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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 16, 2012 10 comments
I've recently installed some built-in cabinets in my family room, leaving me enough space to fit a 70-inch TV. Currently, I have a 50-inch Pioneer Kuro (non-Elite) that I've been extremely happy with. But now that I've got the space for a 70-incher, I'm strongly considering upgrading. The problem is that I've been pretty disappointed with what's currently available in the way of 70-inch TVs. I realize that I'm limited to the Sharp 70-inch models or the larger Elite (which is out of my price range). I could increase my options if I considered a 65-inch set from Samsung or Panasonic, but hate the thought of giving up those extra five inches.

Also, I'm pretty spoiled by the picture quality of the Kuro. I love the shadow detail and lack of motion artifacts on the plasma, and I'm worried that I'll be disappointed with the performance of some of the larger LED TVs. I was excited that Sharp announced the LE945U line at CES this year, which is supposedly going to include full-array local dimming, but I've seen recent reports that Sharp may not include local dimming on their 2012 sets. Have you heard anything about this? Is this feature really worth waiting for over the full-array LC-70LE735U (with no local dimming) that can currently be obtained at a substantial discount?

Jim Remus

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Al Griffin Posted: May 21, 2015 12 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at

Q I went to Best Buy looking for a TV with the highest possible refresh rate. (I like to watch sports.)

The salesperson there explained to me that buying a 240Hz TV would be a waste of money since there are no broadcasts with that frame rate—TV networks, cable, and satellite providers all transmit either 60Hz or 120Hz signals. He also said that if a set receives a signal that doesn’t match from its native refresh rate (240 Hz, for example), it can’t convert it. Was the salesman right, or I should follow through with my initial plan to buy a 240Hz set? —Nelson Aleman

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 27, 2015 2 comments
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Q Most multichannel speaker configurations I see advertised have large L/R tower speakers combined with smaller center and surround speakers. It seems to me, however, that money invested in large (mostly full-range) L/R towers would be wasted if you care more about multichannel movie soundtracks than two-channel stereo music. Given the conventional wisdom that movie soundtracks rely heavily on the center channel for dialogue reproduction, shouldn’t you buy a higher-performing center speaker instead of big front towers? —Rick James Boettger / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 06, 2014 6 comments
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Q Is there any benefit to using a bias light behind a flat-panel HDTV? —Mike Hassold

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 30, 2013 2 comments
Q My Panasonic DMP-BDT500 Blu-ray player has four 192-kHz/32-bit Burr-Brown DACs. To take full advantage of these, should I use analog RCA cables to connect the player to my Denon AV receiver? I would only use an analog connection to the receiver’s CD input for music and would still use an HDMI hookup so that the Denon could decode high-resolution soundtracks on Blu-ray.—Paolo Fiorentino via e-mail
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 17, 2010 8 comments
So Many Questions!
I am buying a new TV soon, and I'm looking at the Samsung B8000, but on Leo Laporte's radio show, you keep talking about the B8500. Is the 8500 really $500-$1000 better than the 8000? Am I going to notice the difference?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 27, 2012 12 comments
I have an old Samsung LED-illuminated RPTV and I want to upgrade. I am stuck between the Panasonic TC-P65VT30 plasma TV and the Sony XBR-65HX929 LED-LCD TV. I move a lot, so the room it is in will vary at least once in the next two years. I watch tons of sports and lots of moves, and I also do some gaming. I have no interest in 3D, just picture quality. I'm torn between the two after playing with them both at Best Buy, and I hope you have something encouraging to say that may steer me to one or the other.

Bear Brown

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 14, 2011 8 comments
Do the current high-end and mid-range LCD, LED, or plasma TVs equal the picture quality of Sony's KD-34XBR960 CRT TV?

Dave Butler

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 11, 2012 9 comments
I have a B&W 600-series 5.1 speaker system and a Sony STR-DA5400ES A/V receiver and TA-N9000ES power amp. I am running the power amp in BTL (bridge-tied load) mode for the front left and right speakers and normal mode for the center channel. The surrounds are connected to the surround-speaker outputs of the receiver directly. Putting aside calibration and room size, am I doing the right thing regarding compatibility, connections, and power?


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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 14, 2011 6 comments
I have the opportunity to update my home theater audio system and have decided on the Marantz SR7005 AVR. My room is small, and when I remodeled 10 years ago, I installed four Paradigm in-wall speakers and a large center-channel speaker for my 5.1 system. It occurs to me that if I replace the center channel with a 3-channel soundbar, I could use my existing in-wall speakers for the surround and have a full 7.1 system.

What do you think of this approach? Paradigm makes a 3-channel soundbar, the Millenia 20 Trio (shown above). I like my Paradigm speakers, but I thought that looking at other brands might be a good thing to do.

Byron Servies

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Mar 03, 2010 2 comments
Ill-Advised Combo
I have a very large room with high ceilings and a loft, and I have a 5.1 system with satellite speakers. Will a Polk SurroundBar 360 work together with the speaker system I have, or does it work only by itself?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 06, 2010 3 comments
Clutter Cutter
We have a budget of about $600 for a sound system to go with our new Panasonic TC-P54G25 plasma TV. We are looking for a system without a lot of clutter. Is there something with a subwoofer and just a couple of speakers, or do we need many speakers? Our TV room measures 22x22 feet.
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 28, 2011 3 comments
I am in the process of upgrading my home theater. I just bought the Panasonic VT25 plasma TV and Marantz SR6006 A/V receiver, and I want to get the right speakers. I bought the B&W CM2 center channel, so my challenge is now the in-ceiling speakers. I am considering Martian Logan, B&W, and Current in-ceiling speakers. If I stay with the B&W center, should I go with B&W in-ceiling?

The Martin Logans cover more of the highs, while the B&Ws cover more of the midrange. With music, the B&Ws sound more realistic, but with movies, the Martin Logans sound better. I was told that matching manufacturers is key to maintain the same tonal character. If I don't, will there be an impact to movies and music? Any feedback on these speakers in general and/or matching manufactures would be very helpful. I am willing to go listen to other speakers that you suggest.

Mike Perrone

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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: Aug 12, 2011 0 comments
I just bought an audio dongle recommended by Dick DiBartolo and Leo Laporte on the GizWiz podcast. It's called the iWow 3D by SRS, and it makes the sound seem three-dimensional. I can't explain it, but I'm addicted to it. It's available as a hardware dongle for headphones and earbuds and as software for computer speakers. Have you heard about this technology and how it works? I'm interested in what you think.

Adam Davis


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