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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

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 11, 2011 3 comments
What 7.1 speaker system do you recommend for under $1000? What's the difference between the Panasonic ST30 and GT30 plasmas? Why does my AVR display "DTS" no matter what Blu-ray soundtrack I select?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 11, 2011 0 comments
I own an 18-wheeler, and I spend around 20 days a month in this truck. It is my home while out on the road. I have upgraded the stereo system with a custom ported subwoofer and a head unit with Bluetooth, which is great with my iPhone. Can you recommend a small LCD or LED TV (24-32 inches) that will provide great picture quality? Do any of these TVs come with Bluetooth so I can play it through the stereo in the truck without having to run wires? If not, is there any aftermarket solution to link the two or any other suggestions you might have?

Scot Mackiewicz

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 10, 2011 3 comments
I just listened to episode 63 of your Home Theater Geeks podcast and heard that 3D may be making a move to 48 or 60 frames per second. Am I correct that this is a problem for Blu-ray because it cannot accommodate this higher frame rate? Does this mean we will soon see a new disc format?

Charlie Raskob

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 09, 2011 0 comments
Other than auto-calibration, what's the difference between "traditional" EQ units like those from DBX and Rane and systems like Audyssey?

Theo Nicolakis

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 06, 2011 1 comments
I'm building a 5.1 system with the following components:
  • Anthem MRX 700 receiver
  • Oppo BPD-93 universal player
  • Two pairs of Paradigm Reference Studio 20 speakers (front L/R and surround L/R)
  • Paradigm Reference Studio CC-490 center speaker
  • Velodyne Optimum 10 subwoofer
  • Transparent Audio Wave speaker cables
  • AudioQuest Vodka HDMI cables
I have a few questions about this system, which are listed below.

Marcelo Ferreira