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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Oct 21, 2011 0 comments
My home-theater system consists of a Sony STR-DB940 A/V receiver with 5.1 speaker setup, Sony KDL-52HX909 LED/LCD TV, Dish Network HDTV receiver, and Sony SLV-N71 Hi-Fi VCR. I have the VCR connected to the TV via composite video and L/R analog audio cables and the TV's audio output connected to the AVR via optical cabling (MD/DAT input). I have the Dish receiver's video connected to the TV via HDMI and its audio connected to the A/V receiver via optical (SAT/TV input). All of this worked great for about nine months until a few weeks ago.

The AVR's SAT/TV input works fine, but when I use the MD/DAT input for watching the TV or VCR, the sound only comes out of the left-front speaker. When I record something via the VCR's line in, the playback has the same audio problem. But when I play a tape recorded over a year ago, the sound does not have the audio problem.

Tony Santana

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Aug 19, 2011 9 comments
I have priceless VHS tapes of my kids growing up over the last 25 years. I was going to take them to a company that converts VHS to DVD, but I read that the quality of these conversion services isn't that good. I also read that the USB conversion programs like Roxio don't do the job either. I cannot find a PCI card solution with software. Is there a solution that you recommend? Can you shed some light on this?

Keith Brown

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 11, 2012 1 comments
I recently read HT's review of the Panasonic TC-P55ST50 3D plasma TV. (Good review, by the way.) I noticed that the display was calibrated using a brightness range of 0-255. My understanding is that digital video (Blu-ray, DVD, digital TV) is encoded in YCbCr with a video brightness range of 16-235, and one should set the source component to output YCbCr and set the display to accept the brightness range of 16-235 to preserve the signal and avoid processing and interpolation. Just wanted to get your thoughts and reasons if one way is better than the other.

Stephen Lin

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 23, 2013 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com.

Q. I recently bought an Oppo BDP-103 Blu-ray player. A key reason for buying it was to connect a cable TV box to the Oppo’s HDMI input and tap the player’s superior video processing to improve TV picture quality. Will it be necessary to set the equipment up in such a way as to avoid the TV’s video processing? —Doug Crowley / Santa Monica, CA

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 07, 2011 0 comments
I have a Pioneer VSX-33 A/V receiver that outputs HDMI to an Epson 8700UB projector (seen here). How do I know which component is doing the video processing? When my Blu-ray player or satellite receiver runs through the AVR and out to the Epson, does the AVR do all the processing, or does the Epson's video processor? I guess I would prefer to have the Pioneer do all the video processing since its Marvell Qdeo chipset has been so favorably rated.

Dan Theis

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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: Feb 23, 2009 9 comments
Welcome to our new feature, "Ask Home Theater." Each week, I'll answer several reader questions here, and you'll have an opportunity to chime in with your comments and additions. I hope to build a real community with lively discussion, so don't be shy! Send your questions to me at scott.wilkinson@sorc.com, and please add your two cents to any answer I give. I look forward to hearing from you!
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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 19, 2013 0 comments
Q I just bought a Sharp HDTV from Best Buy. When watching a dark scene from the TV series Grimm that I recorded with my DirecTV DVR, horrible black splotches suddenly appeared on the screen. Is this problem fixable?—Darryl Cameron via email
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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 25, 2014 4 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I plan to buy a KEF R300 surround speaker system and an Anthem MRX 310 AV receiver and use the system almost exclusively for watching movies. I’m getting older, and movie dialogue sometimes gets lost. (My wife says I don’t listen sometimes, but that is another subject.) What are your thoughts and recommendations here? —Michael Wood / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 19, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a fairly large collection of CDs, all of which have been ripped to lossless WMA format. I’ve come across plenty of discussion of DACs while researching music servers, but I’m confused about why I would need one since I can already listen to digital music files, either through my computer speakers or headphones. Doesn’t that mean what I’m hearing is already in analog form? If so, what need is there to convert it to anything else? —Bill Begg / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jan 05, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q What processes what in the video chain? Say you have an Oppo Blu-ray player hooked up to a good AVR that’s hooked up to an Epson 5030 projector. Does each do its own thing? Or do you need to turn some types of processing off while leaving others enabled? Also, what is the meaning of life? —Jeff Riddick / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 17, 2013 12 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com.

Q I have a question about streaming audio from my PC to an A/V system located in another room. I want to be able to stream my vast collection of FLAC audio files along with Internet radio to an Integra DTR 5.9 A/V receiver. Running an Ethernet cable wouldn’t be my first choice; I have a strong Wi-Fi signal throughout the entire house and would like to use that instead for streaming. I've looked at the Sonos and Nuvo systems and the WD TV Live box. Each of these options seems to have good and bad points. But I’ve also thought about buying an inexpensive laptop and connecting it to my A/V system with a portable USB DAC. Can you recommend a solution? —John Hanlon / Encinitas, CA

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 23, 2011 4 comments
I'm going to look at a new house with a home theater in the basement. I just hope the theater was professionally done; I would hate to have to rip it out and have it done right. The house is 10,000 sq. ft. Original price was around 3 million, but the current asking price is $1,939,000. What are some things I should look for when I go to see the theater? BTW, I love the Home Theater Geeks podcast!

Stephen Wedel

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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 11, 2015 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m planning on buying an Epson 5030UB projector. My sofa will be 14.5 feet from the screen. The room has controllable dimmers, and there will be some room light when I watch games. What screen size and type would you recommend? — Lou Gutierrez / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 10, 2014 17 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q If I have a budget of $1500 to buy a subwoofer, should I buy one great sub or two good $750 subs? They would be used equally for both movies and music. Also, how do you connect more than one subwoofer to receiver? —Raphaël Rainville, Montréal QC, Canada 

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