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TAG, You're It - DVD Times EXCLUSIVE!

Time for a news story now aimed at those of you out there with more money than sense and it concerns TAG McLaren Audio and their rather sexy home cinema amp. The £2299 AV32R has been around for a little while now, offering both high-end Dolby Digital and DTS playback, but it has today been announced that TAG will be releasing the same amp with THX Surround EX Plus compatibilty.

For those of you with £2744 quid lying around, you can get hold of this monster of a machine now and it includes a few very interesting bits and bobs. They include:

THX Surround EX
A step up from your bog standard Dolby Digital sound, this offers 6.1 channels of discreet audio, the main addition being a dedicated rear-centre channel.

DTS-ES 6.1
This is a rarely found and reasonably unheard of sound system that offers the same 6.1 channel layout as above, but in a less compressed format. The AV32R contains all of the necessary hardware to decode this signal, but an additional licence fee will be payable to turn the function on. This is in order to keep costs to a minimum (if you can call nigh on three grand a minimum) and offers protection in case the system doesn't catch on.

TAG McLaren Surround (TMS)
A seven channel system that adds spatial information to stereo or mono recordings. The upgraded version of this system found in the new AV32R offers improved bass management.

First Time Setup Wizard
Offers a very easy and user friendly on-screen wizard to ensure easy setup. Allowing different settings for each source, this facility offers the option of saving settings with a password to restore at a later date should your wife/girlfriend/mate/dog/random bloke from the street decide to mess them up.

Flash Upgradeability
The system allows users to nip over to TAG's webpage and upgrade if necessary. This could be used to turn on the aforementioned DTS-ES system after paying the hefty fee that will no doubt be necessary.

Along with all of the above, there is ample capacity to connect other items from TAG's range including digital radio or CD units. Once such items are connected, the AV32R's menu will expand to include options for them all so our entire system can be controlled from one remote and menu system.

Finally, TAG say that the unit has still to reach anywhere near its capability limit and could still have its processing power doubled with the addition of a second DSP. This is great news for those of you who aren't happy with a three grand amp, you rich gits.

Finally finally, there will be an upgrade path for those of you with the (and I use this term very loosely) 'bog standard' version of the amp/ For £445 of your English pounds if it's under 12 months old and £504 outside, TAG will upgrade you to the the new THX version.

Carl Prescott

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