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Emotiva UMC-1 Official Thread : User Reviews and Discussion

36316 Views 74 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Jeff Aguilar
UMC-1 preorders are apparently shipping. I hope to buy one as soon as they have them in stock in their shopping cart. As a casual movie watcher it makes no sense to spend twice as much as the UMC-1, it's going to replace a Sony receiver in my pre-amp's HT Bypass loop.
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Re: Emotiva

Anyone have a UMC-1?...
Re: Emotiva

Anyone have a UMC-1?...
Mine arrives Monday.
Re: Emotiva

Do let us know how you like it ASAP, David! I'm really curious how good it will be!
Re: Emotiva

So glad to hear that the UMC-1's are finally shipping. Hopefully, considering how long it has taken to come to market, it will be a faultless. Certainly looks like a fantastic value. I too look forward to reading your findings David.
Re: Emotiva

I'll be sure to post my impressions. Judging from the chatter on the Emotiva forum the early shipments do have some faults, but they say they're preparing a software update for users that will hopefully address all the identified issues.

I am hoping for a great value product.
Re: Emotiva

The software issues are tremendous!! You might as well sell it to me...:whistling:
Re: Emotiva

The software issues are tremendous!! You might as well sell it to me...:whistling:
Sure! I'll accept offers starting at... say... $5K?

;) Just kidding. They expect to have them up on their site for general sale by the end of February.
Re: Emotiva

I received my UMC-1 today! I had to go into work, so I have not been able to mess with it at all. I hooked it up, but did not power it on yet. It's exciting to get it finally. I have been on the list a long time.

I am replacing a Marantz 5003. I had the Outlaw 950 (I got one when it first came out) and it served me really well. I wanted the new formats, so I signed up for the UMC-1 but after 6 months of waiting I bought the Marantz and have had that a year and 3 months. I hope that the Emotiva is an upgrade over the Marantz because I really liked the Marantz. I just wanted a dedicated Pre-Pro like I had before.

I am also really looking forward to the SW updates and discrete codes for my remote.

I can't wait to get home and try it out. Too bad one of my son's have a band concert tonight! I guess we all need priorities and my family has to come first. It's going to be a late night!

Jeff Aguilar
Re: Emotiva

Very cool. Definitely is fun to have a new toy waiting for you when you come home. The UMC-1 looks like an awesome product that many have been waiting for with great anticipation.
Re: Emotiva

Here's my initial impression of the UMC-1:

1) A very well-made solid unit. Front panel buttons are a little "clicky" but I/O connectors are great.

2) The supplied remote is very cheap and very basic, but entirely functional and for system setup indispensable. I recommend using a universal for every day control. I'm using a Harmony One and the UMC-1 is in the Harmony database.

3) Setup is very intuitive and logical for anyone familiar with setting up modern A/V systems, but for a novice used to plug and play it will be a challenge. The inputs are fully nameable and addressable. The manual speaker control and EQ screens are a joy to use, especially for a tweaker like me. Speaker crossovers and levels are independent setting for all channels, as is the muitl-band graphic EQ. There are seven bands of subwoofer EQ!!

4) Sound quality is quite outstanding. This replaces a Sunfire TGPIV and to me sounds just as good if not better than that processor, at less than 1/3 the price. Very impressive, but not all that surprising since Emotiva (the house brand for Jade Designs) is known for outstanding audio quality.

5) Video quality is equally outstanding. The Genesis Torino scaler is quite good and video modes are also very customizable. Video settings are universal, however.

6) I have not yet tried the Emo-Q auto room setup and correction system, and will wait for the impending software update before I do. Likewise, the unit has a few fatal flaws as it sits, not the least of which are losing video settings on power off and a maddening loss of audio input from time to time. Again, Emotiva has said they will have a software update later this week and I will do some more thorough testing after that is installed.

Overall my first out-of-the box impression is very positive. I am impressed especially with the audio quality and the system control flexibility.

Attached is a snapshot of my newly revised living room setup.


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Very nice David... :T

I moved the UMC-1 posts to a thread of its own.

Sounds like the UMC-1 is going to be a promising and long awaited addition to many setups.
Thanks Sonnie!

And before anyone asks the speakers are a design I did as an experiment and liked so much I ended up using them. :)
Very nice! I'm glad to hear that it is a worthy contender to even Sunfire products! Also, nice set up, as well!
Great setup david and I love the speakers, it's great to finally see the UMC1 released and it looks like it's going to be a killer processor at the given price :T
This was posted by Dan Laufman just the other day about the UMC-1 problems. I love how down to earth this company is. When the customers have problems or questions they answer them! I can't say that for some other companies I've had to deal with. especially when it comes to admitting when they did something wrong, and are doing everything they can to fix it promptly.

I asked Cathy to lock the original UMC-1 status page on the forum as it had grown to monstrous proportions and some of you were having difficulty wading through the hundreds of posts just to find out what the latest info. was. More disturbingly, it was starting to feel to much like a certain forum that we strive to be very different from; a place that I do not even look at anymore. It seems to me that some people from that other forum have decided to park themselves here and make everyone unhappy, not just themselves. They must think it's sport. Apparently, misery knows no bounds....

Anyway, on to more productive discussiuon... The UMC-1 status as of 1.29.09.

1. We have resolved all known issues save for one item that we feel will be cleaned up this weekend. The UMC-1 is working beautifully. Now some may wish to twist my words and add a dose of negativity and cynicism to this, but I know facts of the matter. And as always, I stand behind my statements, my company, and it's products. You can judge for yourselves who has more credibility when reading other peoples opinions; especially those who do not even own this product.

2. We have nearly completed work on the software upgrade utility that you will need to easily update you unit. This had taken a bit of work and it was originally planed to come out in a month or two, but the SW issue made it take front and center. It is essential that we have an easy method for you to upgrade you SW. We will be posting the specifics of this item very soon, RIGHT HERE.

3. We have acquired a Rovi/Macro-vision license that will allow us to open up more of the transcoding features inherent in the UMC-1, but that were originally restricted. Frankly, we here have pretty much given up on analog video, but it seems that some of you are still using analog inputs on your projectors and displays, and this was causing you pain. So, I decided to cough op many thousands of dollars on this, even though in our opinion, it's a dead end technically. I hope you understand that when you speak (politely and without unnecessary venom), we do listen.

4. We have received ONE unit back for a refund, and this is from a gentleman who wanted to use the unit on his composite input on this TV. At the time, the Macrovision limitations was a deal breakers for him. But, we think he'll be back now! Again , if any of you who own the UMC-1 want a refund, please call us on Monday and you will be given a prompt refund of your purchase price and freight. We will also pay the return freight.

For those of you looking to criticize us, have fun . For those of you looking for the facts of the matter to understand where we truly are and to make informed decisions, I hope this is helpful.

To all of our customers and friends, our most sincere apologies for the inconvenience and our thanks for your trust and patience. We truly believe that the UMC-1 is a fantastic product.

Best regards,
Big Dan

P.S. for the record, here are my previous posts on the subject in order of appearance.

Hi All,
Well , you know something had to go wrong! We seem to have a small issue with the UMC-1 software and it is causing quite a bit of excitement on the board... first off, let me state this fact; we are not using our customers as Beta testers, as some kind persons have suggested.

We have spent thousands of man hours on this product and have done extensive testing on it in many systems and configurations all around the world. We would not have released it if we were aware of any issues. I've made you wait this long, would another week or two have made any difference? We thought that we were in great shape. I authorized the release, so the buck stops here.

Prior to the final code release, we made a very minor software adjustment, checked its operation and released the final SW for production. It appears to have caused some unintended side effects as have been noted by some early users. Of course it couldn't have happened at a worse time; Lonnie, myself, our senior software managers, and support staff were all at CES when the reports started coming in.

We believe there has been a corruption of the code when the latest change was compiled and we are working to resolve this issue. We did not have these problems prior to the final release.

The issues that I am primarily aware of have been noted on other posts, so I won't repeat them here. Some are confirmed and others are not.

The important fact is that there are some functional issues to correct and we are addressing them with all possible speed and diligence.

I would request that UMC-1 owners contact us directly if you have any issues so that we can document them properly and resolve them for you. This will help all of us get the UMC-1 settled in quickly.

Anyone is who uncomfortable with their purchase will be given a prompt refund of the purchase price, including freight.

If you are essentially happy with your UMC-1, please know that we are going to have these issues resolved as quickly as humanly possible. Lonnie and the team are working on this as I write. The unit is completely flash upgradeable and we are 100% confident that there are no hardware issues.

If you have been contacted for a shipment of the UMC-1 and wish to cancel or hold your order, please let us know by email ([email protected]) or phone.

Again, the issues that have been reported by users and confirmed in additional testing that we have done on our side are being addressed!

The UMC-1 is essentially fine, and I'm sure that most of you believe this.

On behalf of myself and the entire Emotiva team I apologize for this error and the inconvenience it has caused you, our friends, and clients. Please know that we are fully capable of resolving these minor issues and will make this as easy and painless for all of you as possible.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.
Big Dan and the Emotiva team


Good morning everyone.

OK, Lonnie and the team in China seem to have addressed 99% of the problems we were experiencing.

Here is a list of the main items resolved yesterday.

1. DSP modes have now been fixed.
2. ARC test tones were lowered by 4.5db
3. Microphone correction file has now been re-corrected.
4. ARC sub levels have also been fixed
5. Stereo mode has been changed from all channel stereo to only 2 channel stereo.
6. PLIIx modes have now been fixed.
7. 7.1 analog input has now been fixed.
8. DTS-MA is now working on all channels as it should.
9. NEO-6 is locked within the Cirrus chips to apply to 2 channel only. Need to follow up with Cirrus about applying this to other formats.

In addition to the items that were found to be corrupted and corrected we are adding the discrete input codes to the unit and will publish them in a day or two. When you upgrade your SW you will also be able to add direct input commands to a learning remote.

We are still testing all aspects of operation and will keep you posted.

We have not gotten to the bottom of the video output resolution lock issue but we're on it, and the India team will get it corrected quickly. On some systems it's fine and others it can forget settings on turn on and default to 480p... interesting to us, but annoying to you. Don't worry, we've got one of the best video teams in the business working on this.

So all in all, we're looking pretty good today.

I'll keep you updated on this thread as news comes to me. I would imagine we'll have a SW update ready for you next week.
Best to all,
Big Dan


Good morning!

Today's update from Lonnie and the video team:

We've gotten to the bottom of the video issue. This problem had nothing to do with data corruption of the compiled code, which is what happened in the audio subsystem. The audio subsystem is now working perfectly. (although I'm sure someone will find a bug )

It was an operational decision made by our video team and is really a matter of interpretation of how the system should operate. We've had a discussion outlining how the system behaves in the "real world" and have come up with the following correction for the video resolution setting and defaults:

You set video output resolution. System will store the HDMI output resolution on turn on.
- Whenever the sink is connected to the AVP, system will try to apply the previously set HDMI output resolution.
- If previous output resolution is not supported by current sink, then resolution mode will be changed to “Auto” and output will be set to preferred resolution of sink.
- If HDMI sink connection is lost, the component output is enabled, AVP will output will be switched to 480p.

This should take care of the problem. If your system is set up and nothing changes hardware wise from turn off to turn on, you'll be right where you left off. If you change monitors (the sink device) it'll try to make it work as described. If it doesn't support your setting, it'll default to auto and give you the preferred resolution of the new device. Worse case, it will revert to the 480p "limp home" mode to give you video on component to get you back in business.

So there we are! We'll test all new code throughly and then merge the audio and video codes into the main operating SW and compile. We'll test this all out and when satisfied we'll put the update on the site for all of you to flash your UMC-1's.

We'll be in a deep, deep state of AV bliss. We may not be able to come back to the real world... although, it's a risk I'm willing to take!

Heading to Anaheim this morning, so I have to pack!

Best regards,
Big Dan


Good morning all,
Greetings from sunny So Cal!

Well, we seem to be in very good shape this morning. We've addressed all known issues on both the video and audio side. Lonnie and the team are now testing, testing, and testing.

I'll have more news and specific advice on updating your software once they give me the green light.

Best regards,
Big Dan


Saturday's update...

We're doing very well with the extended testing and verification. We found one bug in the system that caused excessive HDMI time to lock issues under some very specific conditions and this has been addressed and corrected.

More testing going on now. I still believe we'll release the update next week as planned.

Heading home from Anaheim tomorrow. I'm still working at NAMM, but Cathy and the girls are having fun at Disneyland...

Talk to you on Monday,
Big Dan


As you have seen from my previous posts we are working to resolve all known issues. We are very close to releasing the update.

Please do not worry about the minor glitches you are experiencing, the update will address them. Again, if anyone is worried or dissatisfied and wants to return their unit, you may do so. Just call for an RMA.

I want to point out one issue relating to HDMI. The UMC-1 is designed to automatically associate the selected HDMI input audio and video feeds together . This is not a defect or a bug. You cannot ask for audio from the HDMI stream and video from another source. This is not a valid selection.

Also, due to ever increasing limits on what can be ported out on analog video outputs, it is get getting more and more difficult to use the UMC-1 to down convert the HDMI video to component video. These are not technical limitations of the UMC-1, but rather limitations on what we are legally allowed to to port out on copy encoded source material. Some of you may have seen the warning flag on component video when trying to down convert a Macrovision encoded source.

The content owners are moving us all to a fully "secure" media stream (HDMI) in order to save us all from our evil selves. Heaven forbid we use an HDMI source to send the down converted analog (ie "unencrypted") output to the component input on our older projector or display! We might start making illegal copies in our bedroom and undermine the industry.

These are all recent developments and I'm sorry to say this is the way things are heading. In the next generation of processors, we will not even bother with this feature as the content owners are making it useless.

It's all going to HDMI and encrypted streaming, so let's get used to it, for good or bad.

Keep the faith, we're almost ready!
Best regards,
Big Dan


Happy Friday everyone!

Well, we've had a very busy week here. We seem to have sorted out 99.9% of all known issues.

The platform is working beautifully! Everything that we know of is addressed and the improvements are really noticeable. We not only repaired the corrupted link that caused the first "major" malfunction, but Lonnie took advantage of the occurrence to fine tune some parts of the SW some that were slated for a future update.

We are working on one last bug; this is an audio interrupt that occurs once in a while, particularly on DVR's as you jog back and forth interrupting the HDMI streaming. Also, we have been able to make this occasionally occur when pausing and then starting HDMI streams. It appears to be an EDID (handshaking) issue. Not always, but once in a while. The problem with this is it makes you have to change inputs to re-acquire the stream. Annoying, to say the least.

We think we know what is going on here and the team is working on this bug. We believe we'll have it ironed out by Monday or Tuesday.

So, we should have a download for you next week. We've taken the approach that we should carefully sort out all of these issues and give you one update the really address the known bugs instead of a never ending series of updates.

One of the cool things Lonnie added was velocity sensing for the volume control, now you can turn up or down very quickly if need be, or rotate slowly for fine adjustment. Sweet.

All in all, more of what is already a very good thing. I think you will all be VERY pleased.

By the way, I have put a hold on shipments until I have the final SW as we are going to load it in the units before anymore are sent out. We'll resume shipments next week.

Thank you all once more for your patience and support.
Best regards,
Big Dan


In reference to the UMC-1 and USP-1 IR code overlap issue...

No excuses here. We screwed up, some of the codes overlap and control the units simultaneously. I know, I know, this should have never gotten past us, but it did.

We've got a fix for those of you who are running UMC-1's with USP-1's in the same system. We'll be sending you a new remote with a separate IR code stack. This will get you fixed up.

I'm sorry to say that it'll be a few weeks until the new remotes arrive. Stay tuned and we'll follow up on the forum and the product pages with an announcement. We'll also be looking for those of you who have purchased both products from us and we'll send this remote and instruction's to you without your needing to ask... but I'm sure you will anyway

Best to all,
Big Dan"
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How is the video processing on this unit?

It's my understanding that it will take legacy inputs and upscale them to 1080P.

And on the audio side, is this pre/pro considered to be in the same league as the units costing 2X or 3X it's price?

I'm a value shopper and always look for the best bang for the buck. Don't mind spending cash, but if a product is available at 1/3 the cost, and will perform as well as the competition, I'll buy it!
Update: I just watched the tutorial for this on the Emotiva website.

All I can say is......"WOW"!

How can they sell this for $699?
I think you have your answer! At $699, Emotiva really made a unit that is well worth the money.
It does seem to good to be true but proof is in the pudding and it looks like it is the real deal :whistling:
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