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Are we doing the real beta testing for Devialet?
#11
(06-Nov-2019, 19:17)streifl Wrote: Since it was suggested that people that have problems with DOS2 just didn‘t follow the guidelines or are too stupid, I just want to add:

I read everything before upgrading to DOS2 and then followed the guidelines meticulously.
But still, something that‘s extremely important to me and was promised to work, just doesn‘t work anymore.
That being airplay via Dialog because my Phantom is pre-airplay.

Now sometimes problems arise and I didn‘t expect DOS2 to be perfect.
But I have tried to call support for three days now. All that happens is that I wait in line and after a few minutes finally hear that their lines are busy and that I can leave a message. No one ever called me back. So I complained via mail. And two days later finally got a reply that was really just asking if I really had upgraded Dialog and if the light was on. I emailed them back rightaway and haven‘t since heard from them. That‘s just not good customer service and I think I have every right to be unhappy about that. And there‘s absolutely no need for anyone to be upset or defensive about it.
Did you upgrade your Dialog to DOS 2? That's required if you want to keep using AirPlay. The Apple chip is in your Dialog and must be available to the Phantoms for AirPlay to work!
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#12
I know for a fact that a large part of the Software Engineering team at Devialet is actively lurking around here, although prohibited by management from officially posting on this forum.

I strongly believe everybody has a very big misconception about the size of Devialet, and especially of the Software team.
They used to be a group of very dedicated people trying as hard as they could to deliver the very best product to their customers.

I also know that in the past, the Software Engineering team has repeatedly been in conflict with management regarding the lack of a dedicated Quality Assurance team, explaining how the mileage of different customers has varied drastically. So technically yes, for quite some time, customers have really been beta testers.

Despite all the comments from seasoned engineers about the absolute necessity of having a QA team discovering bugs before the customers did, especially given the Devialet price point, for quite a while, testing fell on the engineers themselves.
So testing essentially happened in perfect R&D environment conditions, done by the same engineers which were already overwhelmed by the scope of features, switching of webradio providers, and other marketing gimmicks (who remembers "Live on Phantom", live opera streaming on Phantom Premier?).
No surprise here that DOS1 had many holes to patch. Not to mention that DOS1 was entirely tied to the Phantom Premier and Dialog hardware in its design.

What people don't seem to see is that the very same DOS2 that now powers their Phantom Premier is the very same OS that was released on Phantom Reactor without any of the issues or complaints that people seem to report with this migration.

In terms of features, it's definitely bare bones, but the strategy is clear: adopt streaming standards and let people choose their player.
It seems perfectly OK for new Phantom Reactor customers, where the reception is much better than that of Spark and DOS1.
Moreover, this migration is not mandatory, so much so that you have to download a new app to perform it.
If users are happy with what DOS1 and Spark offers them, they're free to keep it!

However, it's true that a lot of users complained about the lack of usability of Spark, especially in here. Something one could explain by the continuous refusal from management to hire UX and UI designers, or even to follow the guidelines from the one-off freelancers on that matter.
Well aware of that, Devialet finally (after much lost time) decided to start from scratch with a basic application to configure and control the system, and let users stream their music their own way, hence focusing on audio rendering rather than content delivery.
More protocols are definitely to come with AirPlay 2, Roon RAAT and maybe Google Cast. So maybe people should just embrace that. Let's also note that in terms of HiRes formats, nothing beats UPnP which is readily available on Premier and Reactor.

What that means is that those issues (especially regarding stereo sync) will definitely be fixed with an upcoming release, that the foundation of DOS2 is way more solid than DOS1, that multi-room is definitely on the horizon, and one could even dream of mixed multi-channel setups with Premier and Reactor.

My only concern now as a owner of a pair of Gold Phantom Premier is that most of the senior developers have left the company because of all this repeated friction with their management. That could negatively impact the velocity with which this roadmap is executed.
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#13
Lots of insight and valid points here! Thank you @raph972 !
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#14
(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: I strongly believe everybody has a very big misconception about the size of Devialet, and especially of the Software team.

I am not sure everyone has a big misconception about the size of the software team ....

https://devialetchat.com/Thread-But-is-a...m#pid44797

Joking apart, a fascinating post, thanks for sharing.

And back to being serious, does anyone know how many people are working in the Devialet software team?
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#15
A reasonably considered observation, by raph972, of issues faced by the software team at Devialet.

However, to provide balance to the following quote.

(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: What people don't seem to see is that the very same DOS2 that now powers their Phantom Premier is the very same OS that was released on Phantom Reactor without any of the issues or complaints that people seem to report with this migration.

The Reactors were released back in November 2018 with DOS2 without stereo sync ability, much to the chagrin of most first time buyers.  Nor was there the equivalent of a Dialog unit for the Reactors.

In other words, the two major issues with DOS2 and Phantom Premiers could not happen with the Reactors.

Admittedly, stereo sync was eventually made available in March this year
Stereo for Reactors
but there were early teething problems and only recently, August, still reported issues
Reactors out of sync

Also, the number of owners also influences the number of complaints.  The Reactors are a year old and the Premiers 5 (?) years old.


(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: What that means is that those issues (especially regarding stereo sync) will definitely be fixed with an upcoming release, that the foundation of DOS2 is way more solid than DOS1, that multi-room is definitely on the horizon, and one could even dream of mixed multi-channel setups with Premier and Reactor.

Hmm, not in my life time,  Angel  unless provided by third party software developers.
Kit: Oppo BDP-103EU (Vanity HD board mod), Sky+HD, Dell laptop tuned with Audiophile Optimizer 3.0 and running EQ software (Voxengo Curve), laptop input via miniDSP UDIO-8; output via RME Digiface. Watch: Panasonic PT-AT6000E, Panasonic TX-L55ET61B. Listen: Devialet Gold Phantom fronts and sides in Direct Optical mode.
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#16
(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: I also know that in the past, the Software Engineering team has repeatedly been in conflict with management regarding the lack of a dedicated Quality Assurance team, explaining how the mileage of different customers has varied drastically. So technically yes, for quite some time, customers have really been beta testers.
Thank you for your insight. How can we help the Devialet management become more customer centric and perhaps encourage them to join this forum?

(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: What that means is that those issues (especially regarding stereo sync) will definitely be fixed with an upcoming release, that the foundation of DOS2 is way more solid than DOS1, that multi-room is definitely on the horizon, and one could even dream of mixed multi-channel setups with Premier and Reactor.
Does multi room capability extend to, say 2 stereo pairs?
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#17
Multi-channel 5.1 setups were promised when the original Phantoms were announced, five years ago. We're allowed to complain about how poorly Devialet have kept their promises. They have consistently over-promised and under-delivered, with no transparency as to their road map.
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#18
The only reason I'm writing on this forum is to warn any potential buyer/consumer before they step into the Devialet's world.
Therefore, I'm not a resilient consumer after 3 years of bullshit moves from Devialet.
Their problem is EASY to solve.
Please excuse my poor reputation
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#19
(07-Nov-2019, 04:41)booshtukka Wrote: Multi-channel 5.1 setups were promised when the original Phantoms were announced, five years ago. We're allowed to complain about how poorly Devialet have kept their promises. They have consistently over-promised and under-delivered, with no transparency as to their road map.
A perfect example of over promise, under deliver.

The software engineering team was asked what features could be implemented given the basically locked-in hardware architecture of Phantom, to which they responded exhaustively, as engineers do.
They did so fully aware that it would take years to implement all of these features, and made sure to convey that what they described was basically a roadmap for the foreseeable future. From their point of view, it guaranteed that the product would keep evolving in the eyes of the early buyers, with nice new features being introduced as they were developed, tested, and readied to be shipped, over the coming years.

However the marketing department, approved by the management, always in need of more selling points, decided on day one in the Phantom Whitepaper to disclose all of that roadmap to potential buyers. Multi-channel setups were announced in that phase.

What followed was perfectly predictable. Customers bought in on the promise of this golden do-it-all product, only to be disappointed and rightfully angered when it never materialized.

For the team after that, it was a constant rush to deliver on those company promises to which none of the engineers had actually committed. This is the worst way to build software. To achieve those goals, a lot of shortcuts were taken especially regarding testing, but also architecture. All those shortcuts tied the DOS 1 software stack to the Phantom/Dialog hardware architecture.

All the while, management willfully decided to ship untested features for the sake of showing progress and even gave way to new urgent marketing-gimmick features without a sustainable business model (Live on Phantom), while still refusing to allocate the resources to do proper software Quality Assurance.

When the time came to work on Core Infinity for Expert Pro, instead of leveraging all the software that had already been developed, they had to start almost from scratch on what would become DOS 2. At that time, management did not understand how that could be the case. It took them months explaining/showing that DOS1, given its development conditions, really was a one-off product and that it would be impossible moving forward to support Phantom Classic, Core Infinity and what would become Reactor on that stack.

To sum it up, the Devialet management at that time did not understand software.
Engineering there had been driven by executives from the electrical engineering industry, where the software is actually firmware running on as single embedded chip without any external software interfaces. Phantom in comparison is a complex distributed system with real-time audio delivery constraints operating on unreliable consumer-grade networking infrastructure.

Devialet is a hardware company. That's where their focus is. What clearly illustrates this point is the effort they put on hardware QA at their different industrial sites where each hardware part is thoroughly tested on one hand and the repeated refusal to hire software quality assurance technicians on the other. The R&D headcount allocation reflects this also.

Things have changed under new management and key people responsible for a lot of these decisions have been exited. Today they have a small QA team, but the damage is done when it comes to the reputation of Devialet's software.

DOS 2 is late, but it has sound foundations. It's limited in its feature set, but can only improve over time. It currently powers Phantom Classic, Core Infinity and Phantom Reactor, all very different architectures, proving its portability moving forward. We should reasonably expect more products in the future, all compatible with one another, in the unified Devialet ecosystem.

It's worth noting, however, that most of the team that brought DOS 2 up has now left the company, tired of all this repeated nonsense. So only the future will tell...
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#20
(06-Nov-2019, 23:36)alandbush Wrote: A reasonably considered observation, by raph972, of issues faced by the software team at Devialet.

However, to provide balance to the following quote.

(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: What people don't seem to see is that the very same DOS2 that now powers their Phantom Premier is the very same OS that was released on Phantom Reactor without any of the issues or complaints that people seem to report with this migration.d

The Reactors were released back in November 2018 with DOS2 without stereo sync ability, much to the chagrin of most first time buyers.  Nor was there the equivalent of a Dialog unit for the Reactors.

In other words, the two major issues with DOS2 and Phantom Premiers could not happen with the Reactors.

Admittedly, stereo sync was eventually made available in March this year
Stereo for Reactors
but there were early teething problems and only recently, August, still reported issues
Reactors out of sync

Also, the number of owners also influences the number of complaints.  The Reactors are a year old and the Premiers 5 (?) years old.


(06-Nov-2019, 21:31)raph972 Wrote: What that means is that those issues (especially regarding stereo sync) will definitely be fixed with an upcoming release, that the foundation of DOS2 is way more solid than DOS1, that multi-room is definitely on the horizon, and one could even dream of mixed multi-channel setups with Premier and Reactor.

Hmm, not in my life time,  Angel  unless provided by third party software developers.
When it comes to the stereo on Reactor, at least they did not release an unfinished feature. Finally they assumed that it was not ready and that they should wait instead of pushing all the bugs onto their customers. Similarly, Apple introduced its HomePod without stereo support, and it took them months to deliver on that feature. You can imagine what Apple resources are in comparison to Devialet on such a product. This is definitely no easy stuff.

There will always be issues with such products, but I'd prefer to judge the company by how fast they address/fix them rather than the fact that such issues actually exist. Admittedly, Devialet has done really poorly on that matter so far, but I'm optimistic now that they really only have a single software product to deal with, which scope and feature set are more manageable.

And for your last remark, I said "one could even dream", so it's all in there Wink
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