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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 09, 2014 Published: Apr 10, 2014 2 comments
Q I used Windows Media Player to rip and archive my collection of roughly 2,000 CDs in WMA Lossless format. I chose that format because I believed it would capture a bit-perfect copy of my CD as well as retain important metadata like album and song titles.

Here's my dilemma: I am learning the hard way that WMA-L does not enjoy widespread support. I recently returned a NAD network player because, while it did play the lossless WAV files in my collection, it down-rezzed WMA-L ones to 192 kbps. Now here’s my question: Is there a way to convert my files to a different format while preserving the lossless audio quality and metadata, or have I made a terrible mistake in wasting countless hours ripping so many CDs to a useless format? —Carlos Lobo / Hawthorn Woods, IL

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 09, 2015 5 comments
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Q Several months ago, I cut the cord and started relying on over-the-air digital broadcasts for TV, supplemented by a Roku streaming box. Here’s my issue: I get decent reception, but know that it could be better if my indoor TV antenna was located at a higher point in the house. My wife, however, doesn't want an outdoor antenna installed on the roof or in the attic. Running cable from the second floor to the first is also out of the question. Is there a solution similar to wireless speakers that would let me install the antenna and a wireless transmitter on the second floor with a receiver connected to the TV on the first? —Rick Mesick / Simsbury, CT

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 16, 2015 1 comments
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Q My girlfriend and I want to watch movies and listen to music late at night without waking up everyone else in the house. Here are my questions: Is there is a proper way to drive two pairs of headphones from the same amplifier without degrading the signal? Is it as easy as using a jack splitter? We care about great sound, so I'm planning to use HifiMAN, Audeze or Oppo open back headphones, but I'm wondering if I can get away with using only one amp (either a dedicated headphone amp or my home theater receiver). —Raphaël Rainville / Montreal, QC, Canada

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 03, 2014 5 comments
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Q I am moving to a new home and plan to transfer my AV receiver and speakers to the new location but don’t want to have to run new wiring. Is there a system available that will let me attach a wireless transmitter to my AV receiver and wireless receivers to my speakers and avoid running wires?—Michael DeWaters / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 14, 2013 3 comments
Q Can a videogame be played on a TV that’s set to the THX Movie mode rather than Game mode? What’s the difference? —Michael McGehee / Macon, Georgia

A The THX Movie mode on THX Certified displays is, in the company’s own words, a preset with “specific settings for gamma, color point, luminance, overscan, and other settings...intended to provide the optimum settings for playback of movie titles, but can be used for viewing other content as well.” In case there’s any lingering question here, “other content” would include videogames. But before you grab your controller, let’s review the pros and cons of using a TV’s Game mode.

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Al Griffin Posted: May 30, 2016 9 comments
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Q I have a Vizio M70-C3 UHD TV, a Roku 4 streaming media device, and a Sony HT-XT1 Sound Base. My question is, can the Sony’s HDMI passthrough route 4K movies from the Roku to the HDMI 2.0/HDCP 2.2 input on the Vizio TV? — Damon J. Jackson / via email

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 25, 2015 7 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m in the market for a new 7.1 home theater receiver but have been told that many lower-end models do not pass HDMI audio signals from an Apple TV box or Blu-ray player to their Zone 2 or Speaker B outputs. Is this true? I don't want to invest in a new receiver if I can't play Internet radio from my Apple TV, or Pandora from my Blu-ray Player, to the speakers on my patio. Is there a way to identify receivers that do or do not support this? —James Goar

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 30, 2014 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am in the market for a new home theater receiver and have a dilemma. My wife is hearing impaired and has trouble hearing the TV sound. We have tried a few infrared wireless headphone solutions and have been very disappointed by the poor sound quality. I am looking for a system that will allow me to hook up a separate set of headphones to run simultaneously with the TV sound. Is this possible? —John Bott / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 30, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am in the market for a new home theater receiver and have a dilemma. My wife is hearing impaired and has trouble hearing the TV sound. We have tried a few infrared wireless headphone solutions and have been very disappointed by the poor sound quality. I am looking for a system that will allow me to hook up a separate set of headphones to run simultaneously with the TV sound. Is this possible? —John Bott / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Mar 13, 2014 4 comments
Q I'm looking for a way to play two-channel music via iTunes AirPlay streaming through my Pioneer SC-57 receiver while watching muted sports on my plasma TV, which doesn’t have ARC. All my HDMI sources currently go into the receiver, with a single HDMI output to the TV. Is there a way to set up a second zone on the SC-57? Some other simple solution that I'm missing? —Jason Karley / via email
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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 22, 2015 Published: Oct 21, 2015 4 comments
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Q I own a Roku streamer plus a Blu-ray player and TV with streaming apps. I'm also aware of websites for downloading "Hi-Res" audio to computers and portable players. Here’s my question: Which of these sources support surround sound music?

If you put together the thousands of SACD releases, plus releases on the DVD-Audio and Blu-Ray Audio formats, you’d think somebody should be offering streaming surround by now. I sent a question to Roku support and the answer I got was that basically "all" Roku apps support surround sound. But that sounds like a“technical capability” answer; I haven't found any content yet. —Wayne Erfling

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 08, 2015 27 comments
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Q I’ve been bouncing around the idea of upgrading my current gear and going digital because my wife and I want the convenience of being able to cue up any piece of music using our iPhones.

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 18, 2014 3 comments
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Q I own a Pioneer Elite VSX-49TXi receiver that I’m using in a bedroom system because it lacks HDMI connections. My plan is to upgrade the Onkyo receiver in my theater room with a Marantz pre-pro plus a power amp. Here’s my question: Could I use the Pioneer receiver purely as a power amp connected to the Marantz pre-pro? —Rick Jennings, Hollister, CA

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Al Griffin Posted: Aug 05, 2015 0 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m shopping for an outdoor speaker to use on my back patio and was leaning toward Sonos. Here are my questions: Can I stream audio to Sonos speakers via Bluetooth from my iPhone? Also, are Sonos speakers able to both play tracks from my computer’s iTunes library and stream them from Apple Music? —Jim Flynn

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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 26, 2015 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Will I damage a stereo amplifier by using it to amplify only one channel—in this case, my system’s center speaker?—Richard Regan

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