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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 03, 2011 8 comments
My fiance and I will be buying a house soon, and once we're moved in and settled, we are going to buy a new HDTV. Unlike Leo Laporte, we are BIG fans of 3DTV. I have been following 3D and the various incarnations of 3DTV over the years. Now that real 3DTV is here, we can't wait!

The tough part will be deciding between the active-shutter system and the passive-polarized system. I have been looking at active systems for over a year, and I saw my first passive system at Best Buy about a month ago. It was quite impressive.

Is there any risk of a format war between the passive and active systems? Does all 3D programming work on both active and passive systems?

Frank Ireland

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 02, 2011 4 comments
There's been talk on some home-theater forums about a few movies that have been cropped to an aspect ratio of 1.78:1. Why are they cropping these films? Videophiles are saying they hope this trend doesn't continue.

Mark Hudson

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 01, 2011 0 comments
What features should I turn off before setting my Vizio TV's picture controls? What happens when you play a 7.1 Blu-ray on a 5.1 system? Can I extend an Ethernet cable by adding another cable with a female-female adaptor?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 01, 2011 1 comments
I need a recommendation for wireless speakers. My in-laws have four sets of speakers throughout the house controlled with a hard-wired switch box, but the system crackles and pops so badly that they have stopped listening to music. In lieu of crawling under the house to rewire, I want to know if wireless speakers are a viable option. I was hoping that something like a wireless Bose Cube speaker system existed? We don't mind spending a bit on an initial set or two.

Greg Shaw

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 31, 2011 7 comments
I have a 47-inch TV with Internet apps. Is there an advantage to getting a DVD player with Internet apps as well?

Skip Compton

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 30, 2011 1 comments
I am in the market for some new gear—specifically, a new plasma and receiver. Is Home Theater planning to do a review of the Panasonic VT30 any time soon? I expect it to improve upon the VT25, but I would like to hear it from you or Tom Norton before I get it.

On the receiver front, I would like your opinion on the Denon AVR-4311CI versus AVR-4810CI. What are the differences between the two? In your opinion, do those differences or features justify the 4810CI's extra cost?

Spencer Torgan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 27, 2011 0 comments
I'm looking at the B&W CMC and JBL LC2 center-channel speakers. Which do you prefer, or is there another I should consider?

David Sears

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 26, 2011 2 comments
I'd like your help deciding on a new LED LCD TV. I was going to purchase a Samsung UN46C8000 in January based on Home Theater's review, but then I saw the D8000 series at CES and decided to wait for that TV. The UN55D8000 is finally available in my area, but I have not seen many reviews of it other than on CNET, which says it "exhibits poor screen uniformity with excessive brightness variation and banding." Do you have any experience with this TV model? Is it an improvement over the C8000? Is there a comparable television from another manufacturer that I should consider?

Luke Salsman

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 25, 2011 1 comments
Which device does the best upscaling? I want to replace the failing DMD chip in my DLP projector. My AVR has developed an HDMI handshaking issue with my cable box.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 25, 2011 0 comments
I would like to set up a conference room with audio/video capabilities. I am planning to use a 7.1 A/V receiver for audio and InFocus 5124 LCD projector for video. This would be used for training and presentations as well as watching an occasional ball game or movie.

Ideally, a presenter would be able to use the A/V system for a slide show from a computer (potentially with a sound track) and talk over it with a wireless microphone. However, most receivers only allow a single input source to be selected. I have not been able to find an A/V receiver that would let me mix a microphone with the 7.1 sound system and watch a slide show from a computer video input. Do you have any suggestions?

Jim Kay

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 24, 2011 0 comments
I've always used the Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Blu-ray disc to set up my TVs, and I find that there are many ways to skin a cat as far as settings are concerned. For example, I get the same result if I set contrast to 87 and backlight to 33 or brightness to 67 and backlight to 22. Is there any real difference as long as the result on screen meets the suggested result on the Spears and Munsil disc?

In a related question, does it make a difference in the cadence tests to use the deinterlacing of the TV versus the AVR ?

Kevin Cochran

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 23, 2011 5 comments
I have a 15x32 living room with a plasma TV above a fireplace in the center of the 32-foot wall. I would like to put in a pseudo-home theater with 5.1or 7.1 surround sound, but I'm limited to a 5-inch-high center speaker/soundbar (up to four feet wide) under the TV, two in-wall speakers in front, and two or four in-ceiling speakers. What do you think of Polk, Gallo, Revel, and Episode (or other) in-ceiling and in-wall speakers, and what would you get on a $3000-4000 budget?

Chuck

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 20, 2011 1 comments
I have a Pioneer VSX-1019 A/V receiver and a Paradigm subwoofer. When the receiver is turned off, I hear a slight hum from the sub when a certain volume is selected. I have to turn the sub volume all the way down to get rid of it. The sub is supposed to have an auto-on feature, but I'm not sure if that is working or not.

I have tried different cables from the receiver to the sub. I have used a 3-conductor AC power cord. I have tried different power strips, but I still get the hum when the receiver is turned off. How do I get rid of the hum?

Douglas Dye

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 18, 2011 1 comments
Which non-matte flat panel should I get? Which TV does the best upscaling of VHS? What do the upcoming Panasonic layoffs mean for the future of plasma?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 18, 2011 1 comments
I purchased a Panasonic TC-P58VT25 TV from Best Buy in early January. When I asked about the Panasonic webcam to use with Skype, the price was too high. I asked if any USB webcam would work, and I was told that it probably would.

Later, I got a good deal on a Logitech 1080p HD webcam—not cheap, but about half the price of the Panasonic. However, it does not work; the TV doesn't recognize it. A little research leads me to believe that the Best Buy folks gave me bad info, and the Panasonic webcam is the only one that will work.

Can you shed any light on this? Do you know of a workaround so I can use a less expensive webcam for Skype calls on my new Panasonic TV? I really think others should be warned of this problem.

Jerry Gifford

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