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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 03, 2011 0 comments
A friend asked me if I knew of good Blu-ray demo discs so he could show off his system as well as the benefits of Blu-ray technology. He does not collect many discs except the occasional concert video, being an audiophile first and foremost, but concert Blu-rays can be hit or miss as demo material.

Claude Whiting

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Nov 30, 2011 1 comments
I have a Denon AVR-4311CI A/V receiver, and I'm looking to upgrade my speakers, which currently include the Polk Audio TSi400 front left and right (bi-amped), CS10 center, FXi A6 side surrounds, RM 8 back surrounds, and two DSW Pro 500 subwoofers. The room is about 15x18x8.

I plan to get the Aperion Audio Verus Grand towers and center to begin with. When funds allow, I will upgrade the surrounds. Do you think the Denon will provide enough power to push the Grands like they should be, or do I need to look for a separate amp? I am concerned with the quality of the sound and do not usually play at a loud level.

Andrew Phillips

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 13, 2011 2 comments
Can you recommend an audio system that will let me transfer my cassettes to CD or MP3? It would also need to have excellent sound quality and all the usual features; satellite radio would be great as well. I've checked with several retailers, but none seem to have what I need, especially the first item on my list, which is crucial.

Some have suggested I simply buy a tape-to-CD dubbing deck, but they are cumbersome and the last thing I want is a shelf of separate components. Right now, I don't have any audio components, not even a portable. Cost is also a factor (keeping it low as possible).

Ray Aviles

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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: Apr 29, 2011 2 comments
I want to digitize my old 8mm videotapes. My computer is a new HP 6610 (AMD Athelon II 635 CPU, Windows 7, 64-bit). I have an old Sony 8mm camcorder connected to an ADVC-55 video-capture box via S-video and red/white audio cables. The AVDC-55 connects to the computer via FireWire.

I used Ulead Video Studio 5 DV to capture the first tape, then I tried the HP program that came with the computer. The HP program captured directly to MPG and seemed brighter (I think), but I think I want AVI files so I can edit them. During the transfer, the picture is brighter in the camera eyepiece screen, but the playback of the digital file on my computer is darker.

Could the problem be the capture program, or is it just the hardware? Most of the reviews I've read say that cheap USB video-capture devices don't perform well, so I bought the AVDC-55. However, a friend at work said he had good results with a cheap USB unit. Are the new ones any good?

Can you recommend a free or low-cost capture program that makes brighter AVI files? Making them brighter in the editing program sounds like even more work. Also, what free or low-cost video-editing program do you like? Is the Windows downloadable one any good?

John P.

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 11, 2011 7 comments
I have an old 50-inch front-projection TV sold by Sears under the brand Proformance around 1984. The picture is still good overall, but small text such as a ticker at the bottom and sports scores are out of focus. Large text is okay. It seems like it needs to be re-focused and realigned on the screen, but I don't have a manual and neither does the Internet. I also don't want to put any tech money into this TV, so hopefully I can do the adjustment myself. Included in this message are pics of the TV and the problem along with the control panel. Is there anything I can do to correct these problems?

I found a link to a procedure to refocus a 3-CRT rear-projection TV, and I wonder if it will work from the front controls of my TV?

Donna

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 17, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I am building out a dedicated 7.2-channel home theater and was planning on buying dipolar surround speakers to help “spray” sound along the side and back walls. After reading a few articles on Dolby Atmos, however, it seems that direct-radiating speakers would be the more appropriate option since they can better pinpoint objects in the room. Am I correct in thinking that direct-radiating speakers would serve better in an Atmos environment, or do I have things totally wrong? —Adam Tremai / via e-mail

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: May 10, 2012 6 comments
I just bought a Mitsubishi WD-Y657 65-inch DLP rear-projection TV in perfect condition for $300. I've tried to find the best picture settings online, but I can't find anything for this model. Can you provide any help or suggest a good setup disc? Hopefully something easy to use, as I'm fairly new at this.

Cody Lacroix

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jul 15, 2011 2 comments
I bought the Spyder3TV calibration system a few years ago but never used in on my former 50-inch plasma. I now have a Panasonic TC-P54G25 plasma, and I love it, but I haven't calibrated it yet. Is the Spyder3TV any good, or is there a better one? Also, is it even necessary to calibrate it?

Doug Pennell

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 31, 2014 1 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I recently went to my local electronics store to check out the TVs. Every set, whether 4K or 1080p, was displaying 4K programming, and I have to say that even the 1080p sets looked great when showing 4K. Here’s my question: Do 1080p TVs downscale 4K video, or does the 4K server perform that function before passing the signal on to the TV? —Bill Carman / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 17, 2014 5 comments
Q I am in the market for a new 3D player and have been looking at the Oppo 103 and 103D.  But the various online forums I’ve visited all say that there is hardly any picture quality difference between the Oppos and other Blu-ray players like those from Sony and Panasonic. Is that true? —Joe Montanez / via email
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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 24, 2014 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I need to replace an old receiver that has a phono input for my turntable. Do I need to get another receiver with a phono input, or can I just use the receiver’s Tape or Aux inputs instead?—David L. Waller 

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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 30, 2014 18 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I’m trying to choose between new AV receivers from Sony, Denon, and Yamaha. The Sony is the frontrunner, but I am hesitant to pull the trigger because it’s not HDCP 2.2 compliant. If I connect an HTPC to this AVR, will I have problems in the future playing Ultra HD movies? How about satellite? Will I have the same problem if I eventually upgrade to an Ultra HD-capable satellite receiver?—Sam Shirzadegan

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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 16, 2011 0 comments
I love your Home Theater Geeks podcast; I listen every week. But I can't find a way to download older episodes. They are all available at twit.tv/htg, but when I follow the link to download them from iTunes, all I can see are the most recent 20 shows. I am trying to download episode 25 but cannot because of this.

Matt Olan

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