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TAG Announce Dolby Pro-Logic II Upgrade

Those makers of top-quality (and very expensive) home cinema hardware, TAG McLaren have become the first in the world to release a Dolby Pro-Logic II (DPL-2) compatible receiver. For those of you who aren't aware of DPL-2, I'll provide you with some details here, because I'm nice like that.

I'm sure most of you are aware of the original DPL; it's a two-channel, matrixed system that provides stereo front sound, along with a centre front channel and a single, mono rear channel. It's used and broadcast on the vast majority of TV productions made since the early 90's.

DPL-2 is a halfway house between this and Dolby Digital (a 5.1 channel system providing stereo rear and a dedicated low-frequency channel on top of DPL's offerings). DPL-2 will provide 5 discrete channels of audio from any standard 2-channel source. This means that your music collection and any stereo or DPL TV show can now be enjoyed in full 5-channel surround sound.

Quite how well this works will remain to be seen as 'phantom-surround' processing techniques have been notoriously poor in the past providing a kind of echoey, washed out mess of a sound. However, this is the first algorithm with Dolby's official seal of approval stuck on it, so I'd expect good things from it.

The AV32R can now be flash upgraded to cope with this new audio format at a cost of £79.95. This is on top of the receiver's retail price of £2,744. Go on, treat yourself.

Carl Prescott

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