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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 29, 2015 4 comments
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Q I have two preschool-aged kids who use my CDs and DVDs as Frisbees and coasters. For that reason alone, I feel a need to make a transition from physical media to computer-based playback. I bought an AppleTV so the kids could watch cartoons on Netflix, which solved some issues. When I used AirPlay to stream music to the Apple TV from my computer and tablet, however, I wasn’t impressed by the sound quality...

Should I retire my circa-1998 Acurus Act 3 preamp and buy a new model with HDMI/USB inputs, or should I spend a few hundred dollars on an add-on solution for my PC and get more mileage out of my current system? I have an unused Dell Vostro 230 computer with a 240-GB SSD drive and a 3-TB backup that I can co-opt for that purpose. — Paul Erickson / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 17, 2015 3 comments
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Q Are different wireless speakers compatible with each other? I own several Sonos speakers, but have recently noticed more top-line speaker makers (e.g., Definitive Technology, Polk) starting to distribute their own. As I continue expanding my wireless hook-ups, I’m wondering if I'm locked-in to using just Sonos? —Stephen Romanelli

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 09, 2015 4 comments
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Q Several months ago, I cut the cord and started relying on over-the-air digital broadcasts for TV, supplemented by a Roku streaming box. Here’s my issue: I get decent reception, but know that it could be better if my indoor TV antenna was located at a higher point in the house. My wife, however, doesn't want an outdoor antenna installed on the roof or in the attic. Running cable from the second floor to the first is also out of the question. Is there a solution similar to wireless speakers that would let me install the antenna and a wireless transmitter on the second floor with a receiver connected to the TV on the first? —Rick Mesick / Simsbury, CT

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 02, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I store my music collection on an iMac and use iTunes for playback. I have a plan to use two JBL powered studio monitors and an old Sunfire MKII subwoofer for a desktop speaker system. Here’s my question: How do I set the system up for optimal sound quality? Should I buy a USB DAC? If I did, how would I integrate it with the speakers and sub? Is there a DAC with three RCA outputs and a built-in subwoofer crossover? —Rick Martinez

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 23, 2015 1 comments
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Q Should an LCD TV be expected to last 10 years without repairs, or is that unrealistic? — Pat Templeton / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 18, 2015 4 comments
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Q I’m using an older A/V receiver in my home theater to connect the optical digital audio outputs from a Fios TV box, OPPO Blu-ray player, and Gen-2 Apple TV. I want to upgrade to the new Apple TV, but it only has an HDMI output and no optical digital audio connection. Here’s my question: Are there any optical-to-HDMI audio converters that will let me keep using the same receiver in my setup? —Lavern Lee

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 11, 2015 1 comments
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Q I’m preparing to make a big, across-the-board system upgrade, much like I did several years back when HDMI 1.3 became standard for most devices. Will I need to replace my 5-year-old HDMI cables with new, higher speed ones to accommodate 4K video and HDMI 2.0/HDPC 2.2? —Mark Johnson

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 04, 2015 1 comments
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Q I am in the market to buy a high-end Dolby Atmos AV Receiver for my basement home theater and have shortlisted the following receivers: Yamaha RX-A3050, Denon AVR-X5200W, and Marantz SR 7010. I also have a Sony receiver that powers a KEF 5.1 speaker system in my living room.

I was looking at the manuals for these receivers online and they all have second-zone HDMI and preamp outputs. Would it possible to use the new receiver’s Zone 2 HDMI or preamp outputs to send surround to my 5.1 system upstairs? —Bhaskar Vooradi

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 02, 2015 1 comments
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Q My current 5.1 audio setup is driven by a Marantz SR7007 AV receiver. Since I’d like to get a little more punch from it, I’m looking at upgrading to an external five-channel amp: either an Outlaw 5000 or Marantz MM7055. Here’s my question: If I connect an external amp to my Marantz receiver, will I still be able to use its Audyssey processing, or do I lose that ability? —Garry Briand / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 28, 2015 2 comments
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Q The Rec. 2020 color gamut is the future of TV—the standard was set years ago and has been included in the specification for Ultra HD Blu-ray. Even so, UHDTVs have been around for a few years yet none can display the Rec. 2020 color gamut. Why? Are we one day going to see Rec. 2020-capable LCD and OLED TVs, or is it true that only laser projectors are capable of reproducing that gamut? —Karim Genio / Algeria, North Africa

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 26, 2015 8 comments
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Q I have a Samsung UN55HU7250F UHDTV that’s currently being fed by a DVD player. Here’s my question: Since the TV upscales signals to 4K, will there be a significant advantage in upgrading to a Blu-ray player if the discs I watch are all DVDs? —Patrick Tyler / Boulder, CO

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 22, 2015 Published: Oct 21, 2015 2 comments
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Q I own a Roku streamer plus a Blu-ray player and TV with streaming apps. I'm also aware of websites for downloading "Hi-Res" audio to computers and portable players. Here’s my question: Which of these sources support surround sound music?

If you put together the thousands of SACD releases, plus releases on the DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray Audio formats, you’d think somebody should be offering streaming surround by now. I sent a question to Roku support and the answer I got was that basically "all" Roku apps support surround sound. But that sounds like a“technical capability” answer; I haven't found any content yet. —Wayne Erfling

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 12, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I own Paradigm Monitor 11 speakers and an 80-watt powered subwoofer. The speakers are set up in my living room 6 feet out from a sliding glass door. What type of acoustic treatment product should I put up behind the speakers to improve their sound? Should it be foam or something more solid? —Jon Cotton / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 08, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am switching over from a 5.1 speaker system to a soundbar but would still like to use my current Paradigm PW 2500 subwoofer with it. Are there any new soundbars that can be used with an existing powered sub? —John Rothery / Tacoma, WA

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 30, 2015 11 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What is the difference between Hi-Res and Hi-Fi? Which is better in your opinion? —Mario Antonio Aburto Calderón / Costa Rica

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