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Al Griffin Posted: May 25, 2015 1 comments
Q I have a 7.1 setup and am interested in upgrading my receiver/processor to one that supports Dolby Atmos. My situation won’t allow me to easily run new wires. Is there a good wireless speaker option for adding channels from a receiver/processor? Or would I be better off trying to retrofit/hide new wire runs? —Mason Guy / via e-mail
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Al Griffin Posted: May 21, 2015 9 comments
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Q I went to Best Buy looking for a TV with the highest possible refresh rate. (I like to watch sports.)

The salesperson there explained to me that buying a 240Hz TV would be a waste of money since there are no broadcasts with that frame rate—TV networks, cable, and satellite providers all transmit either 60Hz or 120Hz signals. He also said that if a set receives a signal that doesn’t match from its native refresh rate (240 Hz, for example), it can’t convert it. Was the salesman right, or I should follow through with my initial plan to buy a 240Hz set? —Nelson Aleman

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Al Griffin Posted: May 12, 2015 1 comments
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Q I’m planning a significant overhaul of my home theater and am leaning toward using the configuration suggested for Auro-3D: 10.1, with four corner speakers and one overhead voice-of-god speaker. In replacing my current AV receiver with separates, I am concerned about buying amplifiers that I can keep over the next several advances in surround sound tech/features. Here’s my question: When using height speakers, is it important that they be amplified at the same power as those near ear-level?—Quest Fanning / Brooklyn, NY

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Al Griffin Posted: May 07, 2015 0 comments
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Q I just purchased a Samsung 4K UHDTV and am now ready to spring for a new AV receiver. It’s May 2015. Are there any HDCP 2.2-compatible AV receivers available yet? —Pat Balice

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Al Griffin Posted: May 05, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m considering buying a home where the builder has options for structured wiring. The markup on this option seems a little high (a few hundred dollars to go from 16-gauge to 12-gauge speaker wire, etc.). I know the best time to run wire is during the construction process, but what is the best way to accomplish it: builder, custom installer, or DIY? One major concern is that the exterior walls will have spray-foam insulation, so once that’s in, I’m thinking those walls are hands-off.—Mike Sellers / Tomball, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 29, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am looking for a standalone headphone surround sound processor that handles both Dolby Digital and DTS and lets me use my own headphones. Does such a product exist? —Anthony Aurigemma

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 27, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Can I use two different brands of subwoofers in my home theater?—Alphonse Michelet / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 23, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q The head unit on my new Lexus has a USB input. This feature inspired me to purchase a 32GB flash drive and rip my CD collection using Windows Media Player. I used the WMA setting with the bitrate maxed out to 192Kbps for the first few discs I ripped, and those files played back in the car without issue. For the next batch I tried both the WMA Lossless and WAV formats. Although the files played back in Windows Media Player on my PC, they wouldn't play when I plugged the drive into the head unit’s USB port. Can you explain why? —Buck CornHauler

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 16, 2015 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently purchased a pair of Definitive Technology BP 8060 ST tower speakers with built-in subs. They are connected to my Sony STR-DH750 receiver. What would be the correct speaker setting if I used the 8060s as my front speakers (set to Large) and continued to use my Sony sub for LFE instead of the ones built into the Def Tech towers? The rest of my system consists of two Infinity rear surrounds and a center speaker, plus two Bose speakers mounted on the front wall that I use for height speakers. —Kevin Bolin / Houston, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 09, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I read lots about digital to analog audio converters (DACs), mostly because of high-res computer audio. Here’s my question: Why do some DACs have a digital output? If the purpose of a DAC is to convert a digital audio signal to analog, why would you want it to output the signal in digital format as well? —Jacques Simard

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 30, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a Denon receiver. Since the receiver has no phono input, I purchased a Pfantone AMP2 phono preamp so I could play records through it. The preamp works, but the volume level is low, even with the Denon’s volume turned all the way up. A friend suggested that the preamp simply doesn’t have the power to provide full stereo sound. Is this correct, or is there some other explanation? —Shaun Herron / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 26, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am trying to figure out if I can use Dropbox to store both my Rdio Favorites collection and iTunes library. I have a huge iTunes library—around 600 GB. I would like to give a few friends and relatives access to the music. Is this possible?  —Jim Gold

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 19, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

I own a vintage 1974 Fisher solid-state stereo receiver. The left channel is fading in-and-out—at first weak, now almost totally dead.  Do you think the receiver is worth fixing, or should I just replace it? —Michael McCully

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 17, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a home theater system powered by an AV receiver for watching movies, but I also want to connect a turntable and separate stereo amp to the system’s front speakers for listening to music. If a speaker has biamp connections, can you connect two separate sources to it? I want to connect the stereo amp to the top jacks on my speakers and my AV receiver to the lower jacks. Will that work? Clint Yarborough / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 12, 2015 5 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to purchase a new AV receiver and a set of 5.1 speakers. What strategy will deliver a better all-around experience: spending more on the speakers or on the receiver? Should I splurge on speakers, with the idea that my receiver can be upgraded in a few years, or vice-versa? Simon Bolster / via e-mail

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