1. Just because DCS doesn't work for one person does not mean it's "unreliable". I've had 0 issues with DCS or TMCC. All I did in setup was read the instructions that came with my TIU, wired it how I was instructed to, and it has operated perfectly since day 1.
Although I do think it’s unreliable, I believe it’s more likely to be unreliable on larger layouts. How big is your layout?
Yes all you have to do with Legacy/TMCC is hook up one wire and you're good to go. Being that it uses radio signal there are people who have issues with the system getting interfered with by their house wiring or layout setup. So even Legacy/TMCC isn't a perfectly reliable system
2. The only reason DCS doesn't have the same things is because MTH never licensed it. They might now, and then there could be aftermarket products.
3. The only real "upgrade" path to Legacy is to buy a new Lionel locomotive. Lionel doesn't make Legacy upgrade kits available to the consumer. Want Legacy in an older locomotive? You have to make your own kit by ordering boards from Lionel and building your own wire harness. You can get older TMCC kits but in diesels you only get 4 RPM sound levels, steam needs extra hardware for 4 chuffs and puffing fan smoke. PS3 kits gets you all those features, plus remote couplers, out of the box without additional parts. Plus you get a locomotive that has the same features as a brand new PS3 locomotive out of the box. In addition there are hundreds of sound files that can be added to a PS3 locomotive, plus existing files can be modified and by the end user with programs like ADPCM.
That’s if you don’t get engine error, engine not found and out of rf range first
ERR upgrades give you limited files, nothing locomotive specific, and you can't change them. As far as Legacy Railsounds being the best around that's debatable. There are sounds in DCC that blow Railsounds out of the water.
I own PS2, PS3, TMCC, and Legacy locomotives. Quite honestly for those who want to operate their trains in a prototypical manner with the correct sounds (whistles/horns/bells) or be able to change them when they want DCS is the better, more advanced system.
Interesting that you would tout operating your trains in a prototypical manner yet you're running 3 rail 😂
A couple of observations about DCS.
If you like updating sounds files, software and electrical engineering than DCS is for you.
That DCS remote feels like it’s gonna fall apart in your hands. The remote could use a serious upgrade.
I have both Legacy and DCS. I love my MTH locos but I want reliability in operations, everything else is secondary to trains running reliably.
Depending on the future support/service of DCS will determine whether or not my current roster of MTH engine get retro fitted with TMCC. I’ve been at my wits end more than once with DCS and it’s unreliability. Depending on it’s future will determine whether I send a pile of MTH engines to Alex Maliae for TMCC conversions. Let’s wait and see