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DVD Audio on DVD32R & DVD32FLR

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by AMCross, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. AMCross

    AMCross
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    Hi guys.
    i know this has been talked about before many times but looking back at quite a few reviews of Tag Mclaren's equipement they all mention "DVD upgradable".

    Why was this ?

    Should Tag have intervened and changed that review ?

    Why go to the bother of having the rear panels with 5.1 outputs if they knew it was not applicable ?

    Or was the units so far advanced that dvd audio was only in the prototype stage ?
     
  2. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    DVD-A was a planned upgrade for the 32 but there was no way that SACD could be added. This was a great pity and Graham, myself and a few others pleaded with Udo but unfortunately it would have ment a new player/transport completely. :(

    Hopefully IAG will make the upgrade available for the DVD32 but I doubt it. We'll probably see a universal transport/player based on a bought in mechanism that will offer HDMI and the TAGtronic (IAGtronic?) bus.
     
  3. Stevesky

    Stevesky
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    I think that a true high-end player has to be more than just DVD-A and SACD now. I believe development for hidef. BlueRay is the way to go at the moment and of course do backwards support for DVD, DVD-A, WM9, DIVX, MP3 and CD while you're there. Ideally have a USB2 port on the thing as well so external storage devices can be added on for video/audio streaming and archiving, hence giving the user the benefit of using cheap PC hardware rather than have it built into the unit. HDMI2 digital video/PCM multichannel audio out is essential, but I would still definately have a plugin analogue video output option.

    SACD is a tricky one due to the DSD square peg being banged into the PCM round hole. In my "fantasy AV upgrade" I would like a native DSD processing board to go inside the AV192R, which implemented PLIIx, TMS, Bass management, time alignment, delay and the all important TMREQ all in the DSD wide domain and not converting to PCM. A small array of the Sony Oxford DMAP processors would do the trick with a 1394 input to get the DSD from SACD player to AV. I think at the moment I'd prefer to keep SACD as a separate player as you're never too sure when Sony will be bringing out another mutation of the format ...

    Oh and finally I'd like some decent media to stick in the thing, rather than some revamped 1970/80's recordings!

    I don't ask for much! :)
     
  4. AMCross

    AMCross
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    I wonder if Udo could throw some light on how far Tag went with the planned DVD audio upgrade
     
  5. AMCross

    AMCross
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    stevesky we must have been typing at the same time but your quicker than me :)
     
  6. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Yep I'll buy into that, when can I have one Steve :lease:
     
  7. Kenny Glasgow

    Kenny Glasgow
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    ......me three!! :beer:
     
  8. Neale

    Neale
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    I would be up for that any thoughts of manufacturing them yourself Steve!!
    Neale
     
  9. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    How about a TAGTronic bus compatible device from another manufacturer about the same size and features as the AV192R with all the bits that it probably will never have?
    Is there anything to stop another manufacturer making an RS485 interface that talks to other similar kit similar to RS232 devices?
    How likely is a "native DSD Processing board" that can do all the current formats + SACD?

    I note that the 1394 interface has appeared again, I asume due to SACD not currently being included in the HDMI 2 spec? Anyone confirm one way or the other?
     
  10. Stevesky

    Stevesky
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    My kitchen table has enough things on it already! ;-) DVD player development is a very expensive hobby as the licences involved cost serious pennies. Shame really as rather limits what a small manufacturer can do cos if the licence costs don't get you, getting support from one of the core chip supplier will! Using these dedicated chipsets have always felt wrong to me for a highend solution as they are always built just for today, not tomorrow and compared to PC technology are extremely backwards. It's serious work to do a true generic solution and normally well beyond the budgets of most hifi companies. The only gimmer of home is that PC's are slowly becoming better at multimedia playback and maybe in a few years will be truely suitable as a replacement to traditional consumer electronics.

    1394 is required for SACD, HDMI2 chipsets will only clock out PCM data at the moment via I2S (multichannel) or SPDIF (for 2 ch. PCM or encoded formats).

    Native DSD processing board - as slim as a slim thing me thinks! I personally would love to have a butchers at one as DSD filter technology is a real brain teaser as it's completely different to PCM processing and I've never seen anyone do it for consumer hifi. I've read up on all the Sony Oxford published papers on DSD processing and it's now just begging for a real-world application. It would be feasible to wangle it in to an AV give or take some butchering of micro I/O and even more big time PSU mods. I think to make it even slightly financially viable you would have to do it as a generic card for third parties with a micro on it, so it could be bolted into any third party AV fairly simply. Have DSD DAC's on board so the analog audio can then be routed in where the original 5.1 bypass audio would of gone.

    RS485 - it's not so much the hardware, the TAGtronic protocol is rather unusual and is quite alot of work to get a fully functional implementation going. I could not imagine any third party would want to do such a beast as it wouldn't appeal to many people and you couldn't really sell it for much. Maybe a little something BBC engineering can knock up while you boys wait for your designer building to be built!
     
  11. Dr Udo Zucker

    Dr Udo Zucker
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    Hi, when the DVD32R was designed, back in 1998, the DVD player world was different to today. New MPEG decoder device manufacturers entered the market who initially were keen to cooperate with smaller firms in order to get a faster feedback. In addition neither SACD, DVD-A, MP3 etc were essential.

    Unfortunately since then the DVD player world has become quite different: prices went incredibly low, whilst feature count increased and with it significant license costs or development time. As a result some of the MPEG decoder manufactures [like the one used for the DVD32) decided to go out of this business, whilst the remaining one decided to focus on large scale projects only.

    DVD player design from first principle is a very time consuming = expensive process, requiring significant sales figures (or high product prices) to make the effort worthwhile. Few [if any] companies have pushed the envelope of a dedicated DVD player as far as TAG McLaren Audio did in 1999. As a result the DVD32R is still today the very only DVD player which incorporates these unique features: top loading device, powerful TAGtronic Bus, even sending the DVD disc’s aspect ratio and, let’s not forget, the Sync Link.

    A project which has come close, but hasn’t reached [in my opinion] the same front line, is Linn’s Unidisk player, but with less innovative technology and [correctly] at a much higher price. And, don’t get mislead, adding SACD and DVD-A isn’t an expensive feature to add. Its either in the MPEG decoder, you use, or it isn’t. If it is there, just switch it on, whilst features like top loading, TAGtronic Bus or Sync Link have no mass market equivalent and hence mean adding design time.

    The DVD32R isn’t upgradable to DVD-A or SACD, except significant development cost and upgrade cost would be taken into account. Upgrading to DVD-A would require a complete new motherboard and all new software! Upgrading to SACD would even make the DVD32's latest drive obsolete.

    But look at it as follows: If fine CD and excellent DVD-V replay is your target, go for the DVD32R. It will be not too far in the future that the DVD32 family becomes obsolete as the DVD32's MPEG [Mediamatic Pantera 1] decoder isn’t longer in production. When the last populated DVD32 motherboard has gone, the DVD32 will be history.

    I believe what follows will be a mass market derivate only - which drops automatically TAGtronic Bus, Sync Link or top loading. The DVD32R is and will remain unique. That’s my vision, only time will tell if was wrong.
    I am using a DVD32R, built as one of the very first 1999, and even today, I feel pride when I use it. Of course I can’t play SACD or DVD-A, but then how many of these discs can one buy?

    I believe, just as Steve pointed out, that the future of real high-end players will be PC based. However, that is still a little away and will stretch many smaller audio companies beyond their abilities as suddenly software design becomes the main task.

    Sorry for the long excursion and don't forget: try to secure a DVD32 as long as you can. Time is running out :lesson:
     
  12. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Hi Udo.
    A very frank and open account and fair even to IAG.

    We also have one of the very first examples of the DVD32R (is it really that long ago!) and it still has excellent CD replay ability and still holds its head up on video however as I said on another post we can get better video now (PC based unsurprisingly, as Udo says we also think the future is PC based up to a point) but that CD ability is still wonderful, we continue to work on that one.....

    I read an article the other day on the "take off" of DVD-A, it was so full of, shall we be fair and say, innaccuraces that even my 1 year old said what a load of rubbish, the ture picture was somethig rather different in that SACD was streets ahead on disk sales and "back catalogue", nothing to worry CD sales though but SACD titles do also have the CD layer so can be played on anything.......The article was marketing :censored: at its finest and not very good either.....
    Downloadable files (SACD or whatever including HD movies) is probably where we will all end up, with massive storage built into devices (PC's etc.), it might be a lot closer than we think....

    The DVD32R is a classic in design and performance circles, never know it might be worth a few bob in a few years.......We are not about to throw it out just yet......
     

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