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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 03, 2009 9 comments
Lightning Strikes Again
I live in the Southeast where lightning is a serious problem. I was recently advised by an electrical contractor to have a whole-house surge protector installed. I am inclined to do this. However, I first wanted to find out if this would have a negative effect on my audio system.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 30, 2009 16 comments
The Great Audio-Cable Debate
Are exotic audio cables worth the money? Can you really hear the difference? I have a hard time putting my arms around spending thousands of dollars on cable made of 99.9999% long-grain copper—as I understand it, copper is copper. Also, I've been told to use XLR interconnects.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 26, 2009 14 comments
Skimpy DVR
The DVR provided by Cox only has an 8-hour capacity for storing HD broadcasts. The only alternative I've found is $1000 for an HD TiVo and renting cable cards. Any suggestions?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 23, 2009 3 comments
Same Line, Different Size
Your site includes a glowing review of the Mitsubishi WD-65835 RPTV. Can I logically assume that the wonderful characteristics of that set extend to the larger 73835? Are there subtleties that may have escaped my attention? I can find no review of this TV from a reputable source anywhere.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 16, 2009 4 comments
Big Budget
I currently have a 125-inch Da-Lite screen and a throw distance of around 25 feet. I am using a 5-year-old SIM2 Seleco HT300 single-chip DLP projector. I would like to upgrade but not spend over $30,000 to do so. I was wondering what projectors you would consider for this setup?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 09, 2009 4 comments
Going Down
In the measurement section of some speaker reviews, I've often read that a speaker's -3dB point is at a particular frequency and the -6dB point is at another frequency. Could you please explain from what level the speaker is down 3 and 6dB?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 05, 2009 5 comments
Gently Down the Stream
I'm not a PC guy, and ease of use for my fiancé and me is key. I'm planning to rip all my CDs to some 1TB drives and access the files via my Mac and iTunes. I was going to use the Denon AVR-3808 A/V receiver, as I've had a long, happy history with the brand, and I want decent amps and HD radio.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 02, 2009 6 comments
Blu-ray Blues
My TV is a Panasonic TH-42PZ80U and my Blu-ray player is a Samsung BD-P1500. They are connected with an HDMI cable. I've noticed that some Blu-ray discs aren't as sharp as others and really look just like a DVD. Am I being ripped off? Are some Blu-ray discs simply DVDs labeled as Blu-rays to make more money? I can't see anything wrong with my setup. Has anybody else had the same problem? How do I fix it so I get Blu-ray quality every time I watch a Blu-ray?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 27, 2009 5 comments
ISF SOS
Is it wise to evaluate ISF technicians when it comes to the calibration of a mid-priced plasma or LCD? I live in downtown Denver, and there are so many techs listed on the ISF site, I cannot find much insight there.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 22, 2009 11 comments
Living Legacy
Why is it that most A/V receivers still have 2-channel RCA inputs? Why doesn't a company make a receiver that has only HDMI, maybe with a few component-video and digital-audio ins and outs? Why the need to include legacy stuff?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 19, 2009 Published: May 20, 2009 2 comments
HTIB Shopping
I am currently interested in purchasing a 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box system, and I'm reasonably aware of the available products. However, I am unable to determine which is the appropriate system for me. I had short-listed the Harman Kardon HKTS8/AVR-135 bundle (~$630) and the Sony DAV-DZ870 (~$550). I was going through Home Theater's reviews of the best HTIBs, and Onkyo HT-SR800 seems to be pretty good, though I haven't checked it out yet. I am now confused. What would you recommend?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 15, 2009 17 comments
Unhappy U-verse
I've had AT&T U-verse service since 12/08, and I have an issue with audio dropouts on HD channels. I have the set-top box connected to my A/V receiver via optical digital cable. On HD channels with 5.1 audio, I get sporadic dropouts every five minutes or so. I called AT&T and was told it's a firmware issue to be resolved later. I've seen many others mention this problem online.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 12, 2009 19 comments
Bypass Blues
I read that if you let a Blu-ray player decode the new audio formats and send them to the receiver from the player's multichannel analog outputs, you bypass the receiver's crossover and equalization settings. Is this also the case when you use PCM over HDMI?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 05, 2009 6 comments
D is an Excellent Grade
I'm thinking about purchasing Rotel's RSP-1570 pre/pro, and I notice that all the company's latest amplifiers (and the flagship RSX-1560 receiver) utilize Class D technology. Is this a move we're likely to see from other manufacturers given how well the energy-efficiency story plays in our increasingly green world? Does the technology sacrifice any performance?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 01, 2009 5 comments
No TV!
I want to replace the aging rear-projection TV in my home theater, possibly with a Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD. I will be watching mostly Blu-rays with no broadcast viewing at all. Since most Blu-rays have some sort of letterboxing, will there be a problem with image retention or burn-in? If so, what 50-52 inch LCD do you recommend?

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