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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: Nov 03, 2010 6 comments
Oops!
In the last two installments of Ask Home Theater, I wrote that the Sony STR-DA4600ES and DA5600ES A/V receivers can convert HDMI sources to 1080i component video for a remote room. My source at Sony was confident about this, and I took his word for it. However, reader Dan couldn't find anything about this feature in the DA5600ES manual. Was my Sony contact wrong?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Apr 28, 2010 28 comments
Superkid
I recently bought a 58-inch Samsung plasma for only $1200, and I loved it—that is, until my 4-year-old threw a small toy and cracked the screen. This totally disabled the TV; it would not even turn on. Is it normal for plasma screens to crack so easily, and if so, are LCD TVs more durable? Thank goodness I was able to return the TV and get a full refund, but I do not have the money to take another chance like that. I have a 1-year-old and a 4-year-old in the house, so what should I do to protect the TV?
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Scott Wilkinson Posted: Jun 30, 2010 10 comments
Golden Oldie
I have a 34-inch Sony KD-34XBR960 direct-view CRT HDTV, which works fine, but it's a beast. Are the current LCD/LED TVs equal in picture quality to the 960? Other than multiple HDMI inputs, weighing less, and consuming less electricity, are there any visual benefits to replacing the 960?
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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 07, 2013 4 comments
Q Can you explain what it is about an asynchronous USB DAC input on a receiver that would enable it to sound superior to an Ethernet connection streaming the same file over a home network? —Chris Hebner / Delano, MN

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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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