Ditch Tag go HD?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Tantalus, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. Tantalus

    Tantalus
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    Best go onto ebay and check "completed listings" to see the depressing results. I never paid full price for my TAG kit (picked it all up second hand for abotu half price) so the pill is easier to swallow!
     
  2. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Hopefully the higher bit rates of the HD sound formats will compensate for the 35 compared to the TAG :D

    How did you find the Onkyo in comparison to the TAG? especially on music??
     
  3. milesr3

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    I found it difficult to make any comparison, particularly with music, because he has it hooked up to a set of Kef Eggs (2005.2) and all I could hear was their colouration.

    I'd like to hear it with some better speakers before damning it ;)
     
  4. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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  5. Dick Sternum

    Dick Sternum
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    To update - got my LX508D last night. :D

    Not had much time to play with it yet, but I connected the DVD32R up via component as a quick test and was mightily impressed with the picture being upscaled by the panel itself. This matches the general opinion of the Plasma forum that the panel is a very good scaler, so I'm really not going to bother with an upscaling DVD player or external scaler.

    As for high def sources, I demoed the panel with Pioneer's BD player at AVLand, and it was good, but not enough to make me want to shell out £1000 and jump into the Blue Ray camp right now. I think I will try the HD-DVD add on to my 360 Elite though, worryingly, I've heard very good things about this, and it also works well with the PC!
     
  6. Barry.NI

    Barry.NI
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    I am also in favour of hanging on to TAG equipment, and adding an HD player. I am very reluctant to sell any TAG equipment , whilst still in good condition, at the knock down prices that they would currently fetch in the open market.
     
  7. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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  8. simon40

    simon40
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    I recently bought an XE-1 HD DVD player. We only have two disks at the moment, a UK 'Batman Begins' and a USA release ' Next'. At present I am distinctly under whelmed by HD. Let me try to explain.

    We have an AV192 with a scaler and DVD32R. These are connected to a Fujistu 3 chip LCD projector. The XE-1 is connected into the Fujistu AVM for video (I believe connecting video via the AV192 would serve little purpose; as I understand it at 1080i the AV192 basically just passes the signal straight through). On the audio front the Tag combination beats the XE-1 hands down. On the video comparison the XE-1 is only slightly better than the TAG utilising SD disks. Basically the background on static shots has more detail, more depth - that aspect of the XE-1 is great. However, once the camera starts panning (action films) you loose that benefit.

    The biggest issue I have with XE-1, and one that I don't know if I can live with, is the intermittent lack of smooth motion. When we watched 'Next' both me and my wife noticed that, intermittently, when people turned their faces or moved around the film had a tendency to 'jump' - it was not smooth motion. One instant the actor would be facing the camera, then he would start to turn his face/body, but rather than be a smooth continuation of motion, the next second he had completed part of the move - difficult to explain. The UK disk (we have only watched the first quarter of this film) does not appear to show this trait.

    So with the HD DVD disks being 'expensive' (£18 - £25) compared to the SD version of the same film £10 - £15, the quality of the sound, the SD video quality giving the HD DVD video a good run for the money and the problems with the HD DVD video 'movement' I am wondering if HD DVD/Blu Ray is the big leap forward the manufacturers would have us believe?
     
  9. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    Great post Simon :thumbsup:
     
  10. UrbanT

    UrbanT
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    Simon, if you are paying more than £17.99 for any disc, you have paid too much. Most discs are less than this. As for your 'movement' issue, I assume this is 3:2 pulldown? The Toshiba will recieve the 24fps update soon but then you have to have a suitable display to use it. And as for picture quality, perhaps on a TV the differences are minimal but with the right equipment/projector, HD is a major step up IMO.

    I suppsoe what I am trying to say is that you may need up to date kit to take advantage of some of the benefits, and I can see how many people may not want to spend the cash, or know what to look for when buying their new plasma/LCD/projector. :)
     
  11. Tantalus

    Tantalus
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    The Toshiba is due an imminent firmware upgrade to 24fps - and you should also be viewing in 1080p not 1080i as it will be smoother.
     
  12. simon40

    simon40
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    Thanks for your support Kenny. I was/am a little concerned that my post may upset a few people – that is not my intention. I am just trying to say it as I see it.

    We have all waited a long time for HD (3 or 4 years). We have had our ‘appetites wetted’ by all the media stories (magazines, manufacturers and shows), and now I have it in my system I’m wondering if it is actually been worth the wait or the cost? Especially when it appears, to me at least, that SD has not been comprehensively trounced by HD

    Urban T – Thanks for your reply. I was basing the cost of the HD disks from my local ASDA and Tesco, even PLAY seems to be in the £18 plus bracket with most of their disks (esp. new releases). I appreciate you can get cheaper HD disks from abroad (Next cost me £14), but I prefer to use UK disks wherever possible. The Fujistu projector is a very, very good projector.

    Tantalus – Thanks for your reply as well. I have connected the XE-1 via component, I will need to double check, but I believe it will only o/p ‘up to 1080i’ via component. 1080p can be achieved using HDMI, and this port is used by the Tag
     
  13. Tantalus

    Tantalus
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    Subscribe to lovefilm.com and rent HD discs. Much more economical option!
     
  14. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Hi all.
    The Tosh has horrendous processing which you cannot fully bypass, some USA based material trips it up and this is not a firmware fix but hardware, you can make VantageHD and Lumagens do it as well if you really try.... HQV chipsets also can sufffer this effect, funny that you don't get it on a DVD eh..... Oh and 1080p/24 is possibly the worst thing I have ever seen for movement regardless of screen or projector...... The public are really being mislead...... It is a relatively painless process to make 1080i look smoother and resolve alomst if not practically identical detail with the right kit.... Like Simon says not a major leap if the exisiting kit can alreay make a half decent job of the picture signal available. Some projectors or screens may see big changes but that is only a lack of processing in the display in the first place........ Technology eh, don't you just love it.....
    Oh and nothing shows 24F native anything half decent will make that 48 or even better 72Hz.....
     
  15. milesr3

    milesr3
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    Thanks for posting this. Would you care to elaborate on how the lossless sound from the XE1 compares compares with what the TAG does with plain old Dolby Digital.

    I'm very sceptical that HD is going to bring the improvement in sound that has been hyped.
     
  16. mephistophelean

    mephistophelean
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    I suspect part of the issue with HD sound is how good our equipment is and how sensitive our hearing is.

    I know that my audio and vision is not that sensitive and am happy with my SD set up. However, my best friend can spot minor flaws in the SD picture on my projector which I cannot see - even when he points it out to me (okay - I am stupid).

    I suspect that many of the people on this particular forum would notice the difference between SD and HD sound as (i) their kit is good enough to hear the difference on; and (ii) they can spot the differences.

    For me, however, ignorance is a stripped down Tag (i.e. Audiolab) bliss :D
     
  17. simon40

    simon40
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    Hi Milesr3,
    I take it by lossless sound you are referring to one of the new HD sound formats. Unfortunately I cannot really comment as to how the Tosh HD sound formats compares to the Tag's 5.1; the AV192 cannot decode the HD sound; it takes 5.1 from the Tosh and the DVD32R. One of the downsides of Tag being sold to IAG - IAG has not upgraded the AV192.

    Comparing 5.1 from the Tosh and the DVD32R - the DVD32R has more depth and clarity, it picks out of the nuances from the disk whilst the XE-1 seems to be more muted and muddled. The difference is not huge, but is significant enough for us to notice quite easily. Perhaps it just goes to show how good the Tag player really was/is?
     
  18. mephistophelean

    mephistophelean
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    Simon - were you comparing the same DVD or a HDDVD on the Tosh and a DVD on the DVD32R?
     
  19. milesr3

    milesr3
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    Sorry, I was assuming that the X-E1 was decoding the lossless audio and feeding this to the AV192 as analogue, which was being passed though.

    I'd like to know how the DACs in the X-E1 with lossless audio compare to the AV192 with plain old DD5.1.
     
  20. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Hi all.
    These "new" lossless audio formats which are beginning to make an appearance on Blu-ray/HD-DVD are called Dolby TrueHD and DTSHD Master (or similar wording as I've even seen it used to describe incorrectly a display!!!), these can only be decoded by very few surround processors currently and have to be fed to the unit via HDMI (no SPDIF for these!!). They are also copy protected so assume loads of grief getting them to output:eek:
    Many Blu-ray/HD-DVD disks don't have this audio track I am told........
    Using on board DAC's and sending the stuff over analogue can't be a good idea surely....

    DD EX and DTS 6.1 Discrete are more than good enough when partnered by good electronics and speakers for movies, in fact having played with a couple of blu-ray decks and a surround amp that decodes these new formats, I can safely say that the TAG DVD32R and AV192R hopelessly outclass it on sound quality (especially using DTS disks), the limiting factor is the player and decoding on these new formats, simply ain't a leap forward and very few of us have the kit to take full advantage of it anyway.....
    As my gear had been in storage for 6 months whilst I re-did my room, it was a welcome surprise that the AV192R still had a significant sound advantage:clap: I can see the whole discussion about "is 44.1Khz enough" starting up again, just like it did years ago on the owners club forum.

    You have to ask why these new sound formats are aimed at anything less than very high end product, they ain't going to improve a pair of Kef eggs for instance....... We are talking high end speakers from Meridian, B&W800, PMC EB1 at the very least...... and if you already have them with quality amps and processors it is surprising just how little difference it may make.... Of course this has nothing to do with copy protection rather than sound quality eh just like HDMI for PQ......:devil:
     
  21. daveleeuk

    daveleeuk
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    TAG Maclaren? Audio? news to me!
     
  22. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Some of us remember it fondly and it was a far better time for audio.... Still largely not bettered either
     
  23. ralphmalph

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    Graham, the audio signal via hdmi is not copy protected if i remember rightly, the HDCP code needs to be in the display device. You are right in saying that this is a nightmare and it is. i have given up on trying to use HDMI and display devices as you keep getting HDCP error's all the time.

    also a lot of the HD DVD players or Blu ray players will down mix a HD audio track to full bit rate DTS, 1.5mbs and you are right feed this into a tag processor and the sound is fantastic as very, very few SD DVD disks with a dts sound track have 1.5mbs sound on, mot are 768Kbps if i remember correctly. I think the eagles farewell tour is one of the very few SD DVD's with a 1.5mbs DTS soundtrack on it.
     
  24. milesr3

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    What bitrates are the new lossless sound formats? I'm pretty sure when I was listening to some True HD on a mate's Onkyo 875 that this was 1.5Mbps...

    Downmixing to 1.5Mbps DTS has got to sound pretty good. That's another interesting option for my 'upgrade' path to HD without relying upon the DACs in the player.
     
  25. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    The new audio formats are well and truely copy protected, I seriously doubt you could ever break them out to feed something else like you can with anything that goes down SPDIF.......
    As for downmixing etc. it can go well or badly, but at the end of the day a good sound engineer on the mixing desk will make far more differnce to the end result than any new sound format.....
     
  26. ralphmalph

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    Miles, If it was 1.5mbs then it could have been what is called Dolby Digital Plus, this is a 1.5mbs ausio track. On my HDVD's a Dolby True HD track is about 2.2mbs and on the blue rays I have the uncompressed PCM track is 6mbps.

    Cheers,
     
  27. milesr3

    milesr3
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    I've been doing a bit more reading up on this today...

    AIUI Many of the current crop of HD-DVD players (including the soon to be available Toshiba EP30 and EP35) have the ability to downmix these new HD audio formats into full rate 96/24 DTS. Now this opens up an interesting possibility for connecting a HD-DVD player by S/PDIF and letting the Tag do it's stuff with a 1509 Kbps 96/24 DTS input, which even if it only supports the 'core' decoding will provide 5.1 channels with 24KHz top end (which is above what I can hear anyway) from the 48/24 core decode.

    Now I can't help but think that 96/24 or even 48/24 from the Tag is going to be all but indistinguishable (if not better) than a lossless decode within a player like the EP35 connected via analogue pass-through...

    Has anyone tried this yet?
     
  28. Paul_G

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    I would like to know this also. I am not ready to dump my TAG kit yet. Like some others on here I have just bought a Pio LX508 screen and I am looking to buy a 1080p player. Either Bluray, HD DVD or both. Obviously I would have to connect via analogue.

    Now, If I get the equivalent of DVD dts sound via S/PDIF will be happy. Also, there will still be room correction which I will not via bypass. Secondly I will only need one cable which will be cheaper :) Finally, If I add a second 1080p player I wont have the issue of having to connect 2 players to on set of bypass inputs.

    So, I would like to know if anyone has done this also! Then I might just be tempted to by a player :clap:
     
  29. milesr3

    milesr3
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    You should actually get better sound quality than DTS DVDs because almost all are encoded at the 'half rate' of 754Kbps rather than the 1509Kbps 'full rate'. As you say DTS already sounds very good and 754 Kbps compares favourably with the 448Kbps commonly found on DD5.1 DVDs, although it seems that the different codecs mean that sound quality is not directly proportional to bitrate.

    Reading the handbook of my Audiolab 8000AV (ex AV30R) it states that it does not natively support 96/24 DTS, but that it does support the core 48/24 decode of 5.1 channels. From what I've read today the extension decode that I would be missing carries the 24-48KHz audio of all channels and up to two additional channels...which I am not personally going to miss.

    There must surely be someone out there with an HD player who has tried this. I don't think the full rate DTS downmix option is a new thing at all.
     
  30. lovegroova

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    Interestingly, the AV32DP manual mentions DTS 96/24 in the contents, referring to page 37. However, Page 37 is missing from the download version from this site.

    EDIT: In my hard copy manual, page 37 is there, and DTS96/24 is decoded by the DP.

    I'd be willing to bet that DTS96/24 with TMREQ sounds better than "HD sound" with no TMREQ.
     

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