Interesting that you are willing to "forgive" Hornby for producing a decoder that doesn't always work with non Hornby NRMA compliant DCC control equipment when every other manufacturers chips do. I would consider on your stats a 66% successrate to be unacceptable.
Personally at this stage of the game, I would have expected Hornby to be producing bullet proof chips that comply, not chips that would appear to have only slightly better odds that Vegas casino's
Personally, I think that Hornby has made a huge mistake entering the DCC market in the way they have.
If nothing else, Marklin and Fleischmann have taught us many things. Fleischmann operate in the 2 rail market, introduced FMZ which was successful, however they were not dealing with a captive or dominant market and admittedly while there was nothing wrong with FMZ, they were unable to match what the DCC world was doing and subsequently moved to DCC.
Marklin on the other hand are a dominant player. Unfortunately they lead and others follow. The Marklin market is huge both in numbers and spending ability. Most European manufacturers (ie ESU, Zimo, Uhlenbrok) make high quality product that is compatible with Marklin's standard. Do not lose sight of the fact that there are two DCC standards out there, the NMRA/NEM one and the Marklin one. I would say that they are both pretty equal in terms of dollars/euro's spent.
Now Hornby have decided to enter the market. Like Marklin they are a dominant player, unfortunately they are entering the game so late (like 10-15 years late) that they think that they can either lead and other will follow (sorry their offerings are nothing special) or worse yet make the NRMA/NEM DCC standard but from reading reviews of the stuff and talking to some electrical engineers, it is doing so but only just.
Are they serving the "Hornby" modeller well, that I suppose is up to you to decide.I do think that rather than coming in at the bottom end, they should have at least aimed for a mid range type product aka NCE or Digitrax, after all how many people by Zimo.
But by this stage, any decoder that they sell should work with any NRMA/NEM compliant device. Forums like this are unfortunately showing otherwise.
Some bean counter has probably crunched the numbers and seen that they can make an easy profit by introducing DCC. Unfortunately a huge amount of the R&D cost has already been fully amortised by others and Hornby were probably a bit niave when the estimated how much it would cost to develop and bring it to market.
They really did effectively have a pretty virgin market sitting there and have wasted a great oppertunity.
Such is life. It wont bankrupt Hornby, but has potentially put a lot of hornby modellers off DCC.
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