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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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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 28, 2009 19 comments
Finding RSS
I can't find any RSS links for the various blogs and posts! Am I missing them somewhere?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 24, 2009 8 comments
Cash Grab
I have long heard and read that "high-end" HDMI cables are a cash grab and offer minimal if any benefit when compared with bargain brands. Are there real gains in "high-end" HDMI cables? If so, which companies would you suggest looking into?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 21, 2009 46 comments
Career Training
I am interested in learning home-theater installation as a career path. Can you suggest a training program I should look into?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 17, 2009 9 comments
Generous Offer?
I currently have a B&K AVR507 S2 receiver. It is a great receiver, but it does not have HDMI, DTS-HD, or Dolby TrueHD. When I purchased this receiver, I was told I could upgrade when possible. Now, B&K says this is not possible and is willing to give me a $1000 credit toward a new B&K. What can I do to get these features or do I have to buy a new receiver?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 14, 2009 14 comments
Don't Hold Your Breath
I was wondering if you could provide any info about streaming from a Media Center PC to an Xbox 360 acting as a Media Center Extender. I asked Xbox tech support if there are any plans to allow streaming from a Blu-ray drive on a PC to an Xbox 360. I could not get any kind of straight answer. Any info you could dig up would be greatly appreciated and possibly keep me from spending 400-500 bucks on a standalone player.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 10, 2009 6 comments
How Do I Know?
Love my new Pioneer VSX-03TXH receiver. Love my new Sony BDP-S350 Blu-ray player. But how do I know if Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD Master Audio is working? I have changed settings on both units and actually read the manuals of both units. Pioneer's website has a picture of the receiver with TrueHD lit up on its front panel, but I have yet to see it on my front panel. My units are connected together only with an HDMI cable. Also, as knowledgeable as I am about home-theater stuff, what is PCM?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 07, 2009 6 comments
What Black Dots?
I enjoy your segments with Leo Laporte on The Tech Guy radio show and podcast, but I really must disagree with your comments on plasma versus LCD. I agree that plasma blacks are blacker and that colors are more vivid. But I just cannot stand the matrix of black dots on plasma screens. I also dislike the reflective screen—the distraction of reflections more than offsets any loss through a non-reflecting screen.

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