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AV32R: The software options: A review.

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Nic Rhodes, Sep 23, 2001.

  1. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    I thought I would write a few words about the software option for current owners who don't have them enabled or prospective new owners looking. This is not a technical explanation of how / if they work more an experience of a user.

    HDCD.<br />I conducted a series of tests with the same music both with and without HDCD. This was then repeated with the additional sub option. Levels were checked as normal HDCD has a + 3 dB level in comparison.

    I preferred the HDCD every time. To me everything seemed better. Music was more delicate, had greater detail and finesse. Notes started and stopped with great ease. There was a greater purity to recording. For me this was a &#8216;no brainer' and well worth implementing at £40. My wife preferred the standard version! She always wants to be different.

    MPEG<br />I probably have more MPEG DVDs than most people so it is nice to be able to use them. Where the only multi channel sound track is MPEG, it is worth it over any two-channel version. The Tag implementation works well. Where a DD 5.1 version also exists then I always preferred the DD version. If your only potential MPEG source is DVD then Tag has made the right option by sticking MPEG as an option. There may however be other MPEG sources around the world (satellite) that I don't have access to. It works but most people have NO software for it.

    PL11 Movie<br />Frankly this mode is brilliant and way better than standard PL. I only use PL for &#8216;comparisons' with PL2 when people want to see the difference. So Tag, please leave PL in; it will sell PL2 for you! I don't think I have found one area where I prefer the older version, always it is PL2. The difference is not small IMHO. PL2 is much closer to DD 5.1 than PL. I would go as far to say everyone should insist on PL2 on the equipment whether it is a Tag or Sony (substitute your favourite make).

    Everything about the performance is better; I particularly like the much better steering and lack of bleed between channels. It just works. This will be the new de facto standard.

    PL2 Music<br />This come bundled with PL2 Movie but is a separate mode. It allows some customization of certain key parameters. Things like how much sound is directed to the centre channel. I actually found the default settings fine for my arrangement. Others will be different. This mode works fairly well but personally I prefer TMS.

    I hate, and I mean hate, most of the DSP that the mainstream receivers have. When I auditioned super processors before buying my AV32R I found great results with Lexicon Logic 7, Meridians licensed Tri Field and Tags TMS. PL2 Music isn't as good as these but is much better than the DSP &#8216;party' modes. (Hall, stadium etc).

    I would buy PL2 Movie on it's own at £80. With bundled PL2 Music it looks very good value.

    Overall I have been very impressed with the software options. They are simple to implement. If you can program video plus into a video, you can enable these options. If not, (like my in laws) a dealer will do it for you. For the money they are well worth it.

    I would strongly recommend getting both HDCD and PL2 packages as standard on the AV32R.

    I strongly urge people to hold out for PL2 on their new receivers, Tag or otherwise.
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Re: DTS Discrete.

    Of the limited software, a whopping 4 discs!! both The Haunting & Gladiator are definite improvements over the matrix versions.

    There seems to be much more going on in the rear centre channels, more detail, better clarity.

    I personally reckon its a good improvement, just need more software!!

    I dont think we´ll see any though, being pessimistic!! <img src="frown.gif" border="0">

    cheers
     
  3. Rob

    Rob
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    I think we are bound to see more discrete 6.1 discs, as time goes on. Its a fairly new concept but hopefully it will be used more. Manufactures adding this to thier hardware is a good indication. Don't know if its just to push sales or a confidence in the format taking off.

    Regards Rob.
     
  4. Rob

    Rob
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    I always listen to PLII (music) for 2 channel music now. I never thought I would, but it sounds fantastic. I have yet to upgrade to HDCD, although I probably will in time. I dont know if the discrete 6.1 upgrade is available yet, and as to its improvements over matrixed, maybee Denon owners could let us know. I also see there is a ver 3.4 software availabe. I'm running 3.3. Does anybody know what changes were made?

    Regards Rob.

    Sorry that should be 3.3 as the latest, I'm currently running 3.2.

    [ 23-09-2001: Message edited by: Rob ]</p>
     

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