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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Dec 02, 2009 23 comments
Monster on a Leash
I currently have a Samsung LN52A650 LCD TV with a Panasonic DMP-BD30 Blu-ray player and a Dish Network VIP 722 DVR. Will Monster Cable's Ultra 600 HDMI cables with a speed rating of 4.95Gbps, 8-bit color, and 60Hz refresh rate be adequate with my setup?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 18, 2009 1 comments
Great Idea
I have a DirecTV DVR, and I discovered that some channels display the SMPTE color bars after signing off, so I have recorded them to use when adjusting the TV's picture controls for broadcast content. The color-bar patterns I have recorded do not have 3.5 and 7.5 IRE PLUGE bars, only the 11.5 IRE bar. How do I adjust the brightness without the 3.5 and 7.5 bars?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 11, 2009 8 comments
Two For One
I have a Pioneer Elite PRO-111FD plasma with a Denon DVD-3800BDCI Blu-ray player, and I have two questions. First, should I set the Denon to output 1080p/24 manually or just leave it set to Auto? Second, a friend is encouraging me to get the DVDO Edge because, he says, its processing is probably better than either the Pioneer or Denon. Do you think this is true, or is my current gear sufficient?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 04, 2009 16 comments
Decisions, Decisions
I want to get a new pair of main speakers for my Pioneer Elite SC-27 A/V receiver. I can't decide between the Klipsch RF-83 and the Polk RTi A9. Is one better than the other?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 27, 2009 15 comments
PIP, PIP, Cheerio!
Why is it difficult to find new TVs with PIP (picture-in-picture). I'm looking for a new set to watch multiple sports channels on, so motion blur is also an issue.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 20, 2009 16 comments
Breaking In Is Hard To Do
I recently purchased a Panasonic TC-P54V10 plasma TV along with a Panasonic DMP-BD60 Blu-ray player. I was thinking of getting a professional ISF calibration on the plasma, but my sales rep said that I should wait about 200 hours before having it done since the gas needs to settle (or something like that). Do you agree?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 14, 2009 Published: Oct 15, 2009 6 comments
On The Bias
I recall some Philips TVs having a built-in ambient light—some type of glow from behind the TV. This was supposed to help with dark-room viewing. Since then, few if any manufacturers have followed suit, but I continue to see occasional articles that say this is a good idea because it helps make viewing less stressful on the eyes.
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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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