled}
_________________________
M80v2 | VP150v2 | QS8v2
SVS Pci+ 20-39
Emotiva UMC-1 & LPA-1
M22ti + T-Amp, in the Office

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#296176 - 03/12/10 10:18 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: PeterChenoweth]
ClubNeon Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/06/09
Posts: 3466
Loc: Western Maryland, USA
When the little notification popped up letting me know I had an e-mail with the subject, "Important News from the Outlaws", I knew exactly what it was going to say. I've been following this product (and the Sherwood Newcastle) for about a year now.

Yeah, it's time they gave up. It's pretty obvious that Inkel somehow got in over their head on this one. It is a shame that Axiom is a Sherwood Newcastle dealer.
_________________________
Pioneer PDP-5020FD, Marantz SR6011
Axiom M5HP, VP160HP, QS8
Sony PS4, surround backs
-Chris

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#296178 - 03/12/10 10:32 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: ClubNeon]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6471
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Wow, what a mess. Thanks for the update.

Should we start a pool for when the 998 actually releases?
_________________________
Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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#296181 - 03/12/10 11:30 AM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: medic8r]
Micah Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 1789
Loc: Indiana you hoser!!!!
Wow, it's finally happened. Technology has finally gotten so fast, that even the manufacturers of the equipment that uses it can't release their products fast enough to keep up with it. When a company realizes that their 'BRAND NEW, STATE OF THE ART' product is out dated before it's even released... then we know we're moving forward too fast.

While I love new technology, when they start coming out with new, bigger, better giggets faster than the consumer can keep up with them, it creates a serious problem. Think back to the day when the world switched over from vinyl to cassette tapes. The transission was long, and steady. It gave everyone time to prepare themselves for the technology cassette tapes had over records (the ability to record, portability, no worries about scratching, could play in your vehicle, etc...). If you were caught out in the cold for that switch, it was because you were just plain lazy.

The switch from cassette tapes to CD's went a bit quicker, but still went by fairly slowly. I have to admit that when CD's came out I was a bit stubborn about switching over because I already had 500 some tapes, a very expensive tape deck in my car, and many cassette players in my house. I did not want to have to buy all new hardware to play CD's. So I procrastinated over that for a few years until I met my first wife and she had a collection of 300 some CD's and a CD player. Once I got used to all the advantages of CD's I never wanted to use cassette tapes again.

Flash forward to 2002 when I bought my Denon 4802. Up until that point people had been using the same reciever they'd bought in the early 80's without missing out on much. But the new technology out at the time was optical audio, composite video and component video and digital coax... the world was changing over to digital. I'd waited about as long as I thought I needed to, to upgrade to a new reciever. Now I did buy my big screen Toshiba rear projection TV at the same time, and that was right when the market was trying to figure out if they were going to go with DVI or HDMI connections... my Toshiba had a DVI connection. None of the recievers out around that time had either connection built into it, and I didn't even think about waiting around for it because I didn't think I really needed that incorporated into my reciever.

So with more bells and whistles than I could shake a stick at, I picked up the 4802 and thought I was good to go for the next few decades at least. Only to find out that within the next year or two HDMI would defeat DVI completely and go on to become a hugely important part of reciever usefulness. The only thing is every other year we have to upgrade the HDMI technology. We're currently on HDMI 1.4, how high will it get? Nobody knows. Why would we ever believe that 3D is where it's going to end? We have no reliable resource to tell us when and where we should pull the trigger to give us the best long term product for our money. The industry does not seem to want to settle down and go with anything long term anymore. They just keep pushing things further and further, which I might add is truely wonderful if you can afford to overhaul your $10,000 plus HT every two years or so. But for those of us with much more humble incomes it only creates madness wondering when we should finally spend our wad.

I bought my 65 inch Sharp LCD last year because I'd seen the 120 hz and even the 240 hz LCD's and didn't think they were worth spending two to three times what I spent on this 60 hz model. Now if I want to enjoy 3D I have to scrap this $3000 dollar out dated dinosaur and plunk down probably upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 bucks for a unit this size that's 3D capable... for the first 3 or 4 years anyhow. Once they start coming down in price to where I can afford one, then the NEXT thing will come out. The next thing that I'll decide I'd rather wait 3 or 4 more years to come down in price before I get it. And on and on the waiting game continues.

Technology rocks and sucks, all at the same time.
_________________________
My Stuff :

M80's
QS8's
VP150
EP800
Denon 4802
Emotiva XPA-3
Samsung BD-P3600
Sharp 65 Inch Aquos LCD

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#296186 - 03/12/10 12:18 PM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: Micah]
medic8r Offline
axiomite

Registered: 02/05/06
Posts: 6471
Loc: Fredericksburg, Virginia
Yeah, if the companies start pushing these 3D sets too soon, there will be a lot of angry consumers saying just what you've said. Good post.
_________________________
Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.

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#296187 - 03/12/10 12:46 PM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: medic8r]
CatBrat Offline
axiomite

Registered: 08/05/09
Posts: 6015
Loc: Milky Way Galaxy
I don't look on this scenario as a bad thing. I just get to buy something at bargain basement prices on something I was drooling over a few years ago.

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#296200 - 03/12/10 01:09 PM Re: Outlaw Model 997 cancelled [Re: onn]
casey01 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
It doesn't really surprise me that Outlaw "through in the towel" on this project. When you choose to "get in bed" with a company( S/N) that has always been notoriously late with even their own product introductions, this was bound to happen. It seems they have finally learned their lesson about this. I know of a retailer locally that "theoretically" carries the S/N line and even he now can' t be bothered making excuses for them anymore and of course, recommends other lines he sells.

I own some Outlaw equipment and it is very good and their service is excellent, however, I would submit that they better follow through with this new project (998) in a timely, "reliable" and price competitive manner since, considering the competition, another slip-up like the 997 could have very serious repercussions for the future of the company, that is, if the 997 fiasco hasn't done so already.

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