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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 07, 2009 15 comments
How Old is Too Old?
I have been considering buying a pair of B&W Matrix 801 Series 3 speakers. Sonically, I am impressed, but the speakers were produced in 1990, and I am not sure if $2000/pair is a good investment, age-wise. I just don't know how much life is left in them. The current owner says he mostly plays music at a low level. Is anything I could check on my own, apart from auditioning, that can give me a clue in terms of how the speakers have aged and what's to come?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 30, 2009 10 comments
Burning Desire
I have a pretty fancy home-theater system, and I use DirecTV as my broadcast source. I would love to be able to burn widescreen HDTV shows to a DVD. My first choice is to burn DVDs in widescreen high def. My second choice would be to burn DVDs in widescreen, even if not high def. At this time, is there a good high-def DVD burner I could buy? Price is not an issue.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 23, 2009 2 comments
Funny You Should Ask
I'm looking for a reasonably priced 42-inch HDTV. A standard-definition DVD player will be connected to it as well as digital cable, but no HD service. Plasma or LCD? I can go either way. It won't be wall mounted. I was thinking a 720p set would okay since we don't plan to have HD cable service, but I'd be very interested to hear what you think.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Sep 18, 2009 7 comments
Manual Labor
I purchased an SPL meter to level the speakers in my 5.1 surround system. I read an article in Home Theater magazine about how to use this device, but I'm still not sure how to do it. For example, I'm not sure where to put the dial—do I start at 80 or 120?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 26, 2009 5 comments
Goo for God
Have you ever reviewed any paint-on projection screens? If so, how do they generally compare to an actual screen? Also, is there a brand you recommend? I'm thinking about going this route for my church, not a home-theater setup.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 19, 2009 3 comments
Feature Confusion
I have an Integra DTR-5.8 receiver. The owner's manual mentions Audyssey as a way to initially set up the speakers. I was wondering if you could tell me more about the feature that matches the sound level of TV programs and commercials.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 12, 2009 6 comments
Restorative Power
When movies are restored for Blu-ray, why do some not look very good? Does it have to do with the film elements themselves? Why are some films harder to restore for Blu-ray? Are movies from the '50s, '60s, '70s, and '80s harder to restore in high-def than films of today?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 04, 2009 17 comments
Starting from Scratch
I have a family room that measures 16x25 feet, and I intend to install a projection home theater with a good, affordable sound system. My budget is about $8000. What do you suggest for the projector, receiver, and speakers?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 28, 2009 10 comments
Not Just for HDTVs
I own a Sony VPL-VW60 HD projector. Can I use Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray to set it up, or is this only for HDTVs?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 21, 2009 9 comments
Simple Answer
I've been looking for a device to record television programs from an over-the-air antenna so I don't have to subscribe to cable or satellite for my local stations that I used to record with my VCR. Is there such a device? My VCR still works, but I would prefer something that records HD.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 14, 2009 20 comments
More Channels
With Blu-ray's storage capacity, lossless codecs, and 7.1 receivers, why aren't the vast majority of Blu-ray movies released with 7.1 audio? Are movie distributors/production companies just cheap or lazy? Did I just waste my money installing a 7.1 setup?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 07, 2009 11 comments
Twice as Sharp
I intend to buy an LED-illuminated LCD TV. Since I like action sports, should I get a 240Hz set rather than a 120Hz?
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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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