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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?


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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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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 17, 2011 1 comments
I am thinking about possibly replacing my Lexicon MC-12 preamp/processor, which has version 3 software. The unit is getting a bit buggy (the onscreen display has stopped working), and not having HDMI is somewhat annoying. I hear rumors that a replacement for the MC-12 may be coming out some day, but with all the technological advances in the last five years, I suspect I can get equivalent or better performance for a lot less money. For example, I've been considering the Marantz AV7005. The rest of my system includes an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player, Aragon amps, Energy Veritas speakers, Triad Gold subs, and a Vizio 42-inch LCD TV.

Larry Solomonson

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 17, 2011 2 comments
Over the years, we have collected around 600+ movies on VHS. Is there anything on the market that I can use to copy these to DVD? Most are copy-protected, so I can't just dub them in my Panasonic VCR/DVD recorder. I have two Panasonic DVD recorders that I've been able to copy a few movies on, but most will not let you copy them. I would hate to have to buy all these movies again on either DVD or now Blu-ray.

Tom Shewell

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 16, 2011 0 comments
Thank you for responding to my question about large-screen TVs in a bright room, which begs a follow-up. In large screen sizes (70 inches and larger), which has better picture quality, flat panel or rear projection?

Henry Hollander

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 13, 2011 4 comments
I'm interested in building a music server for high-rez audio files. I'd like something such as a Mac Mini but with more drive space and lower cost. Dell Zino perhaps? Most importantly, I need a player that will handle all music file formats, including lossless. Also, I need a DAC for under $1000. Any suggestions on how best to pull this off?

Scott Kaplan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 12, 2011 2 comments
My current speakers are Aerial Acoustics Model 7Bs, which I have been very happy with. However, I am moving from a 20x16 listening area with a 20-foot ceiling to a senior-living condo with a 14x14 listening area and 9-foot ceiling. In my opinion, the 7Bs will take up too much room and, I believe, are not suitable for the smaller area. I like the Aerial line and would like to keep the sound quality I am used to. I have been thinking about the 6Bs, and I wonder if you have ever listened to them? I have received a few options from some dealers, but I'd like to get your take or maybe some other suggestions you may have.

Xavier Beard