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Al Griffin Posted: Oct 22, 2015 Published: Oct 21, 2015 1 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: Nov 17, 2016 10 comments
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Q For years, I used iTunes to rip my CDs in the Apple Lossless Audio Compression (ALAC) format and load them onto a 160-gigabyte iPod classic. Now that iPods are no more, I would like to switch to one of the new hi-res-capable portable players but want to avoid having to rip all of my CDs again. Do any of the new players support ALAC so I can continue using iTunes? Also, is there some way to use iTunes to load files from my computer to a new portable player? —Mark Hoornstra / Maryland

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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 10, 2016 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I'm slow to bite on buying an Ultra HDTV because I’m waiting to see which high dynamic range format will stick. If I buy an HDR10-only set and Dolby Vision wins, can support for that format be added through a future software update? —Ray Blackburn

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Al Griffin Posted: Jul 08, 2015 26 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
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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
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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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Al Griffin Posted: Nov 21, 2013 1 comments
Q I have been reading A/V magazines for years, as well as conducting my own research, and am still a little confused about how to select the right amplifier to use with MartinLogan electrostatic speakers. The literature I’ve read clearly indicates that the ohm rating of a receiver is just as important, or more so, than its wattage per channel when considering an A/V receiver to pair with speakers. Does the ohm rating of MartinLogan electrostatic speakers make them incompatible with typical AVRs?
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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 20, 2016 3 comments
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Q Help! Perhaps it's the case that I don't understand the Dolby Atmos specifications, but I get the impression that if I build an Atmos system with four height channels, I will also need to purchase an expensive receiver.

I want the unit I buy to handle both two-channel analog music and big-budget films with multichannel soundtracks. Is there such thing as a receiver that can process Dolby Atmos soundtracks for a 5.1.4-channel speaker layout but also let me use a high-end stereo amp to power the front channels? —Joshua Gonzalez, Houston, TX

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Al Griffin Posted: Apr 27, 2015 1 comments
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Q Can I use two different brands of subwoofers in my home theater?—Alphonse Michelet / via e-mail

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Al Griffin Posted: Dec 17, 2015 2 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q Are different wireless speakers compatible with each other? I own several Sonos speakers, but have recently noticed more top-line speaker makers (e.g., Definitive Technology, Polk) starting to distribute their own. As I continue expanding my wireless hook-ups, I’m wondering if I'm locked-in to using just Sonos? —Stephen Romanelli

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 18, 2015 15 comments
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Q I have a 7.1-channel surround system with four dipole surround speakers. My plan is to move the back surround speakers to the ceiling in my home theater and use them for down-firing height speakers in a Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 setup.  The room is 12 x 20 feet with a flat, 8-foot-high ceiling. Will I get a good Atmos experience with this setup? How will it work for DTS:X? —Dan Spaughs

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Al Griffin Posted: Feb 03, 2016 10 comments
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Q I want to check out the world of High-res audio, but being a Mac and iTunes user presents challenges in that arena. I have spent hours researching Hi-Res-friendly computer music playback alternatives, but each seems to have drawbacks (and costs). Is there a way to use iTunes for Hi-Res playback, or do I have to wait for Mother Apple to eventually condescend to selling and supporting Hi-Res music? —Scott Oakley, Phoenix, AZ

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Al Griffin Posted: Jun 09, 2016 6 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have an Onkyo TX NR1009 AV receiver that I operate in a 7.2 configuration. All is well when I watch a movie with a 7.1 soundtrack since my couch is inline with the back surround speakers. However, when I watch movies or TV with 5.1 sound the rear speakers go silent and I need to shift my position to be inline with the side surround speakers. Is it possible to have the receiver route the 5.1 signal so the back surround speakers remain active and I don’t have to change my seating position? —George Yeoh

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Al Griffin Posted: Sep 25, 2014 3 comments
Got a tech question for Sound & Vision? Email us at AskSandV@gmail.com

Q I have a 7.1-channel in-ceiling speaker system in my home theater. How can I adapt this for a Dolby Atmos configuration? My plan is to add a standard 5.1 channel speaker system and use the in-ceiling speakers for the height effects.—Paul Wright

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