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The definitive HT source?

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by hilljd, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. hilljd

    hilljd
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    Hi people.

    Well finally it looks like our DVD32R will be up for sale, some time next year. The world seems to have moved on:

    http://www.chordelectronics.co.uk/products_detail.asp?id=41

    Three boxes in one; DVD player, proper scaler, and PC with serious storage. Irresistible. Doubtless pricey but not so bad when you consider what it's replacing (and a Meridian 800 killer I expect...).

    Makes one wonder what TAG would have been up to now.

    Jeremy
     
  2. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    The cost of it was mentioned at £17k........ I'll bet TAG could have and should have gone this route but.......
     
  3. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Don't forget it uses UVEM technology inside (nothing wrong with that either.....).
     
  4. edward

    edward
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    Yeah, several things Udo said suggested that something damn close to HTPC was in the back of his mind. I'd be interested in finding out what he would have done if time had allowed.

    I think Audiolab, in the form we've seen to date, must be the best thing that could have have happened for UVEM.
     
  5. hilljd

    hilljd
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    17K??? Ouch, hoped it would be more like 13-14.

    Graham, how do you know it's based on a UVEM? Or the price, for that matter. Just wondering where you got your info from. I can't find anything on it other than that Chord link and a couple of others with some cut-and-paste quotes from it. Mailed Chord but no reply yet. Wonder who makes the scaler.

    As far as I'm aware this is the first bit of genuine Hi-Fi kit that is based on a PC. I guess you could look at it as just an HTPC in a cool case with a bunch of disks, but given Chord's record I suspect it will be a lot more than that. I just love the idea that we finally get to integrate the HT system into the home network, and part of the HT system in fact becomes the main network server! Then you add a satellite PVR that will copy (edited) recordings to the Engine (Force 5 series for us over here), use it for archive storage for work, and maybe even the CD collection if it sounds good enough. So alongside the shelves of DVDs you have a small shelf of hard disks that you swap in and out as required!

    I guess we'll be seeing more of this kind of box in the future, and hopefully at a more generally accessable price. :(
     
  6. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    I'm just quoting the article in last months What HI-FI....... Of course I know Phil and Sam at UVEM anyway. As for the scaler I simply don't know but I'd have thought maybe based on the top flight NVidia items and maybe a big hairy FPGA and using the latest renderless graphics modes..... Everything else you say about a fully integrated system is spot on which is how I did it (the hard way).....
     
  7. liam_b

    liam_b
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    Jez £17K! :eek: That must be the most over priced PC since IBM PC-AT days :devil: Still I suppose its for the rich folk who value their image above all else ;)

    Considering that 300GB hard disks are currently £99, where does the other £16.2K in the price come from? Guess it must be that fraking ugly case machined from solid 'UnUnPentium' perhaps?
     
  8. edward

    edward
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    Are you talking about the "minimalist" Claritas case, Laim?
     
  9. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Hiya.
    It is rather more than just a "pc" mate but at £17k you would expect that..... :D suppose you could think of it as a VSM/PSM, storage server, screen menu driven, video content PC?
     
  10. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Look at the link on Chord's website, it is a huge piece of alloy, much higher than 145mm mate.......
     
  11. edward

    edward
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    I did look, and it does look more "computer room" than "living room" but it does have front panel functionality.

    If they did it in black I could stack my subwoofers on it I suppose. Maybe she wouldn't notice.
     
  12. hilljd

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    Hey edward, it's jewelry, the girls love it.

    Guess I'm the lucky one, but in this household the Chords have sky-high WAF. Every time I mention trying out a new amp to replace one of the Chords I get the long face. So there may well be better, but it looks like I'm living with what we've got. :thumbsup:

    Meantime I _knew_ someone would come up with the 'damned expensive PC in a naff box' line. Bit like saying the DSP 8000 is just a Flextronics board in an alloy case - er, not quite. In the last few years things seem to have changed; processors and DVD players are now commodities, not specialist kit. What counts is not just the building blocks, but the overall implementation, how the components are selected and integrated, the power supply, ease of use, etc.

    We bought the TAG AV32R/DVD pair 5-6 years ago. It was a wild experience, almost nobody made kit that could do what it did. Except that it didn't work properly some of the time, and you had to download the latest software at regular intervals to fix it. I loved it 'cos we were part of an adventure, early adopters working with a leading edge company. But now there's no need for all that anymore (unless you're a Meridian owner :devil: ). The mainstrean boards/players are _rock_ solid, they do exactly what it says on the tin with no messing about. What counts is not so much whether it can be upgraded to read the latest whiz-bang audio format that nobody can use, but how is it to live with? That's where a really good implementation using third-party components shines. Chord aren't the only one: How many people are singing the praises of the Bryston processor? Another nice Flextronics system.

    So as Graham points out, this Chord player won't be just another HTPC. It's perhaps the first of a new generation of AV products, and will doubtless be _fantastic_. Just hope that the followers are a bit more afordable...

    For my part, I will buy one, price be damned. I just thank _god_ it's a Chord. Her indoors is already working out where to put it... :)
     
  13. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    Personally I like big proper engineering and as Jeremy says I also love working on product from the beginning, I've known and chatted over several lunches with Phil from UVEM over the past few years and would like to think I might have helped point the thing in the right direction occasionally, rather like the DVD32R/AV32R and AV192R. I actually enjoy making things work better and trust me the latest UVEM does work very well and I expect the Chord to do all that and more, does anyone have more detail on what it does over and above the obvious? With the latest high end graphics cards available and renderless modes in some quality playback software, it sort of makes an expensive scaler a bit less of a certian buy, but will still be needed for other low res material..... I assume the Chord has all that in one big box? If it has 7.1 DSP processing as well then it would be a pretty impressive fully loaded AV192R clone with HTPC built in as well....... When you consider that you could spend £17k on a AV192R, maybe this bold move by Chord might be seen to be a bit of a bargain??? I still think a fully loaded UVEM HTPC is a much better deal though at around £3.5k.......
     
  14. Stevesky

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    I think a PC solution can with sufficient fiddling make an excellent source component especially for pull formats like DVD, CD, Hard disc based video material etc. I don't believe it can touch what a high-end AVP can do due to fundamental hardware architecture restrictions of the PC and Soundcard, let alone the amount of specialist software you have to write to compete with the quality of post processing available in a product like the AV192R.

    I would also like to see at least a DVI (with HDCP) or HDMI input so it can handle the next gen of hidef products (Sky HD, XBox 360 etc etc).

    It will be interesting to see if the market is willing to pay that kind of money. When PC technology is involved people suddenly become very critical on price...
     
  15. edward

    edward
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    Isn't price/"bang for buck" the main driver for using PC/commodity technology?

    I didn't meant that as a rhetorical question.
     
  16. Stevesky

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    Indeed, but the price only stays low if either you build it yourself, or it's a company that plans to sell 1000's of them and you have low overheads. In the high-end low volume hifi/AV world £2000 worth of PC bits would suddenly become £10000 once you add all the required markups to ensure the middlemen + the manufacturer can stay in business.
     
  17. edward

    edward
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    Don't I know it! But a lot depends on how long the supply chain is, and not all middlemen's markups are equal. A bit of care in sourcing stuff can make a hell of a difference to the quality of the delivered system. It also means consumers can afford to buy a more experienced and knowledgeable company to make it. Well, that’s my hope.

    Another big driver has to be the ease with which customers can upgrade many components on a "current best of breed" basis and the system gets better without a big outlay. Nice design philosophy this - upgrading the performance-improving bits and retaining the rest. Where have I seen it before?
     

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